horror anthology

All posts tagged horror anthology

Spook Lights 2: More Southern Gothic Horror for the Soul

Published January 23, 2017 by rmpixie

 

 

spooklights2

Spook Lights 2:  Southern Gothic Horror

(Amazon Digital Services LLC, 2017, Kindle Edition)

 

From childhood scares to the horrific and sensual, Spook Lights 2: Southern Gothic Horror gives us more of the steamy Charleston, South Carolina-based horror from author and editor Eden Royce.

Currently based in the U.K., Royce has stayed faithful to her Southern roots, and while she is a fan of the supernatural in general, this time around she decided to focus on the human side of horror, inspired by wise words from her beloved grandmother about being wary of humans and not movie monsters.

This second collection takes the foreboding and magic of the first and once again weaves it into everyday life with stories like To-Do List, The Dating Pool, and Blood Read. Other stories like Laughter of Crows and Haints of Azalea Hall blur the lines between the living and the dead, and there is a timelessness with each one that makes you feel a nostalgic yearning from within.

Royce is very good at incorporating a nonchalant acceptance with each tradition of magic. The everyday fables and superstitions are like a collective memory or common knowledge with the characters; ingrained within the communities as a living history. They remind me of my own West Indian background and old wives’ tales I would hear as a child, casually tossed into conversations without the blink of an eye.

The historical content in the stories is just as rich as the first, but the human element prevalent in this collection. She uses the fragility of uncertainty within our human existence and reaffirms it with ancestral root magic and powerful women. Doubts soon dissipate as each character sees their true selves be it good or bad, and they either succumb or escape the terrors that plague them.

Her final story Folk will resonate with readers for many reasons. I myself will go back to read it several times and glean something different each time I do, but I think it tells us to remember where we come from and celebrate or take heed of it.

Eden Royce definitely remembers her roots, and not only revels in them, but documents her ancestral traditions, showing her pride in this wonderful sequel set in a sensual and mystical world.

Spook Lights 2: Southern Gothic Horror is available now on amazon here, and check out the rest of her writing here.

Follow her on her sites:

www.edenroyce.com

www.darkgeisha.wordpress.com

http://www.twitter.com/EdenRoyce

And read my review of her first volume here.

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Southern Magic with Eden Royce’s Spook Lights

Published May 20, 2015 by rmpixie

SL Cover Final

Spook Lights:  Southern Gothic Horror (135 pages, Kindle Editon, 2015)

 

As an avid horror reader, I am always open to new stories and writers, but I admit I can get bored when I read the same themes over and over again.  The Graveyardshiftsisters site features women of colour horror writers putting their own stamp on the genre, and one such author is Eden Royce, a U.K. based, African-American writer and editor who has contributed to several horror anthologies and written her own novellas.  My first introduction to her work was Containment, a unique story about a devil-human hybrid and his battle with a formidable entity which I really enjoyed, so I was happy to hear of her new collection honouring her Southern roots.

Sea sirens, enchantments and spirits from beyond take you on a mystical journey in Royce’s new anthology Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror.  Named after ghostly marsh lights and set in her home town of Charleston, South Carolina, this collection of short stories explore her heritage of root, a type of conjure magic known in the region, the supernatural and the richly diverse ancestry of the area.

From revenge to family secrets, each story is a blend of folklore and traditions.  Some reach back in time while others keep a strong foothold in modern-day horror, but they all represent facets of the Southern Gothic.  Cautionary tales like Hag Ride and Rhythm will make you more careful of what you wish for, while War Chief and Since Hatchet Was a Hammer tells of inner strength to overcome both earthly and otherworldly dangers.  My personal favorite was the bittersweet Doc Buzzard’s Coffin which hit all the marks:  suspense, the supernatural, and the charm of a child’s perspective.  Each character carries their own personal horror but there is a consistent vein throughout this mosaic of tales: the sensuality, strength and power of a woman.  Her spirit cannot be held or tamed for long; overcoming adversity by unleashing her natural powers.

There is a warmth to Royce’s writing, the dialogue rich with a Southern drawl and sensibilities that convey a strong pride for legends passed on for generations.  She evokes tangible environments to the point where you can almost feel warm breezes blow and smell the pungent scents that she describes, but Royce’s ability to incorporate these legends into horror stories is the strength of the collection; it makes the reader want to know more about these mysterious traditions.

If you’re looking to add to your summer reading list, Spook Lights is a must for those humid summer nights that keep magical secrets just beyond your reach.

