Horror

Feb 21, 2020

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires begins with a normal description of the affluent life of a bored southern housewife.  Just before you think it is another dysfunctional family story, Patricia Campbell, one of our five book club members and main character, is attacked by an elderly neighbor while putting out the garbage at night. The elderly neighbor is put in the hospital, as is Patricia.  Then a handsome relative of the neighbor comes to stay at the house and help out. Patricia being the lovely southern lady she is feels she should take over a casserole and help out if

Resident Evil 2

By Capcom
5
Rated by Sam S.
Oct 31, 2019

Originally released in 1998, Resident Evil 2 quickly became a favorite among horror game fans and critics alike. This 2019 remake recreates the unique magic of the original while creating new conveniences and additional content for a new generation. The game is bigger, sleeker, and more frightening than ever. Play as either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield as they navigate the zombie infested Raccoon City and try to find the source of the outbreak.


This game is a complete remake of the original – not purely a graphical update – so settings, audio, mechanics, and controls have all been

Feb 7, 2019

The Terror is a fictionalized account of the real historical event known as Franklin's Lost Expedition. The expedition, a crew of 129 men split between two British Royal Navy ships, set out in 1845 to discover a new route through the Arctic for trade between England and China - a route deemed the "Northwest Passage." Over a year after the expedition initially set sail, both ships (HMS Erebus and HMS Terror) became trapped in thick ice off the northern coast of Canada. The crew, utterly isolated and unprepared, were left to fend off the unrelenting cold of the Arctic with few provisions and

Jan 19, 2019

Looking for a fun, scary movie to keep you awake on a cold, dark night? Would you like this movie to be based on an actual location which really was featured on CNN Travel's list of 7 Freakiest Places? Well, here you go!


With a name like Gonjiam, Haunted Asylum, many assumptions you might make would prove correct about this Korean-language horror flick:


  • There are ghosts
  • The asylum's patients were mistreated (soooo.. angry ghosts)
  • Things probably aren't going to go so well for most of the living characters in the film (but hey, sometimes one person survives in the end, right?)

Now

Baby Teeth

By Zoje Stage
4
Rated by Debbie F.
Aug 13, 2018

This intriguing and disturbing book tells the story of Suzette, Alex and their 7 year old daughter, Hannah, who has quite literally become a threat to their existence. Baby Teeth is told in alternating chapters between Suzette and Hannah and you quickly realize that not all is right with their world. Hannah is mute and nothing Suzette has done, including numerous schools and eventually homeschooling, has helped Hannah learn to talk. Hannah's thoughts in the first chapter about speaking are: "Words, ever unreliable, were no one's friend. But if she was being honest, there was another reason --

Mother!

By Darren Aronofsky
3
Rated by Zachary C
Dec 16, 2017

On a disturbance scale, Mother! falls somewhere between other Darren Aronofsky films, Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan, with a story more comparable to Noah combined with an all-out assault on social etiquette and political correctness that creates the strangest kind of satire.  


In a movie of characters' without names, Jennifer Lawrence plays the titular mother. Wife to a famous poet, played by Javier Bardem, she single-handedly rebuilds their house which has been lost in a fire. She paints, builds, and decorates all day long while he attempts to write. Quiet and secluded, their

IT (CD Audio)

By Stephen King
5
Rated by Melody M.K.
Nov 21, 2017

An eternal entity that goes into a sort of hibernation comes back every 27 years, feeding on the fears of children and creating all sorts of chaos in the town of Derry, Maine. The book IT is divided into five parts, moving from the summer of 1958 to 1985.


In the summer of 1958 Georgie, Bill's little brother, goes out to sail a paper boat and is the first to meet the entity during this visit. It does not end well for Georgie.  Bill and a group of other eleven-year-olds then get tangled up in the horror in Derry. They give the entity the name IT and themselves the name The Losers Club. After

The Babadook (DVD)

By Jennifer Kent
4
Rated by Sheida B.
Oct 27, 2017

I admit that I watched this movie because of Essie Davis: our very own Miss Fisher. And I found her performance quite memorable in The Girl with a Pearl Earring.


In The Babadook, she is unrecognizable as Amelia, a frazzled, soft-spoken and accommodating single mom. Amelia works part-time at an old folks’ home while raising her six-year-old son, Sam (played by Noah Wiseman). She was widowed on the same night Sam was born. And Sam has major behavioral issues.   


