(Review) Kill Creek – Scott Thomas 🏚️

TW: graphic descriptions of violence and sex, death and murder, mentions of blasphemy

(+ tackles the topic of grief after a loved one dies –> if someone doesn’t want to be reminded etc.)

Four horror novel authors in a haunted house sounds like the beginning of a joke and I’m absolutely loving it. The first half of Scott Thomas‘ Kill Creek is the love child of Blair Witch Project and Cabin in the Woods; it’s clever, spooky and perfectly self-aware in the horror tropes it (dis)plays with.

I don’t want to be here.

Kill Creek has a stellar cast of characters and lots of cool concepts but it lacks the right pacing and the angst and fear gets lost when it counts the most. For me it’s an absolute stunner in it’s idea but not with a few difficulties in it’s execution. Kudos to the perfectly suitable cover of the novel. It fits like a glove.

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Book: Kill Creek // Author: Scott Thomas // Publisher: Inkshares ©

The basic plot is this: four horror novel authors agree to an interview in a haunted house for publicity reasons – which already sounds like a horror fans wet dream. It’s the typical „horror experts fall into the horror movie trap and go-somewhere-they-werent-supposed-to“ trope which is (and forever will be) incredibly entertaining if its done well. (The Object Horror equivalent to Kill Creek’s Place Horror is basically someone playing with an ouija board. Saying Bloody Mary too many times in the mirror is one that comes to mind instantly as Activity Horror.) Another aspect of Kill Creek that furthered my enjoyment was the double meaning of the title (kill creek = kill/murder creek & creek creek (house by the creek)) and the four archetypes of the horror novel authors that were represented in the novel. I’ll stay vage with the characterisation of the mains in general because I want you to get to know them for yourself but let’s just say this: they are all different and all the same with each their own backstory, traits, dynamics and flashback scenes. You get to know them pretty well pretty fast (especially in the first chapters. And later on. And all around in the rest of the novel. Just in general. Period.)

No house is born bad.

Thomas‘ choice of interaction between the different characters was done masterfully. They each bring out a different side to each other that truly tells you more of who they are deep in their core and what drives them. What makes them tick. What their hopes and dreams are. What they fear and feel in their hearts. And what they want nobody to know. It’s incredibly clever and human; their behavior reminds me of people in documentaries. They seem more real, more fleshed-out. Not the paperflat version of people shown on screen that make them seem fake somehow and doesn’t dig into that special portrayal of humanity, emotion and vulnerability that human beings convey in real life. It’s hard to describe but that something is there. Here. In Kill Creek. That’s one of the reasons that make me love it in that aspect –

There’s a better story in you.

Though: I didn’t always love the book. Which is mostly my fault; I kept putting it away because of college assignments and my all over the place mental state. That definitely made it hard for me to properly fall into the story and atmosphere and just let the underlaying horror slowly build. I can’t objectively judge Kill Creek in that aspect (at least not in the first 200 pages.) The pacing was a little weird for me at times and the cut from the first half of the story to the second felt anticlimactic and just threw me off. After that, the story just turned into something that I didn’t expect. Some parts good. Some parts not that good for my personal taste. I lost the motivation for some time before I gave the rest of the pages another shot.

Overall: (+) The characters are human, flawed and perfectly understandable in their feelings and actions, the concept and beginning of the story was top notch and 10/10 to my liking and the underlaying themes and tropes that were used made it a joy to read for the most part.

(-) The pacing was off and the true horror scenes were a long time coming. The middle dragged on and the cut from the first half of the book to the second took me right out of the story.


 

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(Review) Bird Box – Josh Malerman 🎃

This, this, this book impressed me. It’s the kind of book that makes you afraid of something completely normal to you. It’s the kind of book that changes you, the way you think. It’s one of those books that deal with such an interesting topic that you would’ve loved to come up with that yourself. I tremendously enjoyed this novel and I will definitely read another Josh Malerman book soon. You can quote me on that.

