Join us as we delve into the dark side of comments in our Halloween specials throughout October. Today, we explore the incredible rise of Jenna Ortega, from her role in the classic slasher franchise Scream to her viral performance in Tim Burton's Wednesday. Vogue has called Ortega the ultimate 'new-age goth girl,' but is this revival merely about fashion, or does it hint at something more sinister?
On the other end of the spectrum, we explore the allure of the Horror Vixen, with Kim Kardashian's debut in American Horror Story's 'Delicate'. Will this be her breakthrough role like Lady Gaga's? What do the 'rules of horror' reveal about society's view of women? And what dark secrets lie in the appeal of horror?
We also discuss our love for 90s Gothic and Horror films and tv shows, including Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Addams Family, Beetlejuice, and why Hollywood loves Halloween.
Follow us on Instagram for news and behind-the-scenes @s2tcpodcast
If you like the show, please rate or review it and don't forget to share it.
This series is produced by Emily Crosby Media.
Click here for the full episode transcript
Dear listener, brace yourself, and welcome to the spooky season of strange the comments
as if the comment section wasn't spine chilling enough.
throughout October we're taking a tour of the dark side with a trilogy of Halloween special episodes.
This week we're exploring the enduring allure of the Mistresses of the Macarbe Gothic girls and Scream Queens.
I'm teen Gothic, and we're going to ask why is everyone fascinated with Jenna Ortega as the new goth girl? Is it just about aesthetics? Or does it go deeper?
And I'm Team scream queen, and ready to plunge into the comments about Kim Kardashian debut in American Horror Story and ask Will she make it as a horror vixen?
Join us but tread carefully as we head straight to the comments. This is actually my dream episode as I'm secretly a gothic girl hiding in my cosy Norwegian knitwear. So I've been dying to find a way to talk about my love of all things Gothic.
Yeah, and me too, because I do I really love the Gothic aesthetic, particularly in terms of architecture and that kind of stuff. But I grew up on horror movies, as Lisa well knows. Yeah. And I've seen all the classics. I even got the exorcist for my 13th birthday. I should do that. Did you ever dress Gothic?
Actually, no. I mean, I lean more into sort of the Victorian Gothic look, if you know what I mean, more blank and lace, and it was very much in the early 90s because I absolutely was influenced by Winona Ryder. I just loved her and her whole vibe. And at the time, do you remember she was dating Johnny Depp? And they had this kind of Prince and Princess of darkness thing going on?
I do remember that. I love them both. And they looked amazing together and they were just like perfectly matched. Yeah. And they worked a lot with Tim Burton, who's actually one of my favourite directors and we're going to be talking about him a bit more today.
Yes, we are. We're known I had a streak of brilliant Gothic roles in the 90s she had Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and Bram Stoker's Dracula. And to me, she is the OG goth girl. So I thought it was interesting to see Jenna Ortega being cast in Beetlejuice, too, with Winona Ryder, who played Lydia in the original film, and she's gonna be portraying her mother. So now it feels official. Ortega is the new hot gossip girl in town.
I completely know what you mean. And I really liked this comment I found about her as the character Wednesday and it said she stole my heart and fed it to the vultures. I am forever devoted to her. Ooh, full on Wednesday night
on Wednesday vibes, but she seems to have single handedly and honestly no pun intended is what's that thing that the thing? The hand? Yeah, let this golf girl revival of course, alongside legendary director Tim Burton, and I didn't know this but within weeks of its release, Wednesday, became the most watched English language series on Netflix. Also, I'm sure most of us have seen the iconic Wednesday dance. There have been 49 billion views of it on Tik Tok and 26 million searches for it on Instagram. When I was actually researching this episode, I even found this incredible clip of a Russian ice skater doing the Wednesday dance. And someone commented underneath on YouTube. I never thought I'd see goth ice skating. Another comment, she smashed it, by far the best recreation. And I have to say it's really spellbinding. I recommend watching it and I'll put it in the show notes. But it just made me think of how influential The show has been and this character.
Yeah, I mean, so it has been very influential. And the last time we really saw was Wednesday character, it was with a much more childlike Christina Ricci. And it was her version in the Addams Family movies along with Angelica Houston as Morticia, who I also loved, and I loved those films. I'm a huge timberland fan. So I was really excited when this series was announced, especially as Christina Ricci was also brought in as part of the cast in another role. Yeah, so did you watch it Lisa?
