Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Megan Whitmer's YA Misfits Halloween Hop!

Please welcome YA Misfit MEGAN WHITMER to my blog!



Hey hey!

So let's just go ahead and get this out of the way, because I know it's all you're thinking about right now-- TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY! *curtsies*

Being born on Halloween guaranteed that I would always love this time of year. There's a lot to love about it, right? The absolutely perfect weather. The gorgeous fall colors. The cute clothes. Hot apple cider. Football. And of course- THIS HOLIDAY, with the pumpkins, ghosts, witches, scary movie marathons, and general creepiness. 

I love being scared. I love watching scary movies and reading scary books. I will go to any haunted house in the area. I am all about ghost tours and creepy urban legends. But try as I might, I can't seem to WRITE the scary stuff. I can come up with bad guys, sure. But SCARY? Keep you up at night, make you do a running leap from the doorway to your bed SCARY? Nope. This is basically the bane of my existence. (Well, this and the fact that I can't whistle, but whatever.)

I have a theory about why this is so difficult for me. When I develop characters, I like to think about why they are the way they are. For instance, in my book, Between, I spent a lot of time thinking about why Harper is so dependent on other people at first, why Seth is so overprotective, why Alexander is such a grouch....it's important to me to have a really good understanding of who they are, deep down, even if those backstories never come into play in the actual manuscript. But when it comes to scary--to me, it's better if I have no idea why the villain is so terrifying. If I understand, then I'm able to predict his or her actions, and it's so much scarier if we have absolutely no idea what's coming next, don't you think? When we don't really know what the villain is capable of?

Those are the scariest villains to me--the ones where all you can be sure of is that they are EVIL and you may never know why. With that in mind, here are my top five scariest villains!

5. Pennywise, the sharp-toothed clown in Stephen King's IT. I'm sure a lot of you have seen the movie. But if you've never read the book, then you have absolutely no idea how completely terrifying that freaking clown really is.

(Photo: It, 1990, Warner Bros. Television)





4. Samara from The Ring. What I really love about Samara is the way you think you know why she's so awful, but in the end it doesn't even matter. There's no saving her. Also, the fact that she's a child gives her extra SUPER SCARY POINTS.

(Photo: The Ring, 2002, Dreamworks SKG)






3.  Jack Torrance from The Shining. The man is completely insane. And there was absolutely nothing anyone could do about it--no way to reason with him, no way to escape him, and all you knew was that he was hell-bent on killing his family. In that big freaky hotel. Surrounded by snow. With no way to escape. Good times.

(Photo: The Shining, 1980, Warner Bros. Pictures)




2. Damien from The Omen. Scariest kid EVER. And come on, he's the ANTICHRIST. So there's no need to try to understand why he's evil--he embodies evil. (Side note--1970s Damien is waaaaay creepier than remake Damien. He had a more innocent, sweet face...which made it even more horrible when he does the thing with the tricycle.)

(Photo: The Omen, 1976, 20th Century Fox)




1. Michael Myers. Here's what freaks me out about the bad guy in John Carpenter's Halloween: Dude NEVER RUNS. He just slowly, methodically walks after you. No matter which path you take, upstairs, downstairs, around a barn, in a car, WHATEVER--you turn around and there he is, WALKING.
And while I'm on the topic, can we all just agree to pretend that Halloween III: Season of the Witch was never made? Thanks.

(Photo: Halloween, 1978, Compass International Pictures)




There you have it--my top five creepers. What about you guys? What makes a villain most terrifying for you? What others would you add to this list?

Thanks for having me, Kat!

13 comments:

  1. I don't know why child villains are the scariest but they ARE. I once told my sister I'd love to name a child Samara and she freaked the hell out and told me under NO circumstances would she have a niece with the same name as that creepy girl. I still haven't seen the movie, though - I'm far too easily terrified!

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    1. Oh man, scary kids are the WORST. I can't even deal with the Children of the Corn movies. And Samara is such a lovely name!! Too bad the movie totally ruined it!

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    2. In a movie when a kid is standing in a desolate room with their back turned to the main character--often by a piano or something--WATCH OUT.

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  2. Good stuff Megan! I'm not a fan of scary movies, but I do enjoy scary books. I think that's because there are no jump scares in books. Just deeply unsettling descriptions that stick in your mind for years.

    Maybe knowing how a villain thinks is exactly what makes them scary. In many of Stephen King's books he develops his antagonists to the point that you could almost understand why they're so creepy...which makes them even scarier. Like you can see their logic but don't have the psychotic twist in your brain to make the final leap that would make you a murdering sociopath.

    My faves are Annie from Misery, Frankenstein's monster (love the super vague descriptions of just how wrong he is--something horrific and unsettling about that) and Jack from The Shining.

    Now I want to go read something creepy. Oh, and happy birthday Megan!

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    1. Oh....yeah, Annie is SO SCARY. That's a great point- sometimes knowing what's going on in the villain's head makes it even scarier!

      Thanks for the bday wishes!

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  3. Great list! Children of the Corn (first/original movie), those kids totally creep me out. So, scary kids, yeah they be realllll scurry.

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  4. OMG I know. Children of the Corn comPLETEly freaks me out. Terrifying movie.

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  5. Agreed to Children of the Corn! Couldn't sleep without a light on and my door CLOSED and a dog in my bed for probably three weeks after watching that once. Also, the...whatever it was in The Grudge! I had to watch Office Space every night to fall asleep because that movie made me afraid of the dark, again.

    I think villains are scary when you don't know what they're capable of. Do they have some sort of demon power that makes them extra strong? Or extra twisted? Are they just going to kill them, or are they going to eat them too? Also, any villain that looks human but a little off - like if anyone saw Black Christmas, the guy had jaundice so he was all yellow and puffy, but still human - creeps me out. CREEPS ME OUT!

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  6. CASEY. That thing in The Grudge was TERRIFYING. And that NOISE she made! AHHHHHHHHHH. Oh my gosh I'm torn between wishing I hadn't remembered that and kind of wanting to watch that movie right now.

    My mind is a twisted place.

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  7. SUCH a good list. Michael Myers is definitely at the top of mine. *shudders* Dude is creepy as heck.

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  8. I got really creeped out by the alien robot things from War of the Worlds (the Tom Cruise/Dakota Fanning one). That noise they make. Yuck. I tend to get freaked more by sci-fi baddies. Like everything in Prometheus was so slimy and disgusting. The nasty alien in Aliens also gave me nightmares as a kid.

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    1. I didn't even THINK of the alien in Aliens!! That thing was TERRIBLE!!

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