Reflections on Horror: A Critical Look at Bad River by Ken Brosky

Thursday, May 23, 2024

an image in mostly black, brown, and white showing the book cover of Bad River by Ken Brosky and the title of a book review "Reflections on Horror: A Critical look at Bad River by Ken Brosky

On the surface, Bad River offers a thrilling dive into the world of horror, catering perfectly to fans of B-Horror. Ignoring a few pet peeves, I found it rather enjoyable. It evoked nostalgic memories of my past obsession with horror films, a time when I would devour movies from this genre without pausing for critique. Back then, Bad River would have easily secured a spot among my favorites. However, with age comes different perspectives and growing knowledge. Because of this I can't help but feel a bit critical about some of the major plot and character elements.

purple gif with 'spoiler alert' in black and white

*Consider this your spoiler warning.*

There is a pervasive issue in media concerning diversity, particularly in regard to the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Sadly, Bad River falls into a tired trope where an LGBTQIA2S+ character is introduced, only to be killed off quickly, serving no purpose beyond furthering the plot. This is a harmful pattern where marginalized characters, like people of color, are often disposable in narratives. This not only undermines the story but also reinforces damaging stereotypes in the real world.

My frustration further extends to the portrayal of witches as inherently "bad" in the horror genre. Considering how creative authors can be in this genre, I wish that some would no longer rely on stale stereotypes without offering something fresh. Unfortunately, Bad River fails to break away from this tired narrative.

I received an E-ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5/5 ★★★☆☆ 

Book & Author Information: 

Bad River: Goodreads

Published: July 31st, 2024

Ken Brosky: Goodreads, Amazon Author Profile, Instagram

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