Chill Factor

Pale girl in creepy dark room

I’m not talking about the wind chill factor, but what gives me the creeps in books and film. Mostly, I avoid horror because I don’t find it interesting, nor do I need an extra surge of adrenaline after driving in SoCal traffic. Horror show in and of itself. 😱

But over the decades there have been some works that grabbed me. So to speak. I love Stephen King’s writing. He knows how to tell a story, create compelling characters, set the scene, and build suspense. The Shining is a perfect example. For a while, I enjoyed some of Dean Koontz’s novels too, but his writing became repetitive.

I prefer horror stories that focus on the madness of human beings, which is all too believable unfortunately, rather than layering on supernatural elements like vampires and demons. That said, I loved Frank Langella as Dracula in the 1979 film. I also adored Johnny Depp in 2012’s Dark Shadows. But those are exceptions; most vampire things are silly.

Recently, I watched a few supernatural romances on Prime (with witches) and they were terrible. I wouldn’t even classify them as romances since they didn’t have happy endings, but they were definitely in the horror genre. Campy horror. The witches were incredibly beautiful, natch, in order to seduce unsuspecting men to the Dark Side. Isn’t that always how it is? 😈

I did enjoy Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock though. That was different. But it wasn’t scary. (I’ve never disliked a movie starring Sandra Bullock.)

As a kid, the Candyman movie terrified me, maybe because I was told I was allergic to bees. I’m not even sure if that’s true. I was also told I was allergic to penicillin, and that turned out to be false. 🐝

I think a lot of what makes a movie scary is visual shock value. If there’s too much early on, it can dissipate, so it needs to be doled out carefully. Books are different, a psychological buildup that stays with the reader, in the best case. Hard to forget even after you turn the last page.

Game of Thrones could be classified in the horror genre. It had zombies, witches, and all sorts of gory, shocking deaths. I mainly thought of it as an adventure romance type of show though, since (to me) the focus was more on characters than action. I wouldn’t argue this point however, if you’d rather plunk it in the horror box.

Movies used to have more subtlety. Take Psycho, forex. Don’t you still think about the shower scene sometimes when you’re in a strange bathroom… 🔪


Laura’s October Challenge (Day 9)


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24 responses to “Chill Factor

  1. Paula, I think of the shower scene every time I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night lol. I too find vampire movies boring.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post and many great points. I like scary movies but hold the gore. Most these days lack what the older ones brought to the table. Like you said, the buildup. It’s a lot of horrific cinematography in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I watched Finding Nemo at the cinema…I remember my stomach being gripped with fear as soon as Bruce The Shark appeared. Literally, I thought he was going to eat Nemo’s dad – it would be sushi and sayonara.

    Even though it was a kid’s movie, I couldn’t watch the screen, I just listed with my eyes closed until I knew it was all going to be ok.

    This is why there is no way I can watch anything actually classes as a scary movie. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some “family” movies are really upsetting! I took my girls to see Anna & the King. There was a terrible scene in that with bodies hanging from trees, and one of my daughters was traumatized for a bit.


      • Yikes…I have never seen that movie all the day through. I saw a few minutes of it on TV recently when I was waiting for someone who was coming to meet me.

        My main memory of it was the king offering her son a cigar!

        Don’t get me started on Bambi!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am no fan of the horror genre either.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “…nor do I need an extra surge of adrenaline after driving in SoCal traffic. Horror show in and of itself. 😱” Right?!

    Due to major screw-upery at my doc’s office I got to experience morning rush hour, extra bonus accidents, both yesterday and today.

    Stephen King is the master and his son, Joe Hill is fantastic as well. Very much like his dad, but with his own ideas and “voice”.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to love good, old, scary horror movies, but my wife is not a fan, so I can’t remember when I last saw one. As to Game of Thrones, I watched it for the nudity. 😱

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have never been the sort to get nightmares from horror movies. A good scare right then and there and done. Don’t have any favorites, neither in writing nor on film (except maybe: See last sentence). Good entertainment, but not lasting. Sci-fi is the stuff that can have me musing on things for a long while after I’ve finished the story. BTW, “Alien” to me was a horror movie so I never understood why it was so popular and considered brilliant sci-fi. I’ve mellowed on that stance now, and own it on DVD, but I still don’t care for “monster” movies. My one exception: Jaws.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t like gross gore but will tolerate it as part of a story I’m enjoying such as a mob movie when they machine gun a roomful of guys. Monster movies meh. Lotta M’s in here… makes me want M&Ms…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The rocking chair in The Changeling still gives me the chills.

    Liked by 1 person

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