Looking for a new horror film for Halloween and beyond? Here are three supernatural thrillers that rely on dread, thrills and scares rather than explicit blood and gore.
The Conjuring (2013) follows real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), who are called to examine the strange goings-on in an old farmhouse bought by Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lily Taylor) and their five daughters. The Conjuring is an old-school haunted house story that has an eerie vibe that is punctuated by old-fashioned – but still effective – scares that will make you jump out your seat. Continue reading “Movie Mondays: Supernatural Thrillers”
Washington author Caitlin Kittredge (she lives in Olympia) takes readers on another trip to Nocturne City. In Pure Blood, the second book in her series about werewolf Luna Wilde, bodies of dead drug addicts are turning up around town. Luna knows these people are more than just victims of overdoses, and when the son of a powerful witch dies under the same mysterious circumstances, the stakes in the case are raised exponentially.
The Nocturne City series is really starting to come together in this second book. Where the first story, Night Life, had a tendency to be over-eager and a bit muddled in style, Pure Blood is fast passed, gritty and suspenseful. Even though Luna is essentially the same smart-aleck, abrasive character we’ve seen in most other urban fantasy stories, she also has enough vulnerability to make her interesting. Furthermore, she is not the most powerful creature in her magical world, and that is a refreshing change.
Fans of the Nocturne City series might also check out Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake, as well as Kittredge’s appearance at Seattle Mystery Bookshop on March 21.
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs tells the story of Mercy Thompson, an auto-mechanic in the Tri-Cities who can turn into a coyote at will. Mercy’s world is full of ornery fae, egocentric werewolves, and quirky, creepy vampires, all more supernaturally powerful than her. If Mercy can keep her head down and her mouth shut, she just might keep out of the line of fire. The problem is Mercy’s never been very good at keeping her mouth shut.
Moon Called is a unique addition to the urban-fantasy sub-genre for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is because the main character is an interesting, curious woman whose magical peculiarity is something readers haven’t seen before. Fans of the supernatural will like Mercy and empathize with her despite her tendency to cause her own troubles.
Look for the sequels: Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, and the fourth installment, Bone Crossed, where Mercy heads to Spokane to investigate a ghost. Patricia Briggs’ website also notes that she was recently in Seattle, doing her own investigation on where werewolves would hunt, for the follow-up to Cry Wolf.
The year is 1899 and America is ruled by a distant king sitting on Britain’s Iron Thrown. In the colony of New Amsterdam, dissatisfied citizens spread whispers of war while Crown Investigator Abigail Irene Garrett uses sorcery to find a murderer. During her investigation into a brutal and possibly supernatural killing, Abby Irene meets amateur detective Sebastien de Ulloa. As chaos and war erupt around the pair, Abby Irene must chose a side—the crown, the rebels … or a vampire.
New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear is a refreshing addition to the world of vampire fiction because of its classical style. Bear does not try to engage readers with a new and edgy (and bloody) story, but rather catches readers’ attention with intricate politics, interesting characters and a language and technique that is reminiscent of an earlier time. Fans of Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray will appreciate the atmosphere and subtlety of Bear’s world, and readers new to vampire fiction will be dropped gently into a sub-genre that can be pretty gruesome.