This Is Halloween – Day 5

ThisIsHalloween

 

Hello Readers!

And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!! Today, I’m sad to say is the last day in This Is Halloween – my week-long feature where I discussed my favorite horror movies.  I’ve been holding out on you guys! Seriously, while I love all the movies I talked about, this last one quite possibly may be my favorite.

Exorcist

The Exorcist starts out as any normal horror movie. Chris and her daughter, Regan, are living in Washington D.C., while Chris is filing her latest film. All seems well, that is until Regan starts acting strangely. First she’s been talking about an imaginary friend Captain Howdy. As if that isn’t strange enough, Regan has seemed to develop super strength and starts swearing like a sailor. After a series of tests, Regan checks out as normal. But Chris knows her child is far from normal at this point. Little by little her behavior has worsened, her complexion has taken on a greenish hue, and Regan claims that she’s possessed. Not knowing who to turn to, Chris contacts a Priest is hopes of an Exorcism.

This is the plot at it’s very basic. It’s a twisted story that goes beyond the possession and the exorcism. And it’s layered with several sub-plots. Seriously, just watch this movie.

Why is The Exorcist my most favorite horror movie? For one thing, it’s one of those movies that leaves a lasting impression. There are certain scenes in it which are hard to shake. I remember the first time I ever saw this movie. And I remember, after watching, how Regan’s image kept flashing in my mind’s eye. Nothing was more creepier that watching the transition from a perfectly normal girl to a green-skinned demon. The first time viewers see Regan in her possessed state is down-right creepy in my book.

Like I mentioned above this is a multi-layered movie, and one of those layers explores the religious aspects of possession and exorcism. To say the least The Exorcist has firmly cemented my curiosity/fascination with possession and exorcism.  True story: a few months back I went to a book signing after BEA14 in which Gretchen McNeil was signing. I was super excited to, not only get the chance to meet her and have her sign my books, but to chat with her. Gretchen McNeil’s first book, Possess, is about a teenage exorcist. When my chance to meet her came, I couldn’t help but tell her of my weird curiosity/fascination with this subject. She said that she too was curious/fascinated (hence her first book) and she believes that that curiosity/fascination stems from our religious upbringing. And you know what, I agree with her.

And still, what I love most is the exploration of good versus evil, and what happens when that line between the two is breached.  Oh, and like I said, a horror movie is always creepier when there’s a kid involved!

***

Because I don’t want this feature to be over and done with just yet, I thought it would be fun to come up with, not only a themed book list, but also a list of other horror movies that you should check out.

Books With a Halloween Twist:

Carrie by Stephen King

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Bliss by Lauren Myracle

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

One Evil Summer by R.L. Stine

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Forrest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Frost by Marianna Baer

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

For Your Viewing Pleasure:

Halloween

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974 original version)

The Shining

Let The Right One In

Rosemary’s Baby

The Evil Dead

Alice Sweet Alice

Susperia

Insidious

Friday the 13th

The Haunting in Connecticut

The Ring

Misery

Psycho

The People Under the Stairs

This Is Halloween – Day 4

ThisIsHalloween

 

Hello Readers!

It’s day four of my This Is Halloween feature and you know what that means, right? It means tomorrow is Halloween.

Day four brings a young girl with telekinetic powers, a prom night that every student in the student body would just die for (literally), and a splattering of blood.  Know what movie I’m talking about?

Carrie

Stephen King’s Carrie starring Sissy Spacek and John Travolta. Even though I really enjoyed the latest remake it just wasn’t the original.

Carrie isn’t your average teenage girl. Raised by an extreme fundamentalist (and abusive) mother, Carrie was raised to believe that everything about her being – from how she was conceived to the powers she possesses (she’s telekinetic)- is pure evil. Because of her unconventional upbringing, Carrie is cast aside as an outcast – the brunt of her classmate’s jokes.  So when she’s invited by one of the most popular guys in school to the senior prom, Carrie decides that this is her chance to fit it, even if it means being persecuted by her mother. What was supposed to be the night of her life turns out to be the sheer and utter horror.

There are many reasons why Carrie is such a great, classic horror movie. First off, the acting is great. No one could ever play Carrie the way Sissey Spacek did. Carrie is also the kind of horror movie that I’ve always felt stands the test of time. Whether you remember when this movie first graced the movie screen or if you’re just discovering this gem, it still resonates. It still makes a statement. And it still speaks volumes. As if these reasons weren’t enough, what I love most about this book to movie is the fact that even though it isn’t a slasher flick it sure is gory.

