Hello everyone🧡 Today is a bittersweet occasion as we welcome our final incredible guest poster for our Spooky October celebration! We are massively excited to introduce a post by Olivia-Savannah, who creates amazing content all over the internet. We are super grateful to her for sharing with us some of her favourite horror movies and the books she wants to read because of them!
A Horror Film Inspired TBR
by Olivia-Savannah @ Olivia’s Catastrophe
Hello! It’s Olivia-Savannah here from the channel Olivia’s Catastrophe and bookstagram oliviascatastro. I’ve been a fan of Vera and Sabrina’s blog for a while, so I am so excited and grateful that they have invited me over to do a guest post! I would love to tell you about some of my favourite horror films (it was hard to only choose a few. I love horror!) and some of the books on my TBR because of those films.
The Haunting of Hill House
Okay, I know this is actually a TV series but it is my absolute favourite. I loved the creepy atmosphere. I was impressed by the manipulated timeline, and how well it fed into the story. I loved the discreet lurking ghosts, the complex family dynamic and how the theme of grief was rooted in the storyline. To me, this TV series is haunting and perfect.
The TV series is completely different from the book so it took me some time to get used to that as I’d read the book first. But after having read the book and the TV series I became obsessed with sentient houses. It’s one of my favourite horror tropes, alongside one more (which you’ll see later!). A book with a sentient house I want to read is Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I have heard that it is creepy and has a slow and steady gothic edge. Which is something I love! As well as a good sentient house.
I had to mention Jordan Peele. I absolutely love Us as well, but Get Out was the first film of his I saw and has a special place in my heart. Horror noir needs to get more attention than it does, so I am very happy to see the support he gets as a director. This one has you on edge from the very start. All through the film, you know something just isn’t right. It all escalates. However, the true enjoyment comes out of rewatching this film. There is so much foreshadowing! It’s a blast being able to spot all the moment.
Because of Get Out, I want to read White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson. It was pitched to me as Get Out meets the Haunting of Hill House – so you can see why it ricocheted to the top of my TBR. I love the sound of the sentient house being threatening and unwelcoming to its guests. It’s a horror noir book and I am excited to read a horror book by a Black author with Black characters.
The Platform (El Hojo)
The Platform is a Spanish horror film that falls into my favourite horror category – psychological horror. These people end up in a building with multiple floors, and the way food gets distributed is quite… trippy. It leads to a vicious hierarchy that has extreme consequences. I don’t want to say too much, but it is focused around food and has themes of capitalism in it. The open ending will have you thinking about the film and its situations for days afterward.
The Platform made me intrigued in a book called Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica. This is a translated book where a lack of animals available means that eating human meat has become legal. Like The Platform, it sounds like themes of capitalism comes into play here too, and how dehumanising it can be. I am so intrigued…
Midsommar & Hereditary
Oh, these two films… Both films are cult horror films, but to me they go above and beyond. Again, this slips into psychological horror. Hereditary is one of the horror films that truly scared me – not the parts you would expect, but the very realistic and gruesome situation at the start of the film. If that happened to me, I have no idea what I would do. Grief is another big theme in the film, and it slotted into the horror so well. What I love about Midsommar is that it reverts the imagery usually wielded in horror. It’s not a dark, poorly lit film. Instead, it is set in the summer, in fields with bright colours and flowers. Both of these films show us how horrible people can be, and how horror can happen in everyday situations and places. It reminds me of how realistic horror can be.
Similarly, Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon gives me the same kind of impression. It follows a pregnant woman who escapes a cult, gives birth isolated alone, and then has to fight back against the cult that refuses to let her go. It focuses on a vulnerable mother who learns something intrinsic about people and what they are capable of from her experience. I cannot wait to read it.
Okay, my favourites so far have been all doom, gloom and intensity. But I do love a good horror comedy as well. When I watched The Final Girls with my friends, it made me laugh so much. It does a good job of mocking the stereotypical horror tropes, and reversing expectations or taking advantage of them in a meta way very well. After watching it, it made me think a lot about the final girl trope, which is my other favourite horror film trope. I love seeing a woman able to survive despite the odds stacked against her. It shows a position of smarts, strength and resilience. But it also demands exploration for why these final girls are often white, blonde women who fit a certain image… This film had me admiring and criticising horror tropes – all while having a good laugh.
It’s pretty much got me wanting to read any book with a final girl in it at all. Final Girls by Riley Sager and The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix are two I really wanted to read! I am also currently writing my own afrofuturist horror novel set on an isolated island. There might be a final girl or two… but all of my characters are Black. So whoever it ends up being will hopefully challenge that stereotypical final girl image.
Other horror films I love but didn’t have time to talk about in this post!
Happy Death Day 👻 The Purge 👻 A Quiet Place 👻 Psycho
Olivia-Savannah’s Question: What is your favourite horror film? Or what horror book is on your TBR?
Thanks again to Sabrina and Vera for having me!