Horror movies are great. They are a constant in the universe. All other things will eventually die away but every year there’ll be a new horror film that reinvigorates the genre or is just pure entertaining fun. But if you fancy a break from horror movies, where can you go for a good scare? Glad you asked, because here are a few alternative sources:
The Comics of Scott Snyder
Scott Snyder has emerged as a talent who can create vastly entertaining, mainstream stories that are also scary as hell. He writes some pure horror with Severed, American Vampire and Wytches, as well as horror/sci-fi with The Wake (the first couple of issues of which are a master class in comic book tension building). And he also writes that most mainstream of titles, Batman. His work with Batman is fantastic but it is his work with The Joker where his horror sensibilities rise to the fore. Both of his Joker arcs, Death of the Family and End Game, were two of the best horror movies of the years they were released.
If It Was a Movie: It would be like if Wes Craven was asked to direct the Batman movies in his prime.
One of the great things about the internet is that things that would just be shared amongst a few people in the past can now be shared by everyone. This applies to jokes, funny anecdotes, and scary stories. Back in the day you would have to rely on your older brother to regale you with stories of serial killers who lived down the street but now you have the Internet performing that role. Creepypasta is the repository for these freaky stories like Jeff the Killer, Slender Man, Candle Cove, and the ridiculously chilling Penpal. There’s some junk on there too but if you fancy a sleepless night or need something to scare your little brother and his friends before they have a camp out in the woods, then this is the place for you.
If It Was a Movie: It would be the freakiest anthology movie ever.
The Weeping Angels
The Weeping Angels are a simple, terrifying conceit. What if statues were alive? And they moved when you didn’t look at them. And they moved so fast that they could cross a room in the time it took you to blink. That’s the Weeping Angels. Bad guys for a handful of Doctor Who episodes their method of killing you is to send you into the past and feed off the years that you don’t get to live as you grow old and die, a person out of time. The Angels have appeared in some fantastic stories but if you wanted something of a taster then you need to watch Blink from series 3 of Doctor Who, and if that whets your appetite move on to The Time of Angels two-parter from series 5. I guarantee you’ll never look at statues the same way again.
If It Was a Movie: It would be about the same length as the Doctor Who two-parter, and would contain much of the same content. Come to think of it, just watch that. It’s on Netflix.
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Oliver Sacks’ masterwork The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is not scary in the jumpy, Lewton Bus-style of a horror movie. There are no shock scares or grisly scenes of gore. The reason that the book is so scary is that the disorders he describes are so debilitating for the sufferer that our fear is based on pity, and the fear that we could be afflicted with these disorders ourselves. For example the man referred to in the title has visual agnosia, a disorder that causes an inability to identity an object that you’ve had experience and knowledge of. Of course, our fear with this subject isn’t murderer-fear or vampire-fear, it’s the fear of that we don’t understand. Unlike a lot of other horror movies, books, music etc. we can overcome our fear through education and acceptance.
If It Was a Movie: It would be fascinating, educational, scary, and hopefully make us see that fear of the unknown can be vanquished by learning what the unknown is and making it known.