Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Frighten Me

For reasons unknown, I find myself really wishing to be frightened by a book or a movie; I leave it to others on the Net to engage in long distance psychoanalysis to determine why this is so.

Given this, what would you recommend to me? I'm looking for movies and books (preferably fiction but select non-fiction is acceptable) that you think might give me a good scare. Note: when I say "frighten," I don't mean "disgust." I'm not particularly squeamish nor am I averse to gore when it's appropriate, but I'm much more interested in good ol' fashioned spookiness than I am in blood 'n guts, so keep that in mind.

92 comments:

  1. I recommend The Descent, the Japanese version of The Ring or the American version of Grudge. I think The Ring would particularly suit (what I infer are) your preferences for low-key terror-by-implication rather than special effects. The Descent is terrifying by dint of its setting, i.e. classic dungeoneering.

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  2. As far as books go, I highly recommend "The Grin of the Dark" by Ramsey Campbell. It's incredible.

    In terms of the film, I think "Night of the Demon" was rereleased recently. The 50s special effects on the demon itself have dated badly but that's OK, because it only appears at the beginning and end of the film, and the real scares are in the meat in between.

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  3. The Descent is good. I think the American version of The Ring is better than the Japanese. House of the Devil has a mounting creepiness. Ruins has a little bit of body horror, but is cleverly done. Book wise, I'd suggest something by Thomas Ligotti.

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  4. Both Paranormal Activity films left me afraid to go to sleep at night. The House of the Devil was a good throwback 80s horror, while keeping me in suspense the whole time. Drag Me to Hell by Sam Raimi was quite scary in moments despite being very much like the Evil Dead in others.

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  5. If you are up for something brief, I wrote a little piece of weird fiction over at Fear and Trembling, called Beneath the Crib. I went for creepy, as opposed to over-the-top scary.

    Any criticism would be welcome.

    fearandtremblingmag_dot_com

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  6. Probably you know the William Hope Hodgson story, "The Voice in the Dark." But it's the creepiest thing I've read in a while. It's in the public domain.

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  7. I'd recommend the original '60s version of The Haunting, The Blair Witch Project and The Exorcist on the movie front.

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  8. M. R. James's "Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad" was adapted in 1968 for the BBC by the polymath Jonathan Miller. The atmosphere is thoughtful and wrongfooting; the direction artistically effective and in moments. startling, perhaps even quietly horrific.

    42 minutes long, named 'Whistle, And I'll Come To You'. It is not The Exorcist or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I would say it is close to what you are looking for.

    It is also notable for Michael Hordern's portrayal of the eccentric old professor an actor familiar to you perhaps as Gandalf in the BBC audio production of LotR.

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  9. You could try -World Made by Hand-. Or -The Pillars of the Earth-.

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  10. Remembered another - Ghostwatch, a "faux reality TV show" the BBC did many years for Halloween. Caused an outcry because loads of (dumb) people thought it was real at the time. Now out on DVD here in the UK. Highly recommended!

    I also hear The Stone Tape is very good as well, but have never seen it (an old Nigel Kneale play).

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  11. Ok, let's see....can't go wrong with Ligotti or campbell...short stories tend to work better than novels. They pack a harder "punch." The Haunting of Hill House by Jackson is a great spooky book as is "The House Next Door." "Audrey's Door" For movies, go to you tube and check out "Ghost watch." They got the whole thing there.

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  12. I recently recommended both the original Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street films on the ol' blog. But if you really want to be frightened...

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    ;-)

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  13. I found the original Paranormal Activity scary, though the sequel leaves much to be desired.

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  14. Ragnarok, NH
    Available through Lulu. Best horror novel I've read in many a long year.
    http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?fListingClass=0&fSearch=ragnarok%2C+nh

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  15. Justin Cronin's "The Passage", a recent literary essay into vampire fiction. No WoD stuff here, just bone-chilling, semi post-apocalyptic, well-written fiction. Characters you care about die. The sense of hopelessness and fear grew so overwhelming that I've had to put the book down and haven't been back to it yet. This is not because The Passage is bad; au contraire, it's because the thing was too creepy.

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  16. Room 1408, one of only two movies, which have ever given me any feelings of apprehension at all. The other, though I haven't seen it since I was a child, is Trilogy of Terror. That Tiki Doll scared Everybody I've ever heard speak of it!

