Tag: IT

Why We Love Being Scared by Horror Books and Movies

Horror is a genre that intrigues us because of its ability to terrify us and poke at our greatest fears. I believe that any mind-provoking book is a good book, but horror does more than provoke—it picks at our minds, invades us, and for whatever reason, this gives us a sense of excitement. So what’s the science behind scary stuff, and why do we love that adrenaline rush of fear?

 

 

The human body has hormones that trigger a flight or fight response as a reaction to fear, but when the body is in a setting that it knows its safe such as a roller coaster or haunted house, we’re able to enjoy that high-energy sensation of wanting to run or hide. Your frontal lobe is able to convince your body that you are physically okay, activating a response more akin to pleasure than panic. It’s similar to the adrenaline we get from being extremely happy or surprised, except fear is interpreted in a different way. Horror also represents creativity and allows us to delve into an unknown part of our minds.

 

Image result for best horror books

Image by the occult museum

 

It’s not just a matter of taste and adrenaline, either— there are two types of personalities in relation to fear and horror: those who are sensation-seeking, the avid readers of Stephen King who laugh at the worst jump scares because they enjoy being scared and want to be mentally challenged, versus those who exhibit more sensitive and fearful traits.

 

If you’re a horror lover who has seen every horror movie down to the goriest and the most disturbing, and you own a complete collection of Stephen King books, you’re probably sensation-seeking. You’ll probably also be the one who laughs at your friends when they hide their eyes in the movie theater. If you force your friends to prep you for every scary scene in advance and wake up screaming from nightmares of Pennywise from IT or, even worse, Charlie from Hereditary, you’re probably more sensitive and shy.

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image by alchetron

 

Those who love horror books or any type of spook tend to be extroverted and open to new experiences, but loving horror isn’t only for the bravest souls—it’s also a trait common in people with high levels of empathy. Understanding the emotions of a character on the page, even if it’s fear, helps us feel connected to the characters in books and movies.

 

 

Everyone is into horror nowadays and it’s hardly a disconcerting hobby, but readers still question the minds of horror writers like Stephen King.

The ideas for some of King’s books, like The Shining, came from his dreams (this interesting article lists the specific creation stories and original ideas for some of King’s novels), and it makes his readers wonder if he’s truly as twisted and creepy as the characters he creates. Who would dream up a man as terrible as Jack Torrance for fun, and who would write such a terrifying clown?

 

Image result for artist draws peoples worst fears

image by the telegraph

Yet it’s still fun for us to read about these characters, and we’d be devastated if Stephen King stopped writing. There’s an article on Quora that asks, “Do you ever think Stephen King could be a seriously twisted person?” The responses to this question come from King fans who cite him as a family man and defend the uncontrollableness of the creative mind. So it’s more likely that Stephen King is just as creative and obsessed with adrenaline-inducing fear as the rest of us.

 

Feature image by The Thrillist

Read Up On Stephen King Before ‘Dr. Sleep’ Film Comes Out!

On November 8th we’re all going to see Doctor Sleep. Oh, wait, you’re not? Why? Because you don’t know the story? Well, let me fill you in…

Ewan McGregor, also known as young Obi-Wan Kenobi, will star as Danny in the film adaptation for Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, a story which follows an adult Danny Torence, the child from The Shining, as he struggles to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence.

He goes to New Hampshire where he establishes a nursing home where he can use his shining power for good, comforting the dying before they go. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival.

In preparation for this movie, we’re going to go through eight Stephen King Books we gotta re-read or just read for the first time (no shame here!) before this movie hits a silver screen near you!

 

 

8-It

 

Stephen King's "It"

IMAGE VIA AMAZON

 

Yep, you knew this would be on this list. Even if you haven’t read It, you’ve heard of It. Loser’s Club, killer clown, weird orgy scene, a giant cosmic turtle, it’s all there. This gem has heart, has scares, has everything Steven King. The book is as big as a stone but it won’t weigh you down.

Juggling themes of adulthood, childhood, and trauma, this story has stuck with us throughout the ages for a reason.

