Halloween is my favourite time of year. While I prepare for RAVEN at the Soho Theatre next week, here are my recommendations on books and films to enjoy over this creepy period.
Of course, if you want an hour long audio horror to enjoy en route to work, don't forget you can enjoy GORGON:A HORROR STORY for free on band camp...
BOOKS TO READ IN THE GRAVEYARD
A COSMOLOGY OF MONSTERS - SHAUN HAMILL
This is the debut novel by Shaun Hamill. It was a chance purchase in a charity shop and I ate it up in two days. It's the reading equivalent of playing Grandmothers Footsteps in the dark. You never known when you are going to get caught out by the narrator.
Noah Turner sees monsters.
His father saw them—and built a shrine to them with The Wandering Dark, an immersive horror experience that the whole family operates.
Noah Turner sees monsters. But, unlike his family, Noah chooses to let them in .
HEX - THOMAS OLDE HEUVELT
I used to listen to this en route to school so it put the horrors of teaching Year 8C into perspective. Full of impending doom and dread. It genuinely gave me nightmares and made me feel so deeply unsettled afterwards.
Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay 'til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.
Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children's bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear...
THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE SINCE WE LAST SPOKE - ERICA LAROCCA
A beautifully creepy and eerie novella. Binge listened to this whilst cleaning my flat. One: it will really put you off selling things on the internet and two it will really change the way you look at meat.
It's described as 'a whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s—a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires.'
HOLLY: STEPHEN KING
Holly Gibney, one of Stephen King’s most compelling and ingeniously resourceful characters, returns in this thrilling novel to solve the gruesome truth behind multiple disappearances in a midwestern town.
“Sometimes the universe throws you a rope.” —BILL HODGES
This is Stephen King back on his a-game. You know you have a beautiful horror when you still think back to the same sentences again and again and again. King is the emperor of the well executed full stop. The reason King is so fantastic at what he does is that he takes the time to build each character in your mind. He cares for them, and so do we, so when they are killed , our hearts stop and we can't help but turn the page in the anxious hope we read the words wrong. That's what good horror is.
Vibe: The date horror movie
Sit down with a big bottle of red wine to enjoy this film. Leave all your doors and Windows open and the lights off to create the perfect atmosphere of unease as you watch this film that builds in intensity like a pressure cooker.
This is a slow burn that is absolutely worth the pay off. The wry comedy matched with the stomach churching horror of the final quarter of this film makes it a classic. I would recommend going into this film with no knowledge of what it is about and watching it with a group of friends who again have no clue.
DEMONS 1 and DEMONS 2
Vibe: family horror movie
Ideal party horror movies. If you have teenagers and you have teenagers and want a family horror that entertains everyone I'd recommend these.
Are they scary? Maybe if you are 9yrs old. Are they fun? Hell yeah. Highly saturated, camp, brilliantly fun deaths, highly theatrical acting, one note characters and incredibly flammable hair. The narratives don't make brilliant sense but there are curve balls a plenty for you to never get bored and the meta-narratives are enjoyable if not completely unexplained.
Vibe: Sunday morning hangover movie
Honestly I can't explain this film. Here's the trailer.
I suppose the closest I can come to describing it is Labyrinth meets walking into a 9yr old girls fever dream. It is bonkers, whimsical, surprisingly gory and the technical effects are lavish. I adored it.
Vibe: the cinematic masterpiece horror movie
One of the most beautiful and eerie anthology films I've seen. Definitely not a scary Saturday night slasher film. This is like the horror film equivalent of Chopin. It's a masterpiece.
VIBE: Perfect horror if you're fed up of the old fashioned slashers.
One of the best body horror films next to a Cronenburg film. A great example of when the genre of horror balances gore and political satire in equal measure.
DO NOT WATCH THIS WHILST EATING YOU WILL BE SICK LIKE I WAS.
ELF'S HALLOWEEN PARTY PLAYLIST
Here are a collection of spooky tracks which will aid in creating unease in the dead of night as you welcome zombies, vampires and werewolves to your door...
Tracks include Lydia Lunch to the super Dead Man's Bones. Watch Ryan Gosling pre Ken.