Top 15s: 15 Gruesome Villains We Love to Hate

For generations, classic storytelling has used the convention of the gruesome villain to incite the excitement and anticipation that comes with following the protagonist into the grips of danger. While not exclusive to the horror genre, it plays to the cathartic and escapist nature of the scary or thrilling narrative. The villain can work on various levels: juxtaposing the hero to create a clear distinction of good and evil, mirroring the hero to blur the lines between right and wrong, cautioning against giving into the darker aspects of human nature, and reflecting that which we might fear about human nature and ourselves.

Film theorist Robin Wood explains that the monsters we create for our stories are really just manifestations of that which we have repressed most in our civilized society – people who look different, or act different, or who can otherwise be considered outside of the norm. It’s fair to say then that the monster represents our own fears of being out-casted. However, it is also fair to say that in this golden age of violent narratives, the monster is not just to be feared, it is to be admired. There is something utterly captivating about a charismatic villain. They can make our skin crawl, shock us, scare us; and yet, we can’t seem to look away. Here are 15 gruesome villains of which we just can’t get enough.

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image via: Screencrush

Beyond the Threshold is EXPANDING

Hi all!

This is just a quick update about what I’ve been up to, and some changes you will notice on Beyond the Threshold. As much as I love writing flash fiction, there is so much more within the realm of speculative fiction that I want to explore. As you may have guessed, I’ve always been a lover of books, comics, TV and movies. I spent 7 years in post-secondary education for film studies, so when it comes to discussing film and TV, I really can’t shut up. So I’m expanding Beyond the Threshold to leave room for things such as more book/comic reviews, and Top Lists for a variety of topics regarding TV and movies. I’m currently writing for a pop culture website, so a lot of this content will be linked to those published articles. And, of course, I will also continue to post my own fiction here too.

Thanks for all the support – I hope you’ll enjoy the expansion. Stay Strange!

Letters to Addie

January 30,

Addie,

I guess I’ll just start with – I miss you. It’s a funny thing, mourning the loss of someone who isn’t quite gone, but certainly isn’t here. I have these momentary lapses of memory. I’ll see something that reminds me of you, or come across a meme I know would make you giggle. I’ll pull up your name on my contact list to send it your way and then I remember that you won’t see it. So, yeah, it’s a curious thing; missing you. 

But I’m getting used to it, I think. Because you’re not gone, but the digital you is gone. Everyone acts like that’s the same thing, but it’s not. That’s why I’m writing this letter to you – to the real you. I want you to know I haven’t forgotten you. And I’m not mad. That day you unplugged and left, I said some pretty shitty things. I’m sorry about that. I didn’t get it, how you could just throw away your whole life over some fear of something that you couldn’t show me. I’m stubborn like that though; I need evidence, a digital footprint – anything. I’m still like that Addie; I can’t lie and say I believe you. But I miss you, and I’m finally ready to do anything to get you back. So I’m going to find the proof Addie. I’m going to see it, and then I’m going to know you’re right. That you’re not crazy.

So I’ll start at the beginning. I remember the first thing you said. “These thoughts aren’t mine.”  You kept saying your thoughts and feelings were jumbled. You started unplugging at night to try to clear them up, but that just made things blurrier. You said it was too late for you. Well, if you’re theory is right, there’s still plenty of time for me. So I’m going to start writing down my thoughts. Pen and paper, just like you said, so they can’t access them. You must be thinking, why now? Like I said, I miss you. 

I’ll write again soon. I love you.

Darcy.

P.s. mom is fine.


A Tribute to the Darkness

In the dead of night, It Follows

The Fog closing in, exacerbating your wallows

Halloween lingers in the air

Trick ‘r Treat and a bit of gory flare

Candy Corn and Ginger Snaps stuffed under your bed

You’re sure there’s a Scream or two stuck in your head

It’s all festive and sweet, but it’s no Child’s Play

“You’re Next,” it whispers as you lay

The Others might be hiding in your shed

After all, it’s the Night of the Living Dead

© Shyla Fairfax-Owen


Happy Viewing to anyone out there taking the 31 in 31 Horror Movie challenge! Hope you get in some of the classics. Stay Strange.

Last Year’s Halloween Poem, All Hallow’s Eve