This Is Halloween – Day 3

ThisIsHalloween

 

Hello Readers!

And welcome to day three of my spook-tacular Halloween feature – This Is Halloween. During this whole week  I will be talking about my fave horror movies, and why they are my faves.

So let’s jump right into day three ….

Poltergeist

There’s nothing creepier than a horror movie centered around a small child. Poltergeist is THAT kind of horror movie. It all starts out when Steve and Diane Freeling’s youngest daughter – Carol Anne – starts conversing with some entity which lives within the television – keep in mind there is no actual picture on the television screen, just pure static.. The family think it’s just the imaginary friend phase. But when a white vapor-ish entity burst from the static through the television set and passes through the family’s wall, setting off an earthquake like effect, creepy little Carol Anne announces “They’re here.”  And this is when things get strange – a tree comes to life during a horrific storm, dead bodies emerge in the family’s pool, and Carol Anne is sucked into the closet, vanishing. Before anyone really knows or understands what is happening, it’s discovered that the Freeling’s house is built atop a cemetery – hence all the ghostly unrest.

You want to know what happens to Carol Anne, right? Well, I’m not going to tell you. Nope, that would spoil it for you!

So why is Poltergeist one of my favorite horror movies?  Like I said, a horror movie is always scarier when there’s a small, innocent child involved. Beyond that, this is one of the movies that I still watch and am still scared by. At this point, I’m pretty hard to scare – movie wise. But Poltergeist really does creep me out.

This Is Halloween – Day 2

ThisIsHalloween

 

Hello Readers!

And welcome to Day 2 of this week’s spooky feature – This Is Halloween! Today I’m going to talk about a horror movie that is near and dear to my heart.  And there’s a reason for that beyond the scare factor.

The horror flick in which I’m talking about today is …..

AmityvilleHorrorSo before I tell you about why this movie is so near and dear to my heart, let me tell you a little bit about this movie.

George and Kathy Lutz have found their dream home … or at least they think so. It’s open and airy. It’s shrouded by the cover of trees and sits peacefully on the water. And if all that wasn’t enough — it’s haunted by the house’s gruesome past. You see the previous residents of the house – the DeFeo family – were all brutally murdered in the house at exactly 3:15 a.m. . Since moving in the Lutz family has experienced their share of odd happenings. George has experienced an extreme shift in his personality. Kathy begins having nightmares of the murders. And their young daughter seems to have a new imaginary friend – Jodi DeFeo . Strange and creepy right?! Well, long story short the Lutz family doesn’t last long in this haunted house.

Now that you know what this movie is all about, let me tell you why I love this movie so incredibly much. Firstly, this was one of the first horror movies I saw as a kid. Because of that it will alway hold a special place in my horror loving heart.

Besides that, after first seeing this movie, and being informed (by my friend’s mother) that the DeFeo’s were real people, and that the actual house these events supposedly took place in still stood, it became a mission of mine (and my friends) to see this house. After enough begging and pleading, my friend’s mother (they lived in Long Island, NY) took us to see the house. Yes, I saw the Amityville house. Crazy! I know!

And still, this movie on some level still gives me the creeps. Which at this point, is pretty hard to do!

If you’re a horror fan, and haven’t seen The Amityville Horror (the 1979 original version) I highly suggest you do! You won’t be disappointed.

This Is Halloween – Day 1

ThisIsHalloween

 

Hello Readers!

Today as part of my “This Is Halloween” feature, I’m featuring an odd choice for one of my favorite horror movies. It’s odd not because it isn’t a horror movie (it is), but because this movie I’m about to talk about is part two of three. The first horror movie which I will be talking about today is none other than:

OmenII

Damien: Omen II starring William Holden, Lee Grant, and Jonathan Scott-Taylor.

Before I get into the details of what this movie is about, and why I consider it one of my favorite horror movies, I feel like I should tell you readers (who may or may not know) what The Omen is about.

So…

After Katherine Thorn loses her new born son soon after birth, her husband U.S. diplomat Robert, upon the urging of a priest, adopt a baby boy who’s been left at the hospital. Mr. and Mrs. Thorn adopt the child and name him Damien. All is well, that is until Damien’s nanny kills herself – very publicly – at Damien’s fifth birthday party. Before the actual act, the nanny proclaims “Look at me Damian, it’s all for you!” (This gives you guys some inkling at just how powerful this little boy is). After this event, a series of deaths take place, all while Damien is present.  Even though his parents don’t see the connection, several people try to warm them about what Damien was born from, and who he really is.

