Reviews - Films

Film Review: Rare Exports

Santa Clause is coming to town

I recently took part in a Podcast, during which the topic of conversation turned to Festive horror films and I recommended this movie, Rare Exports. 

It’s a wonderful Christmas horror film and it struck me that it might even be considered a hidden gem, so I want to spread the word about this film by talking with you about it today. 

Summary 

The story opens with American and British research teams taking samples from the top of Korvatunturi in Lapland, watched by two local boys. This place is believed to be the home of the folkloric creature Joulupukki, who is said to have inspired the modern version of Santa. 

Continue reading “Film Review: Rare Exports”
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Katie Recommends: Return of the Obra Dinn

A ghost ship in Falmouth.

Today I am writing to recommend a game to you, just in time for Christmas!

Return of the Obra Dinn.

LOST AT SEA, 1803 the good ship “OBRA DINN”

In 1802, the merchant ship Obra Dinn set out from London for the Orient with over 200 tons of trade goods. Six months later it hadn’t met its rendezvous point at the Cape of Good Hope and was declared lost at sea. Early this morning of October 14th, 1807, the Obra Dinn drifted into port at Falmouth with damaged sails and no visible crew. As insurance investigator for the East India Company’s London Office, dispatch immediately to Falmouth, find means to board the ship, and prepare an assessment of damages.

I love horror where the scary bullshit has already happened and you’ve got to figure out what happened. Detective horror effectively. I think this is why I enjoy certain Lovecraft stories, where someone turns up and has to figure out what happened, The Colour out of Space leaps to mind.

Either way, this is a fantastic game from the chap who made Papers Please, which while not horror in the sense of ‘oh no a monster’ was horrific in an oppressive, ‘you’re fucked no matter what you do’ kind of way.

The horror in this game comes from several places, the ghost ship itself and the back story you uncover piecemeal as you try and figure out what the hell went down.

I’m a big fan of horror games and I love it when someone does something a bit different. A lot of horror games are fast-paced, high stakes, fight or flight and so it’s great to see someone doing something a bit different. This game is slow-paced, tense and tragic all at the same time. A great way to spend a few hours in a horror atmosphere.

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Katie Recommends: Book Riot Best Holiday Reads

Ho Ho Horror

Today I am writing to refer you to a Book Riot Article from 2020, so apologies if all the festive reads aren’t brand new to you, I know there’s some on here I’ve still not gotten around to reading.

The list in this article it a great list, offering some truly frightening holiday scares and it’s also focused on Authors of colour which is awesome as the more diverse Horror becomes the better it gets. The more voices in this space, the more experiences pulled from, the more creativity we find.

Pick up an awesome holiday read!

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Resurrecting the Christmas Tradition of Telling Ghost Stories.

Bring back Tradition

Today I would like to share with you an article that hits close to my heart.

From the Smithsonian Mag, the article talks about Resurrecting the Christmas Tradition of Telling Ghost Stories.

It is titled ‘A Plea to Resurrect the Christmas Tradition of Telling Ghost Stories’ and talks about how in the USA ghost stories come out in October and not much outside of that. It goes on to discuss Dickens and the tradition of ghost stories at Christmas, highlighting the value these stories offer at this time of year.

It is a well thought out and presented article that, if you have an interest in these things as I do, is well worth your time.

A Plea to Resurrect the Christmas Tradition of Telling Ghost Stories

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Katie Recommends: Lets Nope

This is Awesome

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but today I want to recommend both a YouTube Channel/Team and a playlist.

First of all, while this is a horror appreciation site for the most part, sometimes we need something a bit light-hearted and happy, even us die-hard horror fans.

So, the channel, LoadingReadyRun, is not a horror channel just a bunch of very likeable people having fun, being overly enthusiastic about a whole variety of things. They’re a joy to watch in and of themselves.

The horrorside of things is the Lets Nope playlist where Ben and Adam play super spooky scary games together. Again it’s a delight to watch. There’s lots of content, at the time of my writing this blog there are over 300 videos!

Katie Recommends, Katie's Stories

Katie Recommends: Novels

Novels for Days

I promise not every recommendation is going to be for my own stuff.

Honest.

But I did kind of get two books published this year 🙂

A Man in Winter

Arthur, whose life was devastated by the brutal murder of his wife, must come to terms with his diagnosis of dementia. He moves into a new home at a retirement community, and shortly after, has his life turned upside down again when his wife’s ghost visits him and sends him on a quest to find her killer so her spirit can move on. With his family and his doctor concerned that his dementia is advancing, will he be able to solve the murder before his independence is permanently restricted?

