August 2022: A Month in Horror

SandmanDeath

Goth icons of past decades are coming back in style, with a well-received adaptation of The Sandman on Netflix, a trailer for the Tim Burton-helmed Addams Family relaunch Wednesday (all eyes have been on Luis Guzmán as Gomez, it seems) and the announcement of a new Hellraiser film to debut on Hulu come October.

Speaking of Hulu, the service also hosted the premier of Prey, the latest film in the Predator series. As well as tedious culture-warrior grumblings about the fact that the protagonist is a Native American woman, the film’s success prompted arguments that it should really have been released into cinemas.

At the other end of the streaming scale, we find the utterly catastrophic state of HBOMax. A casualty of the Warner/Discovery merger, the implosion of this streaming service led to a large amount of content being pulled or canned; not much is relevant to the horror genre, however, aside from the occasional edge-case like nearly-completed but never-to-be-released Scoob! sequel.

They/Them, a slasher film set at a conversion camp, went on general release after a festival screening last month; it prompted debate over how well it handled its touchy subject matter. Another LGBT-themed horror film released this month was Bodies Bodies Bodies, which kicked off a curious chain of events leading to film critic Lemna Wilson vanishing from social media.

In one of the most shocking incidents to hi the literary world this month, Salman Rushdie was stabbed on 12 August in an attempted murder; he survived with severe injuries. Contemporary media culture being what it is, discourse around the atrocity was derailed into a debate over the unrelated matter of whether or not transgender people deserve support, centred on a conflict between Joanne Harris and J.K. Rowling. All of this is only tangentially related to the horror genre, although it did garner some comic relief in the form of the Midnight Society being quoted in the Daily Mail:

[Joanne Harris] liked tweets from The Midnight Society mocking the way Miss Rowling speaks and suggesting she had made Rushdie’s stabbing all about her.

One read: ‘Rowling: firssst, i got sstabbed in the heart by a fanatic because of that fatwa… then I got sstabbed in the back by Joanne harrisss.’ Another read: ‘Rowling: joanne harrissss hasn’t even told me how sssorry she issss… she should be apologizing to ME, the real victim.’

The Midnight Society, billed as a comedy Twitter account, is run by a comic writer called Bitter Karella, who is self-described as a ‘genderfluid transvestite goblin’. In response to the tweets, which attracted fierce criticism, Miss Harris wrote: ‘Day made.’

Finally, to conclude things on a much lighter note, this year’s  Splatterpink Awards were presented to the latest round of winners — which reminds me that I really need to finish off reviewing the finalists…

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