When I was just a little creep with a big fascination for all things morbid, I, like most of my peers sought out the films with the highest age ratings, naively believing that they’d be the most frightening. But experience has taught me that books and films are judged by their violence, their sex and their gore, not their ability to disturb, and so any horror story that doesn’t rely on that, must use more psychological tactics, more primitive fears to make you squirm and generally, that’s far more unsettling, especially once all of those cinematic scare tactics stop working. Scream with it’s 18 rating might give you the odd nightmare if you watch it while you’re still young enough to not see it as a comedy, but Jaws (a meager 12 rating) will make you cautious of swimming in the sea for the rest of your days.
Total YA horror classic about a young girl who finds a secret door in her new house that leads to an alternate universe populated by alternate versions of her family and neighbors. A pretty typical take on the old ‘the grass is always greener’ adage, but also teaches a really powerful message about what it really means to be brave. Its a great little book for both adults, kids and all those in between and told in an incredibly scary manner and featuring an even scarier monster ‘the other mother’.
A Monster Calls
This one isn’t strictly horror, it’s more of a metaphor for a young boys emotional struggle with the diagnosis of his mother’s cancer, but, the tone of the book as well as it’s illustrations are disturbing, and very well suited for Halloween, if you don’t mind getting a bit tearful about it.
Again this one is more creepy than scary, but this one is illustrated with really unsettling photographs. It’s about a kind of orphanage meets Xaviers school for kids with unusual abilities, which is awesome, though the story does sort of get a bit over the top, action-y towards the end which I got a bit fed up of. It’s the first of a really popular series though, and like I said, the images are cool!