For nearly 30 years, G. Love (Garrett Dutton) has moved fluidly between the blues, hip-hop, and alternative worlds. His last album, The Juice, received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
His latest single, “Love from Philly” pairs him with Philadelphia rap legend Schoolly D and Chuck Treece. The track is part of the upcoming album Philadelphia Mississippi, due out June 24.
G. Love (on dad duty!) talks to Jordan and Demi about the new album, staying creative, and venturing into the NFT space.
G. Love | It's Real with Jordan and Demi www.youtube.com
In 2022’s Scream — the fifth installment of the meta slasher franchise — the new killer, like all the predecessors, likes to play with his food before eating it. As a throwback to 1996's Scream, he primes his target victim by asking her about her favorite horror movies.
For any horror fan, it’s a bit of a dream. Sure, I’ll talk to anyone who will listen about Halloween or Friday the 13th for hours, but the lead actress isn’t the biggest fan of the horror classics that dominated the conversations in earlier films.
What is elevated horror?
“Scary but with complex emotional and thematic underpinnings” sans the “schlocky cheeseball nonsense with wall-to-wall jump scares” is how Tara Carpenter describes it, before getting stabbed multiple times by a guy in a mask.
The term first landed on Google Trends in 2008, but didn’t gain traction as a phrase until 2014, the same year The Babadook premiered.
It’s been used by critics and fans alike to describe some of the slow-burn, metaphor-laden horror stories that dominated the 2010’s.
2014’s It Follows features a sexually transmitted presence that’s always on its way to kill you, a metaphor for death, and currently holds a 96% Critic’s Score on Rotten Tomatoes versus a 66% Audience Score.
2015’s The Witch, takes place in 1630’s New England and features dialogue lifted directly from journals, diaries, and court records from the time period. Most notably horrific moments pepper the first and second act, but the slow, methodical plod of the movie along with the historic dialogue demand more patience from the viewer. The Rotten Tomatoes Critics Score of 90% and the Audience Score of 59% posit that the film demands too much patience for some.
Both of these films were put out by the independent distribution company, A24; a company known for its focus on the horror genre, as well as genre-bending films from the Daniels and Oscar favorites like Lady Bird and Moonlight.
Elevated horror is nearly synonymous with A24 Horror, thanks to the rest of the films on their 2010’s roster. Saint Maud, The Lighthouse, Midsommar, Hereditary, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer are all considered elevated horror.
Elevated From What
2014’s It Follows, The Babadook, and Goodnight Mommy were perhaps a relief from the visceral torture porn of the 2000’s. Saw (2004), Hostel (2005), and The Human Centipede (2009) all feature graphic sadistic violence, guts, and gore not merely as a side effect, but as a plot point.
From the early to mid-2000’s, horror’s obsession with torture coincided with mainstream culture’s conversation around torture — capturing the conspirators behind the September 11 attacks dominated the news. 2005’s dawn of YouTube also meant anyone with computer access and a curious mind could stumble upon real life horrors, including everything from snipers and testimony from political prisoners to the infamous 2 Girls 1 Cup.
Although some critics bemoan the recent explosion of elevated horror, others aim to retrofit horror classics like Psycho (1960) and The Shining (1980) as part of the genre.
Carol J. Clover, writer of Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film notes in her 1992 novel that one reviewer marked 1991’s Oscar-winning The Silence of the Lambs as “Nightmare on Elm Street for grad students.”
Elevated horror became a phrase recently, but it’s always been around. 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby is a slow-burn meditation on motherhood. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein from two centuries ago deals with complex themes of birth and creation.
Horror has never been viewed as high-brow films even with “serious actors” and “esteemed directors” — it doesn't bother most fans of the genre.
(Notable exception: The internet’s collective horror at Toni Collette’s Oscar snub for Best Actress in Hereditary.)
What’s Wrong With Cheeseball Nonsense?
Bitch Media’s Britt Ashley wrote of The Witch, “Like any good horror film, The Witch is rife with opportunity for allegorical interpretation, and one of the most compelling narratives bubbling beneath the surface is the origin story of America itself.”
Not every movie needs to be an “opportunity for allegorical interpretation”…but aren’t they all? Friday The 13th Part III is a prime example of the schlock nonsense Tara hates. It’s known for its incredibly dated 3D gags and a hockey mask rather than its compelling cultural narrative.
However, pre-slaughter, the protagonist, Chris, describes the lasting effects of her previous traumatic encounter with serial killer Jason. These reactions perfectly mimic PTSD symptoms, only 2 years after Posttraumatic Stress Disorder was finally recognized and added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Horror is in continual dialogue with what’s bubbling just under the surface of society. And just because it’s unintentional or cut with eye-popping deaths and the worst acting you’ve ever seen doesn’t mean it isn’t damn fine horror.
