Revisiting the Horror Genre for Halloween

I’ve always thought that I didn’t like the horror genre. And it’s true that I don’t like a lot of what I generally expect to see in horror. But since I’ve unexpectedly found myself enjoying a few works in the genre right in time for Halloween, I’ve taken some time to think about what this means. Specifically, that I don’t like a lot of the tropes I associate with traditional American horror: lack of focus on characterization, shock value deaths, the notion that characters need to be punished. I’m not necessarily enamored with a work of fiction trying to scare me either, or reveling in the helplessness of the characters.

Still, while those things make up a lot of horror works, they don’t have to. Horror (especially psychological horror) can be character-focused. Every death can mean something, or alternatively, the threat of death could replace actual death. And while the entire point of the genre is to pit the protagonists against something far more powerful than themselves, that doesn’t mean the story can’t also be about them looking for ways to fight back. Continue reading “Revisiting the Horror Genre for Halloween”

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Marvel’s Inhumans: I Wish It Made More Sense

A view of Earth and space, with the words "Marvel, Inhumans, A Marvel Television Series"
Image: ABC via TV Line

Genre: Superhero

Synopsis: A kingdom of Inhumans–people with powers that can be activated through exposure to a substance–exists on the Moon, unbeknownst to the people of Earth. But the king is overthrown by his brother, and the royal family escapes to Hawaii. Now, they must not only survive the assassination attempts and life in an unfamiliar society, but also reclaim their place before the new king does something irreversible.  Continue reading “Marvel’s Inhumans: I Wish It Made More Sense”

The Finale of Critical Role, as the Epic Adventure Closes with Just the Right Amounts of Tragedy and Laughter

A party of adventurers, arrayed in front of a forest clearing.
Image: Geek and Sundry

Genre: Fantasy RPG

Synopsis: A party of adventures called Vox Machina has achieved near god-like power towards the end of the campaign–so it’s only fitting they must save the realm from an actual god. The story is brought to life by a cast of professional voice actors, and the ever-present chance that bad planning or bad dice rolling will end their journey forever. Continue reading “The Finale of Critical Role, as the Epic Adventure Closes with Just the Right Amounts of Tragedy and Laughter”

NYCC 2017: Experiencing the Agents of SHIELD Panel

I went to New York Comic Con this Saturday, and wonder of wonders, I actually got into the Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD panel. I did not think that would happen. And it was relatively chill, too–we didn’t have to show up 5 hours beforehand to get a seat or anything (only, like 2-3 hours beforehand. But we ended up watching the earlier panel during that time, so it was cool). Continue reading “NYCC 2017: Experiencing the Agents of SHIELD Panel”