Stories For Ghosts

Horror for the Discerning Fan

Tag: Survival Horror

Book Review: The Girl With All the Gifts

***Spoiler Alert: mild spoilers for The Girl With All the Gifts***

Stagnation is one of the unfortunate things avid horror fans deal with. For such a rich, dynamic, and prolific genre, horror often trades in the same old stories. Sometimes I feel like I’m experiencing the same serial killer thriller, haunted house short story, or post-apocalyptic zombie movie again and again. I’ve noticed a cycle to subgenres’ popularity, where one well-made novel or movie captures hearts, minds, and nerves only to inspire a lot of not-as-good imitations. Knock-offs are churned out in record time, and in the rush to get the product out, creators sacrifice quality and imagination.

This isn’t always a “bad” choice, since there is a lot of money in producing cheap and gory horror movies. It happened with zombies, possessions, and found-footage horror movies. It happens with vampire novels. These works have entertainment value, but they aren’t groundbreaking and become uninteresting.

As a fan, this vicious cycle frustrates and bores me. Horror is such a flexible genre, with great potential for constant reinvention. I always enjoy horror that offers something different.

Thus, whenever a movie or novel comes along that breathes new life into a worn-out subgenre, I can’t help but take notice.

Enter The Girl With All the Gifts, M.R. Carey’s innovative 2014 zombie novel. In a subgenre rife with the same old survivor story, Carey wrote a compelling zombie narrative reexamining many of the assumptions of the genre. The result is a novel that offers a fresh perspective on many of the tried-and-true themes of the zombie genre, including survival at all costs, us vs. them mentalities, and what it would take to rebuild a shattered world.

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Green Room – A Taut, Gory, and Smart Horror Film

One of my biggest horror movie pet peeves is when characters die from making incredibly irrational, stupid decisions. Not when a character is stressed and freaks out, but when a character is a genuine idiot. I hate when that happens in movies because 1) most people aren’t that stupid, 2) convenient stupidity for the sake of moving the plot forward is the height of lazy, contrived writing, and 3) that shit isn’t scary.

I’d rather watch a movie where the characters are smart but woefully unprepared for the nasty situations they find themselves in. Helplessness is always scarier than stupidity.

And that’s why, despite my natural avoidance of super-gory horror, I really enjoyed Green Room.

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Houston: See Green Room For Free!

Hey Houston, wanna see a free advance screening of Green Room before it opens on April 29? I got passes!

I have 25 passes for a special screening on Thursday, April 21 at the River Oaks Theatre on 2009 W. Gray in Houston.  Each pass is general admission and admits two, so grab a friend and make a night of it! The movie starts at 7:00 PM sharp, so be sure get there early to guarantee your spot!

Follow THIS LINK, fill out the information, and secure your pass.

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