What Will Define The 2020’s
Horror has always had complex emotional and thematic underpinnings. In a genre where watching people die is the point of buying a ticket, how can horror not be about grief?
The violent torture porn of the 2000's sired the elevated horror of the 2010’s. And now the 2020s' pendulum is swinging in a different direction, from minimalism to maximalism.
If the recent 192-minute science fiction comedy action fantasy phenomenon of a film Everything Everywhere All At Once — with its 90%+ Critic and Audience RT scores — is a harbinger of what’s to come, we’ve got chaos ahead.
Think not just werewolves, but telekinetic vampire werewolves. During a blizzard. Plus aliens. A worldwide pandemic, a global war, and the repeal of Roe V. Wade are all possible in our lifetimes — why not everything else we’ve ever feared, all at once?
The app, TikTok, is already a melting pot of content genres. You can watch a cheesy pasta tutorial immediately followed by a healthcare worker discussing assisted suicide before a viral dance to a remixed ‘90’s hit song with text statistics about income inequality worse than the Great Depression. With more than a 1 billion users — most of them Gen Z and millennials — it’s safe to say we’re getting comfortable with the pandemonium and the whiplash.
Millennials are now of age to climb the Hollywood horror ladder to become the masters of horror — most ascending from a culture where we’re constantly aware that we can’t afford to own our own homes. After all, you can’t have a haunted house story without a home.
But you can have telekinetic vampire werewolves; what could be more 2020’s than that?
How to survive Met Gala night — even if you’re just watching in your peejays
Why Does the Met Gala take it out of me? It’s my Super Bowl — and every year I feel like I’ve played the big game, or attended the big event — falling into my bed completely wrung out. All this, after doing nothing but sitting on my couch. Why?
Despite not actually participating in the official festivities on the first Monday in May, I do participate in my own way. The mental, and sometimes physical, strain of judging other people’s outfits has me furiously texting group chats, drafting think pieces in my head, and leaping off my sofa to cheer at the TV when I see something I adore.
For hours, my eyes are glued to Vogue’s live stream of the most glam, red-carpet event of the year. This is fashion’s equivalent of the Oscars, the Grammys, the New York City Marathon, and any other seminal event — and it’s mine too. So I take my prep seriously. I prepare a full spread of snacks, charcuterie, and wine. I get in my comfiest clothes. And I load up on Red Bull and Gatorade. Then I make up fun drinking games like “whenever a Kardashian shows up looking off-theme - TAKE A SHOT.” Well … usually.
Arriving at work sluggish and sleep-deprived the wine and sugar crash is not my favorite part of this ritual. And “it was the Met Gala” is not a good excuse to explain my grouchiness. This year, I made one small change that made all the difference.
Enter: Cure Hydration.
I wasn’t really willing to relinquish all my traditions, and with Cure Hydration I didn’t have to. I’m old enough to know that loading up on hydration is crucial to a speedy recovery from a long woozy-boozy night. I learned this lesson the hard way in college — who knew I’d need to rely on it for a night basically spent alone in my apartment.
With Cure Hydration, all you need is a glass of water and one of their hydration-boosting sachets. Cure Hydration packets contain 4 times the electrolytes of leading sports drinks without all the extra sugar and restore balance to your body.
Stir one Cure Hydration sachet in water and you have the equivalent electrolytes of four sports drinks. Goodbye Gatorade, hello Cure Hydration. Their formula is based on the World Health Organization’s ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution). This has been used to successfully maximize hydration for water-insecure communities and has been proven to hydrate as effectively as an IV drip.
Plus, with no added sugar, there’s no crash. I’m the proof: I watched the Met Gala with all the impassioned fervor I usually do and woke up this morning actually feeling better than I did the day before.
With increased stamina, my takes on the event are more invested, sharper, and a titch more brutal —just how I like them.
The 2022 Met Gala’s theme was “Gilded Glamor.” Drawing from the Golden Age —a time of excess and ostentatiousness — it was the perfect theme for creativity and drama. Too bad it was a tawdry parade of skintight sequin dresses.
We were expecting Bridgerton vibes, inspiration from the show The Golden Age, and lots of big skirts and OTT hairstyles. While some understood the assignment — and some more subtle approaches actually worked — the majority of the attendees fumbled the bag — as per usual.
From my point of view, here are some of the highlights of the good, the bad, and the … intriguing?
The Good: Lizzo in Thom Browne
One thing about Lizzo is she’ll always put on a show. One of the best-dressed of the night, Lizzo wore a dramatic black gown and gold-adorned cape with matching accessories. Thom Browne’s flair for updated traditional pieces was on full display here, and so was Lizzo’s performance acumen when she brought out her golden flute to play a song. Iconic!
