The Horror Show

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It’s that time of year again where here at HMS, the Horror Show review team shares a personal spooky-time related story, whether that be favorite Halloween past times, best Halloween movies to watch, or in this case, remembering something from our childhoods to take us away from the total, absolute shitshow that is 2020. So, without further ado, take a looksie at what Robin, Ryan, and I have to share with you in the 2020 HMS Halloween Special!


When I was a little girl, I loved to watch the same scary things that I do now. I was brave as long as my mom was close by. The first time I watched The Exorcist I watched it from behind my mother. I would peek around her back and if it got too intense, back I would duck. This worked well when I was a little thing, but as I grew, my mother lost patience with my hiding act and I was forced to watch movies by myself without the protection of mom's body shielding me from the scary stuff.

The one that I remember scaring me the most was the 1986 cult classic House. Now, it wasn't the evil in the closet, Big Ben, or the demented swordfish that freaked me out. Oh, no, it was when William Katt fought his weird monster wife, chopped her up, and flushed her still moving hand down the toilet. Something in my brain broke and I was positive that the monster hand was going to come up from the depths of my toilet to get me. I became the master of the quick pee. It was the other that became a problem. I guess you could say it didn't scare the shit OUT OF me. No, quite the opposite. I was terrified of the toilet. If I couldn't get my business done in record speeds I wasn't going! I also wouldn't flush because I thought it opened up a gateway.

That silly horror comedy messed my brain up so bad I'm so glad it only lasted like a couple of months. It could have ended a lot worse!

– Robin Thompson


I was, I guess you could say, a sensitive child. The kind that if you were to draw me in a comic book, I would be pale, wide eyed, skin and bones and scared of my own shadow. To say everything frightened me was no exaggeration, but what scared me the most was the idea of the world ending. I’d lie awake at night thinking about a National Enquirer headline (when I was too young to know better) about the impending apocalypse via comet or some other natural disaster, and I remember one day in particular freaking the hell out after mistaking a news-themed TV ad for Independence Day for coverage of a legitimate alien invasion. You get the idea.

When you’re a kid, the world is so big, and when you’re the kind of kid I was, it is easy to feel like the entire thing is either creeping up behind you or already perched right on your shoulders.

At some point, though, I found myself practically living in a local video shop; surrounded by VHS covers of the likes of Nightbreed, Braindead, Candyman and April Fool’s Day (remember the one? With Muffy/Buffy’s hair braided into a noose as she toasts the unsuspecting party?) to name but a few. I came to realise, without putting words to it at the time, the horrors I would be kind and rewind every week were much more entertaining than the ones inside my own head. So, I started leaning in, loving horror and eventually drew a line in the sand between what was real and what my anxiety told me was. I even started writing horror fiction and to this day I’m convinced horror, in all its guts and glory, scared that little kid out of being scared.

– Ryan Kennedy


Some of my earliest memories are of watching horror movies. I remember Night of The Living Dead and the iconic “they’re coming to get you Barbara” from my childhood and watching other horror and post-apocalyptic movies with my dad like Soylent Green, Amityville, Omega Man, Pet Semetary, and Child’s Play just to name a few, the list could really go on forever. But zombies were always something that stuck with me, so when my dad and I played Resident Evil for the first time, I can still remember 10-year-old me screaming, dropping the controller and jumping up off the floor to run out of the room when the zombie Doberman jumped through the window. And I can still hear my dad cracking up at the whole thing.

I think a lot of people frown at the idea of exposing children to horror because they’re ignorant to the fact that a lot of creativity and hard work goes into the art of creating a well-done horror story. Whether its portrayed in media via movie, show, game, or book, it has great potential to teach a young mind how to develop a healthy relationship with fear and the ability to distinguish reality and fiction early on.

My experiences with horror in my childhood will always be a really great bonding experience I had with my dad that led me to be the horror lover I am today and I will always respect the genre. I look forward to the day when my son and I can sit down and enjoy some good old-fashioned horror together.

– Stevie Kopas

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