BIRD BOX has two timelines – the present and the past. Malorie didn’t always live in this different world. In the world where you could see something that drives you mad. Where you have to wear blindfolds every time of the day and night when you go outside. Nobody knows what exactly it is that makes you crazy. But it does. And it’s there. The PRESENT timeline deals with Malorie and her two children living in a house, waiting for the best day to start their journey on the river. The PAST timeline deals with the start of that phenomenon and how everything unraveled for Malorie and her sister.

I haven’t read THAT many Thriller and Horror novels but if this gem is an indication for what’s in store for me then I definitely need to read more of that genre. This was truly so very fascinating. I loved the overall plot of the story and the development of the story fragments themselves. But the one thing that absolutely made me adore this book were: the questions that entered my mind after thinking about the whole concept.

It was genuinely scary with what Josh Malerman (and my mind) came up with. Scary because it’s realistic in its descriptions of human behavior; scary because it makes us question our own perception, our own senses. Like we can’t trust ourselves anymore. Like we don’t know what’s real, fake. It’s terrifying. 

There was THIS ONE MOMENT that I will not forget. That moment made me feel incredibly vulnerable. It put me in that characters shoes, made me think about how scared and lonely I would feel in that instance. How it would frighten me. How my heart would pump eratically and my pulse would be racing. How I would want to run away. How I would like to open my eyes – just to know what it is that makes me so scared. But I can’t. I can’t and I don’t know if that’s better or worse. 

BIRD BOX made me think and feel. It fascinated me, kept me engaged and interested. It was one of those books that make you so damn glad that you’re a reader. That you read this book in particular, at this special moment in your life. And I can’t say that I’m sad that I haven’t read this sooner because I really needed it right now. At this time.

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Book cover from Goodreads. 

 

 

Horror Week 1: Fall Recommendations 🎃

OCTOBER IS HERE. (And with it: me.) It’s my second favorite month of the year (after December) and I’m ready for trashy spooky movies on tv, horror and thriller marathons, beautiful scarves and coats and sweaters and a mild breeze going around the neighborhood. My heart is already full with all the witchy things that are going to await me. Give me fresh air, soft warm colors, leaves on the ground, halloween inspired movies and tv shows and animated series and food and candles — CANDLES. Especially candles. And obviously: hot cholocate and fluffy blankets. The whole package. 

To start of the October with something as nice as the month itself, I’m going to recommend to you all the things that I have consumed in the past that I think ARE PERFECT FOR YOU TO CONSUME IN OCTOBER, too.  You’re welcome! (This includes: movies, tv shows, books, food, drinks etc.) By the way: you can find my letterboxd October watchlist for #Horrorctober right here.

∞ Movies ∞

I linked the letterboxd page on the title of the movie, so if you want to find out more and see the poster for the movie, click on that.

  • Circle (2015) –> death game, questions about morality –> deciding ‚who is going to die next‘ + short movie but very entertaining, playing with human lives, who deserves to die/live and reasons for that, super interesting!!
  • Coherence (2013) –> movie that really makes you think, has a few ‚aha‘ moments and twists and turns, it’s mindbending and genrebreaking, probably sci-fi mix, one of those movies that I couldn’t stop myself from trying to figure out what’s happening while watching it, recommend to watch with someone/have a watchbuddy so you can discuss ideas and thoughts before/while/after watching!!
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014) –> very special, iranian ghost movie!! it’s a little bloody and includes gore but it’s totally like nothing I have ever seen, very cool premise and execution, I feel like I definitely need to rewatch it soon-ish
  • The Sixth Sense (1999) –> one of my favorite movies from last year, definitely watch it if you haven’t already, it’s a ghost story with a twist that I ADORED SO MUCH, recommend to watch when it’s cold and dark outside, drink tea and fall into the atmosphere of the movie, would 10/10 watch again, it gave me so many feels!!
  • Train To Busan (2016) –> one of the coolest zombie movies I’ve seen, starts off slow but builds and builds into an action-packed journey, father/daughter dynamic explored, different characters that come together, MOST OF IT IS ON A TRAIN!!
  • The Conjuring (2013) –> i absolutely celebrate those movies (the first AND the second one), they are so entertaining and genuinely scary at times, feels like a classic, never goes out of style, big fan of Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in this!!
  • Hush (2016) –> LOVED it last year, watched it three times now, definitely super cool concept, rooted for the main character (who is deaf!), recommended it to all of my friends after watching it and everyone liked it, #badasswomanpower
  • The Shallows (2016) –> not really a movie that I would watch in October but I had to name it because it’s a thriller shark movie! (my favorite one) and it definitely gives you the thrills so there’s that! the title song by Sia is stunning and the perfect way to end the whole film
  • Hocus Pocus (1993) –> OBVIOUSLY. it’s THE halloween movie of all the halloween movies, still love to watch it every year and will continue to do so, 11/10

