The Year in Horror...or Something

So Saturday I'll be hunkered down behind a folding table at Crypticon Seattle (the Northwest's first horror convention, yay!). If you'd like to swing by, it's...

Saturday, May 24th - 12:00 noon - The Year in Horror

That's all I have to go on. Just that topic. No news on who'll be on there with me. Or maybe it's just me. I mean, seriously, who else would choose to do a panel during lunchtime? So that brings me to my topic, which is really more of a plea. What defined horror this year?

Was it film?

I can only think of a few big horror movies. Diary of the Dead sort of fizzled before it began. Most of the shocking stuff was independent or foreign (The Signal, Funny Games, The Host). Though this looks promising...



Despite some of the films being shlocky and poorly executed, the After Dark Horrorfest, 8 Films to Die For, has been a shot in the arm to a genre that was drowning in Asia Extreme remakes and, to some extent, still is--some notable breakouts were Borderlands and Mulberry St. 2008 and 2009 will bring us reboots of Hellraiser, Evil Dead (without Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell) and Friday the 13th. It's almost too much to take.

How about fiction?

Joe Hill and Max Brooks seem to think so. Actually the last two years have been the surface of the new horror iceberg. Word on the street is that publishers are actively acquiring horror manuscripts in the event that 2009-2010 will mark a return to the gold rush days of the 70s and early 80s. I know my pal Joe's got a breakout book in The Black Wing that is going to fry people's brains all to shit. A ton of good horror is coming from the internet, as serial fiction is getting the attention of publishers. Not surprisingly, a lot of it is zombie-related.

So...where does that leave us?

I'm going to say gaming. This was probably one of the best years for horror gaming and it's not over yet. 2007 gave us--what?--Bioshock, F.E.A.R and 2008 is lining up survival horror like it's the only game in town. Coming up: Resident Evil 5, Silent Hill 5, Dead Space, Dead Rising2, Alan Wake, Dead Island, Left-4-Dead, Alone in the Dark and Condemned 2. Holy crap the gamers are going to give themselves heart palpitations.

Of course, what I'm leaving out is the fact that the real horrors of the past year have taken precendent. It's impossible to compete with earthquakes, wars, and tropical cyclones, let alone parenting so terrible that it results in teen suicide and the promotion of assault.

Damn.

Sorry about that lapse into seriousness. Does anyone have anything to add? Saturday's coming quick and I hate to sound like a moron.

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