Our final post as part of horror Mondays at STACKED is from Courtney Summers. Courtney’s a bit of an expert on horror, having tackled real-life horrific events in Cracked Up to Be, Some Girls Are, and Fall for Anything, and, in her forthcoming June 2012 title This is Not a Test, she’ll be tackling what happens when real-life horror meets the things nightmares are made of: zombies.
Courtney has offered up her favorite horror films every year since 2009 on her blog, and this year, she’s also spotlighted a book as part of Nova Ren Suma’s “What Scares You” series that scared her into a fascination with horror as a kid (and, if you haven’t, you need to check out Nova’s series of posts). It seemed only natural to ask if she’d talk about a few of the horror novels-turned-film that have stuck with her for one reason or another.
The thing the book and the movie both have in common is that they are not very good but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth watching or reading! The movie is pretty slow moving and not truly scary (unless you scare easily?), but there is something about watching James Brolin get angrier and angrier throughout that is quite compelling and unintentionally hilarious. The book reads a bit dry but there was one moment in it that kinda freaked me out, but I can’t tell you about it because it’s a spoiler. (Spoiler: The house is haunted!) In any case, you should check both out because you don’t want to be the only person at a cocktail party who HASN’T read or seen The Amityville Horror. I mean, really. How embarrassing.
Read. Watch. Now. That is all. Seriously. That is all. It is all I need to say. You must.
There’s a reason Kathy Bates won the Oscar for her portrayal of Annie Wilkes, an obsessed superfan who kidnaps her favourite author and holds him hostage in her remote cabin in the woods for such a long time it makes me want to cry just thinking about it (poor author). That reason is because she is seriously creepy. Damn. The movie is intense and claustrophobic and guess what? The book it is based on, by the master, Stephen King? The same. Except more. CAN YOU HANDLE IT?
In all honesty, it’s been a long time since I read the book. I was young when I first picked it up, but I remember being pretty devastated that Robert Bloch’s description of Norman Bates didn’t sound anything like Anthony Perkins, who I was obsessed with at the time. The other impression I had of this book was how creepy and skeevy I found Norman Bates, which is probably exactly how I’m supposed to find him. Anthony Perkins’s interpretation of the character is quite empathetic (in my opinion), which (in my opinion) makes him that much more terrifying. Look, I really shouldn’t have to sell you on Psycho. It’s a CLASSIC. It had an IMPACT. Go read it and then see it. I mean if you go to a cocktail party and you’re like, “I’ve never read or seen the Amityville Horror,” you better be able to immediately make up for it by saying, “But OF COURSE I have read and seen Psycho.”