Horror Films That Still Scare Me #1 #HorrorOctober

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I’ve been a fan of horror films since I can remember, from a way-too-early age, so I’ve seen more than my fair share.

The only problem with that, is that I’ve become desensitised to them, or maybe horror films just aren’t as scary as they used to be, because I can probably count on one hand the number of horror films that have scared me in the past 10 years. To be fair, it’s probably a bit of both!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to share my favourite horror films. The ones that scared me when I first saw them, and still scare me today…

Child’s Play (1988) & Child’s Play 2 (1990)

Director: Tom Holland/John Lafia
Writers: Don Mancini (story & screenplay)
Cast: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Jenny Agutter

“A single mother gives her son a much sought after doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer.”

I was only four years old when the first film came out. I obviously didn’t watch it as soon as it was released, but I think it was probably only a few years after that.

Unfortunately, around that time, I had begged and begged for a Cricket doll, which was mega expensive at the time, and my parents had finally given in. I loved that doll for about a week. Until I watched Child’s Play, and then cried until my furious parents hid Cricket in the attic.

cricket

To this day I’m still wary of that attic (although they assure me the doll is long gone), and have remained creeped out by dolls.

So, when I feel like a good scare, Child’s Play (and Child’s Play 2) is a safe bet.

UP NEXT: IT!

#Horror October: From Point Horror to Fear Street, The Lost Girl by R.L Stine

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thelostgirlTitle: The Lost Girl
Author: R.L Stine
Series: Fear Street Relaunch #3
Edition: Digital Review Copy, 272 pages
Publication Details: September 29th 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre(s): Horror; YA
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads

Generations of children and teens have grown up on R.L. Stine’s bestselling and hugely popular horror series, Fear Street and Goosebumps. Now, the Fear Street series is back with a chilling new installment, packed with pure nightmare fodder that will scare Stine’s avid fan base of teen readers and adults.

New student Lizzy Palmer is the talk of Shadyside High. Michael and his girlfriend Pepper befriend her, but the closer they get to her, the stranger she seems… and the more attractive she is to Michael. He invites her to join him on a snowmobile race that ends in a tragic accident. Soon, Michael’s friends start being murdered, and Pepper becomes convinced that Lizzy is behind the killings. But to her total shock, she and Michael are drawn into a tragic story of an unthinkable betrayal committed over 60 years ago. Frightening and tense in the way that only this master of horror can deliver, The Lost Girl is another terrifying Fear Street novel by the king of juvenile horror.

Review

Most people around my age will know the name R.L Stine, and either avoided his books like the plague, or loved them. He’s most famous for the Goosebumps books (and TV Series) and various Point Horror titles, all aimed at scaring or creeping out the teen and pre-teen market.

I was a huge fan of Point Horror, in fact, they are the first books I can remember going out to buy with my pocket money.

I remember being so excited whenever a new book came out, and I would go to W.H Smith on a Saturday morning to buy them. The first time I brought one of them home, my mum took one look at it and said that she didn’t think I should be reading them because they were too grown up, but I just laughed and told her that it clearly says Children’s books on the back. It’s funny the little moments you remember like that. But that’s why I’ll always be fond of the Point Horror books- the nostalgia!

The Fear Street books were a series that passed me by, however. I think I had progressed to adult horror by the time they became popular (Point Horrors were clearly a gateway drug for me), but I imagine that they were more of the same. Either way, I was thrilled to see that they were relaunching the series last year, with none other than R.L Stine back in the teen scares business.

The Lost Girl, is the third relaunched Fear Street novel, and whereas I was looking forward to reading it, I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it, and it would ruin my fond memories of Stine’s writing.

The Lost Girl is set in two different time zones. We start in the 1950’s where the protagonist is attacked and almost raped, but thankfully for her, she has some witchy powers and is able to force him off.

Terrible things happen to this girl and her family…like, really, really terrible things involving some honey and oats..(seriously), and I was hooked straight way.

Fast forward to the present day and we meet Michael, a high-school senior who has an already tempestuous relationship with his firey girlfriend when a new girl who seems to be perpetually lost starts to make life even more difficult for him.

One of the main things that I thought could go wrong with this series was if it hadn’t have moved with the times as far as the scares, the gore, and the violence are concerned. But thankfully, The Lost Girl felt thoroughly modern in that respect. The violence packed a punch, and the gore…well there was one scene that even had me squirming slightly. Loved it.

The only down-side to this book – and it was quite a major one- was just how predictable the plot was. I pretty much knew where it was going the whole way through, and there were very little surprises. I also wanted it to be longer. I felt like the last part of the book was rushed through.

Overall though, I’m so glad this series has been relaunched, giving a whole new generation the same gloriously gory scares that I remember.

R.L Stine still has the knack of hooking you in and severely creeping you out. Even if it’s nothing new, I enjoyed the ride, and my fond memories of his earlier books are well and truly intact. Hurrah!

unicorn rating 3

Top 10 Books From My Childhood That I Would Love To Revisit

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

The topic for this week is: Top 10 books from my childhood (Or teen years) that I would love to revisit

