Ten Films to Watch on Netflix UK This Halloween: Part 1 #HO18

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1. The Boy (2016)

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An American nanny is shocked that her new English family’s boy is actually a life-sized doll. After she violates a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.

 

The Boy might have a ridiculous premise, but if you’re anything like me and hate dolls, you’ll find this gloriously creepy, and it’s a really well done, if not silly, horror.

Scare Factor: 4     Creep Factor: 10

 

2. The Open House (2018)

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A teenager and his mother find themselves besieged by threatening forces when they move into a temporary house which is actually for sale and has open Sundays.

DirectorsMatt AngelSuzanne Coote

Writers: Matt AngelSuzanne Coote

This was actually much better than I was expecting. There’s definitely something creepy about having strangers in your house, especially when you suspect that they may not have actually left…

Scare Factor: 6                        Creep Factor: 5

 

3. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

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A father and son, both coroners, are pulled into a complex mystery while attempting to identify the body of a young woman, who was apparently harbouring dark secrets.

StarsBrian CoxEmile HirschOphelia Lovibond

Autopsy is a hidden gem. I feel like it definitely deserves more exposure than it’s been given.

 

Scare Factor: 7           Creep Factor: 7

 

4. I Spit on Your Grave (2010)

ispitA writer who is brutalized during her cabin retreat seeks revenge on her attackers, who left her for dead.

Director: Steven R. Monroe

Writers: Adam Rockoff (screenplay) (as Stuart Morse), Meir Zarchi (based on the film by)

If you haven’t seen the original, then watch that instead, but it’s sadly not on Netflix. This remake isn’t half bad though and gives you a good taster of one of the most classic stories of revenge ever told on screen.

Scare factor: 8                             Creep Factor: 4

5. The Awakening (2011)

awakening

In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the ‘missing’ begin to show themselves.

DirectorNick Murphy

Writers: Stephen Volk (screenplay), Nick Murphy (screenplay)

Stars: Rebecca HallDominic WestImelda Staunton 

It’s been a while since I saw this but I remember it being much better than I was expecting. Some genuine scares and many potential jump scares.

Scare Factor: 7            Creep Factor: 7

While we’re talking about Netflix, has anyone watched The Haunting on Hill House yet? Thoughts? I watched the first episode and didn’t enjoy it at all. Do I need to give it a chance?

 

Horror October: Misery by Stephen King #BookReview #HO17

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miseryTitle: Misery
Author: Stephen King
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback, 369 pages
Publication Details: July 7th 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 1987)
Genre(s): Horror
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!

Goodreads 

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Misery Chastain was dead. Paul Sheldon had just killed her – with relief, with joy. Misery had made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wanted to get on to some real writing.

That’s when the car accident happened, and he woke up in pain in a strange bed. But it wasn’t the hospital. Annie Wilkes had pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs.

The good news was that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news was that she was Paul’s Number One Fan. And when she found out what Paul had done to Misery, she didn’t like it. She didn’t like it at all.

Review

Whether you’ve read the book and/or seen the film, I’m guessing most people are aware of the story of Misery, so I won’t go into detail about the plot.

I have been meaning to read (or reread) this book ever since I got a World Book Night edition of it, but I honestly couldn’t remember if I’d read it before – as a teenager I suspected (yes, my memory really is that bad. I blame all the booze). It also doesn’t help that I’ve seen the film a bunch of times.

It wasn’t until I was about half-way through that it all started to come back to me. The differences between the film and King’s original novel are few, but certainly significant.

I really enjoyed giving this novel another go after what must be about 15 years. Once I got into it I couldn’t stop reading, but I am going to say something that might be a bit controversial…

I don’t think Stephen King should be called ‘a master of horror’.

Woah, I know, he is great, but hear me out.

King’s most successful books, for me, aren’t what I would class as horror, but as suspense. And I certainly think he’s a master of suspense! Don’t get me wrong, a lot of what makes something ‘horror’ is the suspense, but I’d say 90% of Misery is made up of suspense, followed by 10% horror.

He is also a master of characterisation. Everything he does is character-driven, and that’s why his books are so compelling. And why it’s so horrific when it all inevitably goes wrong. In this case, I didn’t find the main character, Paul Sheldon, very likeable at all, which makes it even more impressive at how sorry I felt for him.

The main thing that struck me when comparing the novel to the film, is that what happens to book Paul Sheldon is sooooo much worse than film Paul Sheldon, but I still found the film much scarier. Even after a few watches it still gets to me a bit. The penguin!!!

I’m not sure what that says about the novel, or maybe it just shows what a great film it is, and worthy of its Oscar (I defy anyone to not picture the terrifying Annie Wilkes as Kathy Bates), but essentially both mediums of this story are worth a go, and perfect for this time of year.

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Up Next on Horror October:

30 days of Horror: Battle Royale

 

 

Welcome to Horror October 2016!

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Prepare yourselves, Horror October is back!

Autumn is the best time of year to read all of those books you’ve been too scared to open and to curl up on the sofa to watch you favourite scary movie, so once again I’m dedicating a whole month to doing just that. Horror October #4 is here!

