Amateur horror writing is on the move. Rising up from the dank depths of the internet to bring you the real Tales of Interest, there's a marked insurgence in spooky stories written by budding authors making it to the big screen.
But what exactly makes a good author? Arguably a mixture of impeccable writing style, a gripping story, and some nuanced character work, with an inherent knowledge of how words work. Of course, the appropriately badly titled creepypasta has none of that. In fact - it's probably the polar opposite.
In place of readable stories with developed narrative arcs and stable tension building, you get radioactive Pokémon and escaped war experiments, and the occasional lovingly Photoshopped image that comes with its own warning label for hauntings. A noseless dog still makes the rounds as a murderous psychopath - what did Rover ever do to deserve this?
In some charming way, creepypasta manages to make its mark despite never passing its GCSEs with the most batsh*t ideas possible spewed out nonsensically on the page, frightening for their originality and immediate horror than for their believability. And, luckily for our struggling writers out there, film and TV are always on hand to bring the most wacky nonsense to life. With television series now capitalising on the goldmine of ideas lurking in foulest Reddit, and Slender Man making his cinematic debut, the most creepy of pastas, spaghetti aside, is finally coming to the mainstream.
Jeff help us all.
8. The Midnight Man
The Midnight Game has cropped up in many forms over the years, spawning from a post that details how to conjure an evil spirit to play hide and seek with. As fun as running from a soul-reaving demon intent on making you live your worst nightmares sounds, it's actually a pretty bad idea.
Cited as deriving from 'an old pagan ritual', The Midnight Game has a particular set of instructions, such as lighting candles at certain times and not letting them blow out, and creating a circle of salt for protection if that does happen. With two films from 2013 and 2016 respectively trying to capture the original set of rules posted on forum sites some years back, each delivers their own version of events for a group of friends that invite the Midnight Man into their home. Hint: it doesn't end well.
Whilst neither movie is particularly special in its production, the personalised tales of careless teens messing with forces beyond our understanding truly captures the essence of the story - as there's no real reason to play the game other than to tempt fate. With the most recent version featuring Insidious' own Lin Shaye and a version of the Midnight Man wearing a particularly fetching rabbit head, it's a bizzare feature that faithfully toys with the urban legend.