Posts filed under ‘The Function of Fear’

Interview with Sarah Pinborough

taken_us_150x240Sarah Pinborough is a horror and thriller writer with a string of successful novels.

Her titles include The Taken (‘Her writing is full of dread and passion’, Christopher Golden) and Breeding Ground (‘… beautifully wrought by an author with an unflinching eye and a steady hand. This is scary stuff’, Creature Feature). Seek Sarah out at her website… 

BILL HUSSEY:     So, Sarah, it seems to me that horror writers, perhaps more than any other genre practitioners, are heavily influenced by their early exposure to the form. What are your earliest memories of horror fiction?

SARAH PINBOROUGH:      When I was at boarding school there were lots of tatty 70s Pan style horror anthologies on the shelves of the boarding house and I read a lot of those. My first real horror memory though, and I do think this really did unlock that part of my imagination, was of going to see Dracula as a school play when I was five…



November 20, 2008 at 8:54 am Leave a comment

Rules of the Living Dead (or should zombies run?) by Bill Hussey

dawnofthedead_zombies_10797160002A fascinating and entertaining article has appeared on the Guardian website. Penned by comedy actor and writer Simon Pegg – of Shaun of the Dead fame – it is, in part, a review of last week’s E4 zom-com Dead Set.

As evidenced by his and Jessica Stevenson’s superlative sitcom Spaced, Pegg is a geek of many colours; a lover of comic books and Playstation games, horror and sci-fi movies (just don’t mention those Star Wars prequels! Even though long-time collaborator Peter Serafinowicz provided the voice for Darth Maul, Pegg is not exactly a fan of ‘Vader: the early years’). Pegg’s passion for zombie films is obvious from his work on the lovingly-crafted homage that is Shaun. I’ll never forget laughing like a nitrous oxide doped hyena during the scene in which Nick Frost’s Ed shouts down the phone ‘We’re coming to get you, Barbara!’ – a wicked little Romero in-joke. Pegg has also written a cover quote for Max Brooks’ excellent zombie holocaust novel World War Z . I was interested, then, to read his take on Dead Set.   


November 12, 2008 at 1:32 pm 10 comments

The Chronic Rift by JD’L

On Saturday morning I was participating in the Chronic Rift’s latest podcast. It couldn’t have been a more appropriate activity – a roundtable discussion on the evolution of horror.

I felt sorry for those New Yorkers – it was 6 am for them! That said, they all seemed far more lucid than I. You can judge for yourselves…

The horror chat kicks off around minute 38 but the whole podcast is great and I really enjoyed the experience.

October 23, 2008 at 11:09 am Leave a comment


I recently wrote a blog about those films that have, over the years, ‘pushed my horror button’, and it got me thinking: why not tell the good people that visit Horror Reanimated about my secret movie passion?

Don’t worry, I’m not about to delve into the darkest reaches of my twisted movie psyche. I am fully aware that the world is not yet prepared for my idea of a remake of Night of the Living Dead starring the cast of Sesame Street (‘They’re coming to get you, Big Bird!’). No, what I’m talking about is a bunch of horror movies that don’t quite make the grade as far as influencing my writing or plaguing my dreams. In short, they don’t push my horror button, baby. Instead, they dance around me wearing cheap, garish clothes and doing their best to pull scary faces. They are as camp as a Butlin’s holiday, with plots so laughable dear old William Castle would have turned his nose up at them. But, in the process of trying their very best to horrify, they show so much darn heart that you end up loving them anyway.


October 16, 2008 at 11:08 am 1 comment

Pushing my horror button by Bill Hussey

In response to Joseph’s revelations about those times when he has been seriously freaked out by horror books and movies etc, here are a few of my own experiences (I should just say that there may be one or two spoilers in what follows – you have been warned!): 

1. I remember, at the tender age of nine, creeping into the living room to watch a movie the Beeb had trailed earlier that evening. It was one of those 1970s made-for-TV affairs – a real gem, as I remember it, with the same quaint production values, great actors, terrific script and direction that marked out Speilberg’s own movie-of-the-week debut, ‘Duel’. It was well past my bedtime, and so I had the volume turned down low. Huddled in my duvet, I watched this story about a young couple who take a vacation in the hope of rebuilding their marriage. They pitch up at a farmhouse where the wife begins to have weird dreams about the bloody past of this patch of New England. Turns out they sacrificed witches here, don’t you know. Anyway, there’s a scene which haunted me for years afterwards: the young wife is placed beneath a board while the townsfolk, including her now deranged husband, pile rocks on top. Slowly the screaming woman is crushed to death. This kooky old movie must have had a big effect on me because, years later, I reference it twice in ‘Through A Glass, Darkly’. Jamie Howard has seen the movie and discusses it with Jack. And check out the film’s title – ‘Crowhaven Farm’ – ring any bells?


October 13, 2008 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment


There have been moments over the years when I was genuinely creeped-out, scared or disgusted by books and movies. Here’s a few:

  1. Listening to a record of horror sound effects when I was  eight. It included ‘premature burial’, ‘iron maiden’ and ‘hara  kiri’. Something about having only sound made the  imagining far worse. 
  2. Watching ‘Hellraiser’ very late and very alone when I was  nineteen. I spent the rest of the night waiting for the  Cenobites to come through the walls.
  3. Reading ‘Communion’ by Whitley Streiber. I couldn’t finish it. The idea that there really were aliens abducting people and experimenting on them like lab rats utterly terrified me. I still haven’t finished the book.
  4. The scene from ‘Hannibal’ in which Dr. Lecter opens a victim’s skull under anaesthesia, slices out a wafer thin fillet of his brain, cooks it and serves it to him – all without the victim realising. I’ve got a thing about brains. That scene haunted me for weeks.
  5. The story of St. Gutfree in Chuck Palahniuk’s ‘Haunted’.

Everyone will have different experiences of feeling horrified, I’m sure. Some of my responses may seem laughable. Perhaps some of yours would seem laughable to me. But fear itself is primeval and common to us all.

So, what pushes your horror button?

October 9, 2008 at 10:25 am 8 comments


Garry Charles is a horror writer, interviewer and reviewer. His first novel ‘Heaven’s Falling: Volume 1: Ascension’ was published by Hadesgate Publications in September 2005 and was quickly followed by a sequel entitled ‘Redemption’, and has been compared to the final part of Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’ series. More information about Garry and his writing can be found at his website at

Bill Hussey: Hi Garry – good of you to join the damned and lonesome souls here at Horror Reanimated. Let’s kick off with your earliest memories of the horror genre. Can you trace back to the moment when the horror bug crawled under your skin and laid eggs in your brain?

Garry Charles:        Hi Bill, nice of you to ask me over. Now where’s the tea and cakes you promised?

My earliest memories of Horror – at least what I found scary back then – was watching the old sci-fi movies on BBC2. You know, stuff like INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, IT CAME FROM OUT OF SPACE and THEM! I was probably only nine or ten, but I loved the aspect of being scared even back then.

Then I moved onto real horror movies, watching DARIO ARGENTO’S INFERNO when I was about eleven. Now that scared the shit of me but I was hooked and followed it up with classics like THE OMEN, HELL NIGHT and BLACK CHRISTMAS (Hell, I still can’t enter an attic without a shiver running down my spine).


October 2, 2008 at 1:59 pm 1 comment

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