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Manor Vellum

By Jerry Smith

Art by Marc Potts via Suntup Editions.

A Three-Part Series on the Works of William Peter Blatty

Since childhood, I have been an admirer of the novels and films of William Peter Blatty. I first discovered Blatty on a warm August evening in 1990, when my grandmother dropped a then 9-year-old Jerry in front of our local theater to see The Exorcist III. I had very few friends as a kid. When other children were out doing “normal” things, I spent my days and evenings watching any and everything I could get in front of me. Growing up in a pre-Columbine world meant all…

By James Reinhardt

I first saw Takashi Miike’s Audition (1999) as part of a horror film class in college. At the time I had never heard of the film, nor knew anything about the plot, and when I told friends what movie we were watching in class that week, the reactions were usually something like “Oh man…” or “Good luck”, or in the case of a female friend, a wide grin followed by the exclamation “I love Audition!”

By Sara Century

Read Part 1

Amityville movies covered in Part 2: Amityville 3-D (1983), Amityville: The Evil Escapes (1989), and The Amityville Curse (1990)

By Brian Keiper

Read Part 1: In the Beginning

Starting in 1984, Wes Craven’s career took a definite shift. In the ten intervening years between the release of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994), his interests remain remarkably consistent. Several themes, particularly various forms of family, villains of extreme depravity, and various religious undercurrents carried over from his earliest films. But now instead of purely human villains and real-world settings (1982’s Swamp Thing excepted), he turned his attention to the blurring of various realities. …

By James Reinhardt

Images of rusty bridges, ketchup bottles, and football seem to come to mind when people think of Pittsburgh, PA. While we certainly are proud to be home to Heinz Ketchup and love our Steelers here in the Steel City, we’re also working hard to leave our rust belt image behind us. The city of Pittsburgh has become a small tech hub, and the healthcare industry has replaced the steel industry as the main jobs provider. Football is something that seems to be forever here in Pittsburgh, and you’re likely to see many people around town wearing t-shirts…

By Sara Century


These movies aren’t just about hauntings; they include references to murder, incest, child abuse, and other potentially triggering subjects.

Amityville films covered in Part 1: The Amityville Horror (1979), Amityville II: The Possession (1982), The Amityville Horror (2005), and The Amityville Murders (2018)

By Brian Keiper

In a 1982 interview with Alan Jones, Wes Craven noted, “They do say that you write about what you’re closest to and what you experienced first.” What Craven knew first was family turmoil, financial struggle, and a strict fundamentalist Christian upbringing. Craven often and openly dealt with the first two issues in his films, but rarely the third. Still, though he did not often deal directly with religion in his work, it is an undercurrent of much of it and a key to unlocking many of its depths.

Craven’s first memories were of his parents fighting. His…

By James Reinhardt

The Wicker Man (1973), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), The Hills Have Eyes (1977), Midsommar (2019)…

These films call to mind images of bloodthirsty cannibals chasing people through the American countryside and pagan cults celebrating human sacrifice. The antagonists in these films are groups of people who have slipped through the cracks of society and the influence of modern life. Though with these movies, the problem lies as much with the company the villains keep as it does with their geographical location. From the Sawyer Family to the people of Summerisle and the Harga cult, these characters…

By Chad Collins

There’s a concept known as hypnogogic hallucinations, a common symptom among those suffering from narcolepsy. Hypnagogic hallucinations occur in the consciousness state between waking and sleep, often causing confusion because it can be exceptionally difficult to distinguish the hallucination from reality. These waking dreams are characterized by intricate visual and audial stimuli that your mind distorts in unnatural ways; they are waking dreams, yes, but they’re best described as waking nightmares.

Hard to Die (also known as Sorority House Massacre III) is, in perhaps the best way possible, something like a hypnogogic hallucination. Like the rest of…

By Sara Century

Credit: Vinegar Syndrome

It can be a bit of a trip to look back on movies and books of yesteryear that attempted to address gender and sexuality amid the significantly more repressed cultural norms of their respective eras. It’s true that they are not often wholly successful, yet they can still be strangely intriguing. Case in point, we have Prey (1977), a movie that is basically an adaptation of the novella The Fox (1923) but with a human-eating alien species thrown into the mix.

The Fox by D.H. Lawrence inspired its own film adaptation in 1967, which in turn apparently…

Manor Vellum

A membrane of texts about the human condition within the horror genre. A MANOR feature. Email pitches and/or inquiries to

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