A Man in Winter examines the horrors of isolation, dementia, loss, and the ghosts that come back to haunt us.

Available Now

FireFly

My name is Rachel, and I work for the Gentleman.

The Gentleman has an interest in the paranormal, the unexplained and the bizarre. He uses his influence and power to investigate strange events and collect evidence. His collection is comprised of this evidence, as well as files and reports of the events.

My job is to build files, take deliveries and keep the place free from dust and mold.

Building files involves taking all the information and evidence the Gentleman has delivered to my door, and collating and annotating it to tell the story of what happened. Sometimes, when the Gentleman has got enough evidence, I can tell an entire story.

Two months ago, I took deliveries for an event we’re calling Firefly. It’s a very detailed case, and there’s enough evidence of a threat to warrant people being warned. This is a copy of the complete Archive report.

It all started when seven-year-old Simon Thompson vanished.

Out Now!

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Katie Recommends: Anthologies

So Many to Choose

I know this is a bit cheeky, but you can’t hold it against me (at least I hope you can’t. my first recommendation is all the below anthologies.

The theme of these anthologies is that they are all horror and they all contain a short story by yours truly

Just to be clear I get nothing financial from most of the sales, I was paid a fixed fee for each story submitted and don’t get royalties etc (except for Darkness Screams Howling Deep, that one I get royalties).

So you can trust that I am recommending these books because I have copies of all of them and they are damn good.

For my fellow writers out there, I’d recommend submitting to these publishers, I’ve not had a bad experience with any of them.

Darkness Screams: Howling Deep – Featuring my short story Stella

Caroline is uneasy when her husband brings back a large dog from the Shelter. There’s something about Stella that doesn’t feel right, the light in her eyes is a little bit too intelligent.

Available for pre-order now!


Horrorzine Fall Edition 2022 containing my short story The Chest

A grandmother dies leaving her granddaughter a mysterious chest of drawers which contain the impossible.

Since 2009, The Horror Zine has published exceptional horror fiction by emerging talent and today’s leading authors. Editor Jeani Rector selects only the most inventive and captivating tales for each issue. In addition to short fiction, The Horror Zine features amazing poetry and artwork. Now The Horror Zine brings the dark delights from the ezine into a print magazine.

The Fall 2022 issue features Damian Karras, Katie Marie, Brie Edison, William Falo, Timothy Wilkie, Melissa R. Mendelson, James Burt, Kristen Houghton, Garrett Rowlan, J. Rocky Colavito, Madison McSweeney, Nicholas Tana, Michael Fowler, Ed Rosick, Maxwell I. Gold, Josh Darling, Oliver Smith, Max Bindi, Juan Perez, Louise Worthington, Frank Coffman, Sharmila Mitra, John C. Mannone, Joseph Danoski, Heather Miller, Chris McAuley, James Arthur Anderson, John Grey, Dan Verkys, Lena Goral, Duncan Bennett, Gordon Lewis, Sumiko Saulson, and Vox.

Pick up your copy on Amazon


Beyond the Sea

A University PhD student investigates a strange body that washes up on a small island beach.

Forget the bends… Shadows Beneath the Surface is the second entry in the Dead Seas series from Dead Sea Press and brings us crashing to the top of the ocean for more aquatic and nautical horror from fifteen new and incredible talents.

A screening of Jaws is more immersive than advertised – and far more dangerous. A new discovery promises pain to any who stumble across it. And a washed-up abomination really should have been left out to dry…

From ghost ships to monstrous ferry crossings, from eerie islands to creepy caves, this collection proves that not all of the ocean’s beasts lie beneath the waves.

All this and more in a monstrous collection of stories from T.L. Beeding, Chris Williams, Christopher Saylor, David R. Polsdorfer, Gregg V. Landry, Malina Douglas, Matt Bliss, Stephanie Kvellestad, Karen Lethlean, Nancy Schumann, Jay Sykes, Katie Marie, Rachel Nussbaum, Lisa Fox, and Shannon Frost Greenstein.

Don’t forget: every penny of profit goes right to The Shark Trust, an organisation promoting the conservation and protection of sharks, skates and rays. Your support is hugely appreciated.

Pick up your copy on Amazon


Water: Selkies, Sirens & Sea Monsters

My short story There’s Something in the Water is featured in Water: Selkies, Sirens & Sea Monsters!

