All in Books/Print

It's Complicated; or, Why I Never Formally Reviewed It and Chapter Two

No matter what version of It you look at, It is a narrative driven by irrational fears. For example, I fear ever picking up a Stephen King novel that runs more than 800 pages again. It, the novel, is one of those texts that turned me into a fan of Stephen King’s short stories. Contained to a single story in a small format, King limits his ideas and cast of characters into twisted vignettes of life and anxiety defined by past trauma. In a meandering long form novel, he just keeps introducing more characters and more ideas that start to contradict each other until nothing makes sense.

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes Review (Book, 2015) #31DaysofHorror

The Five Nights at Freddy’s phenomenon is a game series that just took on a life of its own. The concept is simple: you are a security guard watching over the animatronics at a family restaurant. The animatronics are capable of walking on their own, but due to accidents are only permitted to walk at night. These accidents are most likely actual attacks as you have to watch a series of monitors and lock the doors on either side of your office to survive their onslaught for your first week of work.

The Haunting of Hill House: A History

Yesterday, Netflix announced that Shirley Jackson's gothic masterpiece The Haunting of Hill House is coming to the streaming service as a 10 episode series. Mike Flanagan, the writer/director of Gerald's Game and Ouija: Origin of Evil, is the show runner. I'll be perfectly honest. I did not expect this. I don't know if there was an earlier announcement I missed, but I never could have anticipated The Haunting of Hill House would be adapted into such a long format.

The Haunting of Hill House is a touchstone of literary horror. Originally published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's masterful haunted house story is one of the rare horror novels to be a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction (1960). It is undeniably a gothic horror in the Victorian rather than Southern tradition, set in a sprawling mansion where scientific research standards are used to prove the existence of ghosts. The novel comes complete with a tragic and lonely heroine, doors that open and close on their own, locals who refuse to go anywhere near the mansion (especially at night), a phantom dog, and a dark secret in the attic. It is an especially sophisticated entry in the genre, as much a woman's journey of self-discovery as it is a terrifying text.