This is the kind of horror I was hoping to get into when I started my horror-only commitment this month. While I don’t think it was an especially good book, it did what it needed to do for me and I enjoyed it.
I’ve never been a big horror movie fan for several reasons: 1. I’m a scaredy cat, 2. I find most of the blood and gore stuff to be tastelessly pornographic. 3. I prefer verisimilitude in books and movies. Also, jump scares really bore me. Saint Maud is a good example of a horror movie I do like: character-driven, psychological more than supernatural, violence is done with a purpose.
The Remaking is a love letter to that genre of cheap 70s horror films but it’s also self aware. Amber, the central person in the story who may or may not be literally haunted from her most famous role (you’ll have to read to find out!) functions for most of the book as a navigator through a real life story of men murdering women in a fury of panic and vengeance. The juxtaposition here between what we often see in horror film: lots of blood, mutilated women, final girls, etc. vs. how that violence manifests in real life: murdering and maiming women for what we cannot have or do not understand, is prevalent through the novel.
I’m not a big “you just don’t get it, man!” kind of reviewer but I think a big reason the reviews are mixed is that readers miss the point of what Chapman has done. It’s definitely done imperfectly, the inner monologues can annoy, as can the fanboy language. But I thought it was effective and made for a good read.