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  • Writer's pictureJason Haskins

September: The horror! The horror (films)!

Updated: 6 days ago

Hot air balloon of a pumpkin floating by trees

Back in childhood, and later into the years of becoming a lover of films, the horror/slasher genre was rarely on my radar.

In the early days, this wasn't because of a strict "no horror movies" policy laid down in my parents' household. Sure, movies rated 'R' were kept to a minimum. Stand by Me was one I remember watching far before turning 17.

Yes, perhaps I was thrown by a viewing of The Witches of Eastwick; a movie my mom eventually turned off as the "have another cherry" scenes proved to be too much. Generally, however, there was not much of a desire on my behalf to seek out the horror and slasher films of the world.

I was aware of Freddy, Jason, Michael, the Candyman, and the slew of other franchises that dominated this realm in late 1970s and 80s. And I had seen Gremlins, which I find to be on the fringe of horror genre because, well, of the Gizmo stuffed animal craze (of which I gladly participated).

The Scream franchise I jumped on almost immediately and later, visited the classics of The Exorcist, Halloween, and Carrie, to name a few. I failed to delve too deep into the genre and only occasionally watched horror films.

That changed three years ago, when I began a seasonal watch of films I'd been missing out on (and some I'd seen) over the years. Like the Christmas season beginning in November (don't judge me), the Halloween season is given two months worth of viewing. These films range from classics and popular to 'D' level films; from scary and gory to Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Mr. Boogedy.

I don't tend to veer to far away from the popular titles but the plethora of films from this genre on Tubi TV lends itself to a whole new viewing spectrum.

Rarely do I watch sequels in franchises, which may change this year as my list on Letterboxd grows every year. And I don't necessarily watch much horror outside of the months of September and October but the genre has its place in cinema history. A place that should be embraced.

Writing updates

It's been full steam ahead with many of my projects, plus the added bonus of prepping for Alley Repertory Theater's new season.

Focus in August remained on Through the End of Time, a revision of The Dragon Princess, and work on my new novella, along with pages written for my new play. If all goes well, 2024 will be a year of submitting these projects to agents and publishing houses, with readings and self-publication mixed in.

Speaking of the self-publishing world, it is creeping closer to the season for Of Snow Forts and Santa. This remains one of my favorite stories and the support over the years for this book has been wonderful. So, keep the book in mind when the holiday season approaches, if you haven't had a chance to read it (or to share with the kids in your life).

If you haven't been following along, here is a sampling of what I've been writing over on my blog:

On the screen

I got an early start this year with my horror film viewing party, watching Jennifer's Body, Paranormal Activity, House at the End of the Street, and The Craft. Prior, I had seen all but House at the End of the Street. (Not a huge fan. It was okay.)

I did make it to the theater and caught Theater Camp, a lovely and endearing comedy. I also watched Night Moves with Gene Hackman. But, the film sticking with me the most is Short Term 12. The cast list from this 2013 film is a veritable "who's who" of some of the best performers in the industry today, including Brie Larson and LaKeith Stanfield. Definitely worth checking out.

On the television side of life, here's a sampling of what I've been enjoying:

  • The Bear (Hulu)

  • Friends from College (Netflix)

  • Justified: City Primeval (Hulu/FX)

  • Mrs. Davis (Peacock)

  • Ahsoka (Disney+)

In the pages

Finishing books slowed down as I work my way through David Copperfield. Tossing in these classics is nice but it does take up some time. This also means the stack of books to be read is again growing, with numerous new titles arriving this fall about to be added to my list.

So many books, so little time...

Interesting World

- A new biography by Patti Hartigan about playwright August Wilson is on the horizon. August Wilson: A Life is set to hit the market in October 2023.

- The USWNT may have had their earliest exit ever from a World Cup but Megan Rapinoe retires with a full list of accomplishments.

- Few of you might know this but I enjoy watching wrestling. I am not what you call a diehard fan but usually watch the big Premium Events and RAW and Smackdown! from time-to-time. Recently, I was caught off guard by a rush of sadness when I heard of the sudden death of Windham Rotunda aka Bray Wyatt. He was only 36 and was one of the more innovative, creative performers in recent years. He was a favorite of mine no matter what he was doing, and I'd stop to watch him on screen no matter what.

Thanks for stopping by. Be bold. Be kind.


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