Celluloid Diaries

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Strange Blood | Cover Reveal

vampire book

I'm thrilled to finally reveal the cover for my upcoming book Strange Blood: 70 Essays on Offbeat and Underrated Vampire Movies.

The cover design is by Gilles Vranckx.

What do you think of the cover of Strange Blood? Let me know in the comments or on social media.


This is an overview of the most offbeat and underrated vampire movies spanning nine decades and 23 countries.

Strange Blood encompasses well-known hits as well as obscurities that differ from your standard fang fare by turning genre conventions on their head. Here, vampires come in the form of cars, pets, aliens, mechanical objects, gorillas, or floating heads. And when they do look like a demonic monster or an aristocratic Count or Countess, they break the mold in terms of imagery, style, or setting.

Leading horror writers, filmmakers, actors, academics, and programmers present their favorite vampire films through in-depth essays, providing background information, analysis, and trivia regarding the various films. Some of these stories are hilarious, some are terrifying, some are touching, and some are just plain weird. Not all of these movies line up with the critical consensus, yet they have one thing in common: they are unlike anything you've ever seen in the world of vampires.

Just when you thought that the children of the night had become a tired trope, it turns out they have quite a diverse inventory after all.

Book giveaway

To celebrate the cover reveal of Strange Blood, I'm giving away one digital copy of the book, so you'll have the chance to read it before everyone else will. The giveaway is open worldwide and ends March 12th, 2019. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Top Five Spiritual Documentaries

spiritual documentaries

Laura Emily teaches us to appreciate and notice our inner being. In her new book, Embracing Your Divinity, she takes the reader on a journey through her own experiences. Laura teaches us to listen to the universe and allow ourselves to follow the path the universe is trying to take us on. She tries to make us understand that even though we may not think the universe is on our side or that things are not meant to happen, something has not happened yet because we, as individuals, are not yet ready to receive this event. Once we accept the universe's plan and allow things to happen, whether they are good or bad, only then can we truly reach our full potential.

To celebrate the release of Embracing Your Divinity, Laura Emily shares her top five spiritual documentaries (two of which are about food because "food is spiritual" as she puts it) and gives away an eBook to one lucky reader.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Must-see films at the Offscreen Film Festival

bruxelles festival

This is the first year I've been part of the programming team of the Offscreen Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium. The festival starts on Wednesday, March 7th, and I'm proud to show you all the cinematic delights we have in store for you.


The Offscreenings program presents a fine selection of special, new and unreleased films, giving a platform to movies at the cutting edge of contemporary cinema. These films are noted for their artistic originality, unique vision and inventive approach to the medium and genre.

You can find the Offscreenings program here.

Our guests for this module are Vicky Krieps (actress, Gutland & Phantom Thread), Kevin Janssens (actor, Revenge) and Govinda van Maele (director, Gutland).

Thursday, March 1, 2018

It's release day!

horror book release

Clowders is now officially available for purchase. It's in the vein of my first supernatural thriller, Drowned Sorrow. If you liked that one, you'll definitely love Clowders.


Clervaux, Luxembourg. This secluded, picturesque town in the middle of Europe is home to more cats than people. For years, tourists have flocked to this place – also known as “cat haven” - to meet the cats and buy cat-related souvenirs.

When Aidan, Jess and their five-year-old daughter, Eleonore, move from America to Clervaux, it seems as if they've arrived in paradise. It soon becomes clear, though, that the inhabitants' adoration of their cats is unhealthy. According to a local legend, each time a cat dies, nine human lives are taken as a punishment. To tourists, these tales are supernatural folklore, created to frighten children on cold winter nights. But for the inhabitants of Clervaux, the danger is darkly, horrifyingly real.

Initially, Aidan and Jess regard this as local superstition, but when Jess runs over a cat after a night on the town, people start dying, one by one, and each time it happens, a clowder of cats can be seen roaming the premises.

Are they falling victim to the collective paranoia infecting the entire town? Or is something unspeakably evil waiting for them?

