Here we are–the second week of October–with some of the staff’s favorite horror and mystery picks, including Infidel which is making its second appearance in as many weeks.
NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS!
Honestly, it is my favourite movie to watch during Halloween season. It’s everything one wants: a bit of horror, love, female empowerment, and revenge. It’s also a family movie that you can see with your eldest family member to your youngest, and they will enjoy it! It’s such a lighthearted but deeply heartfelt story that makes the viewer happy. Mind you, this movie was made in 1994 and movies were less blast-oriented than they are now. So, people might complain that it’s slow or not as filled with action. However, stick it out, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The Nightmare before Christmas also has a great soundtrack by Danny Elfman, and it was produced by Tim Burton. So, prepare for a weird and awe-inspiring audio-visual experience. I hope you enjoy it and that it helps you get into the Halloween vibe! So go watch it and thank me (even if you have watched it before).
My pick this week is a horror book from earlier this year: Infidel. Horror in comics is for me a problematic genre because it has to be a really well-crafted story not only to be engaging but terrifying. This impression has something to do with the way we read comics. You not only choose the pace yourself but also are able to look ahead of the story, two pages at the time. One great example of a horror writer is Cullen Bunn, who wrote stories like Harrow County or Cold Spots. However, he now has new contesters with Pornsak Pichetshote, Aaron Campbell, and José Villarrubia (the creators of Infidel). They are able to create horrifying images time and again, which is a great accomplishment in a static medium like comics. They implement the monsters and demons in the surroundings, so you have to look for them and be willing to be terrified. But Infidel is not just a horror story, it also serves as social commentary. Dealing with issues of xenophobia and racism is hard to pull off without being too on the nose about it. This book makes it look easy. There are so many good things to say about Infidel, but the best way to experience it is with as little prior knowledge as possible. Pick up the TPB of this fantastic limited series. You will not regret it.
Lizzie: The Musical
Historically accurate, metal-influenced, true crime musical theater with a lot of female angst sounds like my wildest dream and, in fact, it exists! Lizzie is dark, sexy, and a whole lot of fun. This musical was more or less my first exposure to the story of Abby and Andrew Borden’s murders, and I was highly impressed to find out how well-researched the plot was, down to small details like milk delivery and the stain on Lizzie’s seal-skin cape. Highlights include “The House of Borden” (the anthemic opening), “The Soul of the White Bird” (Lizzie reflects on her dysfunctional relationship with her father), and “Thirteen Days in Taunton” (a triumphant account of Lizzie’s exoneration.)
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Most well known for Gone Girl (which I also love, enough to write an extensive Lacanian analysis of it in college), Gillian Flynn’s other novels are also strong and compelling. I finished Dark Places in about five minutes because I couldn’t put it down and/or stop thinking about it. I loved her delve into true crime fandom communities and the psychological aftershocks of living through deep trauma.
This movie was WILD. I first encountered it on a Buzzfeed list of intriguing documentaries and the only information it gave was “the less you know, the better.” I have to agree, it’s rare that a documentary gets this suspenseful and there are some serious plot twists. Suffice it to say, a filmmaker attempts to make a documentary about his dead best friend and gets way, way, way more than he expected. It’s gutwrenching but still uplifting, and an intimate look into a family tragedy.
Jughead: The Hunger Vol. 1
I’ve spent this week doing lots of halloween-themed things. But my favourite out of all of them was reading Jughead: The Hunger Vol. 1. This is atmospheric horror featuring America’s favourite teens at its absolute finest. Why is Jug always hungry? He’s part werewolf of course! I want to see what other kinds of monsters end up making an appearance in the next volume