Fearful Year

In hindsight, 2020 was a year-long horror marathon, marked by a raging pandemic, just-as-rampant paranoia, mindless violence, and social chaos. Fortunately, for those looking to escape from real-world nightmares, or those who’d rather reflect on them through the prism of fiction, this year produced many outstanding works in the horror genre. With the year drawing to a close, laudatory lists are popping up all over the Internet. Here are some of the “best of” compilations that denizens of the Macabre Republic won’t want to miss:

Thrillist: The Best Horror Movies of 2020

Den of Geek: The Best Horror Movies of 2020

Film School Rejects: The 20 Best Horror Movies of 2020

Bloody Disgusting: The 10 Most Gruesome, Disturbing, and Stomach-Churning Moments in 2020’s Horror Movies!

Bloody Disgusting: The 10 Coolest, Creepiest, and Downright Best Horror Movie Posters of 2020

The Lineup: The Best Horror Podcasts of 2020

The Lineup: 15 Best Horror Books of 2020

Book Riot: 16 Best Horror Books of 2020 You Don’t Want to Miss

WatchMojo: Top 10 Best Horror Movies of 2020

WatchMojo: Top 10 Scariest Scenes of 2020

Ghastly Cast

One of the highlights of Halloween season (other than the fact that it is Halloween season) is the appearance of various horror-related articles in the media. Case in point: this pre-Halloween feature in Esquire that I just came across, “The Best Horror Movie Characters of All Time.” The piece, which broadly defines “character” and ranges beyond the monsters and heroes one might expect, makes for a fun read. It’s likely to keep you in the holiday spirit and inspire you to keep up with your horror-movie bingeing.

Take heart: just fifty-one weeks until next Halloween!

A Laird and a King (Who Goes By Hill)

Just finished watching the livestream for this month’s edition of the Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series (hosted by Matthew Kressel and Ellen Datlow). Tonight’s event featured two of my favorite writers (and two absolute giants of genre fiction): Laird Barron and Joe Hill. They each gave a spirited reading of their work: Barron of a creepy story in progress called “Lorn”, and Hill of an excerpt from his mind-blowing novella Faun. The readings are bracketed by an opening chat with the hosts and a concluding Q&A segment (the authors address such topics as their favorite read of the year, their favorite villain, their recommended horror film for Halloween-time viewing). Barron and Hill definitely have different personalities (the former being more laid back, and the latter an unabashed cut-up), but made for a great pairing; both shared wonderful insights about the horror genre. Two hours of pure entertainment that seemed way too short. I could listen to these guys talk 24/7.

Don’t fret if you missed the live event; here’s the video (which has already been posted to YouTube):

The Future is Dark…

…And has me shaking with anticipation.

Yesterday on LibraryJournal.com, Becky Spratford posted a lengthy essay (“Rise of the Monsters: Top Horror Titles and Trends Coming This Season”) that gives an excellent overview of the current state of the genre. There are so many noteworthy releases forthcoming in the second half of 2020 that I get the feeling that horror is heading towards a new golden age. Reading Spratford’s piece put me on the lookout for a slew of genre titles; I can’t wait to get my hands on these books and bury my nose in them.

Quot libros, quam breve tempus, as one mildly successful horror author once reminded readers.