I’m what we librarians call a gentle horror reader. I’m fascinated by the supernatural but can’t handle graphic violence or gore. I normally indulge in juvenile scary stories or classics like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I heard a lot of buzz around Matt Ruff’s horror novel, Lovecraft County, after the release of the critically acclaimed HBO drama series adaptation, created by Misha Green. The premise of resilient and intelligent African American characters grappling with racism and the supernatural in the 1950s intrigued me. This was the perfect horror novel to
This book keeps you guessing. And even if you think you've got it figured out, you probably don't.
And the subtle reminders of paranoia throughout the book, even from the beginning, were very compelling. It kept me interested and made me want to read more. It made me very uneasy whenever Mira would feel strange out of the blue, and reminded me to be suspicious of everyone in the car.
My only criticisms are that the action scenes were a little bit underplayed. They tended to blend in with the rest of the book, so it was hard for me to notice a difference between a calm moment and an
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
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?)
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
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
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
Before she was even born, Nyx was sold by her brutish father to the demon Gentle Lord that rules over Arcadia. He made a bet with the Gentle Lord, and lost, like many other foolish people in Arcadia. It has suffered for almost 1000 years under the Gentle Lord's rule and the demons that escape his castle from time to time. When a person lays eyes on a demon they either die or go insane. So things don't look too good for Nyx. She arrives at his castle, ready to kill him, as she has been trained, but things of course don't go according to plan.
Nyx is not the average female heroine. She is
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
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
Follow along with us on Facebook this month for an in-depth introduction to the Horror genre. Each month we’re suggesting books, posting quizzes and infographics, and generally stirring up discussion about your favorite genres. All you need is a Facebook page – no extra sign-up necessary.
During the month of March we'll be discussing Horror. As one leg of the tripod of speculative fiction, the primary function of horror is to elicit feelings of fear from the reader. This is achieved through an atmosphere of menace with a dark and foreboding tone. While this can be mundane in nature, it
Pepper (we only ever know him as Pepper) gets into a fight with three police officers who admit him to Hyde Park mental hospital in Queens, New York because a trip to the precinct would involve too much paperwork. Pepper isn’t crazy. He’s just unlucky, and he gets less lucky as things go. The Devil in Silver while billed as a Horror/Thriller – and yes it is terrifying - is at its heart a book about how bad luck has a way of following those on the bottom rungs of society. Hyde Park mental patients are stuck within an institution that doesn’t just allow bad luck but helps to create it. This isn
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
I picked up I am Legend when I learned that the Horror Writer’s Association had recently voted it Best Vampire Novel of the Century. First published in 1954, the only thing dated that I noticed was the records the main character played at night to drown out the sounds of the marauding vampires.
When the whole world succumbs to vampirism, Robert Neville, as far as he can determine, is the last living human. He spends every day on search and destroy missions. That is, when he isn’t fortifying his house against the vampires who seek him out every night, repairing damage or trying new strategies
In her second installment in the Anna Dressed in Blood series, Kendare Blake hits the reader’s full force with instant action, gore, and sadly death. Girl of Nightmares begins shortly after the events of Anna Dressed in Blood, with Cas trying to figure out how to save Anna from hell, all the while having gruesome visions of her that almost cost him, and his friends, their lives on more than one occasion. Unable to cope with knowing that Anna is suffering, Cass decides to break all of the rules of ghost hunting to travel to hell and save her. This takes Cas deep into underground London and into
A couple of friends head out to their cabin in the woods to make repairs on their vacation home-to-be, only to run into some paranoid college kids who seem bent on their destruction.
The television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which appeared for seven seasons, is a mix of California sunshine and old B movies. Buffy manages to bypass the stereotypical gothic atmosphere with a modern, realistic setting and plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor. Each episode starts with the beginning of the story and explodes into music by the band Nerf Herders, accompanied by a slide show of pictures from current seasons. Sara Michelle Gellar as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” leads the Scooby Gang, as they refer to themselves, through a nonstop combination of karate, street fighting, and
Is there a fiction genre called "cozy horror"? There should be: Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived In The Castle deserves a category of its own. On the surface it is a story about two sisters who live an idyllic, almost fairy-tale existence in their ancestral mansion with their senile, wheelchair-bound Uncle Julian. Constance Blackwood, the older sister, tends to the uncle and grows most of their food in her garden, while Merricat, her younger sister, makes trips on foot to the village for library books and groceries, spending the rest of her time wandering the woods and meadows that
In the last couple weeks, there's been some odd Internet buzz to the effect that Warner Bros. and CBS are trying to turn Stephen King's The Stand into a feature film.
