Books and Movies That Scare.

Oct 25 2016, 1:42 pm

  With Halloween a week away I was thinking about how we love to watch and read all things scary and spooky. Why? Got me.

Seems like all this Halloween stuff comes from the Gaelic celebration of Samhain (pronounced SOW-in) to mark the end of harvest time and beginning of winter. Scotland, with its Highland mythology, superstitions, and folklore, is where the Day of the Dead—when spirits were free to mingle with the living—began.  Somehow this pagan festival translated to the Christian Halloween we now have in many countries.

Now, how this turned into a time of scaring each other comatose is something future anthropologists will scratch their heads over.    

Me? I don’t mind being scared comatose, but I don’t care for the slasher, blood and zombies everywhere movies. What can I say? Everyone has their own scared button. I do like the creepier movies and books with a good villain. I mean a villain that seems normal but is completely off the deep end. A villain you never forget. Like Hannibal Lector in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. I mean ewww. The audience had a hard enough time wrapping their head around the horrors. But casting the soft spoken 5 foot 9 inch 53 year old Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal made it even worse. I mean if they had cast the guy from the MACHETE movie, Danny Trejo, he would have fit the part, but creepy? Not like Sir Anthony.  

I made a list of villains who creep me out. Of course, I started with the master villain creator, Stephen King. You know, some of his villains aren’t even human. The benevolent St. Bernard in CUJO. In CHRISTINE, was the car, or the kid Arnie, the villain?  In PET SEMATARY, who or what was the villain? In my opinion, says I with a shudder, everyone in that story was messed up.

The shark in Peter Benchley’s JAWS. Hard to believe that movie is 40 years old. By the way, I think those clothes are coming back into style.  

From OUTLANDER, Black Jack Randel, begins as an ordinary asshat British soldier. The reader/viewer soon discovers he is a narcissistic sadist of the grand pooba order.

Another King story made into a movie, THE SECRET WINDOW, gives me goose flesh. Johnny Depp plays a creepy villain all too well.

FATAL ATTRACTION is coming on 30 years old but wow! That character Glenn Close played was one heck of a villain.    

THE SHINNING. Old Jack Nicholson did himself proud in that one. Some say he was just being himself in that movie. Hmmmm.

POLTERGEIST. Fess up. How many of you yelled at the screen for those people to get the frack out of the house.

THE THING. Geeze Louise. In Antarctica isolated from the world with a monster?  

ALIEN. Crapolla, when the creature came out of the guy’s chest. I can remember that scare perfectly.  

SIGNS. Something about those kids and how ordinary things were. Made me feel like it could really happen any place any time.   

Okay, so tell me which villains, books, movies give you the heebie jeebies.  



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