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Anatomy Of A Scream Founder and Executive Editor of Grim Magazine - Valeska Griffiths Interview


Please introduce yourself, where you are from and what you do.

I'm the founder and editor of anatomyofascream.com, a female-focused horror site that's been around for a few years now. We feature reviews, interviews, festival coverage, and essays about horror. Earlier this year, I launched Grim, a semi-academic, fully-inclusive horror magazine that strives to offer perspectives on the genre that aren't often showcased. I'm particularly interested in amplifying and spotlighting the voices of women of colour and the queer community.

Tell me a little about your offerings and site “Anatomy of a scream”.

Anatomy of a Scream started off as a personal blog during a difficult time in my life – writing about film was a good distraction and outlet, and served as a way to kind of transition out of the more academic writing that I was used to at that point. The site actually gained a little bit of traction, and eventually I started bringing on additional writers as a way to expand the offerings of the site (both in terms of volume of content and points of views).

Last year, I decided that the logical next step would be to expand into print. This is when Grim Magazine was born. At first, Grim was going to be an annual publication – a way to celebrate Women in Horror month by featuring feminist analyses of horror entertainment by primarily women writers. The response to Grim was so enthusiastic, however, and the process so fulfilling that it turned into a thrice-a-year periodical. Each issue has a different thematic focus, dealing with various films and genre trends, and takes a semi-academic approach to the subject matter. We have a small core group of staff writers and accept pitches from contributors. We're always looking for people with great ideas for both the website and the magazine!

What other movements in Horror or collaboration with others (in regards to the genre) are you involved in?

I'm in the midst of the planning stages for a monthly screening and discussion series in Toronto, which will likely launch in Autumn 2018, so people can keep an eye out for that!

What are your conflicts (if any) as a woman in horror?

I think that horror is like any other genre; there are always going to be films, plot lines, or characters with a misogynistic bent. The interesting thing about horror, however, is that the genre tends to offer women more screen time and lines than most other genres. And having a serial killer to talk about is a good way to pass the Bechdel test!

Horror does have a bit of a reputation as a boy's club, and there are definitely people out that who still subscribe to that idea. But I've had mostly wonderful experiences in the horror community. People have been very supportive of the goals of both AOAS and Grim, and I've met some truly brilliant and amazing women and men with inclusive and progressive politics. I think we're starting to see a lot more cis women creators gaining the attention that they deserve, which is fantastic. I'd love to see trans and Indigenous creators start getting more attention, as well as other groups who continue to be overlooked. I think it benefits everyone to have a greater variety of stories told, both on an individual level and a societal one.

What are your future goals as a woman in horror?

I'd love to continue to focus on growing Grim and AOAS, and eventually launch a podcast connected with the brand. I want to continue to support other women in horror and showcase their voices in any way I can.

What is your favorite horror movie or type?

I think that supernatural horror is probably my favourite sub-genre. I love a good, spooky, low-key haunting story. Some of my favourite recent horror films include Raw (2016), Get Out (2017), Verónica (2017), Personal Shopper (2016), A Quiet Place (2018), The Endless (2017), Red Spring (2017), The Autopsy Of Jane Doe (2016), and Impossible Horror (2017).

What is your description of horror? What does it mean to you?

To me, horror is a genre that lends itself very well to rich metaphor, subversion, and the study of the outsider. I think it's a perfect genre through which to explore sociopolitical issues, get in touch with our own stories, and learn to face our own fears. As someone who suffers from anxiety, horror offers me a way to experience fear in a controlled setting, which is both cathartic and helpful.

Any words of advice to your fans or people who are interested in following you?

General life advice? I'm not sure about that, but I can tell them HOW to follow me – I'm on Twitter at @bitchcraftTO. Anatomy of a Scream and Grim also have Twitter accounts, @aoas_xx and @thisisgrimmag. AOAS is also on Instagram as @aoas_xx. The blog and information about downloading or purchasing Grim can be found at www.anatomyofascream.com.

Thank you for your time Valeska.

Download the First Issues of Grim Magazine.

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