#31Days: A Collection of Horror Essays, Vol. 1 – #BookReview

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SUMMARY

Imagine immersing yourself in a world of unimaginable horrors for a month. Now imagine doing it every year for 16 years. Horror critic Robert J Gannon does it ever year. The #31Days challenge is to watch and review a different horror property–film, TV series, book, game, play, etc.–every day for the month of October.

In this newly revised and expanded collection of essays, Robert J Gannon celebrates the horror genre with a focus on film and television. #31Days features 65 essays and reviews covering everything from Don Coscarelli’s “Phantasm” series to the anthology horror show “Masters of Horror.” This non-fiction collection follows the spirit of Sketching Details, Robert’s long-running entertainment media criticism website. Horror deserves the same level of respect and analysis as any other genre. Robert J Gannon has built a career out of analyzing and sharing a passion for genre fiction–horror, sci-fi, and fantasy–and he’s ready to show the world in his debut non-fiction collection.

REVIEW

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Every year Robert Ganon spends 31 days in October consuming and reviewing different types of horror media. His most recent critical reviews are collected in #31Days: A Collection of Horror Essays, Vol. 1. These reviews focus on film from a wide range of horror history with everything from the Phantasm series to Death Note and even has a healthy smattering of documentary and reality show material he has reviewed.

Horror fans will be glad to know that Ganon does a good job of avoiding major spoilers in any of his reviews. Another thing many fans of horror will appreciate is the content warning he gives for each review. This makes it much easier to know if a particular show or movie might not be right for you.

Most of the reviews are objective and Ganon clearly knows his history of horror and what does and does not work well in a visual horror story. He does tend to lean towards films and shows that can be a bit experimental. If you are a horror fan who has seen everything under the sun you will likely appreciate some of the more rare findings he speaks about. For fans of more popular films and shows, Ganon has several of those in there as well so anyone who does like horror is bound to find at minimum one thing worth watching.

If you don’t happen to be a fan of the Phantasm film series you may want to skip those reviews as he does go through every single film. However, in my opinion, and Mr. Ganon’s that series is majorly undervalued by media critics at large and is worth a viewing. He sums up its place in film history very well.

One other thing that is refreshing about these reviews is that they are at times intimate and personal. One of the stand out reviews is about a documentary that was made touching upon the homophobia surrounding A Nightmare on Elm Stree 2: Freddy’s Revenge. It’s not often that you find such thoughtful criticism of horror in general and it’s a great touch here in #31Days: A Collection of Horror Essays, Vol. 1.

Fans of horror would all do well to give this book a look. You’re not going to like everything in it but if you are a fan of horror at all there is something here for you. If Mr. Ganon decides to put out another book for next October I will be getting myself a copy to see what in the world of horror is worth my time.

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31 Days of Horror – Day 31

I thought long and hard about what kind of horrors to drop on you on Halloween. There was so much to choose from, I decide to give you everything but the kitchen sink horror!

Visitors to the new Creepshow maze will be guided by The Creep, the skeletal namesake of the comic book. (Courtesy of Universal)
Jack Nicholson walking through snowy maze in lobby card for the film ‘The Shining’, 1980. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)

Happy Halloween everyone!

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

31 Days of Horror – Day 30

Only one more day until Halloween! Our month of horror will soon come to a close. But not yet!

Who is the monster that stays dead for centuries but awakens to terrify the population as soon as you mess with his stuff? The Mummy of course!

Today you get, bandage wrapped undead horror!

What could I possibly have in store for you tomorrow? On the day of Halloween? Well, all I can say is there will be plenty of horror for you!

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

31 Days of Horror – Day 29

What’s hairy, growls, bites and only comes out in the moonlight? The wolf man! There are so many iterations of werewolves but I think my all time favorite will be the original film classic.

Today you get werewolf horror!

What horror awaits you tomorrow? Let’s just say we’re going to need a lot of bandages.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

31 Days of Horror – Day 28

It’s the month of creepies and crawlies. And here on my blog we are celebrating all of what horror has to offer.

Today I present to you one of the most common phobias anywhere in the world. Today you get arachnophobia horror!

Who didn’t love John Goodman decimating these little suckers?

We’re getting really close to Halloween now.

Side note for those of you who follow my blog, I usually post a movie review on Mondays but since this week I am reviewing a Halloween movie, that review will come out on Halloween.

What horrors do I have for you tomorrow? It’s hairy, it’s fangy, and it’s hungry!

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

31 Days of Horror – Day 26

Got a tired kid? Ready to read them a story? That’ll put them right to sleep. Just hope that the requested story is not Mr. Babadook.

That one is going to haunt everyone’s dreams. Today you get story book horror!

What horrors await you tomorrow? Not sure, but I think I just felt the ground tremble.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

31 Days of Horror – Day 25

Well met travelers. Say, what do you do when you have made away with a stack of cash and are on the run before anyone notices?

I know, stay at a quaint little hotel with a very polite young man who enjoys taxidermy. Just cross your fingers that you don’t run into his mother.

Norman!

Today you get, Bates Motel horror!

What horrors are waiting for you on the last weekend before Halloween? Not going to tell you but, I hope that you are ready for story time.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

31 Days of Horror – Day 24

So you’ve tried everything to get away from all the horrors around you. Heck, you’ve seen ghosts, ghouls and psychopaths coming after you. Surely, the one place you will be safe is way out in space.

Hardly. In space no one can hear you scream.

Today you get alien horror!

What horrors await you tomorrow? Well, I am pretty sure there is a vacancy there.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

31 Days of Horror – Day 23

It’s late October and the horror is heating up. You know what’s good to do when it gets hot out? Go camping. But be careful because if you stay at the wrong campsite, you may not survive the weekend.

When the locals tell you it’s an evil place, just go ahead and turn around and save yourself the trouble.

Today you get camping horror!

What horrors will I have for you tomorrow? If I told you it might make you scream. Too bad no one will hear you

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon