The Columnist

In Danse Macabre, Stephen King’s 1981 critique on horror fiction, the author examined popular culture in film, books and television, reflecting on what makes for a good fright, and why terror is such an important commodity. “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones,” he wrote. “A good horror story is one that functions on a symbolic level, using fictional (and sometimes supernatural) events to help us understand our own deepest real fears.”

Years later, science would prove King right. A new study conducted by a group of researchers – Coltan Scrivner, John A. Johnson, Jens Kjeldgaard-Christiansen, and Mathias Clasen – from the United States and Denmark sought to discover whether or not horror fans are better adept at handling the stresses of everyday life, especially when faced when extenuating circumstances, such as a deadly pandemic on a global scale. Their work was recently published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences and funded by the Research Program for Media, Communication, and Society at the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University. 

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The Fantasia International Film Festival is now on-going – virtually. Usually, this genre-heavy fest is held in Montreal, but with things the way they are this year (terrible), the festival has gone virtual. This year, Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato are covering Fantasia for /Film from the safety of their homes, firing off dispatches featuring capsule reviews of the titles we’ve watched from the safety of our own homes, all while dreaming of poutine.

In this edition: a clever horror anthology, a wild ode to kaiju cinema, a bizarre police training satire, and much more.

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