Only watched a few episodes, I didn't completely get into it. I think maybe I'm just too much of a fan of 90s kind of Gothic films and early Tim Burton. So I'm gonna have to hand it over to you Did it meet your expectations?
Somewhat. I enjoyed it. But unfortunately, I knew by the third episode, who the killer was, and that sort of put a bit of a dampener on it, because it takes away the mystery when you kind of know what the outcome was gonna be. I did love the aesthetics. And for the most part, I really liked the casting. I wasn't super convinced by Catherine Zeta Jones. But maybe I'm just really, I really have Angelica Houston in my mind. Yeah, me too. Yeah. But yeah, I thought I'd take a did a great job. I love that dance. And she's received massive praise for Wednesday. So when YouTube there was a comment that said, Christina She has Wednesday is a tough act to follow. So to have some success with it is impressive. And there was another one that said, loved Christina as Wednesday, but Jenna took it to another level amazing.
But as I understand it, this isn't the first time or tager has been in horror. And I seen that she was in the latest screen movies, wasn't she? And I haven't seen these myself because I'm not such a fan of horror even though i Even though I think of myself as a massive Gothic fan.
Yeah, well, I suppose there's a slight difference between the two and she has been in quite a few horror films, as you said at the restart of the scream franchise and number five and six, which was the last one was released earlier this year. And I actually thought that one in the cinema was one of my best friends in the UK because we really share a love of horror so and we hadn't seen seen any for ages. Or take it was actually introduced to the horror genre quite at young age with a small part in Insidious Chapter two and that was in 2013. And then last year, she also appeared in the low budget 70 Zero slasher called X, which was alongside mere golf, appropriately named. And as a result, she's actually been labelled Gen Z's screen Queen and the latest It Girl of the horror genre. So she's also said about herself, I have a darker sense of humour, and I'm interested in darker things. I'm into gore. So it feels like it's not just the character she plays.
But is she really a scream queen? I mean, I saw a Vogue article calling her the ultimate New Age goth girl, stating that like her Wednesday character, she has a propensity for wearing lace, black and hexes and that she has really embraced the sort of Goth glam as her go to style. And now that will take is going to be in Beetlejuice, too. It feels official. She's now officially a goth girl.
Yeah, but I suppose this is really more about how she dresses now than what she's known for as an actress in terms of that article. So maybe we should just start by saying first what a scream queen is. And she's definitely in a long line of women who've made their name in that genre. And when I hear the term scream queen, the first thing I think of is Jamie Lee Curtis and Halloween.
Yeah, I know. This was her big thing, wasn't it in the 70s? Yeah,
well, it's still going. I mean, I think they're on like, eight or whatever. Now. I don't know how many they've done. They just never end. Yeah. But yeah, I mean, she's the quintessential screen Queen for me. And I mean, I actually wanted to say she's the original scream queen. But that's that's not actually true because it started in the 1930s. When Fay Wray she was dubbed a scream queen by the press, because she had a very shrieking performance as an Darrow in 1933 is King Kong. And after she'd spent a whole day shooting the scenes, she then spent a whole nother day in the sound studio just screaming her head off to record what she called the aria of the agony. Oh, and I don't know that my voice would last all day screaming to be honest. So you know, she's obviously got pipes, but she actually saw this label as a curse eventually, because she found herself typecast and she wasn't able to break into other roles. And then with Halloween, the scream queen, it started to evolve into what Carol Clover actually labelled the final girl in her 1992 book. And the idea of a final girl is it's the single surviving female in a horror movie who tended to be pretty and virginal, but was also smarter and more resourceful than her predecessors. And interestingly, Ortega actually took on the role of the final girl in the screen movies. So there's this comment that we came across that said the new version of the final gold trope feel strangely uplifting like I've gone through some insane traumatic shit, but I got out
Yeah, that's actually reminds me a lot of Neve Campbell's character. Is it Sydney in scrim? Yeah, I remember being very sensible and she always survived every film but yeah, all the sort of up and coming sexy starlets kind of got the chop very quickly.
