Manor Vellum

By Chad Collins

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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

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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…


By Patrick Brennan

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My mother was my first horror guru.

She was a huge fan of the genre in all its forms, be it literary (she worshipped at the altar of Stephen King) or cinematically (I can still see the VHS copies of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and Night of the Living Dead peppering the floor of her bedroom). When I was little, she tried to shield me from horror but as I grew older my enthusiasm broke down her defenses, and she began to guide my budding love of all things weird and macabre. Mom was a…


By Taylor Hunsberger

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The Cult chapter of the American Horror Story anthology series, released in 2017 as a response to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, is a look into how anyone could come to the point of joining a cult. The season follows Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) as he gains a following and ultimately forms a cult to carry out murders in a fictional Michigan suburb, where he ends up being elected to local office. This plot essentially mirrors the process that led to Trump’s election as president, attributing his followers to a cult…


By Brian Keiper

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Credit: Jack C. Gregory

I have been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember. I grew up hooked on the original trilogy and stood in line for a midnight showing of the final prequel. I own more collectibles than I have room to display. I have built models of X-Wings and Star Destroyers and have several more still to be assembled. There was a meme traveling around Twitter a while back asking the question “what movie did you see the most in theaters?” To a bit of my embarrassment, my answer is The Phantom Menace (1999), the…


By James Reinhardt

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Credit: The CRP Group via Scream Factory.

We’ve all seen it in movies before — a group of shallow, unlikeable teenagers decide to venture someplace that they shouldn’t for a weekend of debauchery. From the very beginning, the movie is telling us “Oh yeah, you’re gonna love watching these people get murdered.”

Will we though?

There’s a mode of thinking when making a horror film that the prospective group of victims should be as unlikable as possible so that we enjoy seeing them suffer a horrific fate later in the movie. This reasoning seemed to gain particular popularity in the 80s when slasher films…


By Sara Century

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She Dies Tomorrow is one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2020, and it’s no surprise as to why. A film about a contagious feeling of imminent death coincided with the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, lending an unintentionally timely observation on the fear of mortality for many audience members and critics alike. Yet, the film itself is significantly more complicated than that, and its experimental structure and heavy emotional themes defy easy explanation.


By Brian Keiper

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Credit: Owen Soule

Horror has been a genre built on mythic storytelling from the beginning. The bricks of myth are archetypes and tropes that speak to our humanity on its deepest levels. This should not and does not mean that creativity and originality are not factors, quite the contrary. It does mean that we can instantly connect with certain characters and situations because they carry a recognizable element. From the early days of horror films, archetypes like the mad scientist, man-made monster, vampire (incubus and succubus), and the familiar have given us multitudes of memorable characters: Dr. Caligari, Dr. Frankenstein…


By Brian Keiper

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Credit: Nick Percival via Death Waltz Recording Co

1984 may well be the greatest year in the history of filmed horror, both in content and in consequence. The list of memorable movies from that year is nearly endless, from massive blockbusters to cult favorites and indie gems. It also provided two perennial classics for the Christmas season, both of which had repercussions far beyond the flickering images on the screen.

June 8, 1984, has to be the greatest single day in “family” horror as two truly classic PG-rated terrors hit the screen on that day. One remains the ultimate in horror-comedy perfection, Ghostbusters, and the…


By Sara Century

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Credit: Vertigo Films

Films about murderous children are nothing new. Tapping into parental anxieties over not doing enough to protect their children and giving absolute evil a face of relative innocence has led to some of the greatest stories in the horror canon. Classics like The Bad Seed (1956) and Village of the Damned (1960) paved the way for mainstays like The Exorcist (1973) and The Omen (1976), which in turn has led to more nuanced fare like Here Comes The Devil (2012) and Goodnight Mommy (2014).

Even amid so many great “evil child” movies, The Children (2008) stands out…

Manor Vellum

A membrane of texts about the human condition within the horror genre. A MANOR feature.

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