Category Archives: Horror

Hater by David Moody

REMAIN CALM DO NOT PANIC TAKE SHELTER WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS THE SITUATION IS UNDER CONTROL.

Ok, I’m just gonna say it. I HATED Haterhater-david-moody-2006-21412924

Whatever, haters gonna hate!

(Sorry, I had to…)

Danny lives in England and has a job that he can’t stand, a wife who doesn’t appreciate him, and three rambunctious kids that don’t know when to stop. Every day of his life is a plodding misery. Go to work, get yelled at. Come home, get yelled out. There is hardly ever any freedom or joy during his week. (Sounds familiar, right?)

Suddenly, a pandemic strikes! All across the globe “Haters” have cropped up. Seemingly normal people are instantly changed into violent killers, often lashing out at the first person within striking range. (Think zombies, but without the dead grossness and hunger for brains. More like a rage virus, really).

Danny and his family hole up in their small apartment and wait for the government to come to their aid. (Hah.) But while they’re prisoners in their own home, something unexpected happens that tears apart their family forever.

Ok… *sigh* This is where things get tricky. Haters was SOOOOO predictable that I probably could’ve gotten my 14 year old sister to finish the book for Mr. Moody. The first half was really poorly written, and the second half was interesting, but the movement came too late. I’m almost tempted to read the second book just because I am nosey and like to see what happens next. Plus, it could always be better, right?

But alas, I will probably refrain. There are so many good books out there calling my name.

Skip it.

2 stab wounds of 5

 


Happy Halloween, my darlings!

In honor of my favorite holiday, I read a couple of creeptastic books to review for you. Unfortunately, I’ve been more freaked out by looking at my bank statement than I was by these two books.

1-56164-123-5

The Ghosts of St. Augustine by Dave Lapham was one my parents got for me at least fifteen years ago. We were in–you guessed it!–St. Augustine at the time, exploring that awesome little bit of America. I’m a total wuss when it comes to scary stuff, but this book left me wanting more. It was a great compilation of historical ghostly visitations, but it was pretty poorly written and I never felt weird reading it alone. (I really want something that is going to scare me while I’m in a brightly lit room sitting next to someone, so let me know if you have any suggestions!) One of the stories was actually told from the ghost’s point of view and then never explained afterwards, so it kind of made the whole collection lose credibility.

Definitely pass on this one.

zoom-v1-QBS1031

I had high hopes for The Little Big Book of Chills and Thrills edt by Lena Tabori. It had all the makings of an interesting compilation: recipes, short stories, poems, strange illustrations, and even magic tricks. Unfortunately the magic tricks were lame, the short stories were old hat, and the recipes and poems weren’t creepy at all, obviously. I felt like this book was more like a little big waste of my time.

Skip them both.

2 haunted houses of 5


Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts

Seeing as it’s freshly October, some scary books are in order… Rage Within, sequel to the ultra-creeptastic Dark Inside. (DI was a great book. I’d be reading it next to the sleeping boyfriend and still jump out of my skin every time the house creaked.) 

Roberts’ post-apocalyptic world is less zombies and more terrorist attacks meets natural disaster meets rage virus. It follows the lives of a handful of teens as they try to overcome the insurmountable odds against surviving in their deadly environment. The people that have caught the rage virus are known as Baggers and in book two they are more intelligent and more organized, therefore much more dangerous.

Obviously it’s easier to run from mean but stupid things–like the T-Rex in Jurassic Park–but much harder to run from mean but smart things–like the raptors. (I seriously still have nightmares about them!)

While RW wasn’t quite as scary as DI, it was still an enjoyable and sufficiently creepy read. I was less scared out of my wits and more on the edge of my seat, if that makes sense. There was still plenty of action, gore, and suspense–just not as much utterly horrifying mental imagery.

In this book, we get to find out what the Nothing infecting everybody really is. We also learn that the Baggers may not be as easy to read as previously imaged. Scary, huh?