It's odd for several reasons: It's been tried before, and that effort ended up in "development hell" for a decade, partly because of the length of the novel. Eventually, ABC made a mini-series of King's post-apocalyptic epic, with decidedly mixed results -- some good performances marred by weak special effects and budgetary constraints. Well, leave it to Hollywood to try, try and, if necessary, try again. We'll see.
City of Bones tells the story of a fifteen-year-old girl, Clary, trying to make sense of her world when it is turned upside down. First she becomes involved with three "people" that no one else sees and what she sees is impossible. Then, her mother disappears setting off a chain of events that leads Clary into the world of demons and demon hunters, the shadowhunters. Everything Clary thought she knew about herself, her parents and her past seems to be a lie. She struggles to find her place among these newly discovered supernatural beings (is she one of them?) as she searches for her mother and
I started reading this book with a bit of trepidation. I expected the book to be pretty scary, or at least somewhat frightening. Initially I did find the story to be a bit creepy, but as the story continued, it lost its scare factor. Finding out the ghost is haunting Judas Coyne for a specific reason suddenly saps all the terror, and some of the events are pretty hokey: the ghost came with a suit, packed in a heart-shaped box that Jude stuck in a back closet. The ghost sends an email to Jude from the address box.closet.net. Truly un-scary and just too laughable. The plot is predictable, so
The Shining, Stephen King’s third book, is also one of his best. The plot centers around Jack Torrance and his family. Jack is an alcoholic mentally troubled father and after being fired from his teaching job he takes a job as a winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel in Colorado. During the long, cold, desolate winter the only people in the hotel will be Jack, his wife Wendy and their son Danny. Danny is a “special” child who is blessed or cursed with “the shining.” With “the shining” Danny can see spirits as well as past, present and future events through his invisible friend Tony. On the
I picked The Ruins by Scott Smith because of a book review in a magazine and the reviewer was right on target. I was disappointed to learn that Mr. Smith had waited ten years from his last book (A Simple Plan) to write this one because I don’t want to wait that long for another novel from him. The Ruins is the story of two American couples who meet up with two foreigners at a resort in Mexico. They decide to explore some Mayan ruins buried deep within a forest. They leave a map with some other tourists who say they will join them in a few days. Our happy campers ignore warnings about the
Welcome to a crazy alternate-historical steampunk world, starring a plucky and determined mother/son pair who must use all their wits to escape from a Seattle that has been taken over by zombies. Priest does some great world-building that literally immerses the reader (bring your extra filters, kids, the air isn't fit to breathe) and goes most authors one better by leaving much of the zombie horror offscreen. You'll focus more on intently listening for a rotter's shuffle than you will on the occasional gore, making the story trip along much more like J-horror than a Saw-fest. My YALSA blogging
Bentley Little is a Bram Stoker Award winner, the award given by the Horror Writer’s Association. The Walking is a prime example of Little’s work. I was hooked on this book from the first sentence in the Prologue which was, “John Hawkes died and kept walking.”The main character is Miles Huerdeen, a private investigator, who is drawn into “The Walking” when his father dies and starts walking. The dead are walking to Wolf Canyon, which used to be a witch community in the Arizona desert but is now under Wolf Canyon Lake. Miles meets other characters, some good and some evil, who are also
King already imagined the apocalypse once in The Stand... and this post 9-11 version of The Bell Jar is a worthy follow-up. After a literal dome descends over Chester's Mill, Maine, the townspeople are variously resigned to their fate or utterly freaked out. Others end up stumbling around in a haze of migraine pain and murder a couple of ex-lovers (hey, it IS Stephen King). Most frightening of all isn't the expectation that the townspeople will turn on each other, but the taut tension created between the town's freethinkers (an ex-Army man, the editor of the local newspaper, and a trio of