Granted, the month saw a number of notable horror releases. The ranks of Christmas-themed horror films were joined by Silent Night and The Advent Calendar; a selection of Joe Hill’s short fiction was collected as The Black Phone Stories; and thanks to Mark Gatiss, the BBC continued its off-and-on tradition of festive ghost stories with an adaptation of M. R. James’ “The Mezzotint”. All of this, however, was inevitably overshadowed by one occurrence: the passing of Anne Rice.
Anne Rice’s 1976 novel Interview with a Vampire is one of the few works that can be truly termed genre-defining. The book reinvented vampire literature, and its influence soon became inescapable: even vampire authors deliberately avoiding Rice’s shadow are, in their own way, impacted by her work. Of course, Rice wrote many sequels to her novel — but much of the vampire fiction after 1976 can be termed a large, amorphous sequel to Interview with a Vampire. The horror world lost one of its true icons this month.