Top 20 Scary Horror Movies

William Cook’s Top Twenty Scary Horror Movies

These are my Top Twenty scary horror movies. These films all have the ability to give the audience a frightful experience by inducing a sense of fear and horror. ‘Jump scares’, psychological triggers, and scenes of terror are all used to great effect in these films.

Some of my choices may be slightly controversial but please remember, this is my list – these are the films that resonated with me and caused me to feel scared on some level. Believe me when I say that it takes a lot to scare me, and these films did just that.  

Please let me know in the comments what your favorite ‘scary films are.

Note: this list is no particular order.

1.       Silent Hill (2006)

Silent Hill is one of those Horror movies people seem to either love or hate. I love it – there are some really dark psychological triggers in this film that played on my subconscious to the point where I had bad dreams. Believe me when I say it takes a lot to scare me, let alone give me bad dreams. If you haven’t seen this movie, you’re in for a treat. Also, worth another viewing if you saw it ages ago.

 


2.       Hellraiser (1987)

This film is the stuff nightmares are made of. As an avid reader of Barker’s early horror stories this film did not disappoint and caused a few ‘WTF?’ moments.

 


3.       Maniac (1980)

William Lustig’s ultra-creepy horror is horrific and disturbing in ways that make watching the film seem like you’re in the nightmares of a psychotic. And you are – Joe Spinell’s acting is brilliant as the deranged killer.

 


4.       Halloween (1978) and Halloween II (1981)

Have gone for both of these films in the franchise as they never fail to frighten. Watch these on your own at Halloween and I guarantee you’ll be checking the locks on the windows and the doors before bed!



5.       The Evil Dead (1981)

When this was released I remember being the first in our town to rent it from the Video store. This was unlike any other horror I’d ever seen at the time and holds a special place in my nightmares. If you haven’t seen this version (i.e. the original), you need to watch it ASAP.

 


6.       The Abandoned (2006)

This under-rated film is incredibly creepy and is filled with atmospheric scenes that will leave you with your heart in your throat. Highly recommended.  

 


7.       Sinister (2012)

This film is disturbing in all the right ways – creepy, intense, and down-right scary in places. The frights will linger after the credits finish.

 


8.       The Babadook (2014)

A psychological horror that is unique in its ability to tap into subconscious human fears and leave the audience reeling from the experience. Brilliant but draining in its heaviness.

 


9.       The Shining (1980)

Stephen King hated this version of his book, but I loved it. Kubrick’s ability to insidiously effect the audience’s perspective is played out with a ratcheted string of nightmarish scenes and some brilliant acting from the cast.

 


10.   The Grudge (2004)

This one crept up on me and got me good. My introduction to Japanese horror led me down some very dark paths.

 


11.   The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

When I first saw this film, it blew my little mind to the point where I felt nauseous. It wasn’t the gore that made me feel like that, it was the fear that was induced as a result of the terrifying world I found myself in. A very scary film about that most terrifying of all creatures – humans!

 


12.   Pet Sematary (1989)

This movie is a slow-burn but once it gets going, it hooks deep into your subconscious fears and doesn’t let up until the finish. Every time I watch it my Achille’s tendon aches!

 


13.   The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

A suffocating horror film about Voodoo that is incredibly tense and frightening. One of my all-time favorite horror movies.

 


14.   The Woman in Black (2012)

A foreboding and well-crafted exercise in directing that will leave you feeling as haunted as the characters in this top-notch ghost/horror film.

 


15.   28 Days later (2002)

This movie is a disturbing vision of the apocalypse and more relevant now than ever before. The cinematography and soundtrack crank up the scares, as this high-paced horror delivers an unrelenting exercise in sheer terror.

 


16.   The Ritual (2017)

A slow burn with the creep factor. This movie uses standard horror tropes in a way that give the audience more than enough scary moments to savour.

 


17.   Pandorum (2009)

I chose this movie instead of Alien because I felt it surpassed it with tension and scary scenes. This choice will no doubt be controversial but as far as Sci-Fi-Horror goes, I feel it outperforms Alien. Highly under-rated and well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.

