Scared of Scary Movies?

by Karina Cooper

First, a brief intro: My name is Karina, and I write paranormal romance. My romance is not sweet or fluffy or light. (Not that there's anything wrong with any of these things...) My books are filled with magic and murder and mayhem. There is blood, there is death, there is loss.

You'd think that I'd be no stranger to a scary story or two, right?

Eh heh heh heh... Ahem. No.

So here's the deal: I am terrified of scary movies. Seriously. I can usually get through a vampire flick, and I can fool myself into thinking a slasher flick doesn't bother me all that much, but I stay up all night with the lights on, scared out of my head that I'm going to be torn to pieces by shadows. And, whoa, if it's a zombie movie? Even a funny zombie movie?

Hells to the no. I couldn't even make it through Shaun of the Dead, and I even know how funny that is.

So where's a girl to get her horror fix?

Well, if you're like me, you'll read it. But sometimes, reading just doesn't cut it. Sometimes, although I enjoy the thrill of a good book, I want to watch, get sucked in to a scary story and see the pathos—oh, the pathos!—as people drop dead.

So I've turned to anime.

(Side note: Next time at The Pop Culture Divas, we'll be discussing obsessions with gorgeous animated guys. Come back to indulge! Anddon'tjudgeme.)

Of late, I've been watching a show called, simply, Shiki. You can watch it by going to Hulu now—rightnow!—and starting at the very beginning.

There's only 12 episodes so far, and it starts (as they all do) in a small village. It's a brutal summer, and people are doing everything they can to beat the heat. But it's a quiet village, a rural kind of town, too small for a big city kid and too narrow-minded for a girl with big ideas.

Until people start dying... And dying... And dying...

To be honest, I didn't know what to expect from this series. I'm not usually a fan of anime dramas, but something about how this series puts everything together has fascinated me. Music is used sometimes as a foundation, a faint glimmer of noise in the background, and sometimes it's a chant or whisper or sound too disjointed to do anything but set you on edge for the scene. The dialogue is smooth and fraught with unspoken words that need to be said—but aren't.

I've hooked one friend on this series and we're both slavering at the mouth every week to watch the show. Let's see if I can hook you, too...

If you like horror to start subtle and build up, build until the odds are awful and the threats insurmountable—if you like monsters who are monsters and still feel your heart ache for the individuals who struggle against the beast they don't want to be—then Shiki will be just your cup of tea.

Enjoy it just in time for Halloween, with my blessings.

Karina Cooper is a paranormal romance author for Avon. Her first book, Blood of the Wicked, will be released May 31st, 2011. She actually really is a pansy when it comes to scary movies and refuses to watch one when at all possible—on those rare occasions she can be bullied into it, she demands a pillow fort from which to watch in safety. She's been known to cry at Haunted Houses. She's a sucker. Don't judge her... she's clearly touched in the head.


  1. that sounds like a great anime. My teenager is a Manga/anime freak. She even draws her own. She loves the Yaoi (sp?) the M/M stuff. I too crush on manga/anime men! Sobi from the manga Loveless is to die for and don't get me started on Vampire Knights.

  2. Aw, Sharon, look at you coming to christen my first Pop Culture Diva post! You're a sweetie.

    Stick around, too, 'cause you'll looooooove my post next month. ;) Your daughter, too!

  3. 'we'll be discussing obsessions with gorgeous animated guys'

    My husband's preferred eye candy are anime babes. So I know where you're coming from.

    I also write paranormal, but I do love to watch it. And I prefer it to be really, really scary.

    It takes a lot to scare me, but it does occasionally happen. The worst for me was the Bob character on Twin Peaks. After one episode where we saw him creep into a room and up over the couch, I seriously had to get back out of bed and hang out in the living room with my husband for awhile.

  4. Karina,

    I'm scared of scary movies too. I'm not sure I can get into anime. Interesting post.

    Carolyn/Cara Marsi

  5. Karina - I completely understand! I get really scared by scary movies too! Which is why I prefer the older flicks - well those can be scary as well - but I like the campy B-movies the best. As for the anime - not too familiar with that - so looking forward to reading more about it. Now, reading scary books - gosh! that's even worse for me than watching the movie - that's when i really can't get the images out of my head. Cheers! jojo

  6. I find that the "scary" movies I like best are actually comedies. Shaun of the Dead was good, but I'm referring to films like Disney's animated short The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Likable characters, strong story, entertaining songs. It's extremely funny, but very spooky at times too. The right combination for me.


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