September 2022: A Month in Horror

Well, as any horror enthusiast will know, September is the month where we start to see the early glimmers of Halloween, while the bigger events are saved for October proper. Cinemas got a few of the cinema’s earlier horror realeases, including Smile (82% on Rottentomatoes), Spirit Halloween: The Movie (50% on Rottentomatoes) and Rob Zombie’s Munsters reboot (42% on Rottentomatoes… but I’m still looking forward to watching it, because I’m exactly that sort of person).

And while the new version of Hellraiser won’t debut on Hulu until October 7, Jamie Clayton’s version of Pinhead has already become one of the horror icons of 2022. Roll on Halloween!

Bidding farewell…

Peter Straub, who passed away on 4 September, will need little introduction to horror readers. Debuting in 1973 with his novel Marriages, Straub began exploring supernatural themes with Julia in 1975 and ended the decade with 1979’s Ghost Story, one of the biggest hits of his career. His subsequent novels include The Talisman and its sequel Black House (both co-written with Stephen King) along with a string of Bram Stoker Award winners: Mr. X, Lost Boy, Lost Girl, In the Night Room and A Dark Matter.

Martin Barker, who passed away on 8 September, was a left-wing film critic and cultural commentator whose writing on media violence is characterised by a strong anti-censorship stance. He was one of the comparatively few media figures to speak out against the moral panic over “video nasties”, which he deconstructed in his 1984 book The Video Nasties: Freedom and Censorship in the Arts. The same year also saw the publication of A Haunt of Fears: The Strange History of the British Horror Comics Campaign, in which Barker examined a similar moral panic from the 1950s. Barker would continue writing on topics from Judge Dredd to The Lord of the Rings into the twenty-first century.

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