Yeah, with the final girl trope, when you really think about it, it's quite moralistic. So in films like Halloween, each female victim is that they're murdered either right after they've had sex or right before they're about to there's often a lot of nudity on display during the murder sequences. And, and and it does, people have said, you know, it feels almost like they're trying to titillate the male viewer, and these are in the classic slashes. And although it's not really said in that film, it is implied that Jamie Lee Curtis, his character, only survives because she's the only sexually inactive member of her friend group. But she still doesn't survive entirely on her own. She requires help from the male psychiatrists to defeat Michael in the end. So on YouTube, there was this comment that said the final girl often embodies conservative values when it comes to how girls or women should be, it can send the message that women who play by the rules are worthy of living or being saved. And women who do not adhere to these conservative rules aren't worthy of living their lives or of being saved. And there was another tweet I found quite funny where they said, I want to make a horror movie with gratuitous male nudity just to show how fucking weird it is that there's so much female nudity in horror. That seems to be true in terms of classics. slasher films. But what I really loved about the screen films when they came out, you know when this started in the 90s they overtly listed the horror film roles in the film, and then they subverted them a bit. So for example, Sydney actually has sex with the killer and still survives in the first one. I don't know if that's a bit too much of a spoiler, but if you haven't seen scream, and it came out in 96 I don't feel too
well, even though Jenna Ortega appeared in these horror roles, I definitely think she's crossing over into goth girl, especially with this role. Like I said, Beetlejuice two straight after Wednesday.
Yeah, and, and I certainly think that Tim Burton, he seems to be the person who crowns the goth princess of the generation. You know, so apparently his own Gothic style of storytelling and art it developed because he was an outcast living in a really bright and sunny California and suburbs. His style has even been called Gothic suburbia. And he sort of subverting that but he's created some amazing Gothic princesses, you know, as you've mentioned, Winona in the original Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands. And then just Helena Bonham Carter in pretty much everything of his Yeah.
And I know Helena and Tim Burton. Were your ideal couple years ago when they were still together, Sarah,
oh, my God so much. They were my Yeah, my my dream team. I mean, you don't know what goes on behind closed doors. But I think I just mainly loved the idea that they were living in these adjoining but separate townhouses, you know, like, you're sort of living together, but you have your own space, and you can decorate exactly how you want. We've
actually had full blown discussions about this tunnel going between their houses, right?
Well, it was, from what I remember, it was three houses, one for her one for him and one for the kids and the nanny. And I'm like, yeah, that is my my ideal life.
That sounds brilliant. Yeah,
I mean, but people people are so excited about this new Beetlejuice film. So on Twitter, this is going to be and then a fire emoji. Another Jenna Ortega is mapping out a legendary career. And she certainly has had some really great roles. But others are actually worried about her getting stuck in these roles. So someone said I absolutely love this. But also no, this is exactly how people get typecast. And I think that's the thing with Scream Queens because, you know, horror, and similarly Gothic thrillers. They're a very specific genre. There are some actresses who definitely get typecast if they make a name for them. So I mean, I'm thinking of Neff Campbell, you know, we all know her Sydney and she was in the craft before that, and then we've got Sarah Michelle Gellar. But I saw another comment that said, I like Jenna Ortega. I really do but please stop typecasting her for every goth girl roll, all because of Wednesday. But first let's dig into it. What is a goth girl and I'm going to hand this over to you as you are the queen of all things Gothic.
I like to think I am I think I told you about when I used to be a Highgate Cemetery tour guide. I mean, that's for another time. But yes, a goth girl she's seen as dark and mysterious. She appreciates the dark things in life and very creative. I mean, there is quite a spectrum from the sort of romantic goth, which is what I identify as to the more hardcore image with the kind of all black clothes lots of jewellery. And I think what goth girls have in common is they often have a distaste for the world around them, and they're often seen as strange and unusual. I like this quote in the Telegraph when describing the Gothic Revival triggered by Wednesday, they said, Tis a tale as old as time, girl rejects the forced pink plasticity that the retailer's foist on her and finds an aesthetic that better suits her.
I absolutely love that description. But, you know, it's really ironic considering how big the new Barbie movies being. I also found this definition on what is golf.com which is a golfer, someone who finds beauty in things, others considered dark. And I immediately want to say Daria, Daria Morgan, Dorothy from that cartoon who was basically my teen kindred spirit. But aesthetically, she doesn't do the whole golf thing. In her style.
Yeah, I never would have put her in that category. Because like you said, she's too colourful. But I do see what you're saying. Well, in The Telegraph article, they do go on to say, goth fashion, in particular is a kind of visual semaphore that says, I'm different. It relies on black and in colour psychology, black is symbolic of mystery, sadness and anger. But the
thing for me is when I think of like, the stereotypical goth girl, and that's what's so interesting, the focus is on the word girl rather than woman. Yes. And I think people often associate Goths with teens and and for the females it's often petite pale young. So gentle take a really fits into this stereotype because she's tiny and almost, I want to say almost fragile looking.
