Welcome to this week in the weird. We have an assortment of aliens, cosmic horror, cyborg rabbits, digital friendships, and vintage horror.
At first glance, the xenomorphs of the Aliens franchise seem to be just terrifying alien animals — but Premee Mohamed explains how these creatures align with the unknowable horrors of the cosmic horror genre:
"I love that any attempt to gain superiority on The Horrors ends in gouts of blood and acid; it’s a beautiful narrative shortcut back to the fundamental cosmic horror theme of humanity’s powerlessness, flimsiness, meaninglessness, and hubris. We’re taught from childhood that profit and power are good, that forbidden knowledge (say, about ancient and not-very-nice life forms) is desirable, and all the more so when others don’t have it. But the movies repeatedly emphasize that this really only works if you are dealing with something that you can understand, and humanity does not understand the xenomorphs."
"Horror Noire, a Shudder Original, will feature new work from both established and emerging talents, showcasing horror stories from Black directors and screenwriters."
FIST: Forged in Shadow Torch casts players as a "retired soldier bunny that wields a gigantic robotic hand as a weapon."
Netflix has hired a former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive to help expand its streaming service to include video games.
Life & Lore
Working under the assumption that aliens (if they exist) would at least have the same level of technology as us, "astronomers have identified a surprising number of nearby stars from which alien astronomers could’ve detected our planet since the advent of human civilization."
'90s Teen Horror Books for Vintage Thrills (Book Riot)
Inspired by the popularity of RL Stine’s Fear Street trilogy, Kelly Jensen shares a collection of "campy, fun, and sometimes downright terrifying old school ’90s teen horror books," which "runs the gamut from slasher to serial killer, campfire horror to astral projection".
Short of the Week
Jointly directed by by Nicholas Olivieri, Shen Yi, Juliana De Lucca, Varun Nair, and David Feliu, "Best Friend" relates the story of a lonely man addicted to an augmented reality product. (Found via DUST.)