Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A Lesson in Terror

by Kate Robbins

In the spirit of Halloween, my favourite time of the year, I’d like to share my love of an intense emotion different from what you’ll normally read in a romance novel—terror.

I’ve always had a mad fascination for the macabre. Not sure why that is, but I’m sure some therapist somewhere would have a field day with my love of horror. Tomorrow is Halloween and I usually spend the month leading up to it hanging ghosts, baking spooky treats, and watching horror movies.

This year was a little different. I released my debut novel on October 10th and have been flat out ever since. My decorations are mostly still in their boxes, except for the few the man beasts have hung for me. So today, I’d like to take a few minutes to share my top five horror movies of all time.

Sit back, grab your fave cuddly blankie to duck your head under, and let’s do this. Are you ready?

Number 5

Sleepy Hollow. From the first time I saw the Disney version, I fell in love with this tale of a headless horseman and his quest to locate his own head by severing those he haunts. In more recent years, Tim Burton brought a stellar cast into his eerie version of the tale. If you like horror, and you’ve never read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, you should. It’s fabulous! Johnny Depp is such a good Ichabod Crane and the film has a perfect balance of humour and spook. Christopher Walkin is amazing as the Hessian. I might have to dig this out tonight.

Number 4

The Others. In this story, we learn of a war widow raising two children who are extremely sensitive to daylight. You feel her stress level at every step and she ensures light never touches her children in this old fashioned ghost story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Nicole Kidman has never been better and I will admit, I screamed in the theatre for this one. It’s brilliantly written and directed.

Number 3

The Ring. From the jerky movements of the creepy girl to the best piece of film editing I have ever seen (the infamous video), The Ring stayed with me for days. I had to watch it about four times before I could go from beginning to end without putting my hands up to my eyes at least five times. And there’s something extra special about the sound in this movie, like knives scraping across ice. The whole thing gets under your skin. Awesome!

Number 2

The Shining. I’m sure Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is on everyone’s list. And so it should be. This movie scared the living crap out of me. I remember it coming on the regular Saturday night movie show back in the early 80s and I was probably no more than 11 at the time. Everything about this movie is stellar, but Jack Nicholson is out of this world. I seriously to this day would not be in the same room with the man. And the maze scene? I don’t think I drew in a breath. And it’s really stood the test of time too. I watch it now and still get creeped out. My husband bought the book for me years ago and I’m still too chicken to read it. Maybe next year.

Number 1

No surprises here folks. The Exorcist. The more I watch this movie, the more I appreciate its brilliance. When evil touches young Regan making her behavior erratic, her mother seeks medical help. The scenes where Regan goes through some of those tests were just as, if not more, powerful as the possession scenes. This movie becomes more and more disturbing at every turn and I can see why so many people freaked out when it was released in 1973. This movie is now 40 years old. It’s still very disturbing and that’s why it’s number one on so many lists.

Thanks for talking a little walk through my horror movie list with me today. You can take the blankie down now—I’m done. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Happy Halloween! BOO!

Kate Robbins debut novel, Bound to the Highlander is available now. When Kate isn't scaring the crap out of herself watching scary movies, she can be found blogging at her page, Into the Highland Mists.


  1. Love The Others, Kate - such a clever twist. Sleepy Hollow was brilliantly atmospheric. Still haven't seen The Exorcist!

  2. I loved The Others too ... great ending. I never saw Sleepy Hollow the movie, but I'm watching the tv show .. have you seen it???

  3. Romy, you MUST see the Exorcist! It really is that good. :)

  4. Nikki, yes I am totally enjoying the Sleepy Hollow TV show. Ichabod is yummy!!! :D And if you like Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, you'll love the Sleepy Hollow movie.

  5. Nope. I stay away from the scare-me-scare-me movies. Don't handle them well. And life is scary enough without them.

  6. Great list, Kate! For me, The Omen, The Birds and Ghost Story were the scariest.