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  17. The original 1973 "Wicker Man" is haunting if not terrifying, and the subject matter is related to some of your recent posts on anti-clerics.

    I also second the suggestions of "The Ring" and "Blair Witch."

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  18. Depending on the radio episode, CBS Mystery Theater was very very creepy, as was its classic radio predecessor, Lights Out. I think you can download a lot of the eps from archive.org, because a lot of them have gone into the public domain.

    I Walked with a Zombie is creepy. It's Jane Eyre in Haiti, produced on a budget during WWII, by famous horror producer Val Lewton.

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  19. Have a look for Richard Matheson's novel "I am Legend" for a great horror story with almost no blood. It was the basis for Vincent Price's "Last Man on Earth," Heston's "The Omega Man," and Will Smith's "I am Legend." The novel is far better than any of the movies.

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  20. I want to second The Exorcist, which is not only a very scary movie but also a powerful movie on a whole range of levels (acting, religious meaning, the coming-of-age tale, the powerful relationships between the characters, suspicion of modern psychiatry). It's a movie you can enjoy for a host of reasons while i scares the bejesus out of you

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  21. Shadowkiller by Matthew Scott Hansen

    Yeah, it's about Sasquatch. But try reading it at night, when it's warm and the windows and patio door are open with woods behind your house. And some family history from your childhood that left an impression.

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  22. The Descent was mentioned before and you might enjoy The Ruins.

    The only book I've found scary as an adult is Clive Barker's The Hellbound Heart. I don't know why but it just worked for me.

    I've been meaning to read Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. I've heard good things about it and the movie adaptation was great.

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  23. I really liked "Shutter Island". It's very much a throw back to films like The Haunting. I just reread The Shinning and still think it holds up as Kings best.

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  24. If you know how creepy the woods can be at night, then I (also) recommend Blair Witch. As for The Ring, both were good. I thought the Japanese original was creepier, personally. My daughter has told me The Descent was good as well, so I guess I need to see it now.

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  25. My wife, who's something of a horror aficionado, thinks Silence of the Lambs is the scariest movie ever. I find Alien pretty darn scary.

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  26. I would recommend Session 9. It was filmed in an abandoned mental hospital in Danvers, Massachusetts. The film uses some truly eerie shots of the interiors to set the mood.

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  27. Pulse (Japanese original), R-Point (Korean) and The Eye (...Thai? I think? Might also be Korean) all have moments of Actual Creepiness. No comment on quality of plots and twists thereof, however.

    I actually like the American version of Ring better, myself. I think it's a pacing thing. The Japanese version of the Grudge (Ju-On) is, however, excellent, and I remember really enjoying the sequel as well.

    Outside of J- and K-horror, though, I can't think of a damn thing. Let The Right One In isn't really scary, but it is a fascinating study of the tragic corruption of vampirism, but with an inverted structure. You end up watching a happy ending, but seeing a tragedy unfold.

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  28. My recommendations:

    Movies: The Mothman Prophecies, The Ring, The Descent, Alien, The Grudge (in that order).

    Only one book I've read (out of many...) ever scared me - The Relic. Though the movie adaptation was not that good.

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  29. Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves has scared the blue bejeesus out of me sufficiently that I have been unable to finish it.

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  30. The Ghost of Mae Nak

    This is an interesting Thai ghost story plus it also has great scenery as a bonus. The only problem may be finding a copy. I think it holds up well since it is based on a local tale.

    I thought The Descent was pretty creepy but that may be because of the sense of claustrophobia I got from watching it.

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  31. Read the short stories of Thomas Ligotti.

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  32. Got one for you. Graham Joyce's novel The Tooth Fairy.

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  33. For movies, I will second the original version of "The Haunting". To this day it's my gold standard. I prefer the Japanese versions of "The Grudge" (Ju On) and "The Ring" (Ringu), but the pacing is slower and a matter of taste.

    If you haven't seen "Alien" or John Carpenter's "The Thing" for a while, those are worth a fresh look.

    I haven't read many good scary stories, but this thread is giving me ideas to go on my reading list.

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  34. Probably old hat, but the original Carnival of Souls always creeped the hell out of me.

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  35. Carnival Of Souls for the win. Same with Night of the Living Dead - almost cliche now, but still very effective.

