I have a good friend who really hates scary movies. She grew up with two older brothers, who loved watching slasher films–Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Nightmare on Elm Street movies. As an adult, she couldn’t even bear to watch The Sixth Sense without being told exactly what would happen next.
I can’t stand slasher films. I simply will not watch them. I do enjoy the beginning of the first Halloween movie, but other than that, no thank you to knife-wielding psychopaths.
Now … scary? Yes, I’ll do a bit of that. I couldn’t really stomach The Exorcist, but I loved The Conjuring. I’ve watched it three times, and I found it genuinely scary. Spooky house, possessed toys, demons and demonologists. Same thing with The Ring. I was enthralled with the story of the unlucky viewers of the video tape that allowed them only seven days to live. I also found Dark Waters and The Grudge compelling and truly scary movies.
The lowest fright rung of these stories is the spooky. Atmospheric, weird, maybe even a little macabre. These are the Joyce Carol Oateses, Flannery O’Connors, and Faulkners. The ones that make you go ooooh! If you’ve ever seen the old Dark Shadows series or the classic Disney film The Watcher in the Woods then you know spooky. These are the psychologically suspenseful, the films or books with the whoooo-factor … the spooky. Even Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca has a bit of the eerie element going on.
So what about you? Are you Team Slasher, Team Scary, or Team Spooky?