31 Days of Halloween, Days 14-15: Miss Peregrine & Sanctum

It’s been a busy couple of days!  Last night I went to see Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which isn’t exactly a horror movie but it has some very creepy elements.  I loved all of the books – unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the movie.

If you have read the books, the first 75% of the movie is pretty much what you would expect.  The first book in the series ends with the children in a boat on the ocean, setting out to rescue Miss Peregrine.  And here (or perhaps, a little before this point) is where the movie jumps the rails and forges its own path leading to a modern-day skeleton war.  That’s right, I said skeleton war.  The tone of the first part of this movie fit the book so well: creepy, but not without humor.  The ending was a big ol’ campy mess.

Today I went to the Boston Book Festival, and at the YA Horror panel, the authors (Margot Harrison, Dawn Kurtagich, and Kim Savage) had a few horror movie suggestions.  Most of them I’d already seen.  The one I hadn’t rated on Netflix was Sanctum, a thriller about cave diving (Margot’s book, The Killer in Me, apparently involves a creepy cave).  About halfway through, I realized I had seen Sanctum before.  But it was a good thriller about how people react when things go wrong.  Being trapped underwater is a huge fear of mine, so this – more than the cave thing – made this scary.  Also that one woman who get her hair caught and her scalp starts ripping off…

Since Sanctum is the clear winner for closest to being a horror movie, I will based my recommendations on that (and suggest you read the Peculiar Children books instead of seeing the movie!).

  • Descent (2005) – This was another of the movies recommended by the YA horror panel.  It’s more about the caving experience, and I certainly do not ever want to go caving after seeing it.  I also liked that all of the cavers were female, it’s fairly unusual in a horror movie.
  • Open Water (2004) – Part of my water fears involve not being able to see clear to the bottom (hence why I prefer swimming in pools).  Something touches my leg underwater and I can’t see, I’m outta there!  So the idea of diving in open water, in the middle of the ocean, would freak me right out.  Add to that missing the boat back and finding you and your spouse stranded in shark-infested waters, and maybe you will join me.  I also wrote about this one in my series Based on a True Story if you’re interested in seeing how realistic it is.
  • Sphere (1998) – Okay, so also jellyfish freak me out?  This movie has a great cast and it is psychologically very creepy, in addition to all the horrifying ways you can die at the bottom of the ocean.


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