Terror-nuggets: winners of this year's 15 Second Horror Film contest

The 15 Second Horror Film Challenge is an annual competition run by a nonprofit (you have until Oct 2018 to get your entries in for next year). This year's top twenty has some entries that literally made the hair on my neck stand up, especially Luma Films' Good Night, which is an especially good take on a recurring horror theme. More of my favorites below. (via JWZ) Read the rest

An unsettling metafiction told in paranoid Reddit comments

Sinister conspiracy theories about LSD, the government and MKUltra are not uncommon on the internet. But one anonymous Redditor's comments, easily ignored as odd paranoid tangents on the threads they appear on, add up to a "compelling science-fiction horror story" in aggregate — especially all that stuff about flesh interfacing. Reddit is a fascinating platform for such eerie, slow-building metafiction, writes Leigh Alexander.

The seemingly random thread names start to form a pattern: the reader gets the distinct pleasure of wondering why the author chose to post each component in each place. Eerie fragments of fiction hide among commonplace online discussion. Sometimes readers reply and engage, and sometimes are none the wiser. The enthusiastic cult fandom quickly built a Wiki to study and catalogue the mysterious tale, create a timeline of known events, and to note in a sort of literary formalist way what tropes the author is employing. The story also has its own dedicated discussion thread where volunteers have even developed audiobook editions.

The internet has always loved a good mystery, and Wikis, message boards and image boards have a history of playing host to fascinating and often scary folktales that leverage the format and utility of these digital spaces in creative ways.

"We can only hope," she adds, "that it's not a viral marketing stunt." Read the rest