 


18.   The Amityville Horror (1979)

This is a classic. In my opinion, it is still is a good film for its age and will definitely play on your mind and fears.

 


19.   The Omen (1976)

One of my favorite horror films. This film operates on many different levels but is essentially a very scary movie for its age. The cemetery (at night) scene is brilliant. Highly recommended.  

 


20.   The Ring (2002)

A fantastic film that will give you the chills. Great acting and some very creepy scenes that are capable of inducing nightmares.



So - agree or disagree? What are your top scary movie picks of all time? Please add in comments below and thanks for reading.

Free Horror Book Potpourri

A very quick post today to let you know about a bunch of FREE kindle books of mine that are up for grabs. Head on over to my Amazon Author Page or follow the links below to grab your free kindle copies of some of my best horror short stories. There's also a bunch of discounted books available at the moment. 

While you're there, if you haven't already, why not check out my latest collection/series - Psychological Horror Stories (details/links below).

If you like what you've read it would be great if you could share this post and leave a quick review, or at least a 'rating,' on Amazon.

Thanks heaps.


Will.


Here are the freebies:








New series/collection - Psychological Horror Stories



Psychological Horror Stories: 

A Collection of Psychological Horror Fiction for Adults


This terrifying collection of psychological horror stories will make your flesh crawl.


Enter a disturbing world of psychological horror and paranoid fear from the unique imagination of William Cook.

25 tales of psycho killers, haunted spirits, and evil creatures conjured from the depths of hell, haunt over 350 pages in this latest collection from the author of 
Blood Related.

Disturbing love stories, psychopathic existentialism, spirits thirsty for vengeance, demons hunting for fresh souls and a perverse array of other grotesqueries are the subjects of these twisted tales.

Some are new* stories, while others are readers’ favorites that have been reanimated with fresh edits and, in some cases, rewritten. These vivid and often-disturbing stories reveal the horrors that dwell within the human psyche.

Read with caution.

R18+ Some stories may contain graphic descriptions of psychological horror, violence and/or abuse. Not for sale to minors.


New Release - Psychological Horror Stories: A Collection of Psychological Horror Fiction for Adults


Greetings. This post marks the end of three months of writing, editing, and formatting a new collection that brings together old and new stories. Psychological Horror Stories: A Collection of Psychological Horror Fiction for Adults is a 364 page collection of my best psychological horror stories. The collection is the omnibus edition of a 4-volume series and all covers are illustrated by artist and author, Jeffrey Kosh (see right sidebar for link). Some of the stories are from previous series, Serial Killer Thrillers, which have been rewritten/edited and are now included as part of this series (Serial Killer Thrillers is still available as a single-volume) print/kindle edition collection).

Psychological Horror Stories: A Collection of Psychological Horror Fiction for Adults


Psychological Horror Stories: A Collection of Psychological Horror Fiction for Adults is a collection of dark tales that deal with the horror inherent in the human psyche. Sometimes supernatural or macabre, but always darkly psychological in the effect on the reader, these twisted stories will linger in the imagination long after the last page has been turned. This omnibus edition is available in paperback and ebook format.

Psycho killers, haunted spirits, evil creatures conjured from the depths of hell and disturbed ghouls haunt the pages of this terrifying collection of psychological horror stories.

Disturbing love stories, psychopathic existentialism, spirits thirsty for vengeance, demons hunting for fresh souls and a perverse array of other grotesqueries are the subjects of these twisted tales.

*Note* All volumes contain R18+ material not suitable for minors. Includes depictions of graphic violence and scenes of horror.

