[Interview] A Conversation with Horror Writer, Podcaster, and Creator Ryan Kinney

E.L. King sits down with Brother Ghoulish's Tomb creator Ryan Kinney to chat horror and scary stories.



Ryan W. Kinney, known as Brother Ghoulish, is a horror podcaster, writer, and content creator. In May 2020, he launched Brother Ghoulish’s Tomb, a film review podcast that analyzes the horror genre and shares his short stories. Since that time, Kinney has also launched Brother Ghoulish’s Dragula Breakdown, providing aftershow commentary for The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula series on Shudder. When he's not creating horror content, you can find him spending time with his partner Emilio, their black Lab Nox, or his friends and loved ones, usually watching horror movies together.


For exclusive Brother Ghoulish content, you can subscribe to TombX on Patreon. In addition to being a podcast creator, Kinney enjoys video games like Dead by Daylight and making fun horror content on Instagram and TikTok. Connect with Kinney on Twitter and be sure to give his horror podcasts a listen. We had the opportunity to sit down with Brother Ghoulish not too long ago for an interview discussing his love of horror and his current projects.


 

Slay Away: What do you love most about the horror community and why did you decide to start creating horror content?


Kinney: I love that I’ve found my tribe in the horror community. Outside of what I’ve found as Brother Ghoulish, I and my partner were like the Gomez and Morticia of our friend group. Funny enough, one of the biggest reasons for starting Brother Ghoulish’s Tomb podcast was to find my tribe. It was May of 2020 and the world was shut down due to coronavirus–I needed that camaraderie.


Slay Away: What was the first horror film you watched and how did it make you feel?

Kinney: Scream (1996) was the first one I snuck to watch on my own and ended up loving. I thought Sidney was the coolest character, ever. I loved seeing her fight back and only survive because she became the killer herself.


Slay Away: Do you have a favorite horror film villain or antagonist?

Kinney: I’d give this credit to Grace Jones as the ancient Egyptian vampire Katrina. Even without saying one word (a choice she made in honor of Nosferatu), she exudes immense power with only body language. I also love the iconic body painting from her performance number which was done by the legendary Keith Haring.


Slay Away: What horror movie monster or villain scares you the most and why would you never want to encounter them in real life?

Kinney: The space aliens from movies like Communion are the scariest things to me. It’s even more frightening than they could wipe my memory after abducting me–I’d be covered in bruises and not know-how. I can’t.


Slay Away: What is your favorite kill or death scene from a horror film?

Kinney: My favorite death scene is Tina’s in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. It was one of the first death scenes I’ve seen that played with the limits of our imagination and stretched the limits of what we understand the genre to be.


Slay Away: Have you watched any horror films recently that included something you really liked or didn't like?

Kinney: The most recent horror film I watched was Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) and what I liked about it was how fantastical the kills were.


Slay Away: Do you have a favorite Final Girl or soul survivor?

Kinney: While Sidney Prescott is my favorite final girl, my favorite sole survivor is Daniel Kaluuya’s character Chris in Get Out (2017) for many of the same reasons. I love when finals use their minds in addition to fighting back.


Slay Away: Do you collect any horror memorabilia? We all have a little horror fandom corner in our homes!

Kinney: I collect a variety of horror items, but fan art and horror books created by or commemorating marginalized voices are my top favorite. In my office, which I refer to as the Tomb, I have framed art of Vamp, Get Out and Us, People Under the Stairs, and many more. I also have been picking up books for my never-ending reading list of authors including Toni Morrison, Rivers Solomon, and Octavia Butler.


Ryan Kinney's collection of horror books and more in his Brother Ghoulish studio.
Courtesy of Ryan Kinney

Slay Away: Horror films reveal what the world is scared of and also show us flawed ways of thinking in the discourse surrounding queer identity. People within the LGBTQ+ community are often misrepresented. How do you feel about queer representation in horror films?

Kinney: I believe that there isn’t enough queer representation. While we’re moving in the right direction, there’s still a long way to go.


Slay Away: Are there any horror films that you believe get queer identity and representation right?

Kinney: Films that get representation right, from my perspective are as follows, The Quiet Room (2018) by Sam Wineman, The Obituary of Tunde Johnson (2019), and Spiral (2019) as a more modern version of Rosemary’s Baby.


Slay Away: What is your favorite queer horror film?

Kinney: One of my favorite queer horror films is Freaky (2020). It’s funny and witty.


Slay Away: Tell us more about your love of horror literature!

Kinney: I am an avid horror reader, and I believe you have to be to write. I have a few favorites, but one I’d suggest is Transmuted by Eve Harms. It’s about a transwoman who faces body horror as she transitions at the hands of a mad scientist. It’s a scary good time with great pacing and even better characters.


Slay Away: Are you working on any other projects we should know about?

Kinney: At present, I'm a co-host of Blerdy Massacre, a bi-weekly podcast where Xero Gravity and Sharai Bohannon explore blerd fandom (blerd = Black + nerd). I’m also a co-host of the ALTER Tapes where I join a rotation of POC, LGBTQIA+, and/or women covering the ALTER horror shorts from YouTube every week.


 






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