 

Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror can be purchased now (for a steal I might add!) from Amazon here, and there will be a release party via Facebook on June 6th.  Check out the details here, and join in!

If you want more info on the rest of her writings check out her sites:

www.edenroyce.com

www.darkgeisha.wordpress.com

www.twitter.com/EdenRoyce

The 2015 Canadian Film Fest: Late Night Double Feature

Published March 27, 2015 by rmpixie

lndf

Late Night Double Feature (2014, 89 mins.)

I like a good horror anthology.  Where else can you get more bang for your buck, more gore, and more monsters all in one horror package?  Films from my horror education like The Trilogy of Terror (1975) and the golden prize in my movie collection The Monster Club (1981) provided more campy scares than I could ever ask for, and while some were cheesier than others, they all gave me a sense of joy when I found them on T.V. in the wee hours.  The latest addition to this genre, embracing the iconic old-school cable show, is Late Night Double Feature, the brain child of The Blood in the Snow Festival founder Kelly Michael Stewart that had its Canadian premiere at the 2015 Canadian Film Fest last night.

Directed by Navin Ramaswaran, Dr. Nasty’s Cavalcade of Horror is just that.  Amidst shoddy sets and props, Dr. Nasty (Brian Scott Carleton) is a “mad scientist” late night host with a penchant for booze and pretty young interns.  His co-host, Nurse Nasty (Jamie Elizabeth Sampson), is an aspiring actress and tired of his antics that go un-punished by the show’s indifferent director and her boyfriend, Shawn (Mike Donis). As the studio drama goes on, Dr. Nasty shows two films, Dinner for Monsters and Slit, giving us 3 stories of horror in total, complete with some goofy laughs, a bit of shock, and schlocky fun.

It’s difficult to do tongue-in-cheek without it going the route of overly silly, and Late Night Double Feature actually delivers because of some great performances and good control of the mood and audience reaction.  With Dinner for Monsters, directed by Zachary Ramelan, a young chef (Nick Smyth) struggling to keep his dead father’s restaurant afloat gets a chance to cook for a private party that ends up having a gruesome main course.  The comedy was groan-inducing but made you laugh all the same, using lots of camp and a B-movie reveal that hit all the right notes.  Jeff Sinasac as the wealthy party host Vincent Dubuc has a stage actor’s presence, and brought a classic maniac vibe to the mix.

In Slit, Brad (Colin Price) is a cutter for hire.  He services clients who like to be strategically sliced up for pleasure.  He is void of feeling, creepy and likes to keep his client list private.  When he gets a new referral in Brii (Caleigh Le Grand), he reluctantly agrees to take her on, only to find she has lost her mind.  Escaping her attack, he rushes out, losing his little black client book that has his address in it; a perfect opportunity for Brii to find him and exact revenge.  I give Slit marks for intensity and a great villain in Brii.  I actually want to see more of her exploits and hope there is something in the works for the future.  Directed by Torin Langen, Slit reminds you that this is in fact a horror movie, and we shouldn’t get too comfortable with laughing, even though there is some comic relief with the kooky homeless guy played by Kirk Haviland.  It leaves you hanging, wondering where the rest of the film will go, which is exactly what creator Stewart wanted to do.  The flow eases the viewer out of the shock of Slit and back into the melodrama with Nurse Nasty, her predicament, and its bloody, climatic conclusion.

After the screening, the entire (read gigantic) cast and crew came up for a quick Q & A.  We learned that this production was realized by their determination and the good will of many friends and family.  Set in and around Toronto, and despite shooting delays and a flood, the film was shot in 15 days, and the idea that was spawned in 2013 came to fruition due to careful pre and post-production.

It looks like the cast and crew really enjoyed themselves making a true B-movie winner, and if you get a chance to see it, you’ll have a good laugh.  Honourable mention goes to the movie trailers of Night Klown and Encephatopithecus which were hilarious; and the moody, dark opening short, Burn the Tapes by Nick and Brit Kewin.  It was a fun night and I am glad I was able to check it out.  You can follow the film on Twitter for updates:  @LATENIGHTDOUBLE; and the Canadian Film Fest wraps up tonight, so check out the final films here.

