When I started this series of monthly genre round-ups late last year, I had little idea that I would soon be writing a post which, from the title “March 2020: A Month in Horror”, could easily have been mistaken for commentary on current events. But here we are.
A lot of people have made the obvious comparison between our era of deserted city streets and the imagery of zombie films. I considered illustrating this post with a shot from 28 Days Later, but no, too obvious. So, I went with a tribute to Max von Sydow instead. He died this month, you know; so did Re-Animator director Stuart Gordon and Exorcist/Shining composer Krzysztof Penderecki. I feel a little uncomfortable at highlighting celebrity deaths in the midst of a global pandemic, but then, this is a genre round-up – so let the rounding up commence.
The big story in horror, of course, is part of the larger story of how COVID-19 has impacted the entertainment industry. Films have been delayed, including Antlers, A Quiet Place Part II and New Mutants. In a grimly ironic footnote, The Hunt – previously delayed due to political controversy – finally came out just in time for cinemas around the world the begin shutting up shop. Conventions are likewise being postponed – Stokercon UK amongst them – and it remains to be seen how many cons will actually take place in physical form during 2020.
Meanwhile, creative across the board are contributing to our new quarantined society. Brian Keene has been writing regular blog posts offering sober (and sobering) comments on the implications of the pandemic for writers. Many writers and content-creators have been putting their work online for free, as a bit of escapism for those of us trapped indoors – see Horror Scholar’s useful list for some genre-relevant resources. There’s plenty there to tide us over as April beckons