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A Decade of Blogging, Horror & Wine

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Behind the Couch turns ten years old today. Ten years old! I can’t believe it. That's a whole decade of watching and writing about horror films. Usually while guzzling wine.

I started blogging after I’d submitted the first draft of my first book (a guide to the films of Dario Argento) to the publisher, and I wanted to keep busy while I awaited editorial feedback. I was unemployed at the time, and while I felt a little directionless, I was keen to continue to build up a body of written work. A couple of friends suggested setting up a blog. I had a little stash of horror film reviews I’d already written for a website I was dying to contribute to, but as they never used them, I decided to make them a home of their very own. Before long, blogging became a huge part of my daily routine, and I soon found myself part of a little community of horror bloggers, some of whom I am still friends with today.

But enough about me. This blog is a decade old. While it has been fairly quiet over the…

The Wireless Mystery Theatre Presents Frankenstein

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With their frequently spooky and always spirited productions, which conjure the ghosts of vintage radio suspense plays, the Belfast-based Wireless Mystery Theatre have been delighting audiences for almost a decade now. A ‘typical’ performance takes the form of a live radio drama 'recording’, as the actors speak their lines directly into microphones placed around the stage, create their own sound effects and perform their own music. Previous productions have included adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe’s Murders in the Rue Morgue, Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s Guest and Sheridan Le Fanu’s Green Tea. Their latest production is a nifty adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic novel of Gothic horror and science-fiction, Frankenstein.

Shelley’s ground-breaking work tells of Victor Frankenstein, an ambitious young scientist whose unyielding, unorthodox experiments result in the creation of a living, sentient creature assembled from parts of stolen human cadavers. Horrified by his creation, Victor rej…

The Strangers: Prey at Night

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Coming 10 years after Bryan Bertino’s haunting home invasion horror The Strangers (2008), this belated sequel offers the same taut suspense and chillingly downbeat domestic horror as its predecessor. When a family of four stop off at an eerily deserted trailer park for the night, they fall prey to three masked psychopaths. Those who admired The Strangers will find much to enjoy in this lean, mean, terrific exercise in nerve-wrecking tension.

Head over to Exquisite Terror to read my full review.

Book Update: Film International Review

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The latest review of my Devil’s Advocates book on The Company of Wolves comes courtesy of Jeremy Carr over at Film International, and it’s another really positive one. According to Carr, 'Gracey does his part to add to the legacy of The Company of Wolves, strengthening the film’s importance with a thoughtful monograph that is detailed and accessible, presenting arguments with deliberation and validity, never forcefully or self-righteous. Jordan’s film isn’t perfect by any means, but Gracey’s ultimate achievement is in making the case that it still warrants and welcomes further examination.'

I’ve copied the full review below, and you can also check it out (along with a wealth of other film related reviews, news and features) over at Film International...


Review (by Jeremy Carr)

James Gracey’s Devil’s Advocates entry on The Company of Wolves (Auteur Publishing, 2017) does everything a book of its scope should do. In about 120 pages, Gracey takes what is a generally regarded cult …

Giallo Book & Crowdfunding Project

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I have contributed an essay to a forthcoming book about Italian giallo films*. Giallo un libro sobre terror italiano (Giallo: A Book about Italian Terror) is the latest project from the Buenos Aires-based Colectivo Rutemberg (Rutemberg Collective), a multidisciplinary group of artists and writers dedicated to the creation of exciting audio-visual and journalistic content. This publication, which features work from over 20 authors from Latin America and Europe, is particularly unique as it will be the first ever Latin American book solely dedicated to Italian terror cinema. Exciting!

With Giallo un libro sobre terror italiano, Colectivo Rutemberg will contribute to the dissemination and critical analysis of the giallo, which, at present, is the subject of a very limited bibliography in the Spanish language (the only other Spanish language book specifically dedicated to analysing the giallo was published in Spain in 2001 and is currently out of print).

Giallo un libro sobre terror itali…

Knockbreda Cemetery

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Situated on a long, sloping hill between Church Road and Saintfield Road in south Belfast, Knockbreda Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in the city. I lived quite close to this cemetery for five or six years and, naturally, found myself wandering through it fairly frequently as, rain or shine, day or night, it not only offered peace and quiet, but pretty views of Belfast city, Black Mountain and Cave Hill. The cemetery is built around the little parish church nestled on the pinnacle of the hill, which was consecrated in 1737. It was designed by Richard Cassels, a lauded Palladian architect, and built by Lady Middleton, mother of the first Viscount Dungannon, Arthur Hill-Trevor. According to a nearby information board, Knockbreda Cemetery was a ‘fashionable place to spend eternity’ as it became renowned for its funerary monuments and exquisite mausolea which were erected by some of the wealthiest, most influential families in Ulster at that time. 

Amongst those buried here are…