i have an announcement to make: i’m cutting the filipino horror giveaway competition short. i’m only reading one more book, and then i’m going to announce the winners. that way, i can send out the prizes before this week ends. i’ve already extended the competition far longer than expected.
and now, on to SPOOKY MO.
honestly, i had no idea what to expect with a book entitled SPOOKY MO; except that it’s a collection of horrifying tales, all written by marivi soliven blanco.
marivi soliven who? she was the one who wrote MANANAGGRRRL! from the TALES OF ENCHANTMENT AND FANTASY collection i read a couple of weeks back. and will you look at that? that story’s part of this collection too.
i didn’t much like the story of MANANANGGRRRL! to be quite honest. but i am happy to say that most of the stories in SPOOKY MO are better. or maybe it’s just because i didn’t have any expectations.
none of the stories in this book was particularly scary, but there were a couple that were horrifying. yes, horrifying. and what i’ve noticed is, none of the stories (save for MANANANGGRRRL!) focused on the supernatural. all the stories were character studies of women: women who were pushed too far, women that are looking for solace, women reaching their limits. and by not focusing on the horror as the main selling point, marivi soliven blanco managed to write a few truly horrifying pieces.
my main criteria for horror is that it should disturb me. but with all the horror films, the slasher flicks, and the likes that are prevalent in our culture now, it’s not easy to disturb anyone. still, there are still works that can make you think, make you feel a little bit of fear, and make you squeamish.
SPOOKY MO manages to do the last part: make you feel squeamish, without resorting to gore. though, sure there is gore involved in at least two stories. and i’m using “at least” because i don’t know how most people would see something nasty and consider it gory. for example, a snake devouring a human being is gory–but if the actual devouring doesn’t get described in minute detail, i don’t consider it as gore. it’s just nasty.
so, of all the recommendations given for my filipino horror book pile, i think SPOOKY MO is the first to hit the mark in the right spots. though, the second volume of TRESE and CRAVING are good contenders too.