Thursday, 7 July 2016

Reading The Amityville Horror And Other Scary Books

I read The Amityville Horror years before the 2005 film version came out. And when they screened it in the neighborhood CGV cinemas, I was excited to watch it. Unfortunately, my excitement turned into disappointment when, from my CGV seat, the horror film looked like comedy-slash-TV drama because, one, I knew Ryan Reynolds, the murderous dad in the film, as a comedian, and, two, the movie lacked the horror punch that would convince your wits to get scared!

Well, let's just go back to the book.

I remember reading The Amityville Horror when I was still in school. At night, I was only able to read more pages after studying my text books and doing my homework. It gave me a lot of satisfaction as, when I read a horror book, I read at night, just before going to bed until lights-out. The dark words and the world of scary thoughts and creatures of a horror book could only be brought to life in one's imagination when one was surrounded by darkness and silence. 

Turn off the TV, turn off the computer and stay away from your smartphone if you're reading a horror book. They are the like the advertisements that interrupt a show when you're watching TV.

Even during high school, when I visited that small bookstore in our city, I would always be drawn to the horror section. The Howling, a few of Stephen King's books and a few more titles I couldn't recall kept me company during the short rides to and from school, and even longer after homework and dinner.

And over the years after that, it seemed the when I watched horror movies, I didn't get scared anymore. Suddenly, I could tell when a ghost would appear on the screen, or from which corner a ghoul would await his victim. Perhaps I could direct a horror film of my own! Ha-ha-ha!

That's why when I saw The Others, the horror film starring Nicole Kidman, I was fascinated! The film didn't rely on suspenseful music and scary creatures, it simply revolved on a scary story! And great acting! The Others must be my favorite horror film of all time! It's not your typical horror film; that's why it's especially scary! I remember I recommended it to an aunt (Tita Helen). I told her it was a very good film; I didn't tell her it was a horror movie. Ha-ha-ha!

She thought the movie was about marital woes of couples. Ha-ha-ha! Sort of 'the other...woman', perhaps.

She brought along her husband, Tito Nemie, to watch it, and she must have been a little mad at me because, in the middle of the movie, she called me from her cellphone and asked me why I didn't warn her it was a horror movie! That day, she was watching it at a cinema in Bacolod City, and I was at work in Manila! Ha-ha-ha!  As we were talking, she told me that Tito Nemie was jumping from his seat every time a scary scene flashed on the screen. Of course, I was laughing at the other end of the conversation, while the poor, scared couple was trapped inside the movie house. Ha-ha-ha!

If you're reading a horror book these nights, I wonder if you're able to sleep after. Or perhaps, does the book bring you nightmares, just like scary movies?

I sort of 'graduated' from horror books and horror movies. The last movie that I could really describe as 'scary' was The Conjuring of 2013. And with the number of other scary movies like Insidious and Paranormal Activity, it seems that we're all being immunized from scare. Even the latest one, The Conjuring 2, seemed like a slapstick, complete with a ghost nun from Sister Act. For me, these horror movies aren't horror movies until they actually scare me. Ha-ha-ha!  I think The Rite, starring Anthony Hopkins was a good scary movie. 

So, what horror movie or horror book you actually found scary lately?


  1. One horror movie that I really liked is the Omen. Just looking at the boy's eyes made me shiver. And his yaya.

  2. I agree, the first Conjuring movie was scary. The second one, not so much. I did scream ofcourse, but not enough to keep me up at night. My favorite horror movie has got to be The Exorcist. Just, well, dang. Haha.