A lot of horror movies. I’ve spent a lot of time rationalizing this taste, or analyzing it, and I used to have a vast and complicated conceit for this newsletter that allowed me to justify it. But you know what? Fuck it.
I watch horror movies, a lot of horror movies, and if you subscribe to this newsletter, I will recommend some. I will also, increasingly, talk about everything else.
Behold the Hidden Benefits of the Inner Circle
Most of the content on this newsletter exists behind a paywall. I occasionally make posts available to the public if they’re newsy — like, if there’s a new Jordan Peele movie, or if there’s some hugely popular new thing on Netflix — and I do a month of free content in October, because I really dork out about Halloween and I like others to dork out with me.
For the most part, though, I enjoy having a space where I am only talking to friends and dedicated readers. Most hate-readers, no matter how much they hate you, won’t pay $5 to find out what you have to say. That gives me peace of mind, and when I’m relaxed, I write better. We know each other, you and I, so I can just write to you without feeling I also have to prove my right to exist.
Most of these “movie reviews” are not movie reviews. I use the movie as a jumping-off point to talk about my family, or my gender identity, or sex, or politics, or pain, all sorts of stuff that is risky to write down. The reason I love horror is that it’s about the subjects you’re not allowed to bring up at the dinner table; trauma and bodies and power and rage and grief and bad, bad behavior. This is where I talk about all that stuff, and it’s easier to talk about it knowing my Mom won’t be looking in. I don’t want weirdos around when I’m being a weirdo.
How many of these will I get?
At minimum, subscribers will get two per month. I’ve done more during fundraisers or Halloween month, or just because I had something more to say that month, and I’ve had to go on hiatus for major life events, or when I’m on big deadlines. But that’s rare, and you’ll get a warning and an explanation. I won’t ghost you.
How do I nominate a topic for an e-mail?
This used to be a very complicated process, but now, all you need to do is hit “reply” to a newsletter when it lands in your mailbox.
What can I ask you to cover?
Anything in the horror genre is probably fine. I mostly watch movies, but I have watched seasons or episodes of TV on request; a full season of TV takes a while, so it’s probably better to nominate specific episodes. No-one’s asked me to review something outside of the horror genre, but you never know. If you want me to write about something, I am sure I can find some reason to justify it.
Wait, what does “everything else” mean?
Since I started this newsletter, I’ve raised a baby into a toddler, published a book, moved away from the city where I lived for 17 years, and, most recently, come out as queer and trans. I’ve written about all of it, mostly by writing about horror movies — you’d be surprised how widely applicable they are — but transition, in particular, is teaching me to reckon with parts of my life that I ignored until recently. Sometimes, the best way to talk about those things is to cover a movie that isn’t horror. Sometimes, they demand a straight-up personal essay or political analysis. Sometimes I’ve written fiction — short stories, a YA novel — because that was the best way to show you what I’ve been thinking. All of that has found its way into the newsletter over the years.
The core of this newsletter is horror, and always will be, but there will be some surprises mixed in, like toys at the bottom of a cereal box. I hope you enjoy them. If not, the horror movie recommendations will be along soon enough. Thank you for indulging me, and I hope you keep reading.