Welcome to this week in the weird, featuring discussions of killer friends, haunting stories, puzzle box games, exploitation films, and the intersection of art and our digital world.
Female Filmmakers: Reclaiming An Exploitative Genre (Shudder)
Exploitation cinema from female directors has the power to reveal "how these violent films can be captured through a female gaze without sacrificing the expected blood and gore," writes Mary Beth McAndrews. She also notes:
"Now, following in their predecessors’ footsteps, more women are tackling exploitation cinema, particularly rape-revenge films, that actively reject the male gaze and instead refute the idea that the broken female body is a spectacle. The female body has become a site for revolution and nuanced discussions of individual experiences with sexual assault, such as Coralie Fargeat’s 'Revenge', Natalia Leite’s 'M.F.A.', and Isable Ekloff’s 'Holiday'."
Review: Army of the Dead a Successful Return to Zombie World for Zach Snyder (GazetteXtra)
Katie Walsh discusses how Snyder returning to "his roots with the Vegas-set zombie heist movie Army of the Dead." His new film frees him from the challenges of adapting other people's visions and allows him to explore and play with the zombie genre.
The Legacy of Unus Annus: Ephemeral Art in a Cyberpunk World (Interstellar Flight)
What would you do if you knew you only had one year left to live? This philosophical question lies at the heart of Unus Annus (latin for “one year”), the experimental YouTube channel developed by gamers Mark Fischbach (Markiplier) and Ethan Nestor (Crankgameplays). Unus Annus is situated within this crossroads of art and technology, embodying fine art traditions through a digital medium well suited to the cyberpunk world in which we live.
The Making of The Room (Superjump)
Digging into how Fireproof Games created The Room, a puzzle box style horror game with Victorian undertones for the mobile market. The game eventually achieved immense popularity and garnered awards.
The Horror Game Even Scaredy Cats Should Play (Slate)
As Karen Han notes, the way in which Resident Evil: Village plays with fantasy and gothic horror elements allows the game to blend silly and scary in a way that makes it more accessible for those not accustomed with horror games.
What Walks Alone: Final Thoughts on The Haunting of Hill House (Tor.com)
Exploring the beloved book in comparison with its creepy adaptations, Ruthanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth dive into a horror classic.
Short of the Week
Written, directed, and staring Zach Noe Towers, "Killer Friends" is a black comedy about the friends we love to hate and our desire to kill them.