Moving to Europe may just have been the worst decision they ever made.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Vampires Suck: 21 most unusual vampire movies

most unusual vampire movies

In March, the Offscreen Film Festival brings a retrospective of the most unusual vampire movies ever made.

No supernatural creature has been portrayed as frequently in cinema history as the vampire. Bram Stoker's Dracula, everyone's favorite bloodsucker, has alone racked up nearly 200 different movie appearances. Even today, the vampire continues to fascinate, guaranteeing the box office success of franchises such as Twilight and Underworld. The flipside of this popularity is that the monster has become too hokey and familiar. Indeed, to quote the title of one Twilight spoof, "Vampires Suck." But they are also supremely versatile, as Offscreen shows with a selection of 21 unusual vampire movies which turn the genre conventions upside down, breaking with the clichés of Gothic castles, garlic, and crucifixes to depict the creatures as hyper-realistic, modern, exotic, hybrid, or simply deranged. These films provide unique spins on vampire mythology and inject the genre with compelling stories about the human condition, sexuality, addiction, disease, and mortality.

vampire's day soiree

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Night Manager filming locations on Mallorca

the night manager mallorca filming locations

When I was on the Balearic island of Mallorca in November last year, the locals were all talking about The Night Manager, a new BBC 1 TV show about a hotel night manager who is recruited to infiltrate the inner circle of a dangerous arm's dealer. This big-budget adaptation of John Le Carrés novel by the same name has gained rave reviews and has a caliber cast including Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Debicki, and Tom Hollander.

However, the main reason why the locals were talking about the show was that a large chunk of the scenes was filmed on Mallorca (next to some stunning locations in Cairo, Istanbul, Madrid, Zermatt, and Devon). According to Ted Wake of Kirker Holidays, Mallorca bookings are up by 15% since the show aired in the UK, and Spain as a whole 7%. Especially the upmarket activities, such as five-star hotels and chic restaurants, have been booming.

Of course, I watched The Night Manager while I was there (it's only six episodes) and visited some of the main filming locations on the island.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Caturday Movies - The Uncanny

the uncanny 1977

“Cats aren't always cute and cuddly!” states the tagline of the British anthology film The Uncanny (1977). It could as well have been the tagline of Clowders, which is now available for pre-order.

There's no such thing as coincidence. The Uncanny was indeed the main inspiration for Clowders. Both stories revolve around feline revenge. In Clowders, each time a cat dies, nine human lives are taken as a punishment. However, in The Uncanny, cats avenge their owners whenever someone harmed them.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Must-make Paddington recipes for the entire family

paddington recipes

Paddington 2 is coming out in cinemas this week.

To celebrate, you can host a Paddington movie night with one or more of these bear-inspired recipes. From pizza to cookies, there's something for everyone here.

Paddington pizza

paddington bear pizza

These bear-shaped mini pizzas are really quick and easy to make. A perfect meal for while you're watching the Paddington movies from the comfort of your home.

See the recipe.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Five TV-movies you haven't seen (but should)

forgotten tv movies

This is a guest post by Amanda Reyes, the author of Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium 1964-1999.

It would probably not be an understatement to declare most made for TV movies as lost. With over 5,000 telefilms in existence, to call just a few of them “obscure” might be opening up a can of worms since this list could probably be compiled of hundreds of titles that came and went during the golden age of the telefilm (by my count, that would entail several decades, encompassing the mid-sixties until the end of the nineties). But, here I am, shaving down the list to five films that have been forgotten, and which, in my very humble opinion, deserve to be rediscovered. That’s all to say, lists are difficult. I’m sure I’m missing something noteworthy, but I do think these TV movies would play really well to new eyes, so if you haven’t seen them, give ‘em a shot.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Book Tip - Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television

yuletide terror

Are you looking for an unusual Christmas treat? Look no further. The new book Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television is what you should be reading today.

Here's what to expect...

Yuletide essays and interviews

The first half of Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television consists of essays on famous Yuletide horror films and themes, as well as interviews.

Acclaimed horror writer Stephen Thrower is the one to open the party with an essay on the most famous Christmas horror film, Black Christmas. He discusses the production and initial reception of the film, how it got its cult status, and how it influenced many genre filmmakers.