That's actually a really good point, as I remember when Winona was filming Dracula, I mean, they talked a lot about how she had a 19 inch waist in her Victorian corset, and how tiny and waiflike she, she was so it doesn't surprise me that the goth girl, you know, really, which is you know, it's who History is in the sort of Victorian aesthetics and fashion has kept those kind of like tiny proportions and delicacy, like you're seeing with Ortega. But someone did ask on Quora, if Wednesday was a true revival of Goth culture back to its heyday in the 1980s. And someone answered, golf culture is far more varied and extensive. But she does represent many aspects of golf culture, but it does help that she's smoking hot. And here's the thing, you know, lots of people do really focus and get quite obsessed with the golf, the golf girls sort of looks and fashion. But there's a lot more to the golf culture than this, for example, includes, you know, literature, art, music, there's an appreciation like for the Victorian era, and also think it's important to note that this community is, or this culture is very diverse, and people have really varying interests, and expressions of their identity. And I think one of the biggest themes is that of being the, you know, an outcast or an outsider, which is why I think this group really aligns itself to vampires. But it's also important to remember that a lot of women or goth women don't like being called goth girls. They want to be goth women, and they also are fed up with being automatically sort of assumed to be really kinky and almost fetishized.
Yeah, I do think there's a lot of prejudice and an assumption of what that entails. And they've actually been some people have complained that, you know, this Wednesday series, it's triggered a sort of fashion Gothic Revival, but that the revival is, in many ways, purely aesthetic, and it's missing out on the true meanings of the goth culture. And part of which, as you say, is being an outsider and not following mainstream fashion. So there's a kind of weird thing when it becomes a mainstream fashion. As they said about Ortega being hot, she still fits into this very traditional beauty standard, which a lot of the goth culture rejects. And there was interestingly, a lot of complaints at the time about the casting of Luis Guzman as Gomez. So for example, one comment was dude is way too ugly to play Gomez. But as someone pointed out, Gomez is actually very ugly in the original cartoons. Role, Julia is the deviation from the source.
But it looks like Wednesday is here to stay for now, as they have a second series already in the works.
Yeah. And some people are actually hoping that it gets even darker. So one comment was there has to be more torture and more gore, can we have that. So it takes us now stepping into executive producer role. So she will have more say over the direction. The storylines. And on Jimmy Fallon, she's promised we really want to up kind of the horror aspect a little bit, and then get Wednesday out of the romantic situation and just let her be her own individual and fight her own crime. But I think it'd be really interesting to see how people respond to cutting the romantic aspect. Because if you think about it, essentially, this is this is a teen series. And people really, really do buy into the romantic storylines of these kinds of things. So it'd be really interesting to see if it lands without those aspects.
I mean, they had a twilight. I know. That's all how much mileage they get on that romantic triangle. Yeah, yeah. I think that's a really, really good point. Because I think you know, my gateway into Gothic which I call it. gateway into Gothic was through Bram Stoker's Dracula starring Gary Oldman as Dracula, Winona Ryder is Mina. And I think for me, it just swept me up. You know, I was really captivated by this sort of dark fairytale, and this intense love story between Mina and Dracula, and also the incredible film production who was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. And so I'm much more of a fan of what I call the romantic side of Gothic expression, which is why I think I liked things like the original Well, when I see the visual, the 90s Addams Family, and the Tim Burton kind of universe in the 90s as well. It feels very dark and mysterious, inviting whimsical. McCobb. But like with this element of romance, what's also I think it's very romantic. Definitely. But I suppose my big question for you is, why do you think Wednesday has been such a global success?
Well, it feels like they're trying to bring the latest golf girl incarnation for a new generation. So there's definitely more agency to the one you described with Winona. People love the Burton aesthetic they always have this isn't a new thing. But I do think that we're much more driven by aesthetics because of Instagram and the way that things can be promoted this generation that it's I suppose targeted to initially they grew up with Harry Potter and that huge design trend of what what what people are calling dark academia. And this is all this show is all about the role of the outsider and the the isolated she's she's an outsider in a school of outsiders who's forced to then interact and eventually make friends. She still gets to keep her out. cider edge, and we've just come off a lockdown where we've all been isolated. We've all felt like outsiders, there were no insight. Well, we were all insiders. But I think many of us in life feel like outsiders even if you're the popular girl at school, there's parts of you, you feel everyone has that element of themselves. And I do think that coming after lockdown, we're really ready to embrace that sort of element. And Janelle Zara in The Guardian, she summed it up and she said Wednesday is both the underdog misfit and the hottest girl in school. So she's to the product of the unlikeliest of mergers, think Addams Family meets Emily in Paris sprinkled with a heavy dose of Harry Potter. So it ticks all the boxes for people I guess. Yeah, that's a brilliant quote. And if you if you thinking you know, that's for the suppose a generation that would that this would appeal to the, you know, that this team school thing, but also there's the role of nostalgia. So, on Quora, someone said for many people, the Wednesday series holds a special place in their hearts as a beloved part of their childhood. So nostalgic appeal that continues to draw fans of all ages back to its world.
