Horror essays that read like Chuck Klosterman filtered through H.P. Lovecraft.
Slinging ectoplasm, tombstones, and chainsaws with aplomb, Be Scared of Everything is a frighteningly smart celebration of horror culture that will appeal to both horror aficionados and casual fans. Combining pop culture criticism and narrative memoir, Counter’s essays consider and deconstruct film, TV, video games and true crime to find importance in the occult, pathos in Ouija boards, poetry in madness, and beauty in annihilation.
Comprehensive in scope, these essays examine popular horror media including Silent Hill, Hannibal, Hereditary, the Alien films, Jaws, The X-Files, The Terror, The Southern Reach Trilogy, Interview with the Vampire, Misery, Gerald’s Game, The Sixth Sense, Scream, Halloween, The Blair Witch Project, The Babadook, the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Slenderman stories, alongside topics like nuclear physics, cannibalism, blood, Metallica, ritual magic, nightmares, and animatronic haunted houses.
This is a book that shows us everything is terrifying—from Pokémon to PTSD—and that horror can be just as honest, vulnerable, and funny as it is scary.
“Peter Counter’s Be Scared of Everything is a heady mix of memoir and critical essays. Discerning, unafraid to examine larger questions without easy answers, the collection is also warm and entertaining. The link between the essays and personal reflections on horror is empathy, which is why so many of us continue to be drawn to the genre.”—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World
“Be Scared of Everything is a command directed at everyone: punks, normies, horror film fans, UFO abductees, telemarketers, pet necromancers, you, no one will leave this book in their current form who permits the devious, curious, always-illuminating Peter Counter over their mental threshold.”—Meredith Graves
“Peter Counter’s writing on horror is thoughtful, lively, and strangely touching. From classic movie monsters, to personal demons, to a genuinely surprising (and funny) analysis of Frasier, Be Scared of Everything faces horror’s thrills, problems and paradoxes, with shades of Noel Carroll, Eugene Thacker, and Stephen King circa Danse Macabre.”—John Semley, author of Hater: On the Virtues of Utter Disagreeability