    Wanna try something frightening that isn't horror? Try Miracle Mile with Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham. More of a thriller, really, but it ratchets up to some serious jeebies at the end. Bad-ass score by Tangerine Dream, too.

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  36. Movies: I'll cast a third vote for "Paranormal Activity." The first one is more frightening than the second, if you must choose but both made my girlfriend jump.

    Book: Non-fiction. "Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans" by Malachi Martin. Stirring, compelling. Nothing like the movie "The Exorcist" but more chilling.

    Television. "The Haunted" A series on Animal Planet (of all channels). Non-fiction.

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  37. Bloodlands
    The Holocaust Industry
    The Rape Of Nanking

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  38. The scariest movie for 2010 so far for me is "The Thaw" from 2009 with Val Kilmer.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1235448/

    I can second "Room 1408" as a frightening movie.

    From the not too distant past, I would also recommend "The Mist" a 2007 movie based on a Cthulesque Stephen King story, and from 2006, the movie treatment of "Silent Hill".

    I thought "Blair Witch Project" was very poorly done, and it tripped the disbelief meter more than once. The kids depicted in Blair Witch project were too stupid to survive even in normal society, I was surprised they lasted as long as they did.

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  39. A Brit combination that has always terrified me, especially since there is little or no violence in it, just menace, is Susan Hill's 'The Woman in Black', and the 1989 telemovie version is likewise creepy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Woman_in_Black

    In a similar vein, Fritz Leiber's Our Lady of Darkness is nice and disturbing...

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  40. I have to second Geoffrey: Thomas Ligotti is fantastic. If you can find a copy, pick up his anthology "The Nightmare Factory". While his Lovecraftian influences do show he is a unique voice.

    Jeff's suggestion of Danielewski's "House of Leaves" is strong as well, though you may be put off by all the stylistic variations.

    My suggestions? Short stories. Michael Shea's "The Autopsy" always scares me, and I find Stephen King's "That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is In French" to be unsettling. Stephen Laws "The Crawl" is a nail biter, and Lovecraft's "Rats in the Walls" still has punch.

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  41. It's gross and bloody, but it's in context in John Carpenter's remake of "The Thing" which scared the heck of out me as a kid and still does to this day.

    The 70's remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" with Donald Sutherland I always found creepy-scary too.

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  42. And I forgot "Tomb of the Blind Dead" which I just watched recently. A good 70's Euro horror-vibe to it all, the "blind dead" are creepy and follow people around by sound (sets up a good scene), the music/sound effects are eerie (I think it's often Gregorian chant played backwards).

    I plan to work some of it into a D&D game eventually.

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  43. I second the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), and the original The Haunting (1963), but I'd like to add Night of the Demon (1957) a.k.a. Curse of the Demon and the pilot of a BBC show that was never picked up (but should have been), namely Rough Magik (2000), about a contemporary covert organization called the Night Scholars who are investigating Dreamers and their connection with Cthulhu. Excellent acting and very creepy. It stars Paul Darrow (who played Avon on Blake's 7.

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  44. I tend to go for creepy rather than bloody or pop-out-go-boo, so I'm going to ask: are you familiar with the Brothers Quay? Try this as a taste of their style:

    The Street of Crocodiles (Part 1)

    Did it creep you out? If so, try their full-length creepy surreal film, The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes. There are a few animation bits that are in the same style, but even the live action has a lot of the same feeling of foreboding, irrational decay.

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  45. Oh, I forgot to mention: the last few episodes of the first season and last few episodes of the second season of Millennium is also quite good. I like the series as a whole, but I particularly remember the first two seasons building up to horrific season finales.

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  46. Event Horizon.

    Sci-Fi Horror with Sam Neil and Lawrence Fishburn.

    I watched it when I was like 14 or something and it was pretty thoroughly frightening.

    Also - have you played a game called Amnesia? It's not too long, and the gameplay itself is pretty straightforward, but it's a great atmosphere and legitimately scary.

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  47. Movies, I'll echo the recommendations of Session 9 and The Thing, although I think you'll like John Carpenter's lesser-known Prince of Darkness even better.

