I don’t know why, but scary books freak me out more than scary movies. Maybe because the imagination conjures up the worst, but when you see it played out on film, you start to rationalize. That can take the thrill out of it. I remember gripping the armrest during one of the Jason films, as he started to impale someone from under a bed. A sort of spear thing poked up out of the guy and blood spewed like a geyser … but then half the theater burst into laughter. Debunked (sorry for the pun).
Likewise, the mysterious earlier deaths in The Ring felt much creepier than the final scene. Spoiler Alert: the swamp creature thing didn’t work for me. “The Master of Suspense,” Alfred Hitchcock, was a big proponent of the unseen out spooking the visual. Even his famous shower scene in Psycho was a montage of cutaways (ouch, another one) of Janet Leigh’s grimacing face and blood running down the shower. Hitchcock wanted us to imagine the really gory stuff in our own heads. Just like when we’re reading.
For Spooktober, I’m taking part in Murder, Monsters, & Mayhem (Mx3)—a group read sponsored by Jenn’s Bookshelves. Mx3 is a celebration of spine-tingling books that include: ghosts, magic, monsters, suspense, murder, mystery, the supernatural, thriller plots, or anything just plan scary!
Every day, Mx3 features a chilling new post or book review to get us in the Halloween spirit (argh, not again). I especially liked reading about the lore of monsters and the human condition by Chelsea Quinn Yasbro, a Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award winner and author.
On Twitter, follow #Mx3 hashtag for spooky links and suggestions.
Book bloggers, add your scary and Halloween-themed posts to the Mx3 linkup.
Here are my Mx3 reading choices, subject to substitutions.
The Book of Lost Things—John Connolly
The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton—Edith Wharton
Hallowe’en Party—Agatha Christie
The Mysteries of Udolpho—Ann Radcliffe
The Night Circus—Erin Morgenstern
Reviewed as a guest post at Jenn’s Bookshelves.
What are your Halloween reads and scary suggestions?
Check out scary posts at Murder, Monsters, & Mayhem (Mx3)
Add your own scary post to Murder, Monsters, & Mayhem (Mx3) linkup.
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