The Good: Gabrielle Union in Versace
No one needed to remind Gabrielle Union of the theme. She came to remind us. Union paid homage to the darker history of the Gilded Age with a red, crystallized flower on the waist of her elegant silver gown. She told Vogue: “we added these red crystals to represent the blood spilled during the accumulation of gross wealth by a few during the Gilded Age, off of the backs of Black people and people of color in this country.” This poignant message was one of the most chill-inducing moments of the night.
The Good: Quannah Chasinghorse in Prabal Gurung and Lenise Omeasoo
In a similar vein, Indigenous model and activist Quannah Chasinghorse wore a decadent blue gown accessorized with jewelry by Indigenous artist and activist, Lenise Omeasoo. Omeasoo posted the statement necklace on Instagram, saying: “Each beaded tipi upon her necklace represents her community’s love and support. May she inspire many and break countless more boundaries in the fashion world.”
The Good: Blake Lively in Versace
As one of the hosts of the night, of course Blake Lively brought the drama. A Met Gala favorite, Lively had a lot to live up to. So she stunned in a dress that transformed before our eyes right there on the red carpet. Inspired by New York architecture and the epochal buildings which rose up to form the Manhattan skyline during the Gilded Age, her metallic dress paid homage to buildings like Grand Central and the Empire State. It then transformed to teal? Turquoise? Teal-y Turquoise? to symbolize Lady Liberty — shocking in the best way.
The Good: Hailey Bieber in YSL
Hailey’s elegant look achieves precisely what Kim Kardashian was aiming for (more on that later). This masterclass in minimalism was super on-theme. The accessories were world-class. Her fur shawl added the necessary drama, while her nylons and black heels took the look from basic to perfectly sleek and subtly glamorous. Brava.
The Bad: Camilla Cabello in Prabal Gurung
Is it me, or does this remind you of a product on an episode of the show Is It Cake? where it’s way too obvious that it’s cake? The fit is off, the skirt is somehow too sensational and not sensational enough. And her glam is giving Selena Gomez in 2019 at the Heavenly Bodies gala — which is to say, greasy and regrettable.
The Bad: Kylie Jenner in Off-White
Respectfully … no. Kylie was giving 2012 Tumblr vibes with her backward snapback and mesh tee … which turned into a cake-topper-like gown. While the bottom of the dress was adequately big and dramatic, the top half was confusing and unrelated to the theme. One of the most egregious looks of the night.
The Bad: Amy Schumer in Gabriela Hearst
Unfortunately, many Met Gala looks are lackluster and forgettable. Somehow, Amy Schumer’s drab dress was so poorly executed that I can’t forget it — and instead makes the Worst Dressed List of the night. What is gilded or glamorous about this, Amy? Nothing.
The … Intriguing: Kim Kardashian as Marilyn Monroe
For weeks, rumors had been flying around that Kim Kardashian would wear the for-real Marilyn Monroe dress that she famously wore to sing “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to JFK. While rumors proved true, the execution left a little to be desired. Just one night before the Met Gala, Kim K attended the White House Correspondents Dinner and was hyper-primed for the Marilyn era. Although she went blonde for the occasion, her slicked-back hair would really have rocked had it been styled like Ms. Monroe’s. Instead, the glam was too predictable — where was the signature red lip? And that shawl — that shawl! — where’d she get that? Looks like some polyester schmatta from FashionNova. It seemed to me that she’d just shimmied into that quintessential vintage dress — can it be true that the dress is 60 years old??! — then strutted onto the carpet. There's also discourse around the unhealthy amount of weight she lost to fit into the dress and the glorifying of diet culture. Yikes.
The… Intriguing: Evan Mock in Head of State
Skater boy Evan Mock has quickly become Fashion It-boy Evan Mock due to his trademark pink hair, Instagram fame, and being cast in the Gossip Girl reboot. This experimental look was so close to being one of my soiree favorites… if only it had fit better. The corset rests awkwardly on his hipbones and the oversized pants weren't closely tailored. I wanted a shorter corset! I wanted abs! I wanted a full-on daring look — he has it in him to pull it off! I did — however — love that he supported a young designer. Definitely a notable look of the night. But good? So close, but no cigar.
The … Intriguing: Billie Eilish in Gucci
There are lots of aspects to admire in Billie Eilish’s look. But after she was one of the best dressed last year as one of the hosts, this Gucci ensemble falls short. The dress is definitely on-theme, and its reference to a Gilded Era portrait is artful. However, the dress itself is far less impressive than the inspiration. The skirt draped oddly and that dark hair looked off-kilter. One commendable thing about the dress is its use of “existing materials,” making it a zero-waste outfit. We love to see it … I just wished I loved it more.
The… Intriguing: Ansel Elgort being invited at all
Proof that “cancel culture” doesn’t exist: Ansel Elgort copping an invite to the most exclusive event of the year after allegations against him emerged during the pandemic. Did they imagine we’d forget? And did he think we’d be swayed by an outfit that looks like he’s cosplaying as a dumbwaiter? No to both.