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Sam Costello


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“Protect the Coven,” American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 11

American Horror Story: Coven makes me uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable because it's frightening or gross or shocking. Uncomfortable in how it handles race. I'm not entirely...

“The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks,” American Horror Story: Coven, Episode...

Stevie Nix of Fleetwood Mac fame makes a guest appearance on Coven and breaks the wall of make-believe in the process.

Recap: “Head,” American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 9

Sam Costello goes searching for a theme in last week's episode and comes up with a WTF moment...
American Horror Story Coven, episode 8

Recap: “The Sacred Taking,” American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 8

It may be a cliche, but war really is coming to American Horror Story: Coven, and in this episode, sides are being chosen and battle lines drawn.

Recap: “The Dead,” American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 7

“The Dead” also does a fine job of resurrecting Zoe’s deadly sexuality.

Recap: “The Axeman Cometh” American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 6

For American Horror Story, history is a dark, bloody thing that surrounds us always. In this episode, the Axeman of New Orleans steps out of the past.

Recap: “Burn, Witch, Burn!” American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 5

Magic is wielded so inconsistently in Coven that I can’t grasp how it works.

Recap: “Fearful Pranks Ensue,” American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 4

Coven is a show about women and their stories. That men are minor characters is designed to demonstrate how male most TV shows are

Recap: “The Replacements,” American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 3

American Horror Story is many things: polished, sexy, camp, dark, quippy. The show's greatest weaknesses, the things that it's not, include subtle and mature.

Recap: “Boy Parts,” American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 2

"Boy Parts" picks up a few days after the conclusion of "Bitchcraft," which culminated with Emma Roberts' Madison killing the frat boys who gang-raped her by using magic to capsize their bus as it sped away.

Recap: “Bitchcraft,” American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 1

American Horror Story has established itself as a source for stylish, sexy, disturbing season-long horror stories. But with the debut of its third season, Coven, American Horror Story owes a greater debt to the X-Men than The Craft.

Precap: American Horror Story: Coven

Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story has established itself as among the most interesting homes for horror on American television.

Review: Kiss of the Damned

Many films grow out of, and succeed due to, their strong, closely observed characters. By making Paolo, Juno, and Mimi stock figures from central Transylvanian casting, Cassavetes leaves her audience sharing too keenly the emptiness of her characters' lives.

Review: Ghosts and Ruins, by Ben Catmull

In recent years, a uniform aesthetic has come to characterize visual horror: Ben Catmull's new collection of short haunted house and ghost stories, reminds us forcefully of just how powerful other visions of horror can be.

Review: Errantry, by Elizabeth Hand

Errantry: Strange Stories by Elizabeth Hand Small Beer Press 2012 There's a phrase used by some in Maine, where Elizabeth Hand lives part of the year,...
Countdown City by Ben Winters

Review: Countdown City, by Ben H. Winters

Countdown City By Ben H. Winters Quirk Books 2013 The world is still going to end. That's the reality facing former Concord, NH, police detective...
the sixth gun vol. 1

The Sixth Gun and the Problems of Polish

It may seem perverse to fault a work for feeling too perfectly crafted, but the polish of Oni Press' comics series The Sixth Gun,...

Review: The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukes

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes Mulholland Books 2013 The premise of The Shining Girls sold me before I'd read a sentence from it or knew...
Frontier #1 Uno Moralez

Review: Frontier #1: Uno Moralez

Frontier #1: Uno Moralez Publisher: Youth in Decline Pages: 32 Price: US$8 Buy If you have a broad enough media palate, you'll recognize the buildings blocks of Uno Moralez's art and comics—but...

V/H/S/ and the Case of the Missing Women

The first V/H/S was a boy's club. The sensibility of that film, an anthology released to much acclaim and success in 2012, was so...

Open Source Horror: The Slender Man

In his terrific monograph, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, French novelist Michel Houellebecq proposes that Lovecraft differs from virtually all fiction...
Rod Serling

Is This the Greatest Era for Horror TV?

While researching my article on this spring's horror TV debuts, I was struck by the volume of new programs. Six new horror shows joining...

11 Things You Must Know About the New Evil Dead

Sequels tend to be the re-used tea bags of film—reminiscent of earlier, stronger experiences now weak and watery. Remakes can be even more dangerous,...

Rites of Spring: The New Horror TV Shows

True Blood stirs no interest in me, I don't enjoy The Walking Dead, and my feelings about American Horror Story are deeply mixed, but...
cultographies: evil dead

We Accept You, One of Us: The Cultographies Series

Thanks to the mainstreaming of genre it's no longer disreputable in many parts of academia to declare an interest in and love of genre....
Unstuck #2

Genres Get Unstuck, or My New Favorite Literary Magazine

Prior to the 1991 introduction of SoundScan, record stores self-reported what was moving off their shelves. That system, open to bias and shaky math,...