Pixie’s Horror List for 2014

Published January 1, 2014 by rmpixie

Happy New Year folks!  I’ve been cruising the internet for the new batch of horror films coming out this year.  I must say I’m a little perplexed as to what signifies horror these days.  I guess the cross over categories are a good thing as the genre is constantly evolving, but I don’t want to get sucked in by clever marketing only to be disappointed by the lack of horror elements in a film.  As I’ve mentioned before, adding a random torture scene and blood sprays does not a horror make.  I’m old-fashioned with my horror needs.  A monster, serial killer, demon, ghost, slasher from the dead, mutation or some supernatural element in any combination does it for me.  Psychological horrors are good too, but they need to be better described for the fans so we don’t get disappointed just because it is misrepresented with the marketing.

Aside from that, I’ve found some intriguing films for 2014 that I may actually venture out to a theatre to see, and even though I am usually not a fan of sequels, I’ve found a few that look good:

The latest Paranormal Activity instalment, The Marked Ones is creating a lot of buzz.  I will probably see it, but I admit I will most likely wait until it comes out On Demand/DVD.  It’s been such a successful franchise that I think people will go see this film out of curiosity, although there are a lot of Paranormal Activity fans out there.

Devil’s Due sounds pretty good.  There is nothing I like better than a suspicious (demonic) pregnancy for a happy couple.  Bring it on!  Seems like these devil spawn movies never get tired.  And I will always see them.  Always.  You can thank my strict Catholic upbringing for that.

I, Frankenstein I will definitely got to the theatres to see.  I love Kevin Grevioux (of the Underworld series), who created the graphic novel which the film is based on.  I love Aaron Eckhart because he is delicious.  And I love monsters, which this film is chock full of.  Yay!!!

Ok, so this is not horror, but it gets an honourable mention.  300: Rise of an Empire is so on my list.  Yes, because of the hard bodies, especially that of Sullivan Stapleton, one of my many movie boyfriends, and star of Strike Back, one of the best action T.V. shows ever.  Who cares about the storyline.  Just bring on the greased up men!

I’m really curious about Maleficent, the story of the evil character from Sleeping Beauty before she curses the Princess Aurora.  It has a great gothic feel, and I love the makeup and look of Angelina Jolie. I also dig a good back story, so I will probably put something other than pyjamas on and go see this one in theatres.

Dead Snow 2: Read vs. Dead is going to be ridiculous. Zombie Nazis and lots of snow.  Who knew you could make a movie and it’s sequel out of what sounds like random words picked out of a hat.  I loved the first one, so can I have some more please?

Deliver Us From Evil is a possession movie that involves cops, bad guys and, of course, the devil.  Scott Derrickson is a great director (he did The Exorcism of Emily Rose which is the one movie I will never watch alone), and the cast looks great.  Joel McHale will play Eric Bana’s partner in this supernatural cop flick, so I’m hoping for some dry humour as well as devilish thrills.

Oculus, which premiered at the TIFF this past year, has me intrigued as well.  A creepy mirror, bad things happening to a family and battling evil sounds like a great old-fashioned horror film that I won’t miss! Oh yeah, and actress Karen Gillan ( who played Amy Pond of Dr. Who fame) is in it, so I have to see it.

After seeing The Dead, a zombie apocalypse movie set in Africa, I’m excited to see the second installment The Dead 2:  India, where an American engineer travels through a zombie outbreak to rescue his Indian wife.  Diversity, zombies and adventure are always welcome!

Another flick that I’m really interested in is Grim Night.  I had seen the trailer some time last summer, and I hope it comes out soon.  The premise where Grims (your good old-fashioned hooded spectres of death) come out once a year to claim new victims is chilling, so I hope the film does it justice.

The Theatre Bizarre 2: Grand Guignol will be the second addition to this anthology franchise.  This sequel brings us a crop of French directors and their horrific contributions, and we all know how much I love my French horror and Xavier Gens (The Divide, Frontière(s)), so here’s hoping there will be lots of  “soif du sang” and that this flick will “nous donne le frisson”!

Of course, The Human Centipede’s final chapter is due this year.  As ridiculous as it is, I feel compelled to finish off this gross-out franchise just so I know what the final outcome of the mouth-to-bum insanity will be.

Another ridiculous but must-see film:  Squirrels.  As a crazed animal lover and vegetarian, I’ve just got to see squirrels gone bad.  I’m the one who is always trying to commune with these furry rodents, so this just might make me think twice about “making friends”…

Along with the above picks will be many independent gems like angry ghost film Pernicious by indie fave James Cullen Bressack, obscure B-movies that I stumble across, as well as anything from the new Hammer Films studios like The Quiet Ones.

I hope 2014 brings us horror fans lots and lots of good, scary stories on the big screen!

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