It’s Halloween! Although, admittedly, this is not a big deal to me, just an excuse to dress up and party that we got from Americans. But it’s fun, so I thought I’d share my favourite horror short stories and movies from the past year. Some of them might have elements of horror rather than falling squarely into the genre, but these are the fictions that disturbed me the most. All the short stories and the short film is available for free, and I haven’t shared any plot details.
In no particular order:
The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter by Angela Slatter
Actually, this one deserves to be first, because when I read it this morning I remembered that it was Halloween and I decided to do this post. I was reading Slatter’s story “Flight” in the modern fairytale anthology Once Upon a Time, and I quite liked it, so I skimmed her bio at the end of the tale. This led me to the British Fantasy Award winning “The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter” at Nightmare magazine. It’s a twisted, lustful tale and absolutely perfect for the occasion.
Lydia’s Body by Vylar Kaftan
This is the kind of story that shows me the kind of nuanced forms that horror can take.
The Witch of Duva: A Ravkan Folk Tale by Leigh Bardugo
If you’re reading these stories in the order I’ve posted them, you might notice some themes here, like complex, tormented female protagonists. And this one should not be missed. If you don’t recognise Leigh Bardugo’s name, you may recall her other short story on Tor, “The Too-Clever Fox” – an even better tale that I considered adding to this list (but it’s less creepy).
I’m starting to dislike this kind of portrayal of AI, but FUCK, this is a great short film. The ending…!
I love horror movies, but, let’s face it, the genre doesn’t often produce top-quality film, and I personally find that many horror movies fall flat towards the end. The Conjuring is an eerily good exception. It scared the shit out of me, and I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Also, that doll is extremely fucking creepy.
Ok, this is one of those horror movies with a terrible ending that I will skip every time i rewatch it, but everything else is superb – great acting, compelling characters, and some of my favourite horror scenes and ideas.