 

7-Cujo

 

Cujo: A Novel by [King, Stephen]

Image Via Amazon

 

Instead of a scary clown, we meet the the Cujo, the good-natured St. Bernard. Good dog! But he gets bit by a rabid bat. Then when Donna’s car breaks down, she and her young son Tad are trapped while a crazed Cujo tries to kill them. Bad dog!

In his book, On Writing, King notes that due to his alcoholism and cocaine addiction he can barely remember writing this book, and that might be for the best. It’s not bad or anything, far from it, in fact it’s so real, so visceral, so in-your-face-horrifying that it might have even scared Stephen King himself away from writing.

What can I say except thank God there’s only one evil animal in this story.

 

6-Pet Sematary

 

Pet Sematary

Image Via Central Arkansas Library System

 

Holy crap, there’s more!

Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, along with their two younger children move to Maine. Bad move, because in a Stephen King novel Maine is a terrible place. Their cat, Church, dies, so they bury it out in the woods.

Are you sad yet?

Well, things get worse when the cat comes back to life. Turns out that the woods are an ancient burial ground and anything buried there comes back to life with an intent to kill.

With two film adaptations, you’ll have to check out this book, “Darling.”

 

 

5-The Stand 

 

The Stand

IMAGE VIA AMAZON

 

A post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy, The Stand is Stephen King’s fourth novel (can you believe it?).

After a patient escapes from a biological testing facility, he unknowingly unleashes upon the world a mutated strain of super-flu that starts to wipe out 99% of the world’s population.

With the fate of humanity at stake, Mother Abigail—a benevolent one-hundred-eight-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community—and Randall Flagg—the nefarious “Dark Man” who delights in chaos and violence—rise up to lead humanity, and force the survivors to choose between them.

The Stand went on to get a nomination for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1979, was listed at number fifty-three on the BBC’s The Big Read poll in 2003, and a miniseries released in 1994 was nominated for numerous Emmys and a remake is coming soon!

Can you stand to read this horrifying tale?

 

4-Carrie

 

Carrie

Image Via Amazon

 

Let’s go back to 1974. Here we get the first novel published by Stephen King, Carrie.

Carrie is relentlessly bullied by her peers and tormented by her overly-religious mother who, after reaching puberty, discovers she has telekinetic powers.

A bloodbath, this novel is one of the most frequently on the banned books. Multiple adaptations have been made, from the stage to the silver screen, but the book proves to be the most terrifying. It’s a good thing that Tabitha King fished the first draft of the first chapter out of the garbage and convinced her husband to keep writing, otherwise Stephen King wouldn’t be the King of horror we know today.

 

3-Misery

 

Misery: A Novel by [King, Stephen]

Image Via Amazon

 

Writer Paul Sheldon is injured in a car accident but is saved by nurse Annie Wilkes. However, Annie is a super-fan of Paul’s writing and is keeping him prisoner, refusing to let him go until he finishes another book in her favorite series.

The title comes from the feeling it evoked not only in Paul Sheldon, but within King himself.

The novel got a film adaptation in 1990, staring James Caan and Kathy Bates in a performance that won Bates an Oscar. Funny enough, the director of the film, Rob Reiner, only took the film on because he wanted to include the infamous ‘axe’ scene but, when it came time to shooting, decided to change the scene into an ‘ankle-breaking’ one instead.

You won’t be miserable when reading this novel, but it might just get under your skin and tear it right off.

 

 

2-The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower

 

The Dark Tower VII by [King, Stephen]

Image Via Amazon

 

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

Stephen King started the Dark Tower series with that line and, for the longest time, it seemed like he wouldn’t finish the series. Years went by, and then he was almost killed, run over by a drunk-driver while he was on the side street during his routine morning walk.

He survived, and afterwards flew through the rest of the series just to get to this ending. And trust me, you all, it’s Stephen King at his Stephen-King-est. If you want crazy insanity to the ninth degree, then this is the book for you.

 

1-The Shining

 

Image Via Amazon

 

Of course this would be number one, but let’s refresh your memory.