Yeah, that's a very good point. But despite Ortega, you know, getting rave reviews and starting this whole goth, fashion revival, she hasn't escaped some criticism and backlash.
No, I mean, so filmmaker and TV producer Steven deny he criticised her for things she said in an interview. So essentially, she criticised the writers on the show and admitted, there were times on that set where I even became almost unprofessional in a sense where just started changing lines. And in response to her openly saying this denied, whose writing credits actually include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he said, this kind of statement is beyond entitled and toxic. I love her work. But life's too short to deal with people like this in the business, and quite a few commenters agreed. So in the Mail Online, someone said she sounds like a dreadful little madam. But others really defended her. So also in the Mail Online, someone said, clearly, Tim Burton agreed with her choices, and it's worked out very well for the show. And a commentator on the New York Post said, an actor wanting to change lines. Well, I never clutches pearls, this monster must be stopped. It's not fair. So, you know, there's been a bit of backlash, and also a bit of defence. I mean, what do you think of this controversy?
I mean, it's very hard to know unless you're on set yourself. But I will say this about Ortega is that I do think on some level, she's been overexposed and let people comment online that she's already peaked. And maybe it's because that Wednesday, dance just went so viral. I was reflecting that actually, part of the reason I really loved Winona Ryder, and her whole sort of dark mysterious persona is that you literally didn't know anything about her. Just didn't have that access and overexposure to her image or know too much about her. And then I saw this comment on good old man online. I don't know which is worse, and entitled, moody, no at all. 20 year old who has one credit to her name, or society that gives her an ounce of credibility and empowers her entitlement? I take that back. I know which is worse. And then this comment, as expected in the social media era, first the building up then the tearing down like clockwork,
well, I mean, I totally get what they're saying with that last comment. There is definitely a media trend for building up the biggest star and then looking for ways to tear them down. And that is something that I think we really need to work on as a society. It's quite it's quite disappointing. But despite this, I'm still super keen to see her and Winona and Beetlejuice too.
I can't wait to see them together. I think they're going to be an incredible pairing.
We talked about Scream Queens and the goth girl but that leaves us with did on the horror of axon, which is the sexy female role in horror films. I think it's often the best friend or the villainous, but the role capitalises on their overt sexuality. And who better to talk about than Kim Kardashian, who just made her debut and American Horror Story delicate?
I mean, yes, there was so many reactions to this, when it was announced shipping costs in the upcoming series of American Horror Story. For example, a horror movie and this mistress of fakery are a match made in heaven. Please tell me she's killed off in the opening scene. And three, I want to have high hopes Lady Gaga slayed?
Yes. So as as that one mentioned that this isn't the first time a non actor has been cast in American horror stories. Lady Gaga appeared in season five and she was actually a vampiric Countess in that one. And this actually led to her big breakthrough into acting and she won a Golden Globe for that performance. And she actually went on to earn an Oscar nomination for the movie remake of A star is born. So this was really big for her.
But I do feel like horror is the perfect genre to kind of have a start acting or how That kind of breakthrough? Oh,
absolutely. I mean, we've already talked about Jamie Lee Curtis, but one of Kevin Bacon's early roles was Friday the 13th. He gets murdered by an arrow. And Renee Zellweger. She had an early role in the 1994. Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The Next Generation didn't actually see that one. And Jennifer Aniston had her first credit to roll in the horror movie leprechaun? Oh, yes. I
remember that. That was always coming up, you know, when they kind of do a sort of, sort of background on her acting career. Yeah, he's mentioned that it's like, Oh, my God, what is that movie?
Yeah, so that was her first. And you know, there's this online magazine called backstage and they explained why horror is is a good genre for unknown actors. And they said, because this genre doesn't always require that the actors be stars. Many times new actors can get their start in a horror film as their very first job.
