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Here, you'll find links to essays, features, and written interviews. 

FANGORIA

September 3, 2021

Bottom line: cursed or not, when it comes to the contents of the tombs, You need that for later. The curses associated with mummies in real life are to protect the bodies so that souls can later reinhabit them.

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Illustration by Alice Yeun

Narratively

April 22, 2021

In 1794 the people of Guadeloupe briefly tasted freedom. A woman named Solitude decided she’d rather die than go back into chains — but her heroism was nearly lost to history.

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The Mary Sue

October 25, 2019

This is what happens when they try to make people into characters. In real life, there is no fourth wall separating their self-sabotage from their audience, and they don’t realize that although they imitate characters on a screen, this is no performance.

Narratively

February 20, 2020

“Jolly Jane” Toppan overcame a miserable Dickensian childhood to become a medical professional patients adored. She was also slowly murdering them one by one.

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Illustration by Sophie Margolin

Essays

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Photographs by Emily Wang

August 31, 2021

Oxford American

Queen Mary’s official guide says that miniatures should “be fitted up with perfect fidelity, down to the smallest details, so as to represent as closely and minutely as possible a genuine and complete example of a domestic interior with all the household arrangements characteristic of the daily life of the time.” I know that she was the queen, but I’m an American, and I reject that “fidelity.” Sure, with unbounded access to money and artists, an exact replica might be worthwhile, more useful even than the actual artifacts of the time because no one actually uses them. But this is my fantasy; this is my house; this is my metaphor. This is me playing the violin while Rome burns.

Director Nathalie Biancheri sat down with FANGORIA to talk about authenticity among species in her sophomore film WOLF. WOLF follows the story of Jacob (George MacKay) as he navigates a clinic for people with species dysphoria and the psychologist/zookeeper who torments them with cognitive-behavioral treatment.

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Neon Splatter

March 8, 2022

FREAKY combines the premises of FRIDAY THE 13TH with FREAKY FRIDAY, in which the giant strongman serial killer The Butcher (Vince Vaughn) tries to murder sweet, dorky, bereaved high-school student, Millie (Kathryn Newton) with an ancient dagger that curses them to live in each other’s bodies. It even won the Breaking Barriers Lizzie Award at the culminating ceremony Saturday night—which, by the way, is the dopest trophy you’ll ever see.

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Killer Horror Critic

February 17, 2020

In promotion of Blumhouse’s new crime series Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones, I had the pleasure of interviewing Juliette Lewis for Killer Horror Critic about her role as Harper...

Features

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Mental Floss

June 16, 2022

Political stances like opposing the death penalty (as well as things like calling Emperor Napoleon III a traitor for abolishing the democratic system of government in France) led to Hugo being exiled from France in the early 1850s. Napoleon III granted all exiles amnesty in 1859, but Hugo said, “Faithful to the undertaking I have given my conscience, I shall share the exile of freedom to the end. When freedom returns, so shall I.”

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Killer Horror Critic

February 17, 2020

In promotion of Blumhouse’s new crime series Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones, I had the pleasure of interviewing Juliette Lewis for Killer Horror Critic about her role as Harper...

The Line Up

June 13, 2022

While at the hospital, Tarrare ate a meal intended for 15 German laborers, including two meat pies and four gallons of milk. When spurred by the military board that he should soon report once more for service, one doctor, M. Courville, had the idea to weaponize Tarrare’s skill. Courville had Tarrare to swallow a wooden box with a document inside. Two days later, when Tarrare returned from the latrine with both the box and the document in good condition, they decided to employ Tarrare as a spy. 

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Neon Splatter

May 3, 2022

Though this photograph in particular is immortalized in the popular consciousness, the Abdel-Rassoul family was famous—or rather infamous—generations before the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb, though. Sheikh was a descendent of some of the most infamous tomb robbers Egypt has ever known.

Digital Spy

March 28, 2022

One character stands apart as the poster child of How to Behave in a Horror Movie, and that character is Paul (Dayo Okeniyi). He does everything right and makes every effort to help without putting himself at risk or – as we see all too often with traditionally masculine characters – trying to be a hero for the sake of being a hero.