Volumes in the series are all available exclusively from Amazon (click on cover image/s to purchase) and are detailed below:

 

Psychological Horror Stories (Psychological Horror and Macabre Fiction V1) 

This volume contains the following stories:

Creep – A dark story of a young woman's date with death! Serial Killers don't always get away with murder, no matter how hard they try.
Blinded by the Light – A teenager discovers his father is someone who he needs to be afraid of. Very afraid!
Pretty Boy – A killer on the loose visits a small town and realizes he’s made a bad decision he might not live to regret.
Legacy – The brutal origin story behind the novel ‘Blood Related. A novella-length dark tale of a serial-killer family and twin-brothers who continue the family tradition with terrifying efficiency.
Singles’ Night – A lonely hearts predator bites off more than he can chew when he unwittingly falls into a web of violence while stalking potential victims.
Time After Time – A drifter with a penchant for alcohol and horse racing tries to adjust to a ‘normal life,’ but fails with horrific consequences.

Psychological Horror Stories (Psychological Horror and Macabre Fiction V2) 

This volume contains the following stories:

The Reader – A tragic tale of obsession and the horrifying fatal consequences that result from one man’s devotion to his hobby.
Axe Man – A surreal nightmare of a tale that recounts the narrator’s experience with a purgatorial harbinger of death.
That Sinking Feeling . . . – A dark story of ‘love gone wrong’ and the jealous rage that fuels the protagonist’s recourse to destructive violence.
Shadows in the Dark – An apocalyptic vision of the brutality of life and the trials of one family as they succumb to madness and death in a harsh rural landscape.
The Kaleidoscope Kid – The hellish story of a youth’s spiralling madness into a world of visions, demons, vengeance and, ultimately, death!
Love Hurts – A disturbing tale of extreme domestic horror and violence, culminating in a blood-soaked ending that will leave the reader reeling or running for the bathroom!

Psychological Horror Stories (Psychological Horror and Supernatural Fiction V3) 

This volume contains the following stories:

Hopeless – A young girl must face her biggest fear – her father. As she struggles to protect her mother from the man she once idolized, young Hope must confront her situation and the possibility that they may not get out alive.
Anomalous Perigee – Letting go of the person we love is the hardest thing to do, especially if they haunt you.
Dead Memories – Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true! A man’s enduring love burns strongly for his girlfriend despite her deceit and vengeful cruelty.
Night Walker – Obsession and desire keep one man’s love alive for his cruel mistress, even after his death!
The Dead Avenged – Sometimes the dead come back! A supernatural coming-of-age ghost story that deals with the consequences of bullying.

Psychological Horror Stories (Psychological Horror and Supernatural Fiction V4) 

This volume contains the following stories:

Death Comes Calling – The parents have gone out for the evening and return home to find the sitter and their son missing and a strange child in their house. A very strange child!
A Dream Realized – A young boy living in an orphanage retreats into his fantasy world to escape the cruel taunts of the other orphans and the sadistic brutality of the staff.
The Pale Stranger – A man turns his back on his family as his addictions suck him deeper into a debauched world until he meets a stranger who offers him a way out, but at a terrible price.
Devil Inside – This twisted tale winds itself around a disturbed young boy who discovers that when you make a wish, you better make sure you really want it. After all, monsters are sometimes real.
Conceived By Death – A drug-addicted couple who will do anything to score a fix find themselves hopelessly unprepared for the arrival of a baby with a hunger far greater than their own.
Thirsty Work – A young man escapes from his brutal father and finds work and lodging at a liquor store where the customers have an insatiable thirst for more than just alcohol.
Dolly Did It – When dreams become nightmares and the past refuses to die . . . A young girl’s old dolly, Samantha, haunts her dreams as her family begin to die one by one.

I hope you enjoy the stories. If you are new to my work I would recommend this collection as a good starting point to my dark fiction. For those of you who have read my work before, I thank you sincerely and hope that you enjoy (if you choose to get this collection) the redux versions of older stories and the new ones included.

Best wishes and hope these tales keep you entertained in these weird, uncertain times (please share this post with your networks).






Will

Seven reasons why you should buy this psychological serial killer thriller

If you're a fan of good old fashioned thrillers or serial killer novels, here are seven reasons why you should give my novel, Blood Related, a read.


