Big-budget franchise horror was in full bloom this month, with the fourth season of Stranger Things making its debut while the Marvel Cinematic Universe took a turn for the macabre in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. At the same time, however, we also saw signs of the underdog biting back. Now that A.A. Milne’s Winne-the-Pooh stories are in the public domain, the bear of very little brain is available for use without permission from either Disney or the Milne estate — and filming has already wrapped on the inevitable horror reimagining, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.
May also saw the release of Men (to generally positive reviews) and Firestarter (to terrible reviews).
Finally, the latest batch of Bram Stoker Awards were handed out. Stephen Graham Jones won the main novel category for the second year in a row with My Heart is a Chainsaw; the other prose fiction winners were Hailey Piper’s Queen of Teeth, Erica Waters’ The River Has Teeth, Jeff Strand’s “Twentieth Anniversary Screening”, Lee Murray’s “Permanent Damage” Gemma Files’ collection In That Endlessness, Our End and the anthology When Things Go Dark: Stories Inspired by Shirley Jackson, edited by Ellen Datlow. Alessandro Manzetti and Stefano Cardoseilli won the graphic novel award for The Inhabitant of the Lake; the sixth episode of Midnight Mass took the screenplay award; and Tortured Willows: Bent. Bowed. Unbroken. by Christina Sng, Angela Yuriko Smith, Lee Murray and Geneve Flynn won the award for poetry collection. Finally, the non-fiction prizes went to Michael Knost’s Writers Workshop of Horror 2 (long-form) and Angela Yuriko Smith’s “Horror Writers: Architects of Hope” (short-form).