For some, horror movies, masks, and haunted houses usually signal that Halloween is here. For Tim and Sayara Landen of The Moon and The Madness, it’s just another day. The newlywed couple shares a love for all things macabre and, with the launch of their new blog, is ready to present a darker way of life to Denver. Along with their wicked fashion — pun intended — Tim and Sayara open up about what draws them to horror and what we can expect from their horror blog.
303 Magazine: How did the blog name, The Moon and The Madness, come about?
Tim Landen: We spent a long time trying to think of something that represented the two of us. We debated back and forth and nothing ever fit, and I asked “What about The Moon and The Madness?” and it clicked. It was very fitting because of her obsession with astrology and the moon, and I also proposed to her under the full moon in Hawaii.
Sayara Landen: I’m his moon, and he considers himself the madness. He’s more hectic and on edge. We balance each other out. The madness also encompasses who we are. We like grunge and gore, but we also like to chill out.
303: Tell us about your personal style.
TL: How do we express that? I think there’s intrinsic value in fashion and artwork, and that can be related back to your interest in movies, music, or whatever it may be. A lot of horror movies are specific to an era, and the fashion is always identifiable, whether it’s a ’90s slasher or an ’80s horror, or 2010s with American Horror Story taking over.
SL: My personal style comes from movies, music, darkness. It stems from being exposed to horror at a young age, and it’s evolved into what I wear and what I like. We’ve both always liked horror movies, but also creepy things, things that are morbid.
303: Your blog is about all things horror. Why do you love horror the way you do?
TL: It’s hard to meet people who love it on the level that we do. A lot of our friends are weirded out by the things that we do or are interested in, but it does speak to us. There’s something about the mystery of the things that freak us out. It’s something that brought us together. We did a soft launch last month and the content is focused on horror reviews, book reviews, TV show reviews, and on the places we experience horror. Fashion is one of the next big things we want to talk about. We want to write about how horror influences our fashion.
SL: Horror speaks to us. There’s a niche for it. It’s not as big, but it’s getting there. More people are interested in those things but don’t know where to find weird and interesting things to do. Horror, because we love it. Horror, because we want other people to know about it. We want others to experience it with us. One of our goals is to bring people together on this blog to be a place where people can find things to do that are horror related.
303: Why do you think we love being scared?
TL: I can understand why people don’t like those emotions, but there’s something alluring about it. It’s a psychological response. We react to the brutality. Aside from the emotional response, it’s the appreciation of what you’re seeing, in terms of prosthetics and makeup. It also comes down to how shocking it is. The root of it is how it makes you feel. It’s satisfying.
SL: There’s the allure of wanting to be in a place where you’re not supposed to be. There’s thrill and mystery. It’s the sheer experience of the unknown. We like to get scared because we experience fear and then we want to discover different ways to continue feeling it. We tap into sheer terror, but it’s amazing, so show it to me again. I’ve always loved being scared. I’m drawn to death, drawn to the occult, to witchcraft, to all of the darkness but I’m also nice. Maybe that’s why, because we’re nice people but we get to experience the brutality without living it. I love it.
303: What’s your favorite horror movie? Favorite horror director?
TL: Mine is Scream (1996). I’d seen scary movies before that but Scream changed everything, it changed the genre. It’s had an impact on my life to this day. Wes Craven is one of my favorite directors.
SL: Candyman (1992) is my favorite. I saw it with my cousins when I was five years old. I was absolutely terrified, and I think it changed me. From that point on, I started loving scary things and Halloween. Insidious (2010) is another favorite. Wes Craven would also probably be my favorite horror director.
303: If you were to be dead and buried tomorrow, what would you be wearing?
TL: A fitted, fresh cut, designer suit. All black.
SL: I’d wear black lace, head to toe. I love Victorian Goth style. Or maybe Lucy Westenra’s burial outfit with the giant white collar from Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), but in black.
303: You travel for horror events, what’s been the most memorable one you’ve been to?
TL & SL: We try to do everything we can to be able to experience it at least once.The most memorable is The Willows, an immersive experience in Los Angeles. As soon as we stepped out of the vehicle, we entered their world. The premise is that you’re invited to a dinner party with a family named The Willows, whose patriarch has just passed away. It’s very hands-on, very immersive. Nothing like we’ve ever experienced before. We’d love to see more of that in Denver. It’s a new way for people to get scared, instead of a traditional haunted house.
303: What does Halloween look like for The Moon and The Madness?
TL: We typically don’t spend Halloween here. We usually spend it in Los Angeles. We’ve been going to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios since 2011. We love to dress up and walk around. Last year we dressed up as a rockabilly Frankenstein and his bride. We always try to top last year’s costumes.
SL: We also celebrate on devil’s night, the night before Halloween. It’s the night where you’re supposed to do bad stuff, go to the cemetery and do a seance. I also love making costumes. I don’t like the idea of my costume coming from a bag. In October, go to all the haunted houses in Denver we can get to, and every Halloween party we can get to.
303: Where can we experience fear in Denver?
TL: The Black Forest in Colorado Springs. Supposedly, there’s a house that some think is a vortex. The forest itself is supposed to be haunted. Weird stuff happens around there.
303: What can we expect from your blog in the future?
TL & SL: More content. We want to build a community for horror lovers; a place where you can have a discussion about horror and why you’re obsessed with it. We’re working on getting an event tracker, because there’s nowhere that lists Colorado Horror Con, immersive theater and horror movies in one place. The ultimate goal is to use our blog to share our horror lifestyle. All day, everyday, horror.
Photos by Amanda Piela