I am pissed off that the character Colin has lasted this long, and once you read the story you’ll get what I mean. I’m sorry, but if I had a group of friends together in a safe house and one little jerk was beginning to compromise our safety… Well… let’s just say he’d have another thing coming. Marshall law for the win!

Roberts has definitely left an open ending for another book, which I’ll be eagerly awaiting. I’m not sure how well things will turn out, however, because things aren’t looking so good for the humans these days…

Definitely worth the read, especially in honor of Halloween.

4 stale Twinkies of 5


Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

I’m about to say something blasphemous. Mothers should draw the shades and cover their children’s eyes.

WHAT THE LIVING EFF WAS THIS GARBAGE?

No, I’m not talking about the book–never the book. The movie.

I know right now you’re thinking, But Chelsea, of course the movie was garbage. They always are compared to the book. What did you expect? And you would be right.

Except this book did not EXIST before the movie. Yep, you heard me right. It was based on a screenplay written by David Leslie Johnson, made for a movie directed by Catherine Hardwicke, based off of an idea of Leonardo DiCaprio’s. Talk about Inception… It’s a book inside a screenplay inside a movie inside an idea. What?

And that’s fine. But this is the last time I trust Catherine Hardwicke with a movie. I was willing to give her a chance even after she eff’d up the Twilight movie (“Hold on tight, spider monkey.” Really, Catherine? Really??) But now, the gloves are off.

Not only was the Red Riding Hood movie a spectacular cheese-fest of terrible, it also was ABSOLUTELY UNLIKE the book. And yeah, sure, the movie and the book are never the same–I get it. But this book was written FOR THE MOVIE and yet still, it was completely off the mark. Do you get what I’m saying?

Shouldn’t the book follow the movie pretty well, especially if it was created because of it? Is it just me?

Rant aside, the book was enjoyable. Blakley-Cartwright took what assuredly was a heinous script and added dark elegance and flowing prose to round it out. She used great imagery and was very creative with her descriptions. I appreciate her writing style, I really do. It was nothing like the classic fairy tale. RRH is not a retelling, it’s a re-imagining.

Now if only she could’ve sat in the director’s chair instead…

Verdict: Please for the love of all that is holy, do NOT watch the movie. Read the book instead and forget there ever was such a nightmare. And try not to think about the fact that the actors involved in this…thing…are getting paid more than you ever will. It’s a sad state of affairs.

4 big bad wolves of 5


Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

Sorry about the long pause between postings, it’s exam week and my final few days in college before graduation. I’m so excited! But with great power comes great responsibility, as we all know… Unfortunately that great power comes in the form of term papers, exams in languages I don’t know, and coordinating family members who don’t like each other.

However, somehow in all this madness I had time to read Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts. And boy, I’m glad I did. (My dreams were not happy, but I was entertained nevertheless). 

Her first novel–by her own description–combines The Road and 28 Days Later. Neither of which I’ve seen, since I’m a big chicken and I hate things jumping out at me. (Whatever, judge me all you want, but watching people get tortured à la The Human Centipede is not my idea of a good time).

The story takes place in a world suddenly ravaged by natural distasters, terrorist attacks, and a hypothesized virus/body snatcher that turns normal people into savage blood-thirsty killers. And not in the dead-eyed shuffling zombie way. I’m talking cognisant, hunt-you-down-and-drag-you-kicking-and-screaming-from-your-house killers. And guess what? To top it all off the power is out, cell phones and radios don’t work, and police and doctors are just as likely to kill you as anyone else–so what do you do?

Something about the way this book was written really freaked me out. It had a believability that a lot of other horror novels don’t have. Roberts made this scenario seem like it could really happen. It posed the question that, if the absence of communication–which has so long been our crutch–is kicked out from under us, how many people would really know how to survive?

The plot was a bit cheap, and getting to really know any one of the four main characters was not really possible because of the constant action–but in this case it worked. The story represented the world as a whole, and the action was the focal point, not the participants. But, the events and the cringe-inducing violence were enough to scare me, even with the lights on and a sleeping boyfriend by my side. So that’s a success in my book.

Definitely worth the read if you’re in for a bit of a creep-fest.

5 of 5 stars