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I absolutely adore Jason Voorhees as a slasher but, if I am being honest, I do not adore most of the Friday the 13th films. To me it a franchise that was successful in spite of the somewhat arbitrary and strange choices made in the series, particularly early on.

The first film is fine as a novelty. The mother of the drowned boy being a killer is a fun idea and it made for a solid film, even with the strange addition of the drowned Jason pulling Alice under the lake in a dream sequence. The reveal Jason is alive in the sequel is, for lack of a better word, tolerable. It’s a stretch – this is me being generous. It doesn’t really make sense given the first film as Pamela goes on about the death of Jason, only for him to be alive in the woods in the sequel. The fact the series does not even really find it’s footing, or even the real, iconic look of Jason until the third film is a problem. The first three films feel disjointed and almost random in their conception.

I still love them, though. They’re fun, strange little movies, and by the end of Friday the 13th III we get the iconic Jason. Somehow the series strikes gold with the third film and builds a franchise with increasingly diminishing results.

Yet Jason Voorhees still has an allure to him, doesn’t he? It is what has drawn me back to re-watching the first eight films on Shudder with my girlfriend. It’s been great, but the necessity of needing to overlook how messy the series is led me to thinking about how I might reboot Friday the 13th to make for a more cohesive story.


Crystal Lake – A Miniseries

My first idea is rather than do a singular film, I would want to see a miniseries of four episodes, about 50 to 60 minutes each. This series would essentially cover the ground of the first three films, but in a manner that makes more sense (at least to me, your milage may vary).

So, I have roughly four episodes to introduce Jason, his mother and get him into the iconic hockey mask to murder some teenagers. No big deal. For added fun, we’ll make the series contemporary.

Given the amount of work to plan out such an episode, I will only tackle the first episode of the miniseries this week.

Episode One – Camp Crystal Lake

The first episode of the series opens in the 1980s. We start with a sex scene between two camp counselors late at night. We are witnessing this through the eyes of an 11-year-old Jason Voorhees. He gives away his position when he creeps too close and the interrupted couple chase the boy down toward the lake, trying to scare and throttle him. As a deformed and developmentally challenged boy, he ends up falling into the lake and drowning. Meanwhile, his mother, Pamela, is searching for him.

In 2020, the town of Crystal Lake has kept up with the times, but the community is keen on bringing back a little bit of the good old days by refurbishing and reopening Camp Crystal Lake, which has been closed since the early 1990s after a drifter’s body was discovered ritualistically slaughtered in one of the cabins. That’s all in the past, though. The future is Camp Crystal Lake, a modern update to the traditional summer camp with all sorts of activities such as culinary and STEM programs.


Not everyone is happy about the plans to reopen the camp. Pamela Voorhees, the mother of the missing Jason from back in the 1980s, believes the camp should be demolished. The town council offers their sympathies for her loss but move on with establishing the camp anyway.

For the town council, the camp is necessary because there has been another murder in Cunningham County, where Crystal Lake resides. For the past thirty years, there seem to be one to two murders or disappearances per year in the area. They’re unsolved and make for a strange but not entirely alarming pattern. A local writer in Crystal Lake, Alice Hardy, has been investigating this pattern for the past five years, but notices there seems to be an escalation. She is convinced that the reopening of the camp may be a flashpoint for a surge of deaths, given the original pattern established itself in the 1980s, shortly after the disappearance of Jason.

Alice decides to conduct her investigation and we get to learn about some of the personalities of the town of Crystal Lake. In order to be nearer to the possible action, Alice joins the camp as a journalism instructor about a week before the children are set to arrive.

Jason Voorhees
He’s not quite this ready for prime-time, yet.

… and that is where the murder begins. We get a fun scene where a drunken boating instructor is lashed to a tree, but his legs are tied to the back of a speed-boat which is set off by our mysterious killer, pulling the guy apart. We see the blood being collected. The next day the local sheriff, shocked by the severity of the crime, threatens to shut down the camp, but is blocked from doing so. He decides to investigate. His first subject? Alice. She does have an interest in tragedy in the area, after all.

Pamela makes one last plea with the town council to halt the plans to reopen the camp. But she is rebuffed. Enraged she returns home, to her ramshackle cabin. She’s clearly seen better days. She grabs a beer, tries to calm down, but moaning fills the air of the cabin. She sighs and grabs a can of blood from the refrigerator and makes her way to the basement.

In the dark, we just make out the back of a large, misshapen man. Pamela apologizes to him, wishing she had more to give him to “ease his pain.” She begins to rub blood on the figure and then holds up the bucket for him to drink from.


We flashback to the 1980s. Pamela, looking for her son, witnesses Jason being chased into the water and in a rage slaughters the counselors and drags Jason’s body from the lake. She makes her way home where she cries over her boy as she prepares for a black magic ritual. Using blood magic she is able to bring Jason back to life, but he’s… different. He’s not quite alive, nor is he dead. The episode ends with her chaining her son up in the basement, for his protection.

In the present, Alice is combing through camp records and discovers a familiar name in the staff registry back in the 1980s.

