Posts Tagged ‘Slade Grayson’

Werewolves are enjoying a resurgence in horror fiction these days. If it produces more novels like “Autumn Moon” by Slade Grayson, I’m all for it.

More on Grayson’s novel in a second. But let’s talk about werewolves.

They never went away entirely. (Remember the 1994 film “Wolf,” starring Jack Nicholson? Perhaps you’ve tried hard to forget it.) But it’s been a while since vast packs of furry-faced anthromorphs roamed the pop culture landscape.

I’ve got a theory for why that is.

This is hardly a unique idea, but I believe certain horror tropes persist because they address some deep-seated fear in our collective psyche. Zombies and vampires tap into a universal fear of death. Lovecraft’s monsters – and their descendants, such as the creatures from the “Alien” series – touch on a more existential terror of an unknowable universe that isn’t particularly concerned with our well-being.

So what are werewolves? The malevolent face of nature.

The fear of some toothy predator crouching beyond our circle of campfire light is encoded in our DNA, or course. And it wasn’t so long ago that wolves were a very real danger for anyone who strayed beyond the perimeter of whatever human settlement he or she inhabited. I previously explored that idea here.

But werewolf stories – which have existed for millennia — take it to another level. They suggest that getting together with your fellow human beings and establishing perimeters to keep out the forest predators is no guarantee of safety. Because a human being can turn into one of those forest predators. And that human being might even be you. (more…)