Jack Torrance has a new job at the Overlook Hotel. This is the perfect chance for a fresh start. He’ll have plenty of time reconnecting with his family and his writing his magnum opus. But as the harsh winter winds blow and snow falls, Jack Torrance falls back into his old vices as his young son, Danny Torrance, feels malicious spirits gather around him, attracted to his unique gift called ‘the shining.’

We all know that the iconic Stanley Kubrick adaptation was made and notoriously Stephen King hated it. I mean, he loathed it.

So what did he do? He wrote a sequel to The Shining called, you guessed it, Doctor Sleep.

How accurate will this newest Stephen-King-adaptation be? Will it take more cues from its source materials, or from the Kubrick film?

You can find out on November 8th!

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Dread Central

7 Scariest Film Adaptations (You Won’t Guess Number 1!)

Short stories, novellas, novels, well books in general might just be words on paper, but those things are scary. In addition to giving me a paper cut, books can horrify me to my core.

And you know what is scary? Film. What is a film? A series of moving images and images can be scary. Make them move, I just crapped my pants.

So, in honor of fear and in glory to our blood thirsty gods, we present to you seven of Scariest Film Adaptations. Mark my words, young child, you won’t guess number one!

 

 

7-It: Chapter 1

 

Stephen King's "It"

Image Via Amazon

 

Don’t worry, this will be the only Stephen King adaptation on this list. There’s an ocean full of adaptations to choose from but we picked this adaptation because of its heart, its scares, and its optimistic light.

 

Pennywise

Image Via Digital Spy

 

Plus, it’s a close adaptation to the book (unlike Kubrick’s brilliant but unfaithful version of The Shining) that manages to capture both the scares and the comedic self-aware tone that King is most known for, although it does forgo some of the stranger elements.

 

Maturin

Image Via Stephen King Wiki – Fandom

 

6-The Exorcist

 

The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition by [Blatty, William Peter]

Image Via Amazon

 

In 1971 William Blatty brought us The Exorcist. The book goes through horrifying and skin-crawling descriptions of the demonic possession of eleven-year-old Regan MacNeil.

 

Regan

Image Via EOnline

 

While Regan herself is fictional, the book is inspired by a terrifying case in 1949 of reported demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University.

 

The Exorcist

Image Via Amazon

 

Two years later the iconic film adaptation hit the silver screens, sending audiences everywhere in a fright. While the film plays fast-and-loose with some of the details, as well as adding its odd terrifying touch, Blatty himself was the screenwriter and producer, marking this adaptation as one of the closest to the original novel.

 

5-Silence of the Lambs

 

The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter Book 2) by [Harris, Thomas]

Image Via Amazon

 

A sequel to the disturbing police procedure with stunning descriptions, The Silence of the Lambs follows Clarice Starling, who must speak to a confined serial killer in order to track down another serial killer. Skin crawling in more ways than one, this novel shoots through twists and turns and shows that even a confined killer can be deadly.

 

Silence of the Lambs movie poster

Image Via Amazon

 

Top it off with a film adaptation that won all the Academy Awards in the top five categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay (the third film in the history of the Oscars to do so) the characters of Hannibal Lecter and Agent Starling have become cemented into the public consciousness.

 

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Image Via Syfy

 

It’s horrifying, its disturbing, its uplifting, it’s everything you want in a horror film and its a masterclass in adaptation.

 

 

4-Dracula (1958)

 

Dracula

Image Via Pinterest

 

Possibly the scariest incarnation of the Dracula story, the 1958 movie departs from the source material only when it wishes to elevate it. At the time, Bram Stoker’s story was horrifying and shocking to readers everywhere. However, sensibilities have changed and the novel was considered tame.

 

Dracula (1958)

Image Via Diabolique Magazine

 

In an effort to strike fear back into the hearts of anyone who heard the name of “Dracula”, the movie displayed the brutal nature of Dracula for the first time in all his onscreen glory. A true movie monster, this adaptation proved to be the scariest depiction Dracula and has kept that title ever since.

 

Christopher Lee

Image VIa BFI

 

Plus, Christopher “His mother was a Countess and he was a real-life spy” Lee portrayed Dracula, he was basically a vampire incarnate.

 

3-The Thing

 

Who Goes There? by Campbell Jr., John W.