Pamela Voorhees.

What do you think?

It’s a rough sketch of the first episode but I expect you can see where we’re going with this.

Look, I know trying to reboot a series so beloved as Friday the 13th is akin to consuming a live infant in front of a Catholic church but I cannot help but tinker. I do not make a claim that my approach is superior, either. I am simply trying to develop a version of a series that I love that feels a little more cohesive. Besides, it’s kind of fun, right?


What do you think, though? Would you want to see this episode of a Friday the 13th miniseries? Let us know in the comments. The second episode outline will go up in the next Weekly Wail update.

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  1. J.M. Brannyk

    April 10, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Clearly this is a better idea than my 80’s reboot, which follows Mrs. Voorhees’ beautiful aran sweater as it makes its way to a local thrift shop, solving murders while committing others each week as whoever wears it gets possessed by Mrs Voorhees and/or Jason. I was going to call it The 13th Files Murder Hour.

    • David Davis

      April 10, 2020 at 7:53 pm

      Is it too late to attach myself to your concept?

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Breaking News

A horror author goes to Nebula Con



The Science Fiction, Fantasy Writers Association is one of the most prestigious organizations in America for speculative fiction writers. While horror is not specifically mentioned, we all know that it’s nearly impossible to discuss fantasy and science fiction without the shadow of horror creeping in. 

Each year, SFWA hosts a convention for writers called Nebula Con. I have virtually attended the convention for the past two years. And if you’ve never attended, you might want to consider it. Even if your writing, like mine, is long in the shadows and short on the elves.

First off, I do want to be clear that Nebula Con is a convention for speculative fiction writers. There are some fan panels, like the one on the works of Robin McKinley, this year’s Grandmaster. But the majority of the panels and events are for writers. 

That being said, there are panels for writers at every stage of their careers. 


For writers interested in crafting better stories, craft panels abound. My favorite panel was the one titled For The Love of Short Fiction. This panel started with a reading of some of the best short works from 2022. Then, each panelist dug into what made that piece work for them.

Clip from Nebula Con, 2023

There were several other terrific panels, including one all about constructing a realistic legal system in your fictional world and writing fictional podcasts. (Like I do.)

But, you might say, these are panels for sci-fi and fantasy writers. No, these are panels for speculative fiction writers. Horror authors who want to have any kind of career would do well to master the short story. And if you don’t think there’s room for some legal horror in the market, you are wrong. 

While the craft panels were wonderful, the career and marketing panels were probably the most useful and valuable of the whole convention. Are you, like many other online creatives, worried about the effects AI-generated writing is going to have on our field? There were two informative panels regarding that. Are you wondering how writers’ relationships with agents have changed now that self-publishing is so prevalent? There’s a panel for that.

A lot is going on in the publishing world. It’s confusing as hell, my friends. And one of the ways we keep each other up to date is with conventions like this. What I got out of the panel most was that having a career in writing is possible. My fellow participants and I learned from writers who are doing the thing. It’s hard, but it’s possible.

Of course, a convention is more than just panels. There’s the chance to meet with other authors. This might be where a virtual convention seems to have a deficit. And while I’ll admit that meeting online isn’t the same as meeting in person, there are certainly perks. I was able to meet, chat with and share stories with other writers in a Zoom chat room. And I came away feeling much like I did as a kid, having met new friends at summer camp. Even if I wasn’t sitting across from them, it was great to be surrounded by other people who want to make a living scaring the hell out of other people. 


All of this writing joy culminates with the Nebula Awards Ceremony. If you’re interested in catching the awards but didn’t make it to the convention this year, you can watch it all on Youtube. Each year speculative fiction authors of all kinds of honored, from written work to gaming to television. This year’s toastmaster was Cheryl Platz, an author, and actress. As a critic, awards ceremonies are usually something I usually force my way through. The Nebula Awards are a rare treat in that scene. Partially because there’s a chance I’ve met the people up for the awards. But also because the people involved are, first and foremost, writers. It’s amazing how much more entertaining events are when the people being honored are, you know, talented storytellers.

If you’ve been on the fence about attending Nebula Con virtually, I suggest giving it a try. The world certainly needs more stories that go bump in the night. 

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Crashin’ in Roswell NM: Road Trippin’ with Jennifer Weigel



So on my recent road trip to Miami AZ USA for my menstruation art installation, we decided to detour to Roswell NM en route home. To be honest, this was one of the best decisions of my life, up there with road trippin’ from Arizona to San Francisco along CA-Highway 1, and I will go into the details of why here soon.

Some of the signs: Roswell NM including city limits, UFO Museum and stickered parking sign, and Restricted Area from inside the museum
Some of the signs: Roswell NM

Roswell NM USA has totally embraced its alien history of the UFO crash in the late 1940s and subsequent government cover up. The whole town is alien-happy with beautiful hand carved wood totems, murals and statues everywhere celebrating otherworldly denizens of all types, though predominantly the gray aliens of the crash (and their green counterparts). Even the city logo features a flying saucer as the center of the letter “R”. It really is kind of incredible.

