Which is a slasher I wrote  . . . two years ago? I’d just reread The Virgin Suicides, and thought, Man, that was cool, sure—along with American Psycho, maybe the book of the nineties—but, wouldn’t it be cooler if that royal first-person delivery could be used to deliver something with a lot of people dying in gruesome ways? So: Lake Access Only. Which turned out cool. At least, I verymuch dig it. Yet to sub it anywhere, though, as it’s a weird one. Also? I …

42f83e6079a28b1aa7adef5f0d68d09bAnd lo it came to pass, that the slasher did migrate to the small screen. Well, what we used to call the small screen. But the home viewing experience isn’t what it was in 1988. Nowadays, the image-quality and sound are practically theater, right? But that’s not the reason for the move, I don’t think. My first suspicion as to why the slasher would find a home in our living rooms, it’s that everybody keeps saying we’re in a golden age of television. …

SKOH-stanleyThis is the best horror I’ve seen since—since Deathgasm, I guess. But Deathgasm was playing it for laughs. This one, it’s out for blood. And there’s gallons of it. What I dig about it the most? It’s not the Holes setting, it’s not that the main guy could be the fire-kid from Sky High (really, he’s Michael Pare in his Eddie and the Cruisers days), and it’s not that this feels like “Danny Zuko” goes to reform school, a…

finalgirlsposterIt’s a good time to be a slasher. Nearly twenty years ago, Scream revitalized the genre, kicked off a series of clones and also-rans—some of them quite excellent—that finally landed us at Leslie Vernon, at Tucker and Dale, at Cabin in the Woods, at You’re Next and It Follows, even accomplishing the unheard-of feat of crossing over into television land: Harper’s Island was the first, but now we’ve got Scream and Scream Queens.

Everybody who say…

Unfriended-2014The analogue to ‘found footage’ in fiction would be the shoebox novel: somebody drags a box out from under the bed, there’s all these clippings, let’s lay them out one after the other and thread a narrative through them. Which is to say, as Man Bites Dog and The Blair Witch Project and the rest established in no uncertain terms, these stories are artifacts. But when Chronicle uses what would seem to be that technique—for long sequences, we’…

dvdanger2Is a serial- or spree-killer who wears a mask and kills ‘misbehaving’ teens a slasher? If not, then what of Ghostface and fifty other killers, right? But, the slashers we know and love, they usually have a signature weapon, don’t they? Michael’s got his knife, Jason’s got his machete, Leatherface rips that chainsaw to life every chance he gets. But there’s weapons of opportunity, too. Jason’s hardly above getting the job done …

It-Follows-poster1With slashers, I’ve always been in John Carpenter’s camp: these people aren’t getting punished for having sex, they’re getting killed while naked simply because that’s when they’re the most vulnerable, the least likely to be looking around the room.

However, like Jim Rockford says, If fifty people tell you you’re drunk, then maybe it’s time to lie down, right? Meaning, when the slasher was busy getting codified back …

is the author of 22 or 23 books, 250+ stories, and all this stuff here. He lives in Boulder, Colorado, and has a few broken-down old trucks, one PhD, and way too many boots

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