Friday, 25 January 2013

Welcome to Murder and Angst

Six months ago, I heard a radio movie critic talking about the recent wave of Hollywood remakes. She singled out the Friday the 13th remake as an example of a particularly bad and unnecessary remake. Although I agree with her that most of the recent remakes should never have been made, she was wrong about Friday the 13th. It was one of the better horror remakes. It was true to the spirit of the original films, was suitably bloody and in many ways outdid the originals. Nevertheless, her comments didn’t surprise me:


Mainstream movie critics don’t get the horror genre.


Fast forward a couple of months to a day in December when a friend of mine asked about the copy of Slide by Jill Hathaway (a Young Adult mystery novel) that was lying on my desk at work. I spent the next five minutes explaining to him that there was more to Young Adult (YA) fiction than wizards and sparkle vampires and that many YA mystery novels were as good as, if not better than, their adult counterparts. But again, I wasn’t surprised:


YA mysteries, thrillers and horror novels are vastly underappreciated

Two weeks later, the idea for this blog was born.

This is a blog about mystery, thriller and horror movies, books and TV series. As these genres are so broad, I’m going to focus primarily on teen or YA-centric stories, as they generally receive less attention than adult stories, and because that’s where my interests lie. Even though it’s been a while since I left my teens, I love stories written for and about this age-group. There are a million different reasons why adults read and watch YA books and movies, but here are mine:

  • Teen stories are faster moving and more exciting than stories for older audiences.

Last week I tried to read Bag of Bones by Stephen King. King is one of my favourite writers and I’m usually on board with anything he writes, but this book was painful. It’s about a writer, presumably loosely based on King himself. At the start of the book, the writer's wife dies, then he gets writers block for four years…AND 100 PAGES! Where was the editor on this book? After 80 pages, I couldn’t bring myself to read another word and gave up. It was the first time I have ever given up on a Stephen King novel. Given that 300 pages is long for a YA novel, there isn’t time for the action to stop for 100 pages in such books. 
  • Teen stories are fun.

There seems to be an unwritten rule that if you’re writing in the teen horror, mystery or thriller genres you MUST have a sense of humour. I’m not sure why this is the case, but I’m not complaining. The main reason why I got into horror movies as a teen was because they were funnier than a lot of the comedies that were coming out at that time. I currently believe that Supernatural and Teen Wolf are two of the funniest shows on TV. 
  • Teen stories are more imaginative.

Some of the plots used in teen stories are just brilliant. A teenage girl who hunts vampires in her free time? Sure. A teenage boy who becomes the star of his school lacrosse team after being bitten by a werewolf? Why not! For some reason, plots like these are considered too far-fetched for older audiences, but not for teens, and these are some of the best stories around.
Going forward, my plan is to write at least one blog post a week. Topics you can look forward to include:

  • The best movies/books you’ve never heard of.
  • Author profiles.
  • General discussions relating to the genres.
  • Series reviews.
  • Comparisons of original movies and their remakes.

If you’re still not sure, the next few posts should give you a better idea.
I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to let me know either by leaving a comment or using the contact form.

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