Showing posts from December, 2020

Netflix’s “Sweet Home”: Action-Packed Monster Fest That Celebrates Humanity

I was pleasantly surprised when I watched Netflix’s " Sweet Home ." I didn't expect to be so riveted. The Korean drama had quite a few heart-pounding moments as well as parts that tugged at the heartstrings. The 10-episode TV series revolves around monsters, but it’s ultimately about how people can rise to the heights—or sink to the depths—of humanity when faced with unimaginable horror. And sometimes, the ugliest monsters turn out to be the noblest of superheroes. The drama centers on the residents of a decrepit block of apartments. One day out of the blue, they find themselves locked in the block. When they attempt to break out, they discover that the world outside is filled with savage monsters. Even worse, some of the monsters are locked in with them. They have to find a way to work together and survive. Photo: The monsters are a mashup between the horrors from Resident Evil and stuff from the mind of H.P. Lovecraft. For example, one monster resembles a g

Original Short Story: The Message

Here's a short story for the yuletide season. ***** Frankie leaned against the kitchen counter and pressed her hand against her mouth. At times the grief came so suddenly that it caught her by surprise. It was almost like a physical pain—a fist squeezing her heart, a heavy weight that bowed her shoulders. “ Mom?” Evan came into the kitchen. “Are you okay?” Her five-year-old son seemed to know intuitively when she was sad. He ran to her and wrapped his skinny arms around her waist. She bent down and hugged him. He was soft and warm, smelling like baby shampoo. Her grief melted and became love so fierce she felt her heart would burst. She didn’t want to ever let him go. He was her center, her world. He was now all she had. He pushed away from her. “Can I have a cookie?” “ It’s late,” she said. “You’ve already brushed your teeth. Why did you get out of bed?” He looked down and she guessed the reason. “Was it the shadow?” she asked. “Did you see it again?” He nodded. “Come on,” s

Have Yourself a Gothic Little Christmas

I’ve always liked the old British custom of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve. Charles Dickens was just continuing a centuries-long tradition when he published “A Christmas Carol” in 1843, a tale in which Ebenezer Scrooge is plagued by four apparitions. Sadly, the custom never caught on in America and it’s been mostly forgotten in Britain. As a horror fan, I think the custom should be introduced in the U.S. and revived in the U.K. I’ll even sign the petition if someone wants to start one. But until then, I can suggest a few ghastly tales for your reading pleasure that I think best evoke the spirit of the custom. Because I love gothic horror, I’ve chosen stories from the 1800s to the mid-1900s. Some of the most chilling ghost stories were written during that time. You simply can’t beat them for atmosphere. A few of the stories are well-known. All of them, including the more obscure ones, are available on the internet. They also can be found in various anthologies, which is how I

10 Horror Movies to Watch If You Wish You Were Snowed In

A ccording to the latest weather forecasts, there will be more snow in the mid-Atlantic (where I live) this winter than the last. Which I find good news. I love the snow, and my county only got 0.6 inches in the winter of 2019. I especially love snow days, because I’m safe and warm at home while the white stuff piles up outside. In a year like this one, where things have been turned upside down by the pandemic, economic turmoil and an acrimonious presidential election, I frequently am nostalgic for the joy and innocence of a snow day. Remember when “snowflake” was a magical thing rather than an insult? Photo: Ina Hoekstra at Well, if you’re a snow lover like I am and it hasn’t yet snowed (or will never snow) in your area, why wait for the weather? You can vicariously experience icy winds and plunging temperatures from the comfort of your living room in the movies below. It’d be like a snow day, except with more horror and action. The list isn’t in any particular order. T

Scary, Unique Monsters That Populate Southeast Asian Folklore

“ Inhuman Kiss ,” a Thai horror flick now streaming on Netflix , must feature one of the weirdest supernatural creatures around. In the movie, a woman transforms at night into a monster whose head, heart and entrails detach from the rest of her body. Her glowing head and internal organs float up in the air—leaving her headless torso behind—and she goes off (trailing entrails and all) to hunt for fresh blood and raw meat. It’s not clear how she actually kills her prey short of biting them to death. She returns to her body before daybreak. Believe it or not, the movie is a romance. The heroine is a tragic figure, much like someone infected by a werewolf’s bite. She ingested the saliva of a “ k rasue ,” as the monster is called in Thailand, and now has become one herself. Her love interest tries to help her escape a group of hunters as well as angry villagers. Movie image from I was excited to watch “Inhuman Kiss” because the krasue is one of the monsters in the shared cult