    For reading, I recommend:
    William Gibson's short story Hinterlands (available online here: http://lib.ru/GIBSON/r_hinter.txt )
    Cliver Barker's The Hellbound Heart
    All of the Barbara Hambly fantasy books (as opposed to her sci-fi or vampire books) have had frightening/horror elements which really got under my skin when first I read them. This was true of Dragonsbane, The Silent Tower and The Ladies of Mandrigyn, as I recall.

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  48. I just noticed Arthur already mentioned Night of the Demon, so I guess that's a second, too.

    I'd also recommend the short story "The Professor's Teddy Bear" by Theodore Sturgeon.

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  49. I just watched Pandorum, which I thought was much better than some of the reviews I saw of it. It goes a little quickly, and it's easy to get lost in what's happening, but there is a lot of creepy going on.

    Since people are mentioning obvious entries like The Descent and The Thing, I figure that it's fair game to mention The Shining.

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  50. You have gotten so many tips I wonder how you're going to take time to read/view them all. Still, I'd like to chip in my two cents.

    Considering your Easter postings I gather you might have the same kind of world view as my self. Then Flicker by Theodore Roszak might give you a good scare.

    The reason it really freaked me out, and still to this day makes me shudder, is how the world view of some of the characters to me seem so totally different and counter the most basic idea of where we sit in relation to eternity. I'm fairly certain it was not the author's intent to be horrifying in that manner. Thus it's power over me.

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  51. I'd like to add the Exorcist (book), as it was even scarier than the movie. I'll second Shirley Jackson's House on Haunted Hill, and add Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes. For a movie (TV series), try Kingdom (Riget) from Denmark. There is a version with English dubbing.

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  52. +1 Session 9 and Descent.
    Add Bunshinsaba, Martyrs and The Entreur.

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  53. Try House of Leaves - you could even view it through the lens of a spooky dungeon crawl.

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  54. I would suggest Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro. Wonderful imagery, brilliant story, and some really frightening moments; you will be scared by the fact that humans can be the worst monsters...

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  55. "Outside of J- and K-horror, though, I can't think of a damn thing. Let The Right One In isn't really scary, but it is a fascinating study of the tragic corruption of vampirism, but with an inverted structure. You end up watching a happy ending, but seeing a tragedy unfold."

    I didn't really find the ending to be happy, but rather disturbing actually. To me Hakan in the film version serves to foreshadow a possible future for Oskar, and I think it highlights just how parasitic and insidious a creature Ellie is.

    I'm curious to see the American remake turns out, the bar is very high.


    Anyway if you like vampire movies I watched a Korean one just recently called Thirst (aka Bakjwi). I wouldn't use the word frightening to describe it, but it definitely has its horrifying and disturbing moments. It's also a little weird and quirky, and the story is not necessarily what you would expect.

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  56. I've read Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist and thought it was a great story. I'd recommend it... it's far better than the movie version.

    For movies, I'd highly recommend Rec. It's a zombie flick from Spain that has some gore but is also as creepy as anything I've ever seen.

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  57. Dude, I recommend that you *READ* the original Exorcist book, by William Peter Blatty.

    It'll *** scare you out. Its better than any Exorcist movie

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  58. For books I'd go with "The Rising" and "City of the Dead" by Brain Keene. Those were probably the last horror novels that legitimately scared me.

    I would also recommend "The Colour Out of Space" by H.P. Lovecraft, I may be biased towards it since it takes place in my home state of MA.

    Ray Bradbury's "The October Country" is excellent.

    As for movies, I'd go with "The Blair Witch Project", "Paranormal Activity", "Night of the Living Dead" (either the original or the 1990 remake), "Rec" or it's American version "Quarantine". Finally, if you can find it, "Horror Hotel" is a great black and white horror movie.

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  59. The first "Alien" movie, and Ian McKellan's version of "Richard III " - a more chilling movie I can't remember

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  60. If you don't mind Manga, try Junji Ito's works, especially Uzumaki. There is a film adaptation of another of it, but it's rather lackluster. (So I'm writing my own script in hopes of getting it remade!)

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  61. People seem to find Twilight both frightening and disgusting, but not in the way you mean.

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  62. I also HIGHLY recommend "Tombs of the Blind Dead". This is the first installment in a loosely tied-together 4-part series ("Return of the Blind Dead", "The Ghost Galleon", & "Night of the Seagulls" round out the rest).

