I am The Divemistress, and when I’m not watching or writing about horror, I’m working on my PhD in underwater archaeology—hence the scuba-related handle. I have a degree in screenwriting, and for one summer wrote speeches for members of Parliament.
Born and raised in Canada, I moved to England for graduate school and moved again to the US for more graduate school. Currently, I live in Florida and I get a real kick out of having the most exotic license plate in town: Ontario. I desperately miss the winter, and look forward to those few short weeks each year when I go home to ski.
My blog is Zombots!, and in addition to writing reviews and essays, I co-host a weekly horror podcast with my good friend Count Vardulon. I’m active in the horror-movies.ca forum, and on reddit, shamelessly promoting myself and ranting about one thing or another.
I like cheeseburgers and opera, and once managed to work an Under Siege reference into a discussion about Marx.
What initially drew you to the horror genre?
In my experience, most horror fans have a story about staying up way too late to watch horror movies when they were way too young. I don’t. But I do have a story about repeatedly being freaked out by something on TV. When I was little, I watched a very wholesome show called Polka Dot Door. The show that aired immediately afterward was Dr. Who. Every day, at the same time, I would sit in front of the TV and freak right out to the opening sequence of Dr. Who. I was six.
Fast forward a few years and I was daring myself to look at the video boxes in the horror section. I was scared by the pictures, but fascinated, too. I can’t tell you exactly when I made the transition from art appreciation to film appreciation, but I do remember that my parents weren’t overly strict about the movies I watched growing up. If I wanted to scare myself silly, that was my business.
Finally, in grade 7, I picked up my first Stephen King novel, Eyes of the Dragon. It’s more fantasy than horror, but for the next few years King was all I read. Even before then, I was always drawn to the dark. As I kid I read mysteries, Christopher Pike and R.L. Stein, and my parents bought me Poe and Shirley Jackson, and others. But I think the Stephen King phase was the real turning point; if I was iffy about getting into horror, King set me straight.
Why is it that there seems to be more female horror fans than ever before? Are more women watching horror, or are more women admitting to watching horror?
Funnily enough, I read something about this not too long ago. A young woman was quoted as saying that she’s pretty happy about not having to hide her fanaticism from her friends. This statement would speak more to women admitting to watching horror, and if that’s the case the follow-up question would by, why? I don’t really have a good answer for that one. Yet.
I think the female fanbase has been holding steady for much longer than we realize. Women have always taken an interest in horror, only now they’re getting more exposure. Recently, the amazing success of True Blood and (like it or not) Twilight have helped open up the horror community to women. Moreover, the Internet has provided an unbiased outlet for female fans.
How does it feel to be a female horror blogger in a world where it seems necessary to have a beard to write about horror movies? Do you find that you’re not taken as seriously?
Sometimes I kind of feel like there’s this expectation that women should conduct themselves differently and think differently than men. We have to take a decidedly feminist approach to horror criticism, and we’re maybe not allowed to like the male-oriented narratives or foci of most mainstream horror. But I think that’s more the media’s spin on genre criticism. I’m still pretty new to the online horror community, but I haven’t yet encountered any kind of condescension.
Bang, Marry or Kill: Freddy, Jason, Michael. Please explain your answer.
I’d bang Michael. He certainly wouldn’t be the tenderest lover, and there’s a good chance he might fixate/stalk/kill me after, but the fact that he’s not dead gives him a one up over Freddy and Jason. Alternatively, Michael’s never known the love of a good woman, so there’s always the chance that I could help heal him. What girl could resist the opportunity to break through to a tall, strong, mysterious man?
I’d marry Jason. In spite of the fact that he’s got some serious mommy issues, Jason could be a devoted husband. There’s little chance of him philandering because of his distaste for loose women, and his dedication to his work means that he’s dependable. Though Jason has no apparent source of income, he’s been living by Crystal Lake for so long there’s a good chance he could invoke squatter’s rights, meaning he’s got equity. The man’s a survivor, I have no doubt he could provide for his family.
I’d kill Freddy. I’m all for a bit of slap and tickle, but with Freddy I’d likely get sliced. Were I to marry him, then I’d have to listen to him pun and wisecrack all day. There’s just no way. He’s gotta go.
If you could have the baby of one figure in the world of horror, real or fictional, who would it be? Not including Bruce Campbell/Ash…
Let me qualify my answer by saying that my infatuations are like the tides: they change regularly. But, for the time being, I have to go with Eric Northman. Have you seen him?
Why do all of you like Campbell so much, anyway?