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Payton McCarty-Simas

Payton McCarty-Simas is a freelance writer, artist, and editor based in New York City. Their most recent work focuses on horror film and literature, psychedelics, and queerness.

Jane Schoenbrun’s We’re All Going to the World’s Fair

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair is a journey down an internet rabbit hole. Its teenage protagonist, “Casey,” takes the challenge and allows its lore to consume her life. Beyond her relationship to her computer, we learn virtually nothing about her.

A24’s Folk Horror Boom and Bust

For the last few years, A24 has critically dominated the horror genre with films such as Robert Eggers’s The Witch (2015) and Ari Aster's Hereditary (2018). Both directors’ follow-up films (Eggers’s The Lighthouse and Aster’s Midsommar, both from 2019) concretized the studio’s reputation for horror films with a penchant for hyper-formalist attention to detail, broader social commentary, and references to folklore, witchcraft, psychedelia, and the supernatural.

Tom Gormican’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Replete with kidnappings, superfan and superspy antics, and references to Cage’s filmography that only the most dedicated Cage acolyte will be able to catch, the film is designed as a love letter to, as Cage himself describes in the film, the actor’s “contribution to one of the oldest professions: storytelling and mythmaking.”


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2023

All Issues