Image Via Amazon

 

Did you know this was based on a book? Most people don’t, and they should because the book is just as enticing and awe-inspiring and downright horrifying as its film adaptation.

John W Campell, Jr’s 1938 novella Who Goes There? follows a group of scientific researches isolated in Antarctica who discover an alien spaceship buried inside the ice. They encounter what can only be described as a “thing”—a shape-shifter that takes on the personality of any living thing it devours.

 

The Thing

Image Via Amazon

 

The novella made such an impact that it spawned two movie adaptations, one in 1951 titled Thing from Another World and one in 1982 simply titled The Thing. While Thing from Another World is a great movie on its own, the 1982 became a cult classic and later a mainstream classic thanks due to its memorable characters and its horrifying images.

Warning! Watching this film will make you questions everything, and everyone, around you. Could the Thing be lurking behind you? Is it your loving dog or your cute cat? Or is it your best friend?

Who am I kidding? You don’t have any friends.

 

2-The Wicker Man (1973)

 

The Ritual by David Pinner

Image Via Goodreads

 

David Pinner’s 1967 novel was praised for its “opulent dialogue” but was given a warning because “it is quite likely to test your dreams of leaving the city for a shady nook by a babbling brook”.

 

The Wicker Man (1973)

Image Via Amazon

 

While the remake has its moments (not the bees!), the original 1973 starring many a cast, including Christopher Lee, entices us with this seemingly perfect cult with dark undertones. With themes of religiosity and faith, this film will reach down to your core and make you question everything you believe.

 

 

1-The Cat in the Hat

 

The Cat in the Hat

Image Via School Specialty

 

This is a horror novel. The bright colors might throw you off, but a humanoid cat breaks into the home of two innocent children and proceeds to have ‘fun’ with them through various chaotic games of growing insanity. Yes, the children take the whole thing in strides, but I think this is because they know that resistance is futile against this feline furry.

 

Cat in the Hat

Image Via IMDB

 

This is what the live action film understood perfectly well about the character. It might be overly longer, but like the novel its horrifying how much they have FUN FUN FUN.

 

If you want fun fun fun....

Image Thanks to Megan Bomar

 

I’m going to see that phrase smeared in blood when I get home, won’t I?

 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Twitock

Adaptations Round-Up! 10 Adaptations Coming out This Year!

Adaptations galore is coming this fall season! What are the ones that you should look forward to most? Well, stay tuned!

 

 

It Chapter 2

 

It: Chapter 2

Image Via Vanity Fair

 

A sequel to the horrifying film It, the ‘Loser’s Club’ is back twenty-seven years later (or two years later). The group returns to Derry, Maine, where the Losers must finish what they started: destroy Pennywise.

Who from our lovely ‘Loser’s Club’ will be lost in the ensuing bloodbath? How will these losers defeat Pennywise? Well, it’s based on a Stephen King novel that was released back in 1986, so the answers are out there and, um, it’s pretty wild. Remember to sing your praises to Maturin this September 6th!

 

 

Joker

 

Joker

Image Via Variety

 

An original standalone origin story for a character who infamously doesn’t have a definitive origin, this movie starring Joaquin Phoenix has clearly taken cues from Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke by making Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man disregarded by society, into an up-and-coming comedian. In the iconic comic book, the unnamed man’s career in comedy ends in a chemical bath, but Arthur Fleck’s story might end on a different note entirely.

Is that scene, where Arthur Fleck, in full-fledged Joker makeup, goes on stage with Robert Di Niro a callback to The Dark Knight Returns scene when the Joker poisons the audience and the talk show host alike in a scene of ‘hilarious’ death?

 

 

We’ll find out this October 4th.

 

 

Nancy Drew

 

Having been around since 1930, Nancy Drew has been around longer than your parents (not judging) and she’s spent her time well: solving mysteries even when people told her she couldn’t.

This series has been around forever and if you haven’t read it, you’ve definitely heard of it. Well, we’re getting an adaptation of this series that’s set to debut on October 9, 2019 on the CW.