However, if you’re not a fan of horror, do not fret. As ever, I’m using the term quite loosely and hope there will be something to suit everyone. 

I’m also super-excited to be doing something a little different this year, and I need you guys to get involved. Keep reading if you dare…

Here’s what’s coming up:

1. The Books

I doubt I’ll get through all of these within the month but I’m going to give it a bloody good try. Click the links to visit their Goodreads pages.

New & Upcoming Releases

 

Haunt Me ~ Liz Kessler

hauntme

Joe wakes up from a deep sleep to see his family leave in a removals van. Where they’ve gone, he has no idea. Erin moves house and instantly feels at home in her new room. Even if it appears she isn’t the only one living in it. Bit by bit, Erin and Joe discover that they have somehow found a way across the ultimate divide – life and death. Bound by their backgrounds, a love of poetry and their growing feelings for each other, they are determined to find a way to be together.

Joe’s brother, Olly, never cared much for poetry. He was always too busy being king of the school – but that all changed when Joe died. And when an encounter in the school corridor brings him face to face with Erin, he realises how different things really are – including the kind of girl he falls for.

Two brothers. Two choices. Will Erin’s decision destroy her completely, or can she save herself before she is lost forever? 

Expected publication: October 6th 2016 by Orion Children’s Books

 

a5Someone has begun targeting vampires.

Vampire leaders of the thirteen Houses attribute the string of recent losses to over-zealous vampire hunters. Only Cicatrice, the most ancient and powerful vampire in the world, suspects that the semi-legendary Hunter of the Dead may be the real culprit.

Carter Price, a vampire hunter who despises the way his profession is becoming centralized and corporatized, begins to suspect the Hunter of the Dead is back, too – and no longer distinguishing between vampires and mortals. Against his better judgment, Price agrees to work with Cicatrice.

The uneasy allies attempt to uncover the truth about the Hunter, while a vampire civil war brews in the background. But perhaps most difficult of all, they must contend with their new apprentices, who seem to be falling in love with each other against every rule of man and monster…

Published: August 15th 2016 by Sinister Grin Press

Reckless 1: The Petrified Flesh ~ Cornelia Funke

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Enter the magical world behind the Mirrors…

Jacob has uncovered the doorway to another world, hidden behind a mirror. It is a place of dark magic and enchanted objects, scheming dwarves and fearsome ogres, fairies born from water and men born from stone.

Here, he hunts for treasure and seeks adventure in the company of Fox – a beautiful, shape-shifting girl, who guides and guards him.

But now Jacob’s younger brother has followed him into the mirrored world, and all that was freedom has turned to fear. Because a deadly curse has been spoken; and Jacob must risk his life to reverse it, before his brother is turned to stone forever…

Revised and updated by Cornelia Funke, The Petrified Flesh is the first book in the thrilling Reckless series.

Published: September 29th by Pushkin Press

 

The Travelling Bag and other Ghostly Stories ~  Susan Hill

a2Walter Craig was a clever scientist. As a young man he took away all the honours and prizes and some of his work was ground-breaking. But after he became seriously ill, his genius faded, and he needed the help of an assistant. When Silas Webb was appointed to the job he seemed the perfect choice, but he always preferred to work alone, even in secret. Then, quite suddenly, Webb disappeared.

Why ?

Later, Craig opens a prestigious scientific journal and finds a paper, containing his own work, in detail, together with the significant results he had worked out. The research is his and his alone. But the author of the paper is Dr Silas Webb.

Craig determines that he will hunt Webb down and exact revenge. Were it not for a terrifying twist of circumstance, he might have succeeded.

Published: September 29th 2016 by Profile Books

 

The Daemoniac ~ Kat Ross

a4It’s August of 1888, just three weeks before Jack the Ripper will begin his grisly spree in the London slum of Whitechapel, and another serial murderer is stalking the gas-lit streets of New York. With taunting messages in backwards Latin left at the crime scenes and even more inexplicable clues like the fingerprints that appear to have been burned into one victim’s throat, his handiwork bears all the hallmarks of a demonic possession.

But consulting detective Harrison Fearing Pell is convinced her quarry is a man of flesh and blood. Encouraged by her uncle, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry hopes to make her reputation by solving the bizarre case before the man the press has dubbed Mr. Hyde strikes again.

From the squalor of the Five Points to the high-class gambling dens of the Tenderloin and the glittering mansions of Fifth Avenue, Harry and her best friend, John Weston, follow the trail of a remorseless killer, uncovering a few embarrassing secrets of New York’s richest High Society families along the way. Are the murders a case of black magic—or simple blackmail? And will the trail lead them closer to home than they ever imagined?

Expected publication: October 12th 2016 by Acorn

From the TBR Shelves:

 

The Merciless II ~ Danielle Vega

a6Danielle Vega—YA’s answer to Stephen King—once again brings major scares in the spine-tingling sequel to horror hit The Merciless, which MTV calls “Mean Girls meets The Exorcist.”

Sofia is still processing the horrific truth of what happened when she and three friends performed an exorcism that spiraled horribly out of control. Ever since that night, Sofia has been haunted by bloody and demonic visions. Her therapist says they’re all in her head, but to Sofia they feel chillingly real. She just wants to get out of town, start fresh someplace else . . . until her mother dies suddenly, and Sofia gets her wish.
 
