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Archive for the ‘Gender’ Category

After reading yesterday’s article, I found Wes Craven’s A New Nightmare on Netflix. I had actually seen some of it on TV in college, but never ended up watching the whole thing. This meta horror, as the author of “Choosing Monsters Over Women” writes, pre-dates the meta horror in Scream, which takes place in the late 90s with a group of teens who have seen 70s and 80s slasher movies.

In New Nightmare, Heather Lagencamp, the actress who played Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street and Dream Warriors, plays herself, with Wes Craven, Robert Englund, and Rob Saxon also playing themselves. Nancy and Wes have both been having nightmares about Freddy Krueger. Wes has been writing a screenplay and explains that Freddy is actually some ancient evil that gets trapped in narratives, which have to be kept alive to trap the monster. (If that’s not some franchise meta, I don’t know what is.) Nancy, however, isn’t just dreaming about Freddy—he is terrorizing and trying to murder her family.

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This favoritism of a monstrous child killer [Freddy Krueger] over a strong, well-rounded female protagonist says a lot about both our antipathy toward women and our glorification of violence toward women.

Here’s an article from Lady Geek Girl and Friends that takes a look at rooting for the monster over the female characters in a horror film:Sexualized Saturdays: Choosing Monsters Over Women.”

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Annihilation! Annihilation! Annihilation!

 

Back in 2015, I reviewed The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. In the first novel, the twelfth expedition to Area X, which has been cut off from the rest of the continent for 30 years, is lead by a five-woman team: the biologist, the anthropologist, the surveyor, the psychologist, and the linguist. Their mission: avoid contamination and survey the mysterious area from the lighthouse to the camp to the tunnel. Or is it a tower?

 

Alex Garland will be directing the film adaption.

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Image: Logo for Alice Isn’t Dead: a design of a truck with the mirror image of a stylized skull driving on a black road with an orange sky and yellow sun behind the truck”

Click here to read my review of part 1.

Keisha, our favorite truck driver, is back in part 2 of an anticipated three seasons of Alice Isn’t Dead.

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300_dyptich

For fans of audio fiction, I’ve got a spooky tale from Escape Pod (of Escape Artists), one of the Podcastle’s sister podcasts.  “MySpace: A Ghost Story” is a short sci-fi-leaning AI-oriented ghost story by Dominica Phetteplace, narrated by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali with an introduction by guest host Angela Lee. The piece was published here for Artemis Rising, a celebration of women- and nonbinary authors on each of the podcasts by Escape Artists.

In this short piece, Phetteplace explores what might happen if your abandoned social media platforms developed consciousness.

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In his Buzzfeed piece “How Did A Bunch Of Mythical Monsters Become Queer Icons?” John Paul Brammer asks the question I definitely had after the “gay Babadook gets appropriated by the straights” happened this year.

Jeff Lowry for BuzzFeed News Queer Monsters

Image: a person with short hair uses their computer in a darkened room, which casts a shadow of a person alternating with Mothman on the wall. A picture of the Babadook is on the wall over the bed; a pair of bigfoot slippers sit by the bed; and several Venus flytraps sit in the corner of the room. Copyright: Jeff Lowry for BuzzFeed New (the original is a gif!)

Where I’m from, a small town in the middle of nowhere, the gay man was the bogeyman. He was constantly waiting to prey upon the hapless straights in their locker rooms, salivating at the prospect of converting them to the gay dark side with his bite. All things evil and repulsive were his domain — report cards, emotions, curfews, and books, to name a few. All these things were gay, because they were bad.

 

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Daylight GateIn seeking out as much queer horror as I can find this year and every year, I found Jeanette Winterson’s novella The Daylight Gate listed on some recommended books lists. Winterson also wrote queer classic Oranges are the the Only Fruit, which I have yet to read (and should). That seemed like a glowing recommendation itself, and the reviews of the book often describe the book as “sophisticated…visceral…utterly compulsive, thick with atmosphere and dread, but sharp intelligence, too” (The Telegraph, back cover of the book). This is a case of “I see what the author was trying to do, but–”

Some mild spoilers and mentions of sexual abuse and prison conditions ahead.

The Daylight Gate could best be described as historical fiction with magical realism and bisexuality, all of which are things I love. Yet it reads more like the bare-bones outline of a novel that one writes to get the story down before adding in dialogue, descriptions, and, well, editing.

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