Reclaimed Horror


The Horror of Gatsby

I’ve spent some time in the past year reclaiming horror, but I’m not going to do quite that with The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Still, it’s my favorite book, and I’ve enjoyed writing about the spookiness of the green light. Today’s post is about how and why Fitzgerald plays with horror elements in this work. Gatsby’s Mystique The first time Nick sees Gatsby, we get this description: “The silhouette of a moving cat wavered across the moonlight and turning my head to watch it I saw that I was not alone—fifty feet away a figure had emerge[...]


Reclaim Horror: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children has been on the New York Times Bestseller List for more weeks than there are in a year. This highly successful novel screams horror to all but the following entities: Amazon calls it Fantasy & Supernatural. The top shelves on Goodreads are Young Adult, Paranormal, and Mystery. The Peculiar Children Wiki categorizes it as fantasy. Let's look at the synopsis (obvious horror blurbage in bold): A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage.

 A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be[...]


Reclaim Horror: Bates Motel

Bates Motel is my favorite show on television, and it just returned for its third season last week. The first 20 episodes are on Netflix right now, so get caught up and join the club. According to IMDB, Bates Motel is a mystery/thriller. Wikipedia categorizes it as a drama/thriller. I discussed that sprawling genre, the thriller, last month. In Bates Motel, there are mysteries (where is the abducted girl?) and drama (my uncle is my dad?), but the thrills should be classified as chills. While the original book, Psycho, is considered a suspense novel, the TV show[...]


Reclaim Horror: Supernatural Thrillers

Is there such a thing as supernatural thrillers, or is it just a softer label for horror? International Thriller Writers defines this sprawling category, saying, "This would include (but isn’t limited to) such subjects as murder mystery, detective, suspense, horror, supernatural, action, espionage, true crime, war, adventure, and myriad similar subject areas." So here it suggests that horror could potentially be a sub-genre of thriller. Speculative fiction, another sprawling genre, also claims horror as part of its own. It seems everyone wants a hunk of horro[...]


Reclaim Horror: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

That's right, folks. The word "horror" is used 11 times in Wikipedia's Buffy the Vampire Slayer article, but IMDB calls it action, drama, and fantasy. Action Because Buffy contains both top-notch fight scenes and "ticking clock" scenarios, it can be portrayed as an action show. Drama Does Buffy tackle serious issues? Sure! Willow's coming out, Buffy getting played by a one-night stand, the death of loved ones, and the purpose of a soul are all among the situations that characters struggle with on the show. It's not devoid of comedy either. As with most of Jo[...]


Reclaim Horror: A Christmas Carol

Last week I discussed why we should all write like Scrooge, and as I was writing that post I realized how far society has taken A Christmas Carol from its roots. I first read the story this year when I purchased a collection of Dickens' ghost stories. A ghost story, as you all know, is a sub-genre of supernatural fiction, often horror stories. Of course, not everything with a ghost is horror (another common genre is comedy, or in the case of Ghost, mystery and romance). Since then, it's been adapted and performed on stages worldwide, turned into animations for chi[...]


Reclaim Horror: The Road

Last month I introduced my new series, Reclaim Horror. Today we'll be looking at one of my favorite books, The Road by Cormac McCarthy. The Road is set in the post-apocalyptic Eastern United States. It centers on a father and his boy who was born just as the world was ending. He is now 9 or 10. They are trying to head south for the winter and must survive the evils they encounter along the way. According to IMDB, the movie adaptation is adventure/drama. According to Wikipedia, it is post-apocalyptic fiction, which is considered a sub-genre of science fiction that[...]


Reclaim Horror: Coming Soon

The Reclaim Horror series will begin in November after The Midnight Society's Halloween festivities next month. Horror has always received stigma, but never has that been more contradictory than it is today. Romance has domesticated horror creatures like vampires and zombies. Genre labels like dark fantasy and supernatural thriller avoid the visceral, negative reaction associated with horror. People equate horror with gore when in reality horror is much more than that. All this gentling makes no sense in a nation that loves horror. The most-watched TV shows last[...]