Punk Meets Aliens in the How to Talk to Girls at Parties Trailer

How to Talk to Girls at Parties trailer Neil Gaiman Elle Fanning Nicole Kidman

We’ve been hearing about John Cameron Mitchell’s (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s short story “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” for a while now, but now there’s a new trailer to show how Mitchell has broadened the scope of Gaiman’s 18 pages about the gripping awkwardness of boy/girl parties into an otherworldly tale about the anarchy of punk clashing with an alien culture that punishes individuality and rebellion.

Also, we get to see Nicole Kidman as the alien leader channeling her own take on punk crossed with Jareth the Goblin King. The film also stars Ruth Wilson (The Affair), with Alex Sharp (To the Bone) and Elle Fanning (Mary Shelley) as the star-crossed kids.

Watch the trailer:

How to Talk to Girls at Parties had its world premiere at Cannes earlier this year, and just screened at the BFI London ...

Watch the First Trailer for Hulu and Marvel’s Runaways!

Runaways teaser trailer NYCC 2017 Marvel Hulu Brian K. Vaughan Adrian Alphona

With the Runaways cast grinning widely on the New York Comic-Con stage, Marvel Television’s executive VP Jeph Loeb teased the crowd: “Do they want to see a clip? Do they want to see a clip… that’s 53 minutes long?”

Yep—Loeb rewarded fans of Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona’s Marvel Comics series with a screening of the Runaways pilot, six weeks ahead of its premiere. We’ll have a review of that tomorrow, but in the meantime, Hulu has posted the first teaser for the series with those who couldn’t make it to the panel.

With plenty of moody music and a bunch of scenes from the pilot, the Runaways teaser combines Vaughan and Alphona’s premise—six teenagers discover that their parents are a secret cabal of super villains—with the aesthetics of The OC and Gossip Girl, thanks to creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. And it works!

Check out the teaser below:

Runaways premieres November 21 on Hulu.

Modern Literary Witches Go Beyond Maiden, Mother, and Crone

Of Sorrow and Such

Partway through Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches, scholar-turned-witch Diana Bishop encounters a trio of familiar figures: a maiden, a mother, and a crone. These three archetypes are the aspects of the goddess Hecate, appearing as sisters. This triad has resurfaced in everything from Discworld to A Song of Ice and Fire, representing both one woman going through different phases of life and a functional coven of witches, each bringing a different perspective to the magic.

The Hecate Sisters are a useful lens through which to examine the current state of witches in literature—modern takes on a timeless figure, with witches’ conflicts and wants changing with the generations.

In the past few years, the young adult genre has made renewed explorations into witch stories, tapping into themes of feeling set apart from other adolescents as well as growing into your powers. It’s no surprise, then, that Blue Sargent (Maggie ...

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A Discovery of Witches Deborah Harkness Diana Bishop
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Of Sorrow and Such

Learn the Creepy History of Robert the Doll in New Lore Footage

Robert the Doll Lore footage NYCC 2017

Don’t you want to play with Robert?

Robert just wants to be friends.

Robert can be your very best friend… so long as you don’t cross him.

When asked which episodes of the wildly popular folklore podcast Lore they decided to adapt for television, podcast creator (and co-executive producer of Amazon Studios’ mixed-media adaptation) Aaron Mahnke joked that they went for the “hardcore favorites”: haunted houses, cursed objects, you know the drill. So, it’s no surprise that at New York Comic-Con they showed a clip from the Lore episode starring everyone’s favorite possessed doll, Robert.

But, in typical Lore fashion, there’s so much more behind that eerily vacant gaze.

Moderator Kevin Smith—who confessed to being so freaked out by various episodes he had to fast-forward and watch through his fingers, horror-movie style—praised the mixed-media approach to adapting Mahnke’s podcast: Each episode retains Mahnke’s voiceover, but instead of going for straight docudrama, each retelling ...

There Can Be Only One (of Me): The Horror of Encountering Your Double

If you meet your double, you should kill him.

Alfred Hitchcock utters this aphorism in Johan Grimonprez’s 2009 film Double Take. It rings with familiar folkloric wisdom, hitting a number of primal chords: Shock at seeing yourself in the flesh, outside the confines of a mirror. Revulsion at this unnatural creature. Knowledge, bone-deep, that both of you cannot share the same space.

But why can’t doppelgängers (literally, “double-goers”) coexist alongside their originals? Is it a matter of overpopulation, of space-time-continuum paradoxes, or just the sheer awkwardness of two bodies inhabiting one life? We don’t know, because almost none of the stories get that far. The outcome has been preordained. That’s why we thrill to the familiar image of identical figures locked in symmetrical combat, sympathize with a clone conditioned to kill her sestras, nod knowingly when two doubles enter a room knowing that only one will exit. It’s a narrative ingrained so ...

Orphan Black clone swap Sarah Rachel Alison
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How Modern Horror Franchises Have Embraced Creepypasta to Stay Relevant

creepypasta modern media urban legends

Horror cinema has been a self-aware genre for at least twenty years, if you count 1996’s hyper-meta slasher flick Scream as the start of the era—longer if you take into account Abbott and Costello meeting Frankenstein in 1948 or Evil Dead II parodying its predecessor in 1987. But in recent years, horror’s tendency toward metafiction has become even more granular. Whereas the classic franchises commented on the genre of horror itself, modern films are looking within their own bodies of work. In the last year, two “modern classic” franchises have reinvented themselves: Both Blair Witch (2016) and Rings (2017) reference their source material—that is, their original films—by treating them as “creepypasta,” the next evolution of urban legends for those who grew up on the internet.

But first, let’s look at how we told scary stories in the ’90s. Fed on a steady diet of ’80s slasher films, Scream‘s teen protagonists deconstructed and lampshaded the horror-movie tropes in ...

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creepypasta modern horror meta Channel Zero: Candle Cove Syfy anthology promo art
Channel Zero creepypasta Slender Man

A New Twist on Generation Ship SF Stories

What I’ve always found the most heartbreaking part of generation ship stories is the generations themselves: you’re traveling to a distant planet on a mission that will take close to a century, so you staff the ship with a crew who will pilot, navigate, make repairs, handle food stores, and give birth to offspring who will do the same, over and over again, until you reach your destination. Depending on the length of the expedition, several generations live and die surrounded by nothing but stars, giving their all to a mission whose outcome they will never witness.

Beth Revis’ A Million Suns (the middle book in her Across the Universe trilogy) sums this up in one moment: pregnant mothers taking in the devastating news that the mission has been delayed for another generation, tears in their eyes but hands on their bellies thinking of the children who will eventually get ...