Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scare Me Blogfest!

Scare me blogfest sponsored by Sci Media.
Scariest book(s)
It's rare for a book to scare me, so when one does, I remember it. I'm more of a visual person, so reading doesn't typically have the same effect on me as watching a film. If I get engrossed in a book enough to scare me, that means it's a pretty good book. Only a few books have scared me. I've listed my choices below.


'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.


'The Amityville Horror' 1978 - The original haunted house flick. You can't go wrong with this one.



'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? 

16 comments:

  1. The Thing! Awesome choice. And I still won't swim in the ocean thanks to Jaws.
    "Never look at static on the TV the same way again." - Hilarious!

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  2. It seems that the exorcist is winning the day as scariest movie. The Descent was so good. Stand and Walking dead are great. I haven't read Cronin, guess I need to. The Road is where I will disagree, it was def. scary at points but I hated the book.

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  3. Never heard of The Passage, but it sounds awesome! Thanks for the recommendation. I loved The Road, too. Definitely creepy.

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  4. HA! When I read The Stand in high school, it was the longest one I'd ever read, too. And I love the book. And I totally didn't realize The Road was post-apocalyptic. I might have to read it, as that is a genre I like to write in, too.

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  5. Scary books never got to me much. Maybe because I didn't read them in the dark. I can't remember. Scary movies are a no for me. They give me nightmares and make me really jumpy. Even though I know they're fake, they scare the crap out of me.

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  6. Great choices!! I've never read The Road, but I've been meaning to forever. I've heard great things about it. And The Stand was another awesome choice. LOVE Stephen King!

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  7. Alex-- Thanks, I enjoyed your choices as well.

    Budd-- I have had several people tell me that they hated that book. I listened to it as an audio book, which may have made the difference. Listening to it, I thought that the language that the author used was a combination of beautiful desolation.

    Shallee-- I enjoyed both books immensely. Although 'The Road' was incredibly depressing.

    Hart-- I remembered reading 'The Stand' and thinking how big that book was. 1,200 pages as a teenager was so daunting.

    Patricia-- Very few books scare me. So I was surprised when I read 'The Passage' that there were a few parts that spooked me.

    Tamara-- Yes, I enjoyed 'The Road.' I listened to it as an audio book, so I don't know if that made the difference. Some people didn't like it.

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  8. I completely agree with The Road being scary... or perhaps "unsettling" would be a better way to describe it. Either way, it left me feeling very creeped out!

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  9. So much to choose from! I read The Stand when I was 17 and several times since. It didn't scare me but it is one story I will never forget. I haven't read The Road but I admired the way the film shows the reality of an apocalypse. As for The Walking Dead graphic novels, my other half is collecting them. Awesome. Love the TV series as well.

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  10. Those sound like some great scary books. It's always refreshing to hear about real Vampyres in modern books, not this cuddly/sparkly stuff.

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  11. My daughter once knelt in front of a TV that was staticky while we messed with settings. Bet your booty I moved her away from the TV immediately!

    While I don't agree that Kubrick's The Shining put King's to shame, I do view them as two separate entities. I didn't like King's movie version of it, though. I think Kubrick's film was fantastically well done and freaky. Last year for my birthday my hubby took me to The Stanley, the hotel The Overlook is based on. I got to sleep IN the hotel, watch the Kubrick film (they have a channel where it is on a loop) and read King's novel at the same time. That was awesome for a gal who was a fan of all of the above!

    Great movie choices! The books I've read I agree with, too. I will have to try the others, especially The Passage.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  12. I,ve heard of Cronin, there was a positive review of the twelve in last saturdays guardian. I agree that books are creepier than film-but I can be scared by both, The Shinning and Halloween both made me jump and I could not watch descent for all those claustrophobic reasons.

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  13. Listening to it might be better, while reading it, I think my inner voice was toneless and dead. I think it was because I felt that is how the dad felt. My inner reading voice does voices and accents, is that strange.

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  14. JAWS is my favorite movie and I loved The Road!

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  15. Great lists! I would argue McCarthy's "The Road" like Blood Meridian is more sad than scary. The line from The Road "Someday all the trees in the world will fall. But not on us." made me want to cry basically. Great post, look forward to reading your blog!

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  16. I haven't read or seen all your choices, but the ones I'm familiar with are fantastic picks.

    I'm interested in reading The Passage.

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