Today I’m choosing author Sarah Waters, the writer of The Little Stranger. I’d been meaning to read it for years and finally got round to it last year. And I wasn’t disappointed.
The Little Stranger is subtly creepy, subjective in nature and has a cast of interesting characters. I had a feeling I knew what might be going, but this only made me like the story more. For me, it was the perfect type of ghost story.
Today I’m choosing actor Kathy Bates who gave us a terrifying screen version of Annie Wilkes from Stephen King’s Misery, as well as a whole load of wonderful characters in American Horror Story.
I cockadoodie love Kathy Bates. Ha!
Today I’m choosing author Katherine Clements. I recently read her ghost story The Coffin Path and absolutely loved it. It’s set in Yorkshire in a dark and moody landscape with characters who are equally dark and moody.
The protagonist, Mercy, is a strong, independent woman who’s willing to defend what’s hers no matter what.
This was the sort of ghost story I’d been craving for ages! After a few chapters in, I just knew I was going to love it. The characters, the setting and the prose just spoke to me on some magical level and so far it’s my favourite read of 2019.
I sincerely hope Clements will give us more ghost stories!
Today I’m choosing the film The Descent. Directed by Neil Marshall (who also gave us Dog Soldiers), this one has an all-female cast of strong and (mostly) likeable characters.
It follows a bunch of six women who go caving in an unexplored system and find themselves being hunted by some pretty scary creatures.
There’s lots of blood and gore and some extremely tight spots, which will get the heart racing if you’re in any way claustrophobic. In fact, it’s the claustrophobic nature of the film which makes it work so well.
The women are relatable, in that they all have daft banter and aren’t afraid to take the piss out of each other, as friends do, and there’s no worrying about makeup and hair and nails here.
There’s some underlying aggravation within the group, between two of the characters to be precise (I won’t say what that aggravation is, in case you haven’t seen the film). It’s an animosity which threatens to bubble to the surface and divide the group. But, ultimately, we see the two women rising above their differences and working together.
The Descent remains one of my favourite horror films.
Today I’m choosing film director Leigh Janiak whose directorial debut was Honeymoon (2014) starring Rose Leslie.
It’ll be interesting to see what Janiak has to offer in the future after this strong, eerie introduction to her work.
Today I’m choosing actor Sarah Paulson. Another versatile, favourite of mine from American Horror Story.
Today I’m choosing fine artist and illustrator Caitlin Hackett. Her work is both beautiful and disturbing.
As a fellow animal lover, I love the idea behind what motivates each of her pieces: that she is extremely sympathetic to nature, seeking to highlight what we as humans are doing to poison the world around us.
There’s something very sinister-fairy-tale about her work. It’s simply stunning!
Check out her stuff here: https://caitlinhackett.carbonmade.com
Today I’m choosing author Anne Rice, the very lady who brought to us Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat – as well as many more! I went through a phase of totally devouring her vampire fiction in my early twenties. To me, she’ll probably always be the vampire queen.
Today I’m choosing character Morticia Addams, as portrayed by Anjelica Houston. She was extremely statuesque and admirable – especially to a young goth at the time!
Morticia was a modern woman and feminist, therefore a great role model. She understood the value of her female ancestors and the importance of empowering her daughter, Wednesday.
She’ll always have a top spot in my list of most memorable women in horror.
Today I’m choosing author Sarah Lotz. Her novel The White Road was one of my favourite reads last year. It’s about an adrenalin junkie who goes caving, has a near-death experience, then decides to climb Mount Everest. Lotz really captures the sense of dread in both extreme environments (especially in the caving scenarios). I genuinely felt a little nauseous when reading about the tight spots!
Day Four was a fun, quick read about the mayhem on board a cruise liner when passengers start dying.
I have her other novel The Three lined up as my next read, and I’m pretty certain I won’t be disappointed.