Alien crash site photo opportunity at UFO Museum
Alien crash site photo opportunity

One of the biggest draws is the International UFO Museum and Research Center, housed in the wonderful old theater building. This museum details the crash history as well as celebrating aliens in movies and media and examining newer alien sightings and abductions. It is very thorough and includes maquettes, statues, written accounts and an extensive research library, as well as an interesting art collection of various items.

Alien landing at UFO Museum
Alien landing

And there are TONS of fun alien themed curiosity shops. I will give a shout out to the newer Invasion Station north on Main Street where there had once been an old car dealership. I love the quirky nature of this particular store as well as their strong desire to promote local artists. Most of their wares are hand-painted in NM and feature designs by prominent local artists including one of the lead muralists in town (I bought a magnet of his). They also feature really alternative kitsch like KISS and Ace Frehley alien bobbleheads, marijuana and anal references, and such. All in all, our own Haunted MTL’s kinda folks…

Portrait of the writer at the Roswell Visitor Center (Yes even they have aliens!)
Portrait at Roswell Visitor Center

And the city is a huge tourist draw internationally, so you can meet some amazing and interesting folks from all walks of life who have caught the alien bug or at least want to check out all the hype. As a result of the tourism, the residents seem really laid back and accommodating (kind of like Hawaii but not quite as much) and there is a thriving art scene. And it’s totally my kind of art – weird and a little creepy. Anyway, I feel like I’ve finally found my peeps and am eager to return someday.

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

If you’re feeling a bit extraterrestrial, I invite you to also check out some of my alien-themed stories here on Haunted MTL: LTD UFOs among us; my Drive-By short story; and LTD Abducted.

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Breaking News

American Horror Story Season 12, Delicate



Killer Queens, I wasn’t expecting to be back so soon with American Horror Story info. But yesterday we were blessed with a teaser for the intro of Season 12, which we believe will be titled Delicate. 

A still from American Horror Story Delicate first promo.

We are looking at a Summer release for season twelve, but won’t know for sure until June, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Here’s what we know right now. 

First, yes Kim Kardashian is starring alongside Emma Roberts in a role that was written specifically for her. 

That’s the bad news. The good news is that AHS favorites will also be involved. According to IMBD, Charlie Carver, Rebecca Dayan, Cody Fern, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, and Denis O’Hare will be included this season.

AHS Delicate is different from other seasons in many other ways. It’s the first season to ever be written by just one writer, Halley Feiffer. This isn’t a writer most of us as horror fans will be familiar with. She’s written episodes of shows like Kidding, SMILF, and American Crime Story. The last one can at least be seen as a sister show to AHS. 


As far as I have found, Feiffer has never written horror content. She is now the sole writer for an entire season of the most popular horror show in America. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It’s just not what I would have expected. Most AHS writers are staff writers, actors from the show, or at least people I’ve heard of. So as we don’t have any former work to look at, we can only wait to see how she does. 

We also know what the source material is for this season. It’s a book called Delicate Condition, by Danielle Valentine. This book will be released in August of this year. Which also seemed strange to me. Normally a book would be, you know, published before it inspires additional work.

Even so, Delicate Condition seems like a fascinating story. According to Goodreads, it’s the story of a woman named Anna. Anna is trying to get pregnant but starts to believe that something dark is working against her. Her doctors don’t believe her. Her husband doesn’t believe her. Is she losing her mind?

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t deeply interested in this book. And I have to assume that Feiffer and Murphy already have hands on it, to jump to this sort of decision.

By the way, Valentine at least is not an untested writer. Her first novel, How To Survive Your Murder, also made it right on my TBR pile. With a rating of 3.7 out of 4 on Goodreads, I think we can assume Valentine knows what she’s doing with the written word.


This is all that we know about American Horror Story Delicate so far. What follows are my thoughts and opinions only.

My first thought is that this season is going to be dealing heavily with women’s reproductive rights. This is a topic a lot of us are concerned about right now, as it feels like every day women lose more and more rights to our bodies.

(By the way, if you want to help fight the good fight for body autonomy and get some spooky stories, we have an anthology for that. I have a story in it, as does the horrifyingly talented Jennifer Weigel. All proceeds go to support organizations that help women make their own health decisions.) 

American Horror Story has handled important political issues before. Last season, AHS NYC discussed the AIDs epidemic that went largely ignored in the 80s and killed hundreds of young gay men. They did this in the best way possible, in what this critic believes to be the only way fiction should handle heavy topics. They rooted the issue in a good story. A story that was pure fiction, but also true.

However, this season has a lot of red flags. Never before have I seen the guest star be the main focus so early. Never have I seen any franchise bank so much faith in an all but untested writer, basing work on a book that isn’t even published. And frankly, I’ve never been much of a fan of Kim K, or anyone else who’s famous seemingly just for being famous.


I’m not rooting for this season to fail just because I don’t like the guest star. If Kardashian is good at this, I’ll be thrilled. I’ll be the first one singing her praises. But when everything we know so far is added up, I’m a lot more concerned about AHS Delicate than I am excited. 

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