I watch horror movies.

A lot of horror movies. Lots of women do; it’s an intensely female genre, which tells stories about bodies and secrets and vulnerability, about what it takes to survive or evade violence in a world where the unthinkable can erupt at any time. Horror can be merely gross or gory, sure, but the best of it creates existential unease. It opens up a way to think about taboo or uncomfortable realities, to confront truths that aren’t polite.

I’ve spent a lot of time rationalizing this taste, or analyzing it, and I used to have a vast and complicated conceit for this newsletter that allowed me to justify it. But you know what? Fuck it.

I watch horror movies, a lot of horror movies, and if you subscribe to this newsletter, I will recommend some.

Behold the Hidden Benefits of the Inner Circle

Substack also allows you to opt in for a paid membership, which is $5/month or $50 per year. If you subscribe to the member-only e-mails, you will get to nominate which movies I cover, which is useful if you have a burning need to hear someone else talk about Oculus or want to get more love for a bizarre micro-budgeted movie about horror board games which is only available on Amazon Prime. Both of those are actual things I’ve reviewed as reader picks, so let your imagination run wild.


Why do you want my money?

Well, for one thing, writing is my job. I have several places where I write regularly; in order for me to commit to any one project, I have to justify the (literal) cost of setting aside that time. If I don’t get paid for something, I just can’t do it very often. I have a small baby, and the baby needs food. Getting funding is the only way I can do things I love.

Ever since my very early days as a blogger, I’ve set up reader donations; I find that when you have a direct line to me, and function as my boss, I’m able to produce content I’m passionate about, and pursue ideas that are a little too wild and weird to sum up in a short op-ed. Those also tend to be the pieces people like the most, so I’m hoping that the donation arrangement allows Dangerous Characters to grow into a good space.

How many of these will I get?

At minimum, subscribers will get two per month — a free e-mail and a members-only newsletter behind the paywall. I’ve had to go on hiatus for major life events, or when I’m called in to do huge amounts of extra work elsewhere. But that’s rare, and you’ll get a warning and an explanation of what’s going on. I won’t (ahem) ghost you.

How do I nominate a topic for a member e-mail?

This used to be a very complicated process, but now, all you need to do is hit “reply” to a newsletter when it lands in your mailbox.

What can I recommend?

Again: I used to have rules, but they were too complicated for anyone to follow. Right now, anything in the horror genre — preferably with a female lead — is probably fine. I mostly watch movies, but I have watched seasons or episodes of TV on request; a full season of TV takes a bit longer to do, so be mindful about that when asking, but I’m pretty open to it. Lastly, I would like it to be widely available, preferably on a major streaming service. I have spent extra time and money on more obscure suggestions, but it slows down the process a little, so the quicker I can access something, the more likely I am to write it up.

No-one’s asked me to write up a book yet, but I’d be interested. No-one’s asked me to review something outside of the horror genre, but you never know. If you want me to write about something, I am sure I can find some reason to justify it. This is supposed to be fun, after all.