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The Line Up

March 23, 2022

Step right up, step right up, and feast your eyes on the horrors of the circus midway…

 

What is it about the circus and its ballyhoo that makes it such a fertile breeding ground for horror?

I have a theory: for the longest time, circuses were where those cast-off from society were able to work for their living. As such, they developed an aura of mystery, and when the masses are uncomfortable, they tend to label the thing that makes them uncomfortable as monstrous.

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The Line Up

April 14, 2022

Shortly after Solomon’s coronation, he dreamed that he talked directly to God, and God said, “Ask what I shall give thee.”

In the Bible, Solomon asks for wisdom; he desires to be a great and fair ruler. Because he didn’t ask for treasure, prestige, victory over his conquests, or any of the more typical things kings asked for, God made him the wisest man in the world—in addition to making him rich and powerful.

Islamic traditions agree that Sulaiman was uncommonly wise, but he also understood the language of birds, animals, and insects. Plus, when he asked God for wisdom, God gave him another gift, too: the ring called the Seal of Solomon—purported to grant dominion over evil djinn.

Neon Splatter

December 28, 2021

Look, whether or not you consider DIE HARD a Christmas movie—it is, by the way—a terrorist takeover to put our own trivia in perspective is what SO MANY OF US need during the Christmas season.

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Neon Splatter

December 29, 2021

Even those of us who work as bureaucrats hate the concept of bureaucracy. Sure, it works in theory, when all the cogs are operating as needed, but we cogs almost never work as needed because a machine like bureaucracy doesn’t allow for the human condition. On the Dungeons & Dragons alignment scale, bureaucrats should be lawful neutral. The problem is, in a country like America that touts itself as a meritocracy, individuals are almost never lawful neutral. It’s not in our nature. We’re taught that ambition is a virtue, and that disinclines to be neutral on anything at all.

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FANGORIA

November 19, 2021

Mr. Browning is 91 and he’s lived a life full of adventures that would have killed me, but when I recently met him in person he was so vivacious, I couldn’t quite grasp the fact that he was sick, let alone that he is mortal.

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FANGORIA

May 11, 2021 

As a Lebanese Christian who grew up in the American South, let me warn you: I am very fussy about anti-Arab and Islamophobic representations on screen. I understand that art imitates life, truly… but there comes a point when life imitates art, too, and I just can’t let that shit stand.

As any student of history knows: our past is horrifying. Viking mythology is no exception. It is, perhaps, the rule. Anya Taylor-Joy (Olga) and Aleksander Skarsgård (Amleth) have said in interviews, historical accuracy is clutch to director and writer, Robert Eggers: "You know when you're doing a Robert Eggers movie that if it says 'they walk across you know, volcanoes and glaciers and whatever', we will be walking across volcanoes and glaciers. You'll just be straight in it."

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Neon Splatter

December 31, 2021

That never-ending desire to be a hero is as old as Beowulf: when there’s no way for a “hero” to re-enter society, he goes into a battle that he knows he will lose, just so he can be absolutely positive to have a hero’s death. Apollo even admits this outright, when Rocky suggests they’re turning into “regular people”: “Without a war to fight, the warrior might as well be dead.” Even in non-contact sports, marathon runners go into heart failure at the finish line because they’re coached into pushing past the reflex to stop. And that mentality is so, so, so, stupid selfish.

Messy Nessy

February 3, 2021

There’s a reason why Google autofills questions about the authenticity of Black presence in 17th and 18th century Europe – lots of people are asking. 

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Rue Morgue

December 28, 2020

We horror lovers have been tired of the rape-revenge fantasy trope for a long time, and most rape-revenge fantasy horror films fail because they try to fight violence with violence, which is not really the appropriate reaction.

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The Final Girls

December 16, 2020

In The Mothman Prophecies, accepting your fate, if it can even be called that, is just as fruitless. This fruitless fight against what’s coming inverts the Christmas narrative into a haunting horror film.

