2013 seemed like the first year I was really engaged and participating with the culture that surrounds the horror genre. Between writing for Amazing Stories, and discovering vast online communities, like Tumblr and Reddit, I’ve started LOOKING FORWARD to horror, all the better to inundate myself with it’s mysteries, and what it has to say about the Human experience.
Keeping up with culture can feel like a burden; there’s too much out there, and so much that has come before. I always felt like I was behind, constantly catching up, looking for something timely and interesting to write about. All in the pursuit in sharing the darkest gems of the horror genre to share with you, dear readers.
Finally, on the threshold of a new year, I feel caught up. Prepared. Excited. I’ve learned a lot in my year plus, blogging for Amazing Stories and at my full-time Forestpunk blog (you can do a lot in twelve months). I’ve become engaged with the horror community. This is the first time in a long time I remember feeling like I COULDN’T WAIT for some new releases, climbing the walls like some possessed drug addict. In the time spent waiting for new episodes of American Horror Story & Grimm, I’ve had a chance to catch up with a lot of obscure classics, and have a ton of great ideas and story leads to share. I feel like i can ENJOY horror again.
Let’s take this as a prompt for this coming year. Let’s stop STRESSING about media, about impressing and pleasing everybody, only talking about trending topics. This is ART; the imagination made visible. Let’s not reduce it to status symbols and commodities.
In 2013, horror continued to permeate the mainstream, further legitimizing itself as a serious artform. It must be important, as it holds a lingering and enduring fascination. People will always look for the darkside. What is most important is to reveal what we find there, and the ways that we can use these epiphanies to better ourselves, our world and our species.
For a long time, the words NEW HORROR filled me with a cold dread (not the good kind). It meant either torture porn, straight-to-video serial killer flicks, or pointless franchises. Then, all of a sudden, it seems that we are enjoying a resurgence, a kind of renaissance. A lot of the films of this year were like Rembrandt paintings brought to life, with a crisp, brisk pacing, that cuts through the chaff to make a lean, efficient, highly modern form of horror (a phenomenon which i refer to as HYPERPOP, refining the bits of the past that we like, learning what we can, and ditching the rest). I feel like this is, in part, due to a decade or more of continual access to information. We are having an upsurge of good taste (although there is still plenty of bad out there). I’d like to think, in the coming year, we will continue to use the opportunities afforded to us by technology, and blending them with classical virtues like atmosphere, deep characters, imagination and empathy.
In the coming year, I hope to read more, both books and comics, watch more anime, play more games, go to more conventions. To keep getting caught up, and possibly maybe get a little ahead, all in the attempt of making Amazing Stories an amazing place to find all the best news, reviews, and penetrating insights into horror, fantasy & SF. Watch this space!
Here are my top 25 horror moments of 2013, that had me plugged in and electrified. These are not necessarily “the best” (whatever that means, anymore), just the stuff that I was most excited about and anticipating. I have spoken of some of these already, and have plans to go into the ones I haven’t covered more fully at a later date, as it would take a novella to expound upon what I loved about this last year. So this is just a laundry list of exceptional horror that I found this last year. Maybe you’ll find something you missed.
Did your favorites make the list? Something we overlooked, that you think others should know about? Let us know in the comments box!
Happy new year! Have a dreadful 2014!
My Top 25 Horror Moments Of 2013
I didn’t get a chance to read many comics this year, but I greatly enjoyed this entry from DC’s pale, awkward cousin. Started my October off in a high fashion!
Teeth Of The Sea
Not exactly horror, per se, but a reflection how the horror aesthetic is infiltrating popular culture. Teeth Of The Sea blend John Carpenter ’80s industrial synthesizers with ’70s Goblin giallo proggery, delivered with instrumental metal ferocity and Techno precision. Transform your world into a back alley car chase, or a martian desert. This was my favorite album of the year. You can read the full review at Forestpunk.
Midnight Syndicate – Monsters of Legend
Stephen King – Doctor Sleep: A Novel (The Shining)