Considering the ghoulish occassion, I thought I’d take the time to highlight a few of my favourite ‘scary’ books/films/series. Firstly, please note that I am total wuss. I can’t do horror – books, movies, TV shows – horror in any medium is really not my thing because I don’t actually enjoy being frightened. However, there are a few books and things that actually are horror, which I love and enjoyed despite my sheepishness. In the order I pondered them, here they are…
The first and only book I’ve ever read, completed and actually enjoyed by Stephen King. This book creeped me out from the very first chapter and left me feeling profoundly unsettled by the time I turned the last page.
King is, of course, the ‘king’ of horror with classics like Carrie, It and Cujo to his credit, but it was the apocalyptic nature of The Stand that delivered the double-whammy to me.
I’m definitely not a fan of King’s books – probably because I’m too much of a wimp to actually read them – but this book has stuck with me for years.
Anna Dressed in Blood was one of the first YA novels I read. Maybe not the wisest choices all things considering, but I was super addicted to Supernatural at the time so this book seemed like the perfect accompaniment to all things Winchester. Yeah. It was a lot more bloody and significantly creepier than expected.
This is essentially a ghost story and features a ghost girl with a Finnish connection, which is the other reason I picked up this novel. All in all, it was a super spooky read and I definitely won’t be reading the sequel, ever, because this first book frightened me plenty enough the first time round.
Penny Dreadful! To be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle this show and I did, in fact, spend more than a few episodes cowering behind my husband and I cushion while watching this nightmare fest. I persevered, however, for several reasons. 1) Victorian Gothic awesomeness! Weirdly enough, I love the classic literature this series drew from, particularly Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. 2) It’s exceptionally well acted. Eva Green is a force of nature in this series and steals the show. 3) The writing. The dialogue in this series is rich and poetic, simply sumptuous, and worth enduring the moments of terror. 4) The psychological aspect. While there is certainly gore here, it doesn’t feel gratuitous. The story itself and the true source of horror for me, lies in the dark and layered psyches of these twisted characters.
And lastly, the movie that I have no idea why or how I managed to sit through, that gave me nightmares for weeks and still haunts me almost a decade after first watching it…
Space horror! Deep space may certainly hold a myriad untold terrors, but I sincerely hope, none like the ones described in this film. Again, the psychology aspect of this movie is what affected me the most: that your most intimate and primal fears could be made reality while you’re trapped in a freaking space ship was just too much. And of course, some of these astronauts are mightily disturbed individuals and have some of the most horrific fears imaginable. Cue the gruesomeness.
I watched this film a good ten years ago and have since then actively avoided horror films, particularly science fiction horror, ever since – that’s how badly this film affected me!
Do you like being frightened? What’s your favourite book, series or film for Halloween?