Here are some reasons why you should buy this book:

  • It's a bit different than usual serial killer thrillers.
  • It has over 50 5/4 star reviews on Amazon.
  • It has a bunch of endorsements from best-selling authors.
  • It's formatted, edited and designed professionally.
  • Both kindle and print editions are priced to sell.
  • It's guaranteed to give readers the 'heebie-jeebies'!
  • Did I mention that it's a really good price? 

Here's the book description:


Tough-as-nails Detective Ray Truman battles his demons as he tracks a family of prolific serial killers in this nail-biting psychological thriller.

For over two decades, Detective Ray Truman has been searching for the killer or killers who have terrorized Portvale. Headless corpses, their bodies mutilated and posed, have been turning up all over the industrial district near the docks. The remains of young female prostitutes have been the killer’s victims of choice, but now other districts are reporting the gruesome discovery of decapitated bodies. It seems the killer has expanded his territory as more ‘nice girls’ feel the wrath of his terrible rage. This disturbing tale of a family tree of evil will embed itself in the mind of the reader, long after the last page has been turned.

A psychological crime novel in the vein of other power-packed thrillers like Thomas Harris's Silence of the Lambs and James Ellroy's Killer on the Road.

Here are some author endorsements:

"Dark and deeply disturbing." - Jonathan Nasaw, author of The Girls he Adored and The Boys from Santa Cruz

"Blood Related is a terrifying psychological thriller. William Cook is an author to watch." - Mark Edward Hall, author of The Lost Village and The Holocaust Opera

"William Cook tells a gruesome story with a sense of authenticity that makes you question with considerable unease if it really is fiction, after all." - Graham Masterton, author of the Katie McGuire series and The House that Jack Built

"Blood Related is a nasty but nuanced take on the serial killer genre. Cook's bruising tale of twin psychopaths who are as cold as mortuary slabs is not for the weak-kneed."
- Laird Barron, author of Occultation and The Imago Sequence.

"A thought-provoking thriller."
- Guy N Smith, author of Night of The Crabs and Deadbeat.

Here are some reader reviews: 

"Best I can say is that it reads like an Alex Cross novel and I love Alex Cross type stories." - rjseguin

"The characters are well-developed and tremendously disturbed. William Cook has written a frightening story that poses the question 'is it nature or nurture that determines the birth of a serial killer?'" - Colleen
 
"Cook has accomplished what few writers can with the serial killer story . . ." - Vincenzo

"I can promise you one thing-you will not be disappointed. William Cook's Blood Related, is an impressive work of fiction." - Quinn
 
"Blood Related kept me up all night on the edge of my recliner . . ." - Char

"I really enjoyed the psychological aspect of this book, it really had me hanging the whole way through!"- Lori

"This is a ferociously dark book, but in the best possible way. It will scare the hell out of you, but you won't be able to put it down." - Sheldon
 
"Blood Related is a psychological roller-coaster. I couldn't put it down." - Debbie

"This book was thrilling and scary. The mind of a killer is a horrible place. Highly recommended for horror fans!" - Book Nut

"Blood Related reads like a non-fiction book. A deep and insightful exploration of the mind of a psychopath." - Brokensea
 
"If you seek an intelligent terrifying read look no further. Highly recommended." - John

"Enter this world at your own peril. Even though you know it's only fiction, you'll lock the door before reading just to feel safe. A guaranteed work of masterful horror." - Anthony
 
"I've read many books about serial killers, and William Cook's Blood Related was one of the best." - Andthentherewerethree

Be warned - this novel does portray adult language and depictions of graphic violence and implied sexual violence.

Whether you buy a copy or not, thanks for reading this post.

Best wishes

William

Still not convinced? Why not take a free peek at the Kindle edition using Amazon's 'Look Inside' feature here or click on the book covers below (top for Kindle, bottom for print):




Gaze Into the Abyss: The Poetry of Jim Morrison. New edition released!

New release! Redux version for #kindle now available (UK & US links below). Print edition available also (please share this post ): 
 
In Gaze Into the Abyss: The Poetry of Jim Morrison, William Cook examines Morrison's written work in all its beauty and complexity, providing rich insight into Morrison's influences, themes, and poetic vision.

