Colin Davies’ A-Z of Horror: B is for BOO!

Time for another entry into my exploration of horror via an A to Z and poetry. This time, I have decided to look at one of the most important words ever used to create a great scare. So, to the many eyes, ears, and fingers of the readership, I give you…


B is for BOO!

I know this will make several people smile, even laugh. I also know it will make quite a few think the inevitable has finally happened, and I have fallen off the edge, which I have been clinging onto with my fingernails for many years. But please, bear with me, and all will become clear.


BOO! Is a word representation of the excellent jump scare; The part of the story or movie that is skillfully crafted to make your heart feel like it has stopped for a moment. Something that takes your breath away makes you declare that you have just defecated yourself, followed by a good laugh as the burst of nervous energy is released.


Some BOO! Moments come entirely out of the blue, and it is the sudden and unexpected jolt that delivers the loose bowl. An excellent example of this would be the end of Brian De Parma’s 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie. The first time you see this, the shock is so savvier that you would swear you jump at least one metre above the seat.


Other BOO! Moments come from a wonderfully constructed series of events. You know the BOO! Is coming, you just don’t know when? This tension builds with a couple of false jumps before the major punch to the guts is delivered. It’s a guessing game between the creator and audience, where the create sees how long they can hold the tension, and the audience trying to be one step ahead in a vain attempt not to be affected by the BOO! Sam Remi’s 2009 assault on the senses Drag Me To Hell is the cinema equivalent of an amusement park ride for horror fans. It is a very loose remake of Night of the Demon (1957) that is fast-paced and not for the faint-hearted.



Am I in the bin?
Have you a clue?
Just have a look…

What’s in the shadows,
Looking at you?
Was that just the wind?

When you least expect me
I’ll scare you as a joke.
Jumping out yelling BOO!
Then you punch me in the throat.

And I’ll drop to the floor
Nose pressed against your shoe
You’ll say, “Who’s laughing now?”
And I’ll say, “Boohoo!”

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