A lot of the books I read as a child and going into my teens have stayed with me, and I revisit them often, so I found this week’s topic quite tough, but here goes…

childst1

  1.  Naughty Amelia Jane ~ Enid Blyton : I’ve been looking for a nice copy of this series for ages, I remember loving it as a child and I’ve not read it since.
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  3. I Don’t Want To!~ Bel Mooney: This is another one that I remember vaguely from my childhood but haven’t been able to find a copy since.
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  5.  Green Eggs and Ham ~ Dr. Seuss: I’d like to read this again, I don’t know why I don’t own it.
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  7.   The Magic Faraway Tree ~ Enid Blyton: I have a couple of books in this series but haven’t read them for years. Need to get on that!
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  9.  Unknown unicorn book: When I was at junior school I always wanted books from the book people that came round every now and then, but usually I wasn’t allowed. However, on one occasion my mum gave in because I fell in love a beautiful picture book about a unicorn who gets lost in a forest. I remember the cover of that book to this day but I’ve never been able to find it as I can’t remember the title or author. It makes me sad every time I think about it. Any ideas? It must have been around 1990
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  11. The Chronicles of Narnia ~ C.S Lewis: So I read Narnia a lot, but I have a confession, I’ve never read the last book in the series, ever! I really should, but I’m scared that it’ll break me. I’ve also only read The Silver Chair once so I need to revisit that one too.
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  13. Point Horror ~ Various: These books were such a staple of my reading growing up. They are what made reading cool for me. Over the past couple of years I’ve been building up my collection again but I haven’t read most of them since I was about 12.
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  15. Knightmare: The Dragon’s Lair ~ Dave Morris: I wish I still had a copy of this. I loved those choose-your-own-adventure books. I’d like to revisit this one to see if it was as fun as I remember.
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  17. Robinson Crusoe ~ Daniel Defoe: This was one of the few books I was made to read at school that I actually enjoyed. I re-read it again at uni about ten years ago but after recently reading The Martian, I’d like to give it another whirl.
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  19. Secret Vampire ~ L.J Smith: I remember getting this free with a magazine when I was a young teen. It’s probably what set of my vampire obsession! I think I still have it somewhere, I must find it!

Guest Post: When the 90s come back to haunt you

HorrorOct2014The lovely Kimberley G. Giarratano, author of Grunge, Gods, and Graveyards was nice enough to make us a spooky playlist to while away these dark, october evenings. In the words of my favourite Kevin, ‘don’t get scared now’.

When the 90s Come Back to Haunt You by Kimberly G. Giarratano

My debut novel, Grunge Gods and Graveyards, is a YA paranormal mystery set in 1996. It stars 17-year-old Lainey Bloom, an outcast who is given the impossible task of finding her crush’s killer. It’s atmospheric and twisty and full of references to awesome 90s music.

So I thought in honor of October, the creepiest month of the year, I would put together a 90s playlist celebrating both Halloween and the angstiest decade there ever was. Some of these tunes are creepy and some are flat-out haunting. And most of them are on this list because they had wicked videos that I wouldn’t watch home alone.

In fact, so much music in the 90s was intense and crazy. And it was mainstream. I remember all these song being played on the radio or MTV. You can’t find angst like this now.

A haunting soundtrack

  1. Sweet Dreams — Marilyn Manson: This remake of the Annie Lennox hit was my introduction to Marilyn Manson’s twisted art. I still shudder when I watch this video. The headgear. His red lips and pale eyes. I think calling this video “freaky” is an understatement.
  2. Living Dead Girl — Zombie: I think the title alone qualifies this song for the list. The tune doesn’t creep me out so much, but Rob Zombie’s voice is villainous. I wouldn’t want him chasing me through an abandoned house.
  3. Shame — Stabbing Westward: I remember this video on MTV. The obsessive, crazy boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend. Listen to how the song picks up as it goes. It starts off quiet, like the boyfriend’s machinations are just rumbling under the surface until he loses control. My pulse quickens when I watch this. It’s like a mini movie.
  4. Heart Shaped Box — Nirvana: I’m rewatching the video as I type this. There’s so much imagery here: the half-naked old man, the cross, the blood red poppies.
  5. Doll Parts — Hole: Courtney Love’s tattered little girl dresses (which she made popular), the vintage doll and the childlike hands, Courtney rolling around in the dirt. With more time, I could get all meta about this song and video.
  6. Blood Roses — Tori Amos: This song is off the Boys for Pele album. The liner notes defy creepy (Tori’s nursing a pig). But this sound stands out because of the harpsicord and the way Tori sings “blood.” I can’t help but picture a zombie minuet.
  7. Joga — Bjork: Whenever I hear the violin in this song, I imagine being lost in the woods and that just creeps me out.
  8. Sober — Tool (Vitamin String Quartet): This instrumental version of Sober is more haunting than the original.

I could include a myriad of other tunes, but I’d run out of space and time. I want to know what songs you’d add to this playlist. I’m dying to know.

Happy hauntings,

KGG

Huge thanks to Kim for putting this together. I LOVE her choices. I think I’d also have to add Northern Star by Hole – that song is so haunting too, Stay by Shakespears Sister (OK so it’s not actually grunge, but it is awesome), and Placebo’s My Sweet Prince.

If you liked this, but sure to check out her novel…

Grunge, Gods and Graveyards


GGGParted by death. Tethered by love.

Lainey Bloom’s high school senior year is a complete disaster. The popular clique, led by mean girl Wynter Woods, bullies her constantly. The principal threatens not to let her graduate with the class of 1997 unless she completes a major research project. And everyone blames her for the death of Wynter’s boyfriend, Danny Obregon.

Danny, a gorgeous musician, stole Lainey’s heart when he stole a kiss at a concert. But a week later, he was run down on a dangerous stretch of road. When he dies in her arms, she fears she’ll never know if he really would have broken up with Wynter to be with her.

Then his ghost shows up, begging her to solve his murder. Horrified by the dismal fate that awaits him if he never crosses over, Lainey seeks the dark truth amidst small town secrets, family strife, and divided loyalties. But every step she takes toward discovering what really happened the night Danny died pulls her further away from the beautiful boy she can never touch again.

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