The first half of the movie is from Amelia’s point of view. She is unhappy and exhausted, mentally and physically. One night, Sam

Aug 4, 2017

Che is trying to be normal. He has a list, even. Of things he wants to accomplish soon, after moving to New York with his family.
However, Item Number One is: Keep Rosa Safe.


Seems normal right? After all, Rosa's just his five-year-old sister. Completely normal. Except she's also a diagnosable psychopath. Rosa has a long trail of seemingly innocent acts of killing on her small hands, and it's only a matter of time before he kills again, maybe this time a person.


Che has to protect his sister from the world- but he may need to protect the world from his sister.


This was a gripping

Nov 3, 2016

The pursuit of a set purpose by logical means is the way of tyranny; this is the vision of my creator. Of Ultron.


The pursuit of an unobtainable purpose by absurd means is the way of freedom; this is my vision of the future. Of our future.


Whoa. Wow.


On its face, Little Worse Than a Man appears to be a superhero comic. It's certainly a story about a superhero. But it's about a superhero trying not to be super, trying to live a normal life. More significantly, it's a story about an artificial intelligence trying to live a human life. Trying to be human. Trying to become human by

Dracula, Season 1

By Universal Studios Home Entertainment
3
Rated by Josh N.
Oct 19, 2016

The DVD says Dracula, Season 1. There is no season two. The series ran on NBC in the 2013-2014 season and didn't get renewed. Which is a shame because although it's hilariously campy (in a brooding, gothic way) and takes extreme liberties with the source material, it's also a tremendous amount of fun for fans of melodrama, stylish visuals, steamy sex scenes, and Grand Guignol violence.


The craziness starts with the premise: Transylvanian Count Dracula is in London posing as an American inventor/entrepreneur, Alexander Grayson (and played by Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers--like I said

The Fireman

By Joe Hill
3
Rated by Jed D.
Sep 4, 2016

Draco Incendia Trychophyton. That’s the official name for the spore that causes fiery veins of Dragonscale to show up on the patient’s skin. Eventually, the infected people will spontaneously combust, burning down hospitals, laboratories, and killing entire families. What’s scarier than this plague, though, is the cult-like group of infected survivors holed up at Camp Wyndham. Enter the Fireman, who can control the Dragonscale and keep it from killing him, and Harper, a pregnant former nurse trying to survive until her delivery date. While this apocalyptic novel is very original and filled

Aug 28, 2016

This is a very interesting, hard-to-pin-down film. It's a Persian-language, American-produced and filmed, black-and-white vampire flick. The title itself, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, invokes our culturally-ingrained sense of danger at the concept of a woman being alone on the streets after dark. In this instance, since she's a vampire, it's the nameless girl of the title who is the danger lurking in the shadows. Again defying expectations, far from being a source of evil, it seems as though the girl is the ethical force in her chaotic and amoral surroundings. She warns a young boy to

The Monster Squad (DVD)

By Shane Black and Fred Dekker
4
Rated by Melody M.K.
Aug 19, 2016

For those of us ready for autumn, cool weather and Halloween, The Monster Squad, released by Tri Star Pictures in August of 1987, is for you.


It's less a Stephen King horror story, and more like Scooby Doo. With a splash of cult classic, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


A club of preteens, lead by Sean, meet in - what else? - a tree house in his back yard with Sean's five year old sister Pheobe tagging along. Sean's mother finds a book at an estate sale written in German and signed by Abraham Van Helsing (famous vampire hunter) and buys it for Sean. He and the group take it to the scary

Horns

By Joe Hill
4
Rated by Diane H.
Dec 4, 2015

Don’t watch Horns if you can’t, or don’t want to, imagine Daniel Radcliffe as anyone but Harry Potter. Admittedly Horns has supernatural elements. And it does deal with moral issues – doing what’s right even if it means a personal sacrifice. But there the similarities end. Horns is a murder-mystery/dark fantasy/horror/revenge/love story.


