On the blog

Oh, The Horror: Filming Physical Disabilities

Grotesque deformities and burlap sack masks: these are the faces of physical disabilities in horror. Horror does not do disability well. Most “good” characters are able-bodied, whereas many villains in horror wear masks to cover birth defects, which the audience is supposed to find frightening. We’re supposed to learn that these faces are ones we… More »

Oh, The Horror: The Purge

The Purge franchise has been a big success—not so much in terms of its critical success, but in audience reaction. On social media there was a constant buzz about it (so much so that use of the word “purge” automatically drew people to think of the film). Building on that success filmmakers debuted a sequel… More »

Gender Block: I’m not skinny, it’s OK

When I describe my body type I cheerily say I’m chubby. Well-intentioned friends are soon to rush in, “No you’re not! You’re so pretty!” And while I have zero problems with my friends calling me pretty, I do have a problem with how we’ve been taught to think skinny is a word we’d find if… More »

Oh, The Horror: Creepy kids

Rule number one of the horror film universe is to never, and I mean NEVER, let your child have an imaginary friend. Chances are they’re talking to Satan or the dead taxidermist serial killer that’s haunting the house. As soon as there’s a little kid in a scary movie, you know something paranormal is about… More »

Oh, The Horror: Scary seniors

Within the darkness of the woods as the wind howls, an old woman emerges from the trees and offers you cookies. Creepy, right? Despite the fact that most of us find comfort in the warm, overly buttery cooking of our grandmothers, old women in horror are the creepiest. You know granny means trouble in a… More »

Gender Block: Body shame doesn’t cancel itself out

Is dissecting a woman’s picture to prove it has been Photoshopped really body positive? Media is a big message transmitter and dictates feelings, philosophies, morals, values—pretty much everything that makes up society rules. No matter how critical the viewer, we are still subjected to ads in subway stations and on buses, on billboards and in… More »

Oh, The Horror: Holy horror

Thanks to horror movies, I could probably perform a perfect exorcism. I know exactly what demons to look out for, the ways in which they can deceive you during an exorcism, and how to request permission to do one. It’s probably not the most useful thing to know, but I have to admit that much… More »

Gender Block: the devil’s advocate

I get a lot of pretty hateful messages through e-mail and social media. No matter how much time I’ve devoted to educating myself on gender issues—including re-learning and exploring uncomfortable concepts, like my own privileges—there will always be that person who approaches me with the very misogynistic messaging our society is built on (thus already perpetuated… More »

Oh, The Horror: Body image

The last place I expect to feel bad about my body is when I’m curled up on the couch watching a horror film. Guts being ripped out of peoples stomachs and demon vomit splashing across the screen should hardly make me question whether I’m pretty enough. But then there’s the rest of the horror film…. More »

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Gender Block: Bye Felipe, hello a safer online

November 5, 2014 • Just this morning I was reading Lee Maracle’s Ravensong. In it, there’s a part where a 17-year-old indigenous girl wasn’t sure how to tell a white boy she wasn’t interested: “White boys always have a response which is designed to save their pride by assaulting yours.” And then I found Bye Felipe. Started by former... More »

Oh, The Horror: Scaretastic Halloween Edition

In this very special Halloween edition of Oh, The Horror, I’ve put together a list of horror films that are both frightening and socially progressive. With diverse casts, strong women in the lead, insightful social commentary, and some very eerie twists, these films will keep you screaming in your seats without inducing any angry rants… More »

Gender Block: Pinkwashing

When the calendar flips to October, shelves are stocked with pink products and pink ribbons are all around. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, tackling the most common cancer, and the second leading cause of death from cancer, among Canadian women, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. Companies, like Procter and Gamble (P&G), use this… More »

December 19, 2014

Not your grandma’s poutine

By Hana Shafi

Meet the foodies on the hunt to redefine Canadian cuisine Anita Stewart has spent more than 30 years travelling across Canada, all in the name of food. In B.C., Stewart scuba-dived off the coast of southern Vancouver Island to see sea cucumbers and urchins. On the edges of the east coast, she tried everything from… More »