I know I do. October and the colder, stormier weather always puts me in a fright fest sort of mood, which makes it great that American Horror Story and The Walking Dead are about to return to television. Last night, I had the apartment mostly to myself and decided to do a small marathon with A Nightmare on Elm Street, Pet Sematary, and Poltergeist to hold me over until my boyfriend and I get to delve into the 50 Horror Classics mega-pack he picked up at Walmart the other day. In addition to these classic gems (none of them after 1965, I think), we’ve got a boatload of really, really crappy free horror movies downloaded onto his X-Box, so we’re pretty much set until well after Halloween.
But it did get me wondering: what are your favorite horror movies, and why? I was discussing them with a coworker lately; he likes the slasher films and says he just can’t handle the supernatural, demony, ghosty ones that I love so much (though we both agreed that A Nightmare on Elm Street is pretty much one of the best ones). The Exorcist is one of the first ones that I remember really, really terrified me, and I think Session 9 is easily one of the best psychological horrors I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.
Books are fair game, too. I’v got a million books I’m reading, but what are some of your favorite scary books? House of Leaves is required to be mentioned, of course; that had some pretty decent heebie-jeebie moments in it, but, really, I can’t say books manage to freak me out as much as movies do. Perhaps it’s the visual aspect for me? Maybe my brain is too much of a literary critic to effectively feel scared, though I do love a good story with some frightening bits in it. And maybe that’s why I love Stephen King movies, but not Stephen King books. Of course, I did recently pick up the Fear Street Saga books from HalfPric Books, recently…Goosebumps and Fear Street, especially the Saga were just the creepiest when I was growing up (though not nearly as creepy as Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! The illustrations in there still give me shivers!)
I feel I also should mention scary video games, too, because those, more than anything, have had a strong influence on my horror writing. I remember playing Roberta Williams’ Phantasmagoria back when I was way, way, way too young to be playing that shit. The boyfriend recently played the latest Silent Hill demo (oh, hey, Norman Reedus, how you doin’?), and it brought up all sorts of fond memories of being too creeped out to sleep after that game.
So, let m have it. What are some of your favorite scary things?
I much prefer the ghosty movies to the slasher ones. I don’t like blood and guts and other gross things (even though I wrote The Gnome, LOL, I didn’t have to SEE it). I love a good haunted house movie or book. I like vampire movies, werewolf movies, etc., too. And I will admit an addiction to the lighter Halloween movies, like Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown (all four of them).
Hocus Pocus is a freaking national treasure. I never did see the Halloweentown movies, though now I kind of want to go watch Casper.
Hocus Pocus is the one movie I HAVE to watch every Halloween. I also found Kenan and Kel’s Halloween movie, Two Heads Are Better Than None, on Amazon Prime a few weeks ago. I haven’t seen that in nearly a decade but…omg. Childhood!
The scariest book I ever read was The Hot Zone. It is especially terrifying in today’s climate, because it’s a true story about an Ebola outbreak in America. I was so scared of that book in middle school, and then eventually forced to read it in sophomore English class. It’s got some really graphic descriptions of what the disease does to a person’s body in the first couple chapters, but the rest of the book is mostly about CDC people trying to contain an outbreak in Reston, Virginia. Luckily the strain mutated into a monkey-only one back then, which is why we aren’t up a creek right now. But…yeah. Still scary because it’s true.
I watched a few Let’s Plays of PT, because the Let’s Plays are hysterically funny…but even with the humor, PT creeped the hell out of me. Let’s Plays of Five Nights At Freddies, Outlast, and Amnesia are also terrifying despite their humor, lol.
I’ve been seeing The Hot Zone mentioned on blogs and such a lot lately, which just makes me think on how cyclical these things can be, we’ve been here before, and we always work ourselves into a tizzy about it. I haven’t read it myself; crazy diseases don’t really catch my attention, no matter how realistic, unless said disease lead to zombies later…
I just have had an irrationally profound fear of Ebola since I was like, 12. So it was especially terrifying to me to be forced to read that book as a teen. That was like my own personal hell!
Interesting enough, reading the book made me feel a little bit less scared of it though. It’s almost like it desensitized me. So yeah, mostly just a personal thing on that account, but it’s one of the only books I’ve ever been afraid to read.
I am not only an enormous Nightmare on Elm Street fan, I have a complete and detailed head canon for it, too. A couple of the movies don’t count, dammit.
I feel as though this comment demands some elaboration. 😛
I love scary books and movies, but unfortunately, they no longer scare me. Stephen King used to keep me up at night. Now when I read him, I’m still entertained but no longer scared. Guess that’s what comes with getting older and living in a real world that’s scarier than any fiction. Sigh. But I still keep hoping one day those movies and books will make me sleep with one eye open. 😉
It’s been a while since I got to that level of fright, too, but then American Horror Story premiered for this season. And I spent my late night bathroom trip peering terrified into corners, expecting to see Twisty the Clown waiting in one of them. It was great to feel that old horrified tingle again.
This is the first season I’m not watching it. Hmm, maybe I better check the TV listings for a reshowing of the premiere and give it a go. I like the show and I LOVE the cast, but I was trying to wean down the amount of shows I watch. Just not enough time. But now you may have convinced me…
Haha, sorry! There really are too many good shows on right now. And here comes The Walking Dead again, too! Arrgh.
But, yeah, this season so far is an improvement on Coven, but feels more like Asylum than Murder House (Murder House being my favorite). There are some really off moments, but, damn it all, Twisty is fascinating and frightening and I’m already going to be really let down if some of my theories about him prove to be incorrect. Like I said, I was checking shadowy corners like crazy that night. They did a great job with him.
Well, the clown seems to be lighting up Twitter, so I’ll give it a go. 🙂
I also have to add that I’m still really sad that Lily Rabe isn’t in the cast this season. I know it’s a conflict with another project, but she’s been my favorite all three seasons.