The protagonist in Horns, Ig Perrish (brilliantly portrayed by Radcliffe), is accused of killing his girlfriend. Despite repeatedly and passionately denying the accusation, everyone around him, including his family, believes he did it. They see him as evil

The Returned (DVD)

By Fabrice Gobert
4
Rated by Heather B.
Jul 13, 2015

One day, fifteen year old teenager Camille walks back up the winding mountain road and into her house, shocking her family. What seems like it should be a completely mundane act most patently is not; Camille died in a bus accident four years earlier. Camille has no memory of that event and no apparent understanding that she has died. As far as she knows, it's the day of the bus accident. But her family, while still grieving, has moved on. Her parents have split up, and most strikingly, her twin sister Léna is now several years older than Camille. The family member's responses to her return

Apr 27, 2015

Okiku is a vengeance spirit. Her story is the one that inspired countless Japanese films and horror stories, and now it's her turn to tell it. Okiku spends her days traveling the world seeking out child-murders and giving them her form of justice (often involving drowning and/or the ripping off of heads). She's content with this existence until she meets Tark. The boy with the strange tattoos and the demon on his back. Tark ignites feelings that Okiku hasn't experienced in over 300 years, and she's not about to let some demon take them away so easily. 
I loved the Japanese folklore and the

Jezebel

By Gordon Kessler
4
Rated by Helen H.
Apr 6, 2015

Don’t let the 2001 publication date of Jezebel scare you (it was written even earlier in 1992.) Because however alarming you may find life with no cell phone, it’s not the really scary thing here. Animal Control Officer Tony Parker has serious trouble. Beloved family pets are unpredictably, and without provocation, turning on their owners. Most alarming, Jezebel, the first dog to “turn” is on the loose. It’s up to Parker to find her, stop the emerging trend, protect his family . . . and keep his job.


Not a dog lover? Jezebel will confirm your suspicions. Dog lover? That’s OK too. You’ll

The Ruins

By Scott Smith
3
Rated by Catherine G.
Mar 26, 2015

Scott Smith’s The Ruins is a calm and harmless enough story at the beginning. Four kids, just out of college, take a trip to Mexico to do nothing more than lounge on the beach and drink tequila. Shortly after arriving they make some new friends and decide to tag along with them on a day trip to the Mayan ruins. Their new friends are searching for a guy who went to the ruins the previous day, but never returned. Armed with not much more than youthful defiance and a sense of adventure, the group heads out, ignoring numerous warning signs to stay away.


As you can guess, they are anything but

The Last of Us

By Naughty Dog Inc.
5
Rated by Rachel C.
Feb 4, 2015

The Last of Us won well over 200 awards for very good reasons.  Both the original, and the PS4 remake, are stunning examples of the power of immersive storytelling.  The game is visually breathtaking, the atmospheric sound effects are perfectly suited, the acting is top-notch, the gameplay is reasonably responsive, and the world-building is fantastic.


Twenty years after the world went mad, you play as Joel, a smuggler in a dystopian future where a fungal infection can render anyone into a zombie-like creature.  Joel and his partner Tess are hired to smuggle a girl out of the military

Through the Woods

By Emily Carroll
4
Rated by Kate M.
Dec 31, 2014

A strikingly illustrated graphic novel featuring short horror stories told in bold blacks, reds, blues and whites. The stories are ones that will stay with you. Each story felt familiar to me, probably inspired by classic fairy tales but each has its own horrific twist. One of my favorites has tones of Little Red Riding Hood, about a girl traveling through the woods to her mother’s house. Her father warns her to travel fast to avoid the wolves in the forest. She travels over hills, between the trees and safely reaches her mother’s home. The reader, ready to celebrate her safe journey is jarred

The Daylight Gate

By Jeanette Winterson
4
Rated by Julie T.
Oct 20, 2014

 


The Daylight Gate was a whim I picked up that fit neatly into my October/Halloween/Witch reading theme, and that delighted me more than I expected.  I read Winterson years ago for a post-structuralist college class and only remembered her fondly to feel smarter about myself.  This time, I picked her up for the shiny cover and, yes, the promise of witches. 


The Daylight Gate is a semi-historical novel about one of the earliest seventeenth century English witch-hunts.  It's suitably foreboding, and you watch doom circle and dive at every one of the characters.  There’s magic and politics

Warm Bodies

By Isaac Marion
5
Rated by Hebah A.H.
Aug 13, 2014

Most zombie stories have more to do with braaaaains than heart, but Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies is different—quirky, poetic by spells, and lovely.