But actually is this Kim's first foray into acting?
She's done little cameos, but I think this is the first more significant supporting role. It's interesting because there was controversy about Kim's casting even before the new episode was released. So on June the 23rd, she tweeted, hi, guys. I'm on set of ahs and we have some time between shots. What are y'all up to? She posted this during the recent Writers Guild strike and many people responded, calling her out for crossing the picket line. So for example, Transformers actor Kirk Kelly replied, sitting at home since no work due to strike. Another said, American Horror Story is still filming. Was this really worth being a scab?
What I've seen with the initial reactions, lots of people were just upset that she was going to be in the show at all. Someone tweeted, why are you on set of American Horror Story this season? About to absolutely suck now?
Yeah. So I mean, there was loads of Buzz before it was released, which I'm assuming was part of the reason she was cast. But in the poster, she's actually glammed up like a weird upside down sexy spider.
Yeah, I saw that. And I mean, she's definitely now in vixen territory. But the thing is, is she playing a spider can you sexualize a spider?
So no, it turns out she's not playing a spider. And despite the confusing posters, in this series, she's playing a bit she publicist to Emma Roberts, Oscar hungry actor, and Emma Roberts character is trying to get pregnant with IVF. And this process leads to sort of visions, nightmares, paranoia, and the distinct feeling that someone is watching her. And weirdly enough, just as a little bit of a trivia thing. This is the first series of American Horror Story based on an existing novel. So it's adapted from the horror novel delicate condition by Danielle Valentin, but someone tweeted, Ryan Murphy, who's the creator of this whole franchise, he didn't write a new series or even screen right, the adaption so people were already a bit like, is this going to be the same?
Yeah, I mean, well, you know, I absolutely love the American Horror Story, season COVID, which we will discuss an AR which is episode, but I was I sort of heard rumours that over the years from my friends that this sort of shows been in decline is not as good as it used to be. It's had its real sort of high moments and real low moments. So I was curious to watch this episode, and I was looking online yesterday in Norway, just nowhere to be found. And apparently it's been out in the US since the 20th. of September. From sorry, sir, I didn't get to watch it first episode, which I really wanted to do. You know, what are people saying online? Well, so
two episodes have aired already. And what was really weird to me was how the different websites and publications took an entirely different angle in their headlines. You know, so after the debut episode Dailymail ran an article saying Kim Kardashian is performance in American Horror Story is slammed by fans who claim she ruined the show. Okay. On the same day, TMZ ran an article saying Kim Kardashian makes ahs delicate debut fans pile on praise. And somewhere in between the Guardian review of the show was titled, Kim Kardashian is scarily not bad. So you know, it's like pick your poison. But if we go to some of the actual comments that people have put on Twitter and things, so on Twitter, there was one that said I feel like he gave the new season of American Horror Story, a valiant, open minded watch, but I can't. Kim K is an objectively terrible actress. And then on the MailOnline someone said, When the bar is set low, it's easier to trip over. And someone else on the mailman said she makes gazillions on so many other platforms just leave the acting to the people who study work hard and deserve it a little more. Which is an interesting perspective on who should be allowed to act but there were others who were really positive so someone said really enjoying the season and Kim Kardashian is shockingly great. And another Kim nailed it in American Horror Story. I had my doubts but great job. And finally someone just joke that she's basically playing herself which I have to be honest, if I was going to try acting I would choose A roll that is basically an exaggerated version of myself to start with, because you're not going to choose the most difficult acting transformation for your first time. You know, start off easy.
It makes sense. But I have to say that I mean, we've never done a Kardashian episode and specifically about Kim Kardashian yet. No, no, no. I do think that she gets so many mixed reactions online and a lot of hate. Yeah. And I do think though, we've seen the rise, especially with these big shows, and what we call stunt casting, you know, to get the publicity. You know, the celebrities love to do these big social media sort of reveals of their Halloween costume you thinking of? I know, like Heidi Klum. Even Kylie Jenner does quite a shocking makeup kind of theme in in October, and last year, she got quite a lot of backlash for it. Do you remember seeing those images of her? Or like dripping in blood?
