I’m picky when it comes to horror, and will usually err on the side on not watching a movie, so as not to be disappointed. When I finally watched Midsommar, I was really impressed and surprised. It’s so beautiful and idyllic, and the pervasive sense of dread is suffocating. I loved it. So the question becomes, what book should you pick up after enjoying Ari Aster’s folk horror film?
Here are five books to start with:
In the House in the Dark of the Woods // Laird Hunt. Hunt’s remarkable folk tale has the same eerie, idyllic quality that fills you with dread. Much like the movie, this is best enjoyed on a dark and stormy autumn night, cuddled up at home.
Ghost Wall // Sarah Moss. For an anthropological course, a family and group of students live as ancient Britons did over the course of one summer, with deadly consequences. A complex, disquieting read filled.
Blood and Salt // Kim Liggett. Intertwined family histories, a smattering of romance, a tinge of horror, a bit of alchemy, and a doomsday cult obsessed with immortality all combine to make this a solid, refreshing read filled with centuries-old secrets.
Gather the Daughters // Jennie Melamed. Set in a unknown period after a fire destroys civilization, an island community is formed by ten men desiring a deeply patriarchical society. These men, now known as the ancestors, made a list of things a person shalt not do and those are the rules that govern their small society. The shalt nots are never questioned. Eerie, bleak, and full of dread, Jennie Melamed’s debut novel is excellent. Her beautiful prose balances the grim existence of the characters, and the multiple narrators works to flesh out life on the island.
The Ruins // Scott Smith. Set in the lush, picturesque Yucatan peninsula, this novel expertly shoves average people into extreme circumstances. The party of six sets out to visit Mayan ruins, only to end up trapped on top of a hill in paradise.
What would you include on your list? I feel like folk horror isn’t exactly a huge genre…