R has been shambling around as a zombie for an indeterminate amount of time—not that it matters how long since little matters to the undead. One day, R devours the brains of a young man named Perry and gets full memories, more powerful than any he’s experienced before during the course of devouring brains—including memories of the lovely Julie. R makes the decision to save Julie from the ambush, protect her, and eventually love her, bringing

Jul 3, 2014

When I was in elementary school, I read many, many books on monsters and the paranormal. Books about ghosts, UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, mummies, werewolves...and vampires. Outside of books, there wasn't a lot to see with vampires at the time. You might catch classic Universal monster movies or the later, bloodier Hammer horror movies on late night TV (assuming you could convince your parents to let you stay up that late). Scooby-Doo and other Saturday morning cartoons would have vampires (usually just cranky old men in costumes), there were some horror comics that had vampires in

Feb 11, 2014

Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters by Suzanne Weyn is about Giselle and Ingrid, the identical twin daughters of Dr Frankenstein. In fear for his daughters' lives, Dr Frankenstein abandons them shortly after their birth.  To keep them safe from his creation, he tells no one of their existence.  Shortly before their 17th birthday, they are informed of their father's existence and to their surprise and excitement he has left them a castle. Seeing a great adventure ahead for them, they head for this desolate island.  What begins as an exciting time, turns, and we begin to see that perhaps some of the

The Marbury Lens

By Andrew Smith
5
Rated by Rachel C.
Jan 30, 2014

In the very first bit of this book, you learn that Jack lives with his grandparents, is best friends with Connor, and that he is kidnapped while drunk, nearly raped, and escapes through sheer luck.


It's all downhill from there.


I mean, sure, he's given a pair of magical glasses that transport him to another world, but given the choice between a world where friendly-seeming strangers can be hidden monsters, and a world where monsters are everywhere and clearly visible, which would you choose?  Do you stay with the friend you've known and loved your entire life, or do you protect a couple

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

By Holly Black
5
Rated by Bethany T.
Nov 16, 2013

When seventeen-year-old Tana wakes up hungover from a wild party at a remote farmhouse, surrounded by dead classmates, she thinks things can't get any worse...until she discovers a mysterious vampire named Gavriel chained up in the same room as her bitten ex-boyfriend Aiden, who is about to turn into a full-fledged bloodsucker at any moment.  Acting on impulse, she saves Gavriel and Aiden from the horde of vampires responsible for the massacre, and prepares to drive them to Coldtown--the quarantine zone where vampires mingle with humans in decadent parties that last for years, all broadcast on

I Am Legend

By Richard Matheson
4
Rated by Kate M.
Jul 11, 2013

Robert is the last man in New York City after a massive epidemic that turned everyone into vampires. By day he sharpens stakes, makes runs to the abandoned grocery stores for dry goods, and maintains his generator and the protections around his house. By night they come. Crowding around the doors and windows they call to him, begging him to come outside. The loneliness is enough to drive a man insane, but to have to listen to them every night is almost too much for Robert. But after binge drinking for three days, Robert sobers up and realizes that he needs to either kill himself or move on, he

Ten

By Gretchen McNeil
5
Rated by Bethany T.
Feb 19, 2013

Meg and Minnie board the ferry to Henry Island expecting a weekend of partying and fun, but what they find instead is an elaborately laid trap—an isolated house with no power, cut off from the mainland, and a mysterious DVD that claims “Vengeance will be mine.” In this murder mystery inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, ten teens have two days to outlast a killer who’s planned gruesome deaths for all of them, and to survive a killer who seems to be in multiple places at once.  They also must ask themselves the hardest question of all: could the killer be one of us? Gretchen

Jan 30, 2013

I freely admit it—I had to make a second, running start at Dark Harvest. But once I got past the idea that the evil presence holding the entire town captive was a pumpkin-headed boy with a butcher knife, the story was plenty creepy for my taste. Every Halloween, all boys between the ages of sixteen and nineteen are set loose on the town to prevent the October Boy from getting to the church before midnight. The winner earns the one and only ticket out of town. Every Halloween, that is, until Pete McCormick’s sixteenth year when he figures out what the October Boy is really about and challenges