No, I actually don't. But I know what you're talking about. In these kind of? I definitely know the Heidi Klum ones. Yeah. They have huge social media reach to the Kardashians. So so it's not a surprise that that, you know, you'd want to tap into that I have actually managed to see the first two episodes. And I would actually say so she she's not the main character. But she doesn't she's not just a cameo either. She's got some airtime. And you know, I agree with the guardian. She was not bad. I mean, I wouldn't say it's the best thing ever. But it wasn't jarring, because she does play a sort of exaggerated version of herself. She's playing this sort of bitchy, shallow publicist, and who just looks very amazing. And that and it seems to work to be honest. So I thought that was fine. Whether she could go beyond that. I don't know.
But where's this spider coming on? And she got like spidey senses. What's she doing?
No, it's weird. I think the spider is something to do with being a black widow. I think there are allusions to that idea of the black widow spider. And it's really all about pregnancy and maybe spider webs. What are all these different threads? So I don't know. It's unclear yet. We're only two episodes in. It'd be very hard to know if it's going to be a breakthrough. Well, for Kim, I would say the problem is she's she's a massive celebrity in and off herself. And I think that makes it quite hard to be a serious actress because the whole thing is you're supposed to lose the sense of who the actress is, and get the character and she's just so steeped in her own mythology that she's always just going to be Kim K. So she does she does quite well as a caricature of herself. But I don't know that this will be a big acting breakthrough.
And you know, like, I have my scary rating from one to 10 one being least scary, like Scooby Doo. How scary is that?
I would say it's more creepy. So what was it one to 10? Let's say 6.5. Okay, the whole show not just Can God. Yeah, cuz
I started watching hotel with my really good friend and I got after the first two episodes, I really got a bit nauseous.
You know, this one's much more psychological. There is. There was some stuff, but it's mostly thriller. We're in more thriller territory this time so far.
Is it set in Hollywood as well?
I think they're in New York. We think they're in New York, but she's a major actress. And yeah, anyway, it's really but it's very aesthetic. So my friend who was watching with who was like, well, this black mirror for him is more realistic, scary. Like it really trips you out about the lit world we live in. Yeah, this is not meant to be the real world. This is very stylized, like they had all the nurses wearing sort of dark red scrubs with red latex gloves and red hats. And it's just very aesthetic not realistic.
Oh my gosh, I'm thinking of Lady Gaga was bad romance video.
Maybe that's where they got the inspiration.
Okay, so I'm very curious now, I might give it a try. So, Sarah, I don't want you to be worried. But I read that a psychologist came out and said, people who are addicted to true crime are essentially addicted to trauma. What do you think?
Well, so my favourite podcast is an Australian true crime podcast called casefile. From my teens, I love serial killer documentaries and horror films. And I've even been to a horror film all nighter where you essentially just watch for horror films back to back in the cinema or until Sunday sunrise. I actually know the statement that you're referring to. So psychologist Dr. thema. Bryant, she said on the Mel Robbins podcast. If your idea of relaxing before you go to sleep is to watch three episodes of Law and Order, then I would encourage you to think about why is trauma relaxing to me. Some of us grew up in high stress situations so people mistake peace for boring. I definitely agree with the sentiment that people can mistake unhealthy drama for excitement or passion. And you do see that in unhealth relationships. And it's one of the things they talk about in in certain 12 Step groups such as adult children of alcoholics, people who've grown up in very unstable environments, and they've they found they find that familiar,
but how does that relate to horror and true crime? Yeah, so full disclosure.
I mean, as we've said, I love this stuff so I could be biassed, I actually don't think that's the main motivation, though, for everyone in in true crime and horror, and I don't think everyone who watches it has a has a single motivation. So in response to this podcast, clip on tick tock, some of the commenters actually disagreed with that psychologists, one person said, the trauma isn't relaxing. To me. It's the justice the characters are real people often get that I never did in my own life. And another said, it distracts me from the pain I'm feeling in my life. I don't like it. It just redirects my anger. And a third added, for me, it's solving the crime slash puzzle, it's solving the problem. So personally, I subscribed to a more young interpretation of horror. So similar to the old school, more graphic Grimms fairy tales, and the idea that it essentially gives you a safe space to look at and then resolve your inherent fears. So with the traditional fairytales children know that bad things exist in the world, even if they can't put words to it. So instead of suppressing it, you're giving it a space where you're confronted by it, but it's always resolved in a sort of happy ending way. The mad person always gets to come up once or slain in horror films, and we're talking about the classic horror films have been modern ones that don't do that. And in true crime, and what I particularly like as the sole true crime, I don't like the ones where we don't know who did it, the killer gets caught and they get put to justice. And the mystery is solved and you can feel safe again, and I think there's something we all know that crime exists and that it's a threat. But when we hear about these crimes, but then being solved, it makes us feel a bit safer. So, you know, union psychologist from the 20th century, Marie Louise von Franz, she said fairytales are the purest and simplest expression of collective unconscious processes. They represent the archetypes in the simplest barest and most concise form. And Dr. Cynthia Hoffner, who's a researcher at Georgia State University, and she studies the psychological effects of media. She said, watching these kinds of films can be a way of mastering horrifying situations and demonstrating that you're not afraid. So it's more from a natural positive perspective. I see it in that way.