    Atmospheric, creepy, and, at times, down-right unnerving, "Tombs of the Blind Dead" is one of the best from the "Euro-Horror" craze of the early 70's. Plus, it literally screams "adapt me" for old-school campaigning. I think you'll enjoy it!

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  63. The last novel I read that really and truly freaked me out was Dan Simmons' The Terror. Growing up in Alaska, I always associate fear and horror with the cold and the dark, and this massive novel has both of those in spades. I read it over Christmas in a cold, drafty century-old Cape Cod house and there were nights where it was hard to go to sleep because of what I'd read that evening.

    The best part about the book - it's a (somewhat) true story. I remember seeing a documentary on The Terror (the lost ship) as a kid, particularly the discovery of three frozen bodies that had been buried for a hundred years, and to this day, probably twenty-five years later, I can remember the footage. Creepy, creepy stuff.

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  64. Let the Right One In is probably the best horror film made in recent years, and disturbing in its implications. There are some good suggestions in this Ask Metafilter thread.

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  65. "If you don't mind Manga, try Junji Ito's works, especially Uzumaki. There is a film adaptation of another of it, but it's rather lackluster. (So I'm writing my own script in hopes of getting it remade!)"

    I'll second this, Junji Ito's work is really good. Comics, I think, are an extremely hard medium to pull off horror with, but some of his stuff is genuinely creepy. Several of his stories, but Uzimaki in particular, have a pretty Lovecraftian vibe to them. His Museum of Terror anthologies are quite good, though they include some of his earliest work which is a little rough, but I found them really interesting because you can really see his growth as a creator. There are 3 volumes in MoT, but they're all pretty much self-contained stories so you can just pick up one if you want to give him a whirl. I also enjoyed Gyo quite a bit, it gets really messed up toward the end. It seems a little silly at first, but somewhere along the line you just realize it stopped being silly a while ago and now it's just disturbing. Great stuff.

    Please don't be put off by the word manga, I know a lot of people are. The art style is very mature, tends toward the realistic. Basically if you like horror and you like sequential art as a storytelling format there is a lot to like in Junji Ito's work, and it's probably one of the only mangas I would recommend without reservation to even a die hard manga hater.

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  66. I am stunned Laird Barron has not yet been mentioned. He is a short story writer and cites favorite writers like Lovecraft, Howard, and Vance. He has won quite a few horror and fiction awards, and his writing is the sort of creepy and horrific I think you are looking for.

    I recommend starting with stories like "Hallucigenia," "Proboscis," and "The Procession of the Black Sloth" to get an idea of his flavor.

    Wikipedia entry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laird_Barron

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  67. I see a few others have also recommended Ti West's film HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, which is the first thing I thought of. There's roughly forty minutes in that film where you know something terrible is going to happen, and you pray it doesn't, but yet you hope it does so it can release you from this terrific frightening tension, and yet you're still praying that that terrible shoe doesn't drop.

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  68. Some of Gene Wolfe's short stories are uncanny in their creepiness and slowly-building horror. Unfortunately, they aren't all bound together under a single volume and I can't recall the specific names of a few of the more affecting. One I can though: "The Friendship Light" from the volume Innocents Aboard.

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  69. I'll add another vote for the 1963 The Haunting. Talysman's mention of the Brothers Quay's animation (which I do find quite creepy) made me think also of Jan Svankmajer's Alice, which you might find eerily disturbing if not actually frightening.

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  70. Turns out The Eye is actually HK-horror. My bad.

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  71. Book: I second the works of Junji Ito. Uzumaki is splendidly disturbing.

    Movie: Begotten by E. Elias Merhige.

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  72. I recommend Kaïro de Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

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  73. Movie: Don't be Afraid of the Dark. (1973)

    The thought of tiny red demons lurking in my fireplace creeps me out. Guillermo del Toro (Pans Labyrinth) is remaking it.

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  74. Del Toro is probably the creepiest new(ish)director around. While not exactly frightening, I thought the Devil's Backbone had some genuine creepy moments.

    James, if you want to truly be frightened, you will click on this youtube link....SCARY!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wusGIl3v044
    :)

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  75. House of Leaves, without question or hesitation - among other things you'll get a kick out of its merciless spoofing of critical theory jargon.

    Read it in your home, alone of course.

