Stories For Ghosts

Horror for the Discerning Fan

Tag: Zombie

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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Maggie Recap: Zombies and Schwarzenegger Do Mix, But Not Like You’d Expect

When I finished watching Maggie, I was left in a state of mild disbelief. I knew going in that this movie wasn’t going to follow the expected path. The whole thing was marketed on that exact point. “Arnold Schwarzenegger in a zombie movie? You think you know what that looks like, but you have no idea!” Yet I wasn’t really prepared for how different the film would be from my expectations.

In case you haven’t heard, Maggie is the most recent entry in the zombie genre. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Wade Vogel, father to Abigail Breslin’s Maggie. It takes place on the edge of the zombie apocalypse, before society has completely disintegrated. The mysterious Necroamblist virus, which slowly turns people into flesh-hungry zombies, threatens to engulf the globe. The zombies are slow and lethargic right up until they attack, in true vintage-zombie style. And there is no cure.

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