I became a life-long horror fanatic in 1986. It was the year both Aliens and The Fly were released in theaters, and both had a profound and permanent effect on pre-teen me. At the dawn of “The Internet Age,” I started a personal blog where I’d opine ad nauseam about the films I loved (for an average of 35 views a day, but I didn’t care). There was no shortage of subjects once streaming services like Netflix became treasure troves of previously-undiscovered wonders. Along the way, I honed my craft at sites like The Blood-Shed, Bloodbath & Beyond, Horror-Fix, Blumhouse, Horror Freak News, and MovieWeb (all of whom I’m eternally grateful to for the opportunities to further explore my love of horror while developing a unique journalistic voice).
But if you had asked me five years ago where I’d like to be in 2019, I’d have said, “Working full-time for a site like Dread Central”. I submitted my first editorial (a list of the best Bigfoot-themed horror movies of the 21st Century) back in 2015 and it’s been almost exactly a year since I was appointed Assistant/Managing Editor under the direct supervision of Jon Condit and Jonathan Barkan. The experiences I’ve had and the lessons I’ve learned over the past 12 months have been both fantastic and invaluable.
While I entertained notions of (someday) assuming the role of Editor in Chief, Jonathan’s departure comes sooner than we might have hoped. I know I still had plenty of lessons to learn from him. At the same time, I’m ready to take the mantle, committing myself to maintaining Dread Central’s standing as one of the best horror websites in the world. But more than that, I’m dedicated to welcoming in new, experienced voices to help shape this next gory chapter in our history.
That’s why I’m thrilled to have been teamed up with author/journalist Alyse Wax who will be my counterpart as Co-Editor in Chief! She’ll be spearheading Dread Central’s push towards expanding our identity by helping to cultivate and mentor our team of talented writers while directing important new content. I’m also elated to confirm that Dr. Rebekah McKendry (world-famous filmmaker, journalist, podcaster, and all-around wonder) will be stopping by as a consultant and curator. I feel completely blessed to be part of this Scream Team!
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Dread Central co-founder Steve Barton, who was the first to truly take me under his wing as a mentor. He helped me through some very bumpy periods and dispensed comforting and sage advice at every turn. He would be there for me at the drop of a hat—always. And even though he isn’t in the Director’s chair, I feel his presence every day; it drives my determination to maintain the legacy and quality of reporting he established over a decade ago. Before I push the “Publish” button on anything I write, I ask myself: “Is this something Steve Barton would approve of?” In other words, “Is this Dread-worthy?”
This isn’t to suggest I’ll be the next Uncle Creepy (it would be foolish and pretentious to think so). I also won’t be the next Jonathan Barkan, as he had his own unique skill set that made him invaluable. What I can promise is that I’ll be the best Josh Millican possible—and I’m ready to exceed your expectations. I will always put Dread’s legacy and our readers’ interests above my own—proudly. I’ll continue to absorb knowledge from Jon Condit, Alyse Wax, Rebekah McKendry, and Patrick Ewald (who’s shown incredible confidence in me and supported us all at every turn).
I’m not the same person I was when I began blogging about horror 10 years ago. In addition to becoming a much better writer (and actually learning a thing or two about this crazy industry!), I’ve lost my snark, my competitiveness, and any lingering resentments from the past. If we’ve clashed at any point during my years in the horror community, consider this a sincere olive branch. I’m ready to bury the hatchet and move forward in the spirit of cooperation and inclusivity. If you think I might be talking to you specifically, I just might be, so give me a holler and let’s hug it out!
They say when you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. And even though I’ve put countless hours into my writing for Dread (and only plan on redoubling those efforts), I can attest that this adage is 100% true. I’m living the dream and I’ve never been happier about my life, my future, and the future of Dread Central than I am today! Most of all: I’m ecstatic to be riding this wave with all of you!
You can follow me on Twitter @josh_millican.