Water is the most yielding of all elements, changing to fit its container, whether that be a thimble or a lake bed. At the same time, anyone who has ever watched the unrelenting progression of a tsunami understands its raw power. Associated with mutability, transformation, and the subconscious, water is both the tranquil azure of a tropical sea and the tumultuous waves and whitecaps of an embroiled ocean. As many faces as water may wear, the creatures within and associated with it have even more.

Featuring: Catherine MacLeod; Kevin Cockle; Greta Starling; Elise Forier Edie; Kate Shannon; Sara Rauch; Katie Marie; Rebecca Brae; Colleen Anderson; L. T. Waterson; Chadwick Ginther; Julia Heller; Marshall J. Moore; Joel McKay; Elizabeth R. McClellan; Eric M. Borsage; Laura VanArendonk Baugh; Josh Reynolds; Liam Hogan; Mari Ness; Davide Mana; Sarah Van Goethem; Valerie Hunter; and Kelly Sandoval.

Order now on Amazon!


Scratching

My short story Scratching appers in The Horrorzines Book of Ghost Stories!

Get your copy NOW!

“This collection of ghost stories is fresh, varied, and entertaining. Perfect company for long a winter’s night.”  – Owen King, co-author of Sleeping Beauties

“An incredibly creepy collection of stories of the recently and not so recently dead, written by some of the finest writers in horror. I suggest that when reading, do so in the daylight, because reading these at night will only make you more aware of your own, unempty house.” – Susie Moloney, author of The Dwelling and The Thirteen

“Gruesome, eerie, horrific, sometimes uplifting; this is a terrific selection of ghost stories that satisfy the soul—they chill the blood, too.” – Simon Clark, author of Whitby Vampyrrhic

“Looking for a perfect evening? Spend the night hunkered down in your favorite chair with only a reading light on, and dive into The Horror Zine’s Book of Ghost Stories. Forget sleep, these tales will keep you enthralled till daybreak.” – Tony Tremblay, author of The Moore House

“Nobody keeps the supernatural alive like The Horror Zine.” – Scott Nicholson, author of The Red Church


 Call for Help

Haunted Life

My short story Call for Help appears in the Haunted Life Anthology publish by Alban Lake.

We fear what we do not know and death is our ultimate fear. We do not know what lies beyond, or if there is a beyond, but some of us have ideas. Some of us have had experiences. Strange noises that can’t be explained. Objects moving on their own. Whispers of people who aren’t there. Slips of forms barely seen. Objects that are never to be touched. Words that are never to be spoken. Places that are never to be visited. All of these form the stories you’ll find within the soul-touched pages of The Haunted Life. Do you have the courage to find out what lies beyond?

The anthology can be picked up on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.


 In the Shadows

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My Short Story ‘In The Shadows’ appears in the Horror Zine!

Since 2009, The Horror Zine has published exceptional horror fiction by emerging talent and today’s leading authors. Editor Jeani Rector selects only the most inventive and captivating tales for each issue.

In the Shadows

When Christine dies in the bath everyone thinks it must be suicide. Her housemate quickly discovers that was not the case.

Pick up your copy here

Katie Recommends

It’s the Festive Season

Katie Recommends

This December I want you to get the most out of the horror genre, and much to my dismay I am hardly peek horror, so I want to spend the month of December pointing you in the direction of some awesome horror content.

I will be using December to recommend books, films and games in the horror genre in the hope that I can make your festive season just a little bit more ho-ho-horrific.

I can’t wait to get started!

Reviews - Games

Videogame: Man of Medan

All Aboard

Today I want to talk to you about one of my favourite game series, The Dark Pictures series, in particular the first instalment Man of Medan. 

The Dark Pictures is a series of survival horror games, played via the third person, where you play as multiple characters through a strongly story-based game. The games revolve around the choices you make and effectively function as the old choose your own adventure books did. 

The series all tie together via a framing device in the form of the curator, a chap who acts as your guide/storyteller. Each story in the series is a self-contained story.

Man of Medan was the first instalment in the ongoing series and was a strong start for a great series. 

Summary – as always, spoilers below

Photo by Mudassir Ali on Pexels.com

Man of Medan is a fictional story based lossy around the story of the Ourang Medan, a ghost ship where the entire crew was found dead with no obvious cause. 

Continue reading “Videogame: Man of Medan”