What is scary?

I keep thinking something really important is happening today. Like...somebody in the League has a book release today. Does anyone know what it is, that I'm forgetting?

The hubs and I were talking last night about scary things. And how he doesn't understand why I don't like zombie movies. Because zombie movies, according to him, are about nihilism and the destruction of society and stuff. Stuff that would be right up my alley. But they're not.

(You know what is right up my alley? Books by Caitlin Kittredge. I loves me some of those. Just FYI.)

So I was trying to explain why it is that zombie movies just don't do it for me. Zombies just don't really scare me, at least not in the way that I like to be scared.

And I figured it out. It's because zombies are brainless. Um, so to speak.

(Brainless like me, who just can't seem to remember if Caitlin Kittredge's second Nocturne City book, Pure Blood, releases today or not. Gee, does it?)

There's no cunning with a zombie. There's no deep intellect at work. Zombie are just relentless, rolling in unstoppable like fog (although I thought The Fog--the original--was a pretty good, scary movie; but it wasn't about zombies. Nor was it really about fog. I digress.) Zombies are just there, dumb as rocks.

Of course not all zombies are. Mark's Amanda Feral is awfully smart and clever, and I love her. And I thought the zombie scene in Personal Demons was pretty good, maybe a bit scary but more exciting--at least I hoped it was. I think zombies work better in books.

(And I love books. Especially books like Pure Blood which I think might release today and everyone should run out and buy it right away this week so Caitlin can get on a bestseller list and we can all give ourselves airs for knowing her.)

But in a movie I like my scares to be the result of some malevolent intelligence, dark and dangerous. I like to know the bad guy is always a step ahead, or that they've set a trap. I like the bad guys to have motivations other than "brains...brains...". This is why movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre don't really interest me either; slasher films tend to bore me the way zombie movies do.

I need my scares with some thought behind them.

(Like in clever books. I like scares in books, especially when they're well-written. Hey, you know who writes clever, well-written books? Caitlin Kittredge. Really. I think she has a book out today or something, doesn't she? Can anyone confirm that for me?)

Now, I love The Thing. Some people might say The Thing is about a mindless killer; maybe it is. But The Thing is clever. It breeds itself from even a tiny part. It makes itself people and talks like them, hides perfectly. Cunning, see?

Zombies can't hide. They don't blend in (again, this is zombie movies. Amanda Feral doesn't blend in, though, either, because she's so fabulous in every way.) They just eat and break through boards and stuff. They just bore me, is all.

What about you? What do you think is scary in movies and/or books? Do you find certain characters or monsters work better in books than movies, and vice versa?

It would be great if you comment, but even greater if you run out to your local bookstore and buy a copy of Pure Blood today! I'm dying to know what happens next; aren't you?

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