That is a (very) brief explanation of The Omen’s plot. And I’m not going to tell you the end, because that would spoil all the fun for you.

Even though I really do like The Omen, and feel like it really sets the whole story and tone, Damien: Omen II (I mean, obviously it’s the first movie in the trilogy) it isn’t my most favorite of the trilogy.

Damien: Omen II picks up a few years later. Damien, if I remember correctly, is about twelve or thirteen years old. He’s now living with his uncle (his father’s brother) and his family, which consists of his aunt and his cousin Mark. Damien and Mark do everything together, even go to the same prestigious military academy. As if the past is repeating itself a series of unfortunate events (no, this has nothing to do with the Lemony Snicket series) all while Damien is present. Besides all this horrific activity, Damien starts to show signs of his power – signs he doesn’t altogether understand, that is until it’s pointed out to him. Knowing exactly who/what is he, Damien realizes the potential in his power.

Again, a (very) brief explanation. But (also) again, no spoilers. I’ve already said too much.

Now that you know what the movie is about, you obviously want to know why I love it so much. The reason why I enjoyed Damien: Omen II so much more than the first is because Damien fully realizes exactly who he is, and exactly the horror that is he is capable of. And because of that, it makes it all the more scarier and horrific.

And for that reason, I can’t help but have enjoyed Damien: Omen II more than the first.

 

“This Is Halloween, This Is Halloween”

ThisIsHalloween

 

Hello Readers!

If you didn’t already know this, than I’ll tell you: Halloween is one of my most favorite holidays. I love how all of my favorite (horror) movies are on TV. I love the idea of getting the chance to dress up and being something/someone else, even if it’s just for one day.  I love that thrills and chills that this Halloween season brings.

So in celebration of Halloween, I decided to do something special. All week long, from Monday through Friday I am going to post about my favorite horror movies, and with that a book that I feel would be a read-alike to the movie.  I’m really excited to share these movies with you, not only because I love them, but also because it gives me a chance to switch it up a little on the blog by talking about something other than books (even though I will be tying books into these posts).

I hope you enjoy this week long feature, and that you, dear readers, will share your fave scary movies and books with me!

Famous In Love

Famous In Love by Rebecca Serle (ARC Received From Publishers at BEA14)

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Seventeen-year-old Paige Townsend dreams about the day when her name will shine in lights and her face will grace the silver screen. Even though she really hasn’t auditioned for anything besides her high school musicals, Paige is certain that one day her dreams will become a reality.

One day just happens to come sooner than Paige realizes.

When her best friend tells her that some hot shot Hollywood types will be in town auditioning a possible cast for best-seller turned movie, Locked, Paige decides she really has nothing to lose.

Before Paige knows what’s really happening, not only is she cast as the lead, but she’s swept off to beautiful Hawaii to start filming almost immediately.  Paige doesn’t know exactly what to expect from the whole experience. No matter what her expectations are she surely doesn’t expect to fall head over heels for her co-star: famed actor Rainer Devon.

It seems that this on screen couple are about to become a real couple off screen. That is until bad boy – and Rainer’s nemesis, Jordan Wilder turns up on set. Not only does Jordan shake up the whole set, but he’s also shaking up Paige’s emotions.

Famous In Love, written by author Rebecca Serle, is book one in a trilogy about fame, fortune, and all the ups and downs in between.

The writing that fills the pages of Serle’s third book, is compelling. With sharp dialog and an attention to detail readers will easily sink into this book. Beyond those qualities, Famous In Love is full of lush descriptions that will transport every reader into the heart of, not only the story, but the setting as well.

In terms of characters, main character is a superstar. And what makes her so is that she’s so real. Paige is the kind of character that readers will easily relate to and root for. But even so, they will also find that she is honestly flawed, boasting qualities that we readers may want to shake out of her.

In regards to the male leads, Rainer and Jordan, while Rainer is definitely the swoon worth character, Jordan is the depth. As much as I liked Rainer, I felt that he was the obvious choice. Jordan, was literally a wild card – the male lead that made you think and the one that kept you guessing.

Even though Serle’s three leads really do steal the spotlight, there are other characters that simply didn’t measure up. For instance, Paige talks constantly about her two best friends. But when we readers meet them the feel, well, flat. The same goes for Paige’s family. As a reader I wanted more. And I’m hoping in the upcoming books I’ll get more.

Full of celebrity happenings, behind the scene footage, and a love triangle that tops all love triangles, Famous In Love is a really fun read. And I think that you, readers, will agree with me.