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  76. FWIW, Stephen King once said that the only time he actually became frightened while writing one of his own books was during the Room 217 scene in The Shining.

    As for movies, the original Japanese version of Black Water gets my vote, especially the final scene.

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  77. What passes for "horror" nowadays really isn't very scary. It's all about visual shock and gore. What you don't see is always scarier. I would have to say that "The Blair Witch Project" is one of those what-you-don't-see movies. I think that what really lent to the atmosphere of the movie (besides the lack of a sound track, and the documentary style of it) is that the associated website at the time presented the story as true fact and supported it with a lot of detail that was not in the movie. Another interesting effect is that the crew didn't give the actors the full script; they would tell them where to be at certain times and then they would proceed to scare the hell out of them and let them film it. Very cool.

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  78. Ok, so this is an odd coincidence. You and I share the same Oct 29th Birthday and I have been needing the Fright lately too. I have actively sought out scary fiction, either book or movie. It started a week before our Birthday and I'm still in that mode. I recommend "The Terror" by Dan Simmons, Ghostwatch Mocumentary and Room 1408.
    Is it the Birthday/Halloween proximity that brings it out?

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  80. I know it's been said, but Ju-On is genuinely very, very frightening. The more observant and introspective you are - and I've read your archives, we share that bent - the more certain background details will disturb you. The Grudge looses a great deal of the subtlety and the atmosphere, but has much tighter pacing. The same goes for Ringu and The Ring.
    Jacob's Ladder has a creepy atmosphere and ugly implications.
    Higurashi (When they Cry, When Cicadas Cry) is a long and complicated series that mixes vicious gore, of which I'm not that much of a fan, with a subtle psychological horror and an amazing mood. The hero also confronts the very real possibility that he's going mad - because being sane means what he's heard and seen would be real. There's also a neat element in that the story reiterates from multiple points of view, but each time the hero retains some knowledge from the last iteration...
    Devil Woman has a good short story, and there are a number of other good Japanese short horror film anthologies, but they tend to be really hit-or-miss in the individual films.

    For American films, the first half of Signs develops an amazing mood, but then squanders it with the TWEEST.
    Event Horizon is also very, very good in the beginning, and looses little at the end by going gorier and less subtle, but the explicit Hellish imagery is impressive.
    Other than that, I really can't think of an American picture from the last 20 years or so that got me truly freaked the way Ju-on and Higurashi did..

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  81. For a film, I second the recommendation of Don't Look Now- it's genuinely unsettling, and the Venice locales are simply amazing.

    The scariest book I have ever read is Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome. When I read it as a high-schooler, it didn't make much of an impression, but re-reading it as an adult was an entirely different experience. You want a book about a man's helplessness in the face of an indifferent cosmos? Read Ethan Frome.

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  82. Steven King wrote that most of his stories are not scary if you read them in your living room on a sunny Sunday afternoon. He suggests finding an abandoned location reading his stuff there. And he is right, context is everything. That is why House of Leaves is genuinely scary. It takes place in the sunny Sunday afternoon setting (sort of). Also you can read "Whisperer in the Darkness" in the woods at night, or "Rats in the Walls" while vacationing in Europe. Additionally, you could watch "Blair Witch" and then go camping, alone. Also there is a short film called "The Visage" which is very simple and very scary.

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  83. books: thomas ligotti, who's been mentioned multiple times already, and drood by dan simmons, for gaslight horror vibes.

    movies: i was surprised to see no one had already recommended frailty, which is probably still the most recent film that actually terrified me--and yes, i've seen almost every other film already recommended. also, last house on the dead end street (NOT last house on the left, which was good, too) is rather terrifying, if somewhat disjointed and hard to find.

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  84. Noone mentioned Ghost Story....Peter Straub.

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  85. I also avidly recommend 'House of Leaves' by Mark Z. Danielewski. The friend who introduced me to this book years ago is still somewhat disturbed by the book, and could only read it once. My girlfriend's brother could not finish it. My girlfriend and I occasionally get into arguments about what the book was really about, but we both loved it. I personally think it's one of the most original explorations of a mythic theme I've ever read. I cannot recommend this strongly enough.

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  86. I just thought of another good one: Eyes of Fire (1983), a horror movie set in colonial North America. Very atmospheric. Sadly, it has never been released on DVD, so it's difficult to find now.

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