Thank You

Hello Friends,

I just wanted to say THANK YOU! to all of our guests for making Women of Horror Week 2013 a huge success for us.

In no particular order I would like to thank

Danica Deering

Suzanne Bell

September Carrino

Chassity Merritt

Tabitha M

Kim Culpepper

L.C Fremont

Dusty Evely

Charity Langley

Renfield Rasputin.

We would also like to thank all of you for visiting our website and leaving encouraging comments for the writers.

It has always been our goal to create the type of community that fosters creativity and friendship among fellow writers and I truly believe we achieved that in the past week.

Thank you once again to our guest writers, it was an absolute privilege to have you share your articles with us and give us an insight in to your love of Horror.

Thank you also to our team of writers for contributing lists and reviews as well.

We now look forward to 2014 where hopefully we can do something like this again.

-Shawn

 

Do you want to see everything or nothing?

Today I watched a double feature of “Who Can Kill A Child?”(1976) and “Come Out And Play”(2012). Despite the fact that the latter is a remake of the former, it was still astonishing how these two movies could have two completely different emotional impacts. This really got me thinking about how horror has never really looked back after the “torture porn” craze swept through. Based on the novel by Juan Jose Plan, “Who Can Kill A Child” is the story of a couple who travel to a remote island just off of Spain. The island seems to be completely devoid of people, however, we soon learn that the children on the island have been killing off the adults.

In the 1976 film, violence is implied so much more than it is actually shown. The mere suggestion of a young girl beating an old man with a cane is truly disturbing:in the 2012 film we actually see this beating. Finding a group of boys gathered around a naked female body in the 1976 film is chilling, unsettling and the boys run when caught. In the 2012 film, the woman has been gutted,is missing half of her face, the boys are happily playing in her blood and could care less that they’ve been caught doing something so reprehensible. Every violent scene goes from implication (1976) to graphic detail(2012). The gore is the only difference between the two movies, yet it is the one thing that makes the 2012 version so much less unsettling and effective than the original version. In the 1976 movie, the children are all very sweet and innocent looking with beautiful smiles. When a character in the movie asks “who can kill a child?”, you truly sympathize with them. Really, how could you find it within yourself to kill a child? This moral conundrum is precisely what makes the subsequent deaths of some of the children so conflicting. It is truly awful to see a group of children gunned down, yet you understand why it had to be done. Now, if we return to the 2012 film, the kids only smile when killing or making necklaces out of fingers and ears. These kids look creepy and you are rooting for them to be taken out. They are very reminiscent of the children in the Hostel movies and, yes, that is exactly where I’m going with this.

Please don’t misunderstand;I love the torture porn movies. Hostel and Hostel 2 are wonderfully sadistic gore-fests. They never try to be anything other than what they are and that’s why they work. Eli Roth was just out to scare and disgust us and he did a bang up job. I just wish that all of the movies that have come since the sweep of torture porn would keep that in mind. What is the intended emotional impact of your movie? If it’s to scare and make the viewer wince in imagined pain, then let’s see every bloody, gory, vile thing you can throw at us. If you are trying to genuinely effect the viewer’s emotions, then what you can’t see is so much worse than what you can. Violence is always so much more disturbing and ugly when your mind is the one filling in the blanks for you:not the F/X team.

 

The Zombie Story Checklist

Despite the relative young age of the website, I have received more Zombie stories than anything else. I have unfortunately not accepted any of them because of how generic they were.

I appreciated how hard the authors worked on their stories, and there were some very interesting parts in them, but Zombies in general are just done for me.

I have decided to create a Zombie Story Checklist. If you are able to check something off in every section, then you should probably go back and re-write some stuff.

Choose an occupation for your main character.

1. Police Officer

2. Soldier

3. Courier

They were comatose due to being involved in the following.

1. Car Accident

2. Bicycle Accident

3. Shooting Accident

They wake up in

1. Civilian Hospital

2.Military Hospital

3.Mental Hospital.

They wake up and go

1.Home (It’s always home)

They are searching for their

1. Wife

2. Son

3. Wife and Son

(It is never a daughter)

They meet up with a group that consists of

1. One white woman, One Asian or African American male, Two white males.

2. One white woman, two white males.

3. Two white women, One Asian or African American male, One white male.

The Abrasive white male dies in the following way.

1. Noble Sacrifice

2. Killed in an argument with one of the Caucasian females.

3.Noble Sacrifice

The main character falls in love with

1. The white chick…always the God-Damned white girl.

The story ends

1. With everybody dying.

2. With everybody except the lovers dying.

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-Shawn Lachance

Effective Villains- The Moral Event Horizon

Greetings all,

Today I am going to deal with my absolute favorite trope- “The Moral Event Horizon”.

A Moral Event Horizon is an act committed by a character that plummets our opinion of them so far away from “good” that it would be impossible for them to recover. This act does not need to be committed by a villain (who is already passed the “good line”) and can be incredibly effective in completely turning a previously well centred, good character over the deep end.

There are unfortunately easy ways for us to use this technique; rape has always been a sure-fire way to completely kill off reader or viewer sympathy with a character, but unless you have the necessary writing and character crafting skills, it comes off as not only cheap and forced, but also in incredibly bad taste.

An effective way of establishing a good moral event horizon is to use it on a character who toes the line between “good” and “bad”. ┬áThe ambiguous nature of the character will allow for a greater transition to “irredeemably evil” than if it is used on a character that is previously established as evil. It is also generally ineffective to have a character who is noble and good suddenly fall into the Moral Event Horizon. These turns rarely seem genuine and most readers and watchers will have a hard time believing that this character will stay evil.

If you want a character that your readers or viewers can unanimously root against, the moral event horizon is an incredibly effective way to ensure that nobody is rooting for their redemption.

Just remember, when it comes to villains, make the act that pushes them over the edge meaningful. Don’t waste it on things that lessen the story that you are trying tell.

That’s all for now

-Shawn