Tuesday 6 August 2013

Guest Post - Horror is Scarier in Movies, Not Books by Richard B. Knight

Horror Is Scarier in Movies, Not Books

Howdy. My name is Rich B. Knight (The B stands for Brandon) and I wrote a horror book of sorts called The Darkness of the Womb. You can go to the website here (http://thedarknessofthewomb.com/), and buy the book here: Personally, I’d appreciate if you did both. :)

The story is about a pregnant mother who journeys inside her unborn child’s subconscious to prevent him from miscarrying himself. And while there are some scary scenes in the book (a devil with baby fingers for teeth, a corridor filled entirely with tongues, an umbilical cord sea monster), I still think the story would be much scarier as a movie since I think movies are scarier than books. Let me explain.

Now, I know the owner of this blog, Michael Brookes, who I interviewed on my own blog (http://knighttakesrook.blogspot.com/2013/07/interview-with-author-michael-brookes.html), writes horror, so he may not agree with me, but that’s fine. Not many people agree with me anyway on anything. But you may agree with me on this. Just hear me out.

If you can think of the scariest books you’ve ever read, and then, think of the scariest movies you’ve ever seen, which wins out? For me, it’s movies all the way. The only book I’ve ever been totally unnerved by is The Exorcist, but the movie was so much scarier. When I close my eyes at night, I see Regan’s face from the film, not the book. And I don’t think this is my fault, either. Movies can do something that no book can—they can spook you out both visually AND audibly. So not only do I see Regan’s face in my mind from the film, but I also hear her voice. That’s a lethal combination to the system. It’s the stuff of nightmares, really.

That said, I’m not bashing books. I mean, hell, I write them. And I think that books are great because they fully immerse you. You get to see the story the way you want to see it—The way you see Frodo in your head doesn’t have to be the way Peter Jackson does. But that full immersion can be a book’s downfall in horror, too, as what if the version you see in your head isn’t as scary as the version Hollywood has concocted for you? It’s a very real question. Think about it.

What led me to this question myself is The Shining by Stephen King. I recently just read it. Like some people, I’ve come to the conclusion that the movie is better than the book. You can read my Goodreads review of it here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/675950519 Basically, I talk about how no matter how well Stephen King writes (and my God, does he write well), his description of Jack Torrence still can’t match the faces of insanity that Jack Nicholson makes in the famous Kubrick film. Another example is King’s description of the woman in the bath tub. It’s spooky in the book, but it can’t match the horror in the movie where you finally see her back in the mirror. Her cackle in the film doesn’t make my nights any easier, either.

But what do you think? As I said before, sound plays a huge part in horror movies that books can’t replicate. Also, the version in my head is rarely as scary as the one presented on the screen. But do you agree or disagree with this? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The Darkness of the Womb is available from Amazon


  1. I shall be posting my rebuttal on Saturday :-)

  2. This post has sparked a discussion on Goodreads - join in at:


  3. Awesome. Thanks for allowing me to stop by your blog. It was fun.