2018 was a special year here at the Krypt because it marked the 20th anniversary of it. Back on October 19th, 1998, the Krypt came online. I’ve always said there’s been more than a few times that I’ve considered closing the door and spending more time reading the never-ending books in my library or watching the countless movies in my collection. But the Krypt has kept me sane over the years, giving me my little soapbox, an outlet to express my thoughts about the horror genre and those that work within it. Without it, I think I would have gone mad! Either that, or would have driven my friends crazy from always ranting and raving to them! There were even times that I thought I was just wasting my time here, but I know from the feedback that I get from you out there that is very far from the truth. And those that have reached out to me to express their praise of my ramblings, I can’t thank you enough because they have encouraged me to continue on. Which I have, and will continue to do. Like everyone’s else, this year has been full of ups and downs, but keeping the Krypt running has really been therapeutic and keeping me sane. So thank you to all of those that continue to follow and support me and the Krypt. I am so very grateful for you all. Here’s to another 20 years.
With 2018 being the 200th Anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, I was thrilled to see so many events happening throughout the year celebrating this milestone. From more than a few books coming out on Shelley, her creation, and the many movies spawn from it, to a few seminars and lectures that I was lucky enough to attend, it was great seeing the attention given to this important figure in both literature and film. I know Shelley wrote other things but she will always be known as the real creator of Frankenstein. I also know there are some out there that avoid being typecast or only known for a particular role or genre, because they feel it limits what they are allowed to do, which is true to a degree. But when it comes down to it, if you do anything that is remembered with great regard and fondness two centuries later or even a half a century, I think you’ve accomplished something pretty damn special and should remain proud of that.
Frankenstein has played a very important part of my life. From identifying ideas, meanings, and theories from Shelley’s work and the movies inspired from it, it has helped me deal with a few difficult memories from my childhood and early teenage years. So while most of society might consider Frankenstein just about a monster on the loose, for me, it has taught me to not only embrace being different, but also to be more accepting of others that are different as well. And who said these horror movies are just a silly waste of time.
Speaking of these silly horror movies, in all my life of being a horror fan, I never thought I would live to see the day that a creature feature would win an Oscar for Best Picture. But this year, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water did just that. And not only bringing home the gold statue for Best Picture, but also for Best Director for del Toro, Best Score for Alexandre Desplat, and for Best Production Design for Paul D. Austerberry, Shane Vieau, and Jeffrey A. Melvin. Add to the fact that it was also nominated in 9 other categories, and that is a pretty impressive achievement for a film about a woman who falls in love with an aquatic creature.
While “they” tried to re-categorize the film into something other than horror or even a creature feature, us fans knew what we were watching. We knew this was del Toro’s remake, retake, updated version of The Creature from the Black Lagoon, or whatever you want to call it. But it was a horror film. Even better that the scary element wasn’t coming from the creature, but from a human, which continued to show our flaws as a species. This film is just a beautiful piece of cinema.
With this win, at least now horror filmmakers have their proverbial foot in the door, especially when another horror film, Get Out, also landed 4 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. While Shape took those awards, at least Get Out did go home with an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Granted, they also tried to call this something other than a horror film. And again, we know better, don’t we?
So to all you genre filmmakers out there, have hope and continue to push forward. Guillermo del Toro has kicked the door open for all of you, showing you the way.
Last year was another one filled with ups and downs for all of us, some more than others in both departments. I can’t really complain because I’m still around, still finding more and more movies to watch and books to read but still fighting that never-ending battle of finding the time to watch and read them!
I’m still employed, though not sure if that is a positive or negative sometimes. I know there are plenty out there that are struggling to make ends meet, so I am thankful for the job that I have. I just need to keep remembering the reasons I put up with it.
When it comes to family, I am still so grateful to have a wife that lets me continue to do what I do, joining me quite often on these mad journeys as well. I am also very proud of my son who has given up a really well paying job to follow his real passion and will be starting culinary school next year. I couldn’t be more proud of him and look forward to seeing him grow and continue down this amazing new path. Hopefully within the next couple of years, he’ll have his own show on Food Network and then I can retire!
Besides my family, one of the things that keeps me going, enthused, and wanting to push forward with the website, my writing, the conventions, and everything else I do, is the amazing people that I consider my friends. You are my inspiration. For someone that considered himself an introvert and really feeling uncomfortable around people, the horror genre has given me a family of friends that I really would be lost without. So thank you for what you do and the friendship that you give. Even at my best, I could never find the words to explain what you mean to me.
I hope that 2019 will see the publication of my own book that I’ve been working on for what seems to be decades. We’re still in the editing process, but making progress. Honestly, I’m both thrilled and scared to death to put my own work out there and seeing what others think. Compared to what I’ve been doing for my site and the magazine articles and columns, this is going to be more of a personal piece of work. While it does make me more than a little nervous to put it out into the world, I feel it is something that needs to be done. So we’ll see.
Here’s to another great year.