Greetings ghouls. It's that time of year to surrender your machinations for just a moment to heed my curse of required viewing and reading, burnt offerings that exemplify proper horror.
For you bloodthirsty types, just go ahead and return to your corner of purgatory. If I have to explain to you that gore does not equal terror, then you don't belong in this crypt. Go revel in your sanguinary satire while the rest of us feel a real chill to the marrow.
And our first fright may have single-handedly restored the crown to American cinema for horror. The Witch is elegant, authentic, and most of all, a cringe symphony. It begins by locking you in the 17th century, forcing you to listen closely to the archaic English. When religious persecution causes a family to be banished from their colony, the cruel frontier deals them much more than just back-breaking work. Oh indeed, there is a witch who will entrance you and an uncharted direction with disturbing revelations.
John Carpenter worshippers will likely spot It Follows as a tribute to the director, especially from the soundtrack. If you were a teen in the 80s, there will be no escaping the haunting stroll down memory lane from the style of this chiller. There's one caveat. It Follows is better than just about all the low Bs of said decade. The story gets to the point in the first scene then never relents.
Rated R, David Cronenberg's remake of The Fly gets all over your skin like a swarm, but has fun. Compared to Jaws which was rated PG, the insect tale is actually quite tame. By today's standards, you may even find it okay for kids, but I'd suggest only if they are in double digits.
After the People Lights Have Gone Off, a short story collection by one of my fellow Coloradans Stephen Graham Jones, is the creepiest prose I've read all year. You won't be disappointed...which means you might lose a little sleep. Keep an eye out for them slick shadowy things. And for heaven's sake, don't turn around too fast if you feel a hot breeze on your neck.