Iconic Doors photographer Paul Ferrara, who was also one of Morrison's best friends, says of the book: "No other rock poet went so deep into his soul. That is what separates Jim Morrison from the rest. Jim and his words were timeless and reached deep into those people who got it, turning them into worshipers. Even the new generations get it. This book by William Cook finally address the phenomena that was Jim Morrison the poet."

Finally James Riordan, author of Break on Through: The Life & Death of Jim Morrison, says that: "Gaze Into the Abyss ... offers new and valuable insights into Morrison's writing. Jim's poetic gift was often ignored and certainly not fully appreciated while he lived and I, for one, am grateful for this in-depth look."

All in all, Gaze Into the Abyss: the Poetry of Jim Morrison comprises a work no serious Doors or Jim Morrison fan will want to pass up. Available now in print and ebook from Unboxed Brain Books.

News and New Releases

Well, I hope you all had a fright-filled Halloween and Samhain season this year. Halloween is a relatively new event in New Zealand cultural history and so the scares don’t come out en masse as they do in the USA. When I was a kid, my pals and I would make absurd effigies of ‘Guy Fawkes’ on November the 5th. We’d stuff an old pair of overalls with rags and rolled-up newspaper and then push it around in a heavy-steel wheelbarrow, chanting “Guy! Guy! Money for the Guy. If you don’t have any money, then a smile will do. If you don’t have a smile, then God bless you!” Depending on who it was we’d usually give them this spiel, but if we didn’t like them we’d throw in a few other choice lines to give the chant a bit more pep. People would give us apples and lollies (candy) and sometimes loose-change and we’d all huddle round as the sun was going down and count our loot. If we had enough, we’d race down to the corner store (we call it a ‘dairy’ over here) and buy a swag of ‘Double Happys’ – powerful red crackers that looked like mini dynamite sticks – and then stash them away for the days and weeks after Guy Fawkes when you couldn’t buy fireworks anymore. The night would usually end in a grand finale at the local school field where the parents and kids would gather around a large bonfire. Some of the kids, myself included, who had  ready access to their father’s old work overalls would throw the ‘Guy’ on the pyre while the adults let off the sky rockets and other various fireworks. Anyway, no-one does Guy Fawkes like they used to anymore. Most of the fun fireworks are all banned now and the ones available are overpriced and boring so Halloween is starting to take the reigns as a viable alternative for most of the young New Zealand kids nowadays. Anyway, the season has now passed and we are staring down the barrel at Christmas again. Is it just me, or do the years seems to go by more quickly as you get older?

Guest Post = Land of the Long Dark Cloud - Writing Dark Fiction Down Under by Dan Rabarts

Hi all - as you may or may not have noticed I have not been posting much lately. Largely due to the completion of my Masters thesis, my fiction writing and posts have been on hiatus. Now, I am back but this time I thought I'd try something a bit different by opening up my site to some fellow authors. The first guest post I present to you is from fellow countryman and all-around good guy, Dan Rabarts. Dan is a writer of the dark stuff along with excursions into fantasy and further afield. Here he offers us an interesting perspective on his recent work as it relates to possible sources and origins of inspiration, found in the locale and characteristic anomalies of life in New Zealand. If interested, I myself discuss the 'dark' aspects of New Zealand literature here in a recent interview with fellow writer and Dan's co-author, Lee Murray.

Give the below article a read and check out Dan's books via the links - you won't be sorry, he really is the real-deal and his stories will resonate with you long after you've finished reading them.


Also, please make sure to subscribe to this blog/website to stay tuned for the next post (if you subscribe now you also get a free digital copy of my collection, Dreams of Thanatos: Collected Macabre Fiction) - links to the right or click here.

Without further ado . . . here's Dan. 

Top 20 Scary Horror Movies

William Cook’s  Top Twenty Scary Horror Movies These are my Top Twenty scary horror movies. These films all have the ability to give the...