Thursday, October 19, 2017

32 Nights of Horror & New Short Story Available!

To celebrate October, I've been watching a horror movie each night (including midnight on the first, which is why it's 32 instead of 31). Most of them have been old favorites, but some have been new to me, so I thought I'd pass along some recommendations from the new (to me) films.

Before we jump into the movies, I wanted to announce a new short story release. My short story Unwelcome Guests is now available for Kindle via The Society of Misfit Stories. It's a standalone e-book for $.99, and will not be available in print until 2018, when it will be included in the annual anthology from Bards and Sages.

Okay, now for the movies. First, an older one that I just hadn't seen yet.

Cube was released in 1997. In it, a group of people wake up inside a giant cube with small entryways between each different room within it. None of the people know each other or how they got there, but each has a skill that could help them get out of the cube. In the meantime, traps in the rooms eliminate those entering them.

Despite the fact that there are some nasty deaths, this isn't gore porn, like Saw and similar films. Rather, I found it to be a character study in the way Lord of the Flies was. Is the cube more dangerous, or is it the people within it?

Next, how about one that's out in theaters? (Totally counts.)

I went to see IT. This was actually the first Stephen King book I ever read. I'm a huge Tim Curry fan, but he was limited by being Pennywise in a television miniseries. Skarsgard didn't have the same limitations, and was overall a freaky killer clown. He didn't try to copy Curry's Pennywise, which is what I think made it all the more successful.

As anyone who is familiar with any aspect of IT knows, this is a tale of bullying, of adult complicity, of childhood bonding, and so much more. There's a reason this new version of IT has surpassed Exorcist as the top-grossing horror film.

One of the newer movies I watched was The Autopsy of Jane Doe. This one came out in 2016, and I'm not sure it was even in theaters around here. In it, a father and son team of coroners gets the body of a young woman found under mysterious circumstances. She has internal injuries, but no external damage to indicate how they happened. As they proceed with the autopsy, strange then frightening things begin to happen.

The movie is compelling, with a series of puzzle pieces resulting from the autopsy. The father/son relationship of mentor/mentee is an interesting one, and the details are well played out.

This next one was pure camp, and a lot of fun. The Babysitter is a Netflix original. A boy decides to stay up to see what his babysitter does after he's supposed to be asleep. To his shock and horror, he witnesses her murdering a young man to collect his blood in order to do a spell with a group of teens. But they also need the blood of an innocent.

Full of familiar, but loved, tropes, with a great sense of humor. I enjoyed watching this one, because it doesn't take itself too seriously, yet still delivers. The bullied 13-year old finds himself while fighting off a group of sadistic teens.

The rest of the movies I've watched so far this month are:

The Others
Friday the 13th (ON Friday the 13th, duh--the original)
It Comes at Night
American Psycho 2 (not recommended)
Alien Resurrection (my daughter has seen the rest, and we're watching them in order, so next is Prometheus)
Silence of the Lambs
Pet Sematary
The Bad Batch
Cult of Chucky
Flatliners (old one)
Fright Night (newer one)

Obviously, the original Halloween must be saved for Halloween night.

Time for links. Bear in mind that I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Accepting Submissions:

The Literary Hatchet is seeking dark fiction and poetry. 1000-6000 words. Pays $5-10. Deadline November 1.

Rosarium Publishing is seeking water-themed speculative short stories for the anthology Trouble the Waters:Tales From the Deep Blue. 2500-7000 words. Pays $.06/word. Deadline November 1.

The First Line is seeking fiction using the first line for this submission period. This period's first line is "I'm tired of trying to see the good in people." 300-5000 words. Pays $25-50. Deadline November 1.

Spring Song Press is seeking fantasy/noblebright short stories for the anthology Fell Beasts and Fair. 1000-10,000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline November 1.

Kenyon Review is seeking prose, drama, and poetry. Up to 7500 words. Pay is not mentioned, but this is supposed to be a paying market. Deadline November 1.

The Sun is seeking essays, short stories, and poetry. Up to 7000 words. Pays between $100 and $2000. Deadline November 1.

Seen any of the movies I listed? What did you think of the newer ones? Any of these links of interest? Anything to add? Submission news?

May you find your Muse.


  1. Congratulations on the story!
    The Cube was really good. So was It. I'll have to look for The Autopsy of Jane Doe.
    Good choices of movies although I know now to stop at Aliens.

    1. I usually stop at Aliens, too, but my daughter loved the first two movies, so we're watching them all once through with her.

  2. Hi Shannon - yes well done on the Society of Misfit Stories being published. The Cube does sound interesting ... but I'd be scared and so avoid those sorts of films ... cheers Hilary

    1. It's very much psychological, but still not something you would enjoy I'm sure.

  3. I saw The Babysitter blurg on netflix. It looks amusing. Probably, I won't watch it though.

    I'll look into your story.

  4. Congrats on Unwelcome Guests.

    I love Tremors. It's such a fun movie.

    1. I do, too. Did you hear they're doing a television series of it, and Kevin Bacon will be in it? I'm hoping they'll bring back Fred Ward, because those two are so great together.

  5. The Autopsy of Jane Doe was such fun! A messed up premise that allowed for solid minimalist storytelling.

    And congratulations on your story!

  6. Happy Halloween! And congratulations on the story publication :-) I have not watched a horror film in years, for no particular reason, but I would like to go and see IT, and the Babysitter sounds like fun.

    1. Both are very nostalgic, so good choices if you haven't watched any horror lately.

  7. Congrats on the story!

    I didn't like IT as much as I had hoped. It fell flat to me for a number of reasons. Recently saw BETTER WATCH OUT - kind of dark and twisted, but I liked it. :o

    1. I haven't seen Better Watch Out. Will have to check it out. Dark and twisted are a win.

  8. Congratulations!
    I love Cube! Have you seen the sequels?

    1. I haven't seen them, but they're on Netflix right now, so I'm going to try to watch them before they disappear. I'm betting they're only on for October.