But there is something about like, no dog around that corner, stopping and starting and thinking about the endings that you would have. And I was thinking about what Jenna Ortega said, she said that, when we were researching that she said horror films can actually be therapeutic. But I really struggle with full blown horror. I'm not very good with occult stuff. Because maybe because I was single for a long time. And I lived in Dorset in a sort of country house on my own. And I need to add here, the branches screaming on the window sometimes. And I'm like, oh, you know, and my friends would have come and stayed the weekend and watch the country in which I watched once and I was like traumatised, like a wave. So am I too old at 36 to call my mom. So like I said, I think people have always found this quite peculiar about me that I love my Gothic but I really stopped at horror. And no way can I get into what they call is it torture,
torture porn? Yeah, like all the sore franchise? Yeah, I used to like them. But sometimes for me, it feels a bit gratuitous for the sake of it. Yeah. And, you know, it varies from person to person. So on a physiological level, horror can actually result in a sort of pleasure response for some people. So what it does is it triggers the fight or flight response, which comes along with it with a boost in adrenaline, endorphins and dopamine. And then after you've had this accelerated heart rate, heavy breathing, and you know that other physical reactions to fear were off. You then experienced this intense relief. Glen sparks a professor at Purdue University has said that about 10% of the population, deeply enjoy this adrenaline rush associated with the horror genre. It's a bit like adrenaline junkies, it definitely appeals to some people.
Yeah, so I'm definitely not in that 10%.
Now, that would just be me.
So we're coming to the end of the show. And I wanted to say that I'm really enjoying this Gothic girl revival and era. I feel like there's now a whole online communities that I did not have growing up and you know, to share my love of all things Gothic. For me, you know, Gothic fantasy is a sort of extension of romantic fairytales. There's something really intoxicating about the emotional intensity as seen in Bram Stoker's Dracula. You know, it's a world where passions run deep and there's a space to explore sex Hear in depth. And let's not forget the whole atmospheric setting. You know, the old mysterious country house, the overgrown gardens, the palpable sense of sort of foreboding in the air. And it's sort of like where darkness and desire sort of intertwine. So I'm happy to be a gothic girl in this setting. For me, it's about embracing the otherworldly and almost being at one with the peculiarities and shadowy parts of life. And even though the Wednesday success threatened to meet the goth girl almost to mainstream, I think it has given us all more permission to be weird and wonderful.
Oh, I really love that, and especially that mysterious country house. I think we should buy one and move in together and make our podcast there.
I'm up for that. Let's do
you know, for me, on the other hand, I grew up in horror, from probably an inappropriately young age. I will just say that yeah. And it's often dismissed as a lesser genre, Mia Goth actually called out the Oscars earlier this year for snubbing horror films. But what I love about horror, is it actually such a huge and varied genre? I mean, yes, you have the paint by numbers, teen slashes, and the gratuitous torture porn. And I'm, I'm not a fan of those. But you can also have some amazingly complex films too. And traditionally, women's roles in horror were a cautionary tale, a way to reinforce traditional gender roles and conventions of morality. But there are now more and more films that are subverting this and have a lot to say. And that's really exciting. And I just want to leave you with this quote by Mallory Amira, that says, women are the most important part of horror because by and large women are the ones horror happens to women have to endure it, fight it, survive it in the movies, and in real life.
That's a really powerful quote. Yeah, lots of things. Give me chills to the spine. So we hope you enjoyed the first of our Halloween specials. We have a lot more creepy content coming your way including celebrity witches and witchcraft, AI girlfriends, aliens, colts murder, true crime and much more. So stay tuned.
Thank you for listening.
See you soon. Thank you to our lovely producer Emily. If you enjoyed today's episode, please don't forget to leave a review and subscribe. It really does help us in reaching more people. You can also follow us on Instagram. Our handle is at s to TC podcast. You can find out more about the show get behind the scenes. Come and say hello. Until then. See you next time.
This podcast has been produced by Emily Crosby media