|Scare me blogfest sponsored by Sci Media.|
'The Passage' by Justin Cronin - When reading this book late at night, a cold chill went through my body. I actually had to put it down for the night and pick it back up the next day. That's when I knew that 'The Passage' had affected me.
'The Passage' is about a secret government experiment that infects death-row inmates with a rare Bolivian jungle virus, giving them superhuman strength, telepathy, and of course a taste for human blood. The vampires in 'The Passage' are not the sweet cuddly commercial kind. I had all but given up on vampire stories until I read 'The Passage.' The vampires in 'The Passage' are vicious, deadly, and horrifying.
Cronin has recently released a sequel to 'The Passage' entitled 'The Twelve.'
'The Stand' by Stephen King - I remember reading this book in High School. At well over 1,000 pages, 'The Stand' was the longest book I had ever read. 'The Stand' is an all-encompassing journey into a land infected by a terrible disease, but that's not the focal point of the story. No, the virus is just the catalyst to bring about the ultimate battle between good and evil. The 1995 tv-movie barely scratched the surface of this chilling novel of a Dystopian future.
'The Walking Dead' Graphic Novels by Robert Kirkman - Before 'The Walking Dead' was a popular television series, it was a comic (subsequently turned into graphic novels). When I first started reading the 1st compendium of 'The Walking Dead' I couldn't put it down. I read it in one sitting. The scariest thing about 'The Walking Dead' is not the zombies, it's the people.
'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy - 'The Road' has no supernatural creatures of any kind. In fact, 'The Road' is wholly based in reality and that's the scariest part. 'The Road' is about a father and his young son traveling a dilapidated road, whilst battling for survival in a post-apocalyptic world devastated by an unseen catastrophe. The earth is covered in thick cloud cover possibly due to a nuclear winter or a massive asteroid strike. The reader never finds out what the catastrophe was and it doesn't matter. The cause of the catastrophe doesn't change the condition of our protagonists.
There is very little sunlight, no plants, no animals, no birds, no gasoline, no electricity--just starving people. The only food left on the planet is found in aged cans long past their expiration dates and even that is running out. The other post-apocalyptic novels at least had a sliver of hope. Not so with 'The Road.' What would people do to each other when faced with their own extinction? Or perhaps the question is what wouldn't people do to each other to survive?
Scariest movie(s)Like books, it's hard to choose just one movie. Most of the movies on this list are pre-1982 and there's a reason for that. I recently spoke with a teenager who had seen 'The Exorcist' for the first time. As 'The Exorcist' came out a few years before I was born and about 20 or so years before this teen was born, I was curious to hear his opinion. "The difference," he said "between modern scary movies and pre-1982 scary movies is that modern films focus on 'gotcha' moments. Whereas pre-1980 horror films focused exclusively on psychological terror." The horror films of the 1970s films got into you, wormed their way into your psyche and refused to leave. Which in my opinion makes these films much more terrifying. Thus, most (not all) of the movies that scare me senseless are pre-1982.
'The Exorcist' - You can't have a scary movie list without 'The Exorcist' and this movie is number #1 with a bullet. This is the exorcist movie of all exorcist movies. So many copycat exorcism films have tried to emulate this film, but none of them quite deliver. This movie terrifies me so badly that I literally cannot watch it again. All of the other movies on this list, I can watch repeatedly, but not this one. I've seen this movie a few times, but each time I see it I regret it, as I frequently have nightmares and can't sleep for days.
The Shining' - Stanley Kurbrick's classic tale of madness and ghosts is like no other. The stark winter at the Overlook hotel with it's otherworldly inhabitants is horrifying. In my humble opinion, the movie even puts Stephen King's original novel to shame.
'Halloween' - This movie is probably my favorite horror film of all time. I watch it every Halloween. At it's core, it's a simple slasher film, but it's bloody brilliant. It set the standard for modern slashers.
'Jaws' - 1974' - This movie made everyone afraid to go in the water and it still does.
'Poltergeist' 1982 - I never looked at static on the television the same way again.
'The Thing' 1982 - This creature feature is the perfect blend of paranoia and horror, set in the antarctic. Seriously, this was when John Carpenter was in his hey-day. The 2011 remake paled in comparison.
'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' - This is one of the few modern day films that really scared me and my viewing partner, which was my sister. My sister was visiting and stayed the night. We decided to watch this film late one night and oh-boy did we regret it. Like the movies of old, this film was cerebrally creepy. There were no guts or gore, just pure psychological terror. After viewing we hastily went to bed. Then around 3:00 a.m. I felt the presences of someone in my bedroom. I jumped up and screamed. Thankfully it was just my sister, who was still so terrified that she had to come into my room for comfort.
'The Descent' 2005 - This is the second modern day horror film to scare me. 'The Descent' is about six adventurous women who routinely go on adventures together, like white water rafting and skydiving. Their latest adventure is caving. The film combines the claustrophobia of the caving, with the dangers of starvation, the pitch black dark, the loss of direction, and...oh and did I mention the subterranean flesh eating humanoids?