Sofia is sent to St. Mary’s, a creepy Catholic boarding school in Mississippi. There, seemingly everyone is doing penance for something, most of all the mysterious Jude, for whom Sofia can’t help feeling an unshakeable attraction. But when Sofia and Jude confide in each other about their pasts, something flips in him. He becomes convinced that Sofia is possessed by the devil. . . . Is an exorcism the only way to save her eternal soul?

Readers won’t be able to look away from this terrifying read full of twists and turns that will leave them wondering, Is there evil in all of us?

Published: July 5th 2016 by Razorbill

 

missperegrineA mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

selfmade
This collection of 12 short stories from Poppy Brite contains collaborations with Christa Faust and David Ferguson and an introduction from Peter Straub. The collection also includes America, which features Steve and Ghost, the central characters in Lost Souls.

2. The Main Event

As I said earlier, I have planned something a little different this year. I’m hosting a Flash Fiction Battle!

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Four horror writers will fight it out for your votes on the best short story based on a theme chosen by you! More information will follow in my next post when votes will open!

 

3. Frightening Features & Gruesome Guest Posts

 

Jason Arnopp Guest Post

Jason’s recent horror novel The Last Days of Jack Sparks has been one of my favourites so far this year. I can’t rave about it enough. He is also the writer of Stormhouse, a Lionsgate horror film, a Friday the 13th novel and various Doctor Who books. I can’t wait for him to take over my blog later in the month. 

Pretty Wicked Book Blitz

“This creepy novel places you inside the mind of a twisted teen killer, which is even more unsettling because of how familiar and normal she seems. Be prepared to leave the lights on and look at the people around you in a whole new way.”

Poppy Z. Brite

I review Self-Made Man and discuss my fascination with Poppy Z. Brite

London FrightFest/ Film Reviews

Round-up of this years’ horror films and my time at Frightfest

This Year in Horror so far

Round-up of the horror books I’ve read so far this year

The Ultimate Halloween Sleepover Party

Planning a Halloween party? Well here’s everything you need for a successfully scary night in!

4. How to Get Involved

– Are you planning on reading or posting anything ghoulish or gruesome this month? If so let me know and I’ll link to your post on my weekly round-up

– Want to be a Horror October guest? I’m still open for guest posts, reviews, and spotlights. You’ll be fully credited and can still post on your own blog too so it’s a good opportunity to reach more people. Email me for more info.

– It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway…comment away! I’ll also be tweeting using #HorrorOctober. And don’t forget to vote!

-Use my Horror October or Flash Fiction Image on your sidebar to show your support.

– Follow me on Twitter to get all the latest goings on: @ lipsyy 

#HorrorOctober 2015: Week 3 Round-Up

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Wow, we’re in the final week of Horror October already! Where ever does the time go?

Anyway, here’s everything you may have missed from week three!

Horror October Week 3: 16th – 22nd (Click on the images to view the post)

Horror Films That Still Scare Me #2

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Review: Seize the Night

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Guest Post: My Love of Murder and Mayhem by Cleo Bannister

Murder on the Orient Express

This Week in Books

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Review: Vampire Vic

vampvic

Great Posts from the around Blogosphere

If you’d like a link adding to next week’s round-up, email it to me on lipsyylostnfound-AT-gmail-DOT-COM-

Horror Films That Still Scare Me #2: The Stephen King Edition #HorrorOctober

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Over the next few weeks I’m going to share my favourite ‘still scary’ horror films. You can read my first post here.

Stephen King’s It (1990)

IT movie cover

Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Writers: Stephen King (novel), Lawrence D. Cohen (teleplay)
Cast: Richard Thomas, Tim Reid, Annette O’Toole, Tim Curry

“In 1960, seven outcast kids known as “The Loser Club” fight an evil demon who poses as a child-killing clown. 30 years later, they are called back to fight the same clown again.”

I’m not sure if my fear of clowns came before, during, or after watching It, but I’m pretty sure I’ll always be scared of them. Pennywise, played by the amazing Tim Curry is definitely the scariest clown I’ve ever encountered…I just can’t even.

Stephen-King-s-It-stephen-kings-it-20711159-1000-1331

I also wonder if my fear of balloons has something to do with this film (I always forget it was originally a two-part mini-series) too…it really wouldn’t surprise me. I mean, I can look at a balloon, but if someone throws one at me, or I have to touch one, it really freaks me out. UGH.

Pet Sematary (1989)

petsem
Director: Mary Lambert
Writers: Stephen King (novel & screenplay)
Cast: Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, Fred Gwynne…

“Behind a young family’s home in Maine is a terrible secret that holds the power of life after death. When tragedy strikes, the threat of that power soon becomes undeniable.”

I think this film scares me more now than it did when I was young. There’s only really one thing in the film that catapults Pet Sematary into my Scary Hall of Fame and that’s this…

It’s not always the first film I think of when I think of evil creepy-ass kids, but Gage is definitely the most terrifying part of Pet Sematary. Damien’s got nothing on him!

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!