∞ TV Shows ∞

I linked the youtube trailer on the title of the show so if you want to find out more , you can just click on that. 

  • Castlevania –> animated show on Netflix! the first season only consists of 4 episodes and you can definitely watch it in one go; it’s about vampires and humanity and how we deal with pain, it’s not super awesome yet but it definitely has potential and I’m excited for the second season!
  • Harper’s Island –> I REALLY LIKED THIS. It’s different from the other murder tv shows (Scream, Slasher) in the way it’s done, the deaths are extraordinary and new and fresh for every single person and the whodunit of the show is GREAT! This definitely should have gotten another season in a different setting/characters
  • Attack on Titan –> AN ANIME. It’s so very interesting and full of badass characters. Every time you think you know everything, you find out some more. It’s about Titans that eat/kill people and the people that try to stop them.
  • American Gods –> dark, gritty and VERY WEIRD. It’s super weird, for sure. But it’s also interesting and the characters are my jam! I enjoy the different dynamics (especially Dead Wife/Leprechaun) and I’m hyped for season 2
  • Over the Garden Wall –> LOVED THIS. It’s animated and lovely and still spooky and a little scary at times when you think about it, dont watch the trailer to the end BECAUSE SPOILERS. so beware, people.
  • others I recommend: Criminal Minds, Death Note, Hilda (which isn’t scary but perfect for fall nevertheless, it’s on Netflix) and and and.

∞ Books ∞

I linked the goodreads page on the title of the book, so you can click on that to look at the cover and find out more. 

  • Slade House –> my first read of 2017 and I really enjoyed it! it’s a haunted house story and there are a lot of timejumps and characters. It’s a mystery/fantasy /horror/thriller mix and made me want to read more from David Mitchell
  • Force of Nature –> it’s mostly a human-against-nature thriller! a few collegues go on a camping trip and the group of women get lost. It’s real good and I will definitely read more of Jane Harper.
  • The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly –> the main character is a girl without hands, it’s about cults and finding your strength and getting out of toxic situations. It’s so good.
  • The Female of the Species –> girl against bad guys, feminist as hell, this is graphic and full of angry people. It’s also very quotable and clever and so so good.
  • WOW I NEED TO READ MORE THRILLERS IT SEEMS
  • UH AND I’M CURRENTLY READING SADIE BY COURTNEY SUMMERS AND IT’S A MYSTERY-THRILLER BOOK IN FIRST PERSON AND PODCAST FORMAT

If you have recommendations for me, please drop them below in the comments. I want to immerse myself in the autum lifestyle with all the spooky books and spooky movies and spooky tv shows and I’m already so behind in #Horrorctober. I didn’t have time to go to the DVD loan shop but I’ll make time for it soon-ish. Recommend –> Drinks: hot cholate, tea. Food: soup, salad, lots of vegetables, some icecream.  Clothes: warm, lovely.


Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the movies, tv shows and books that I mention. #Advertisement.