The Mary Sue

December 28, 2020

Often, when it comes to horror movies, someone asks, “What would YOU do in that situation?” Women horror aficionados that I know across the board have widely reacted with, “Die, probably.” But when asked, “What would you do if someone you love was in that situation?” everything changes. 

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The Mary Sue

June 12, 2020

There’s certainly room for good-faith analysis of how portrayals of women in this genre have evolved, hopefully for the better, which can involve comparing characters like this, but there’s still a tendency to lean into picking one over the other in a way that just reinforces sexist ideas about the right way to be a woman.

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FANGORIA

February 9, 2020

Get Out is a zombie movie. But no one noticed. 

There are a few kinds of zombie from Haitian folklore and vodou (more commonly known as voodoo culture), and they are almost exclusively different from what we see on television as zombies.

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Killer Horror Critic

May 24, 2020

When I rewatched Tales from the Hood, I totally expected a campy, fun horror comedy film like the show on which its title is based, Tales from the Crypt. But no, Tales from the Hood, that shit is still scary. In commemoration of the 25-year anniversary this bomb anthology film written by Cundieff and Darin Scott, here are the top 8 aspects of its horror that really hold up.

LitReactor

August 29, 2019

Marlowe is to private investigation what Indiana Jones is to archaeology… he basically comes in, makes a mess, and then struts out the door.

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The Mary Sue

August 5, 2019

Every Quentin Tarantino movie has some “non-PC” or even outright insulting elements, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is not exempt, but let’s not overlook the win of the romantic relationship between Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) and Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio). Yes, I have heard that they are just close friends—that they are like brothers. I don’t buy it. Would it have been better if they had acknowledged their relationship to the audience?

… Did they not? 

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Luna Luna

July 23, 2019

I have been a dancer for all of my life—one of my earliest memories is being in a pink leotard at three years old and hearing my instructor say, “If you ever lose your place, just listen to the music. It will tell you where you are.” She meant that we should listen to the counts to situate ourselves in the choreography, but I didn’t take it that way, not even then. There’s something really special about being able to lose yourself in a piece of music, especially when the music is live. It shuts off the rest of your brain and makes you live in your body, and you kind of forget everything that is happening if it isn’t the dance.

Flickering Myth

August 3, 2019

I remember the moment I realized that dance and horror were linked. I showed my Jiddo (grandfather) a video of my favorite belly dancer. The music accompanying her was gooey and ethereal, a Middle Eastern electronica folk fusion, her makeup shimmered, her muscles undulated under her tattoos. My Jiddo watched, enthralled, and at the end, he said, “That right there is how John the Baptist lost his head.”

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Luna Luna

July 23, 2019

I have been a dancer for all of my life—one of my earliest memories is being in a pink leotard at three years old and hearing my instructor say, “If you ever lose your place, just listen to the music. It will tell you where you are.” She meant that we should listen to the counts to situate ourselves in the choreography, but I didn’t take it that way, not even then. There’s something really special about being able to lose yourself in a piece of music, especially when the music is live. It shuts off the rest of your brain and makes you live in your body, and you kind of forget everything that is happening if it isn’t the dance.

The Mary Sue

July 16, 2019

We see the explosion at Chernobyl from the perspective of Lyudmilla Ignatenko (Jessie Buckley) as she finishes vomiting in the middle of the night. We are meant to deduce immediately that she is pregnant. I felt my heart do its first elevator drop at that realization, and I flashed back to ninth grade, sitting in my world history class, staring at the single paragraph on the event, dolly-zooming in on the phrase “birth defects.” I could not think about anything else, and it was VERY hard for me to actually wait to see what happened.

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Graveyard Shift Sisters

July 23, 2019

Josh (William Jackson Harper) is the character who has done all the research, who networked into the friendship with Pelle to observe the Midsommar ritual (I’m oversimplifying, but no one else masterminded this trip). Josh’s dissertation is about traditional European midsummer rituals and celebrations, and he is the reason why his friends agree to go. This quest is Josh’s quest. Everyone else is riding his coattails.