 

 

 

Looking for Alaska

 

The Fault in Our Stars broke our hearts, and now John Green is at it again. Or has he already broken our hearts beyond repair? The Fault in Our Stars was Green’s sixth novel and Looking for Alaska was his first novel, but for all of you who haven’t read the book, you’re in for something special.

Miles Halter is our man and through his eyes we are introduced to Alaska Young. A new student meets a timid young girl? Sounds like a love story made in heaven, until Miles soon learns that her life isn’t as perfect as he originally thought.

We’ll get a chance for our spirits to rise and our hearts to grow and break and grow again this October 14th.

 

 

HBO’s Watchmen

 

Another (sort of) Alan Moore adaptation, this version of Watchmen will be, in the words of showrunner Damon Lindelof, “a remix.”

For those of you who need to be brought up to speed, an alien invasion took place which ended the Cold War, but it was all a fake-out. Rorschach, before his untimely demise, sent his journal to the press where he laid a bread crumb trail to the truth.

What is known about this HBO series is that it takes place thirty-four years after the original comic left off. Taking place in an alternative reality in 2019 where this is no internet or smartphones, we are introduced to a United States where Robert Redford is now the longest-serving president, having been elected in 1992, a feat accomplished thanks to President Nixon abolishing the two-term limit back before the original comic book. Things are in disarray. A white supremacist group calling itself “The Seventh Cavalry,” with members who all wear homemade Rorschach masks, commits simultaneous attacks on the houses of police officers. Because of this, the police start wearing masks themselves.

What is this leading up to? Where are the original characters? Tune in to HBO October 20th find out.

 

 

Doctor Sleep

 

Another Stephen King adaptation, this one is an adaptation of Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining. While the movie won’t be based on the Stanley Kubrick version, since the movie departs too much from the source material, this standalone is clearly drawing on the imagery set forth by Kubrick. Will it be any good? What’s going to happen?

The film arrives in theaters this November 8th.

 

 

 

The Good Liar

 

Catherine McKenzie brought us The Good Liar, and Warner Bros is bringing us the film adaptation. Ian McKellen is going to grace the screens as seasoned conman Roy Courtnay.

After he meets Betty McLeish online, he decides to steal a glorious amount of cash from her. But Betty McLeish, played by Helen Mirren, is too much for the conman and he finds herself falling for him. How will this sinister love affair turn out? See it in threaten this November 15th.

 

 

Cats

 

First, T.S. Eliot brought us Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in 1939. From there we got a play, and now we’re getting a movie. The plot is hard to describe, but it basically follows a tribe of cats known as the ‘Jellicles’ who gather together to make the ‘Jellicle choice.’ Those who get the ‘Jellicle choice’ mean they can now be killed so they can go to heaven and come back because, you know, cats have nine lives.

Don’t get it? Doesn’t matter! There’s singing and there’s dancing and there’s this purr-fect trailer! It comes out December 20th.

 

 

His Dark Materials

 

Image via Amazon

 

This series has never been adapted before (we don’t talk about that other thing) and so THIS will be the first adaptation of Phil Pullman’s epic book series, His Dark Materials, in our books. The first season will draw upon the first book in the trilogy, following the life of a young Lyra (Dafne Keen) who is an orphan living with the tutors at Jordan College, Oxford. It’s not the Oxford you and I know, however, it’s an Oxford in an alternative world where all humans have animal companions called dæmons, which are the manifestations of their souls.

Lyra’s search for her missing friend will lead to uncovering a massive conspiracy linked to a mysterious substance called Dust and secrets from these two mysterious people, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) and Marisa Coulter (Ruth Wilson).

If the first season is good (please let it be good), then we’ll be getting at least two more seasons! BBC One and HBO are teaming up, so hopefully they won’t disappoint us… In the meantime, however, I just want them to give a release date that’s more specific than “autumn.”

 

The Witcher

 

The Witcher is known as a great video game series, but did you know it started out a book series? In fact the saga is based on a series written by Andrzej Sapkowski that started in 1992 with Sword of Destiny. The last book in the series, Season of Storms came out in 2013.

The stories follow Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavil, a solitary monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. What will become of Geralt?

Check out the series on Netflix this sometime “late 2019”.

 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via HITC