Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
This week’s theme was settings we want to see more of, but a lot of my favorite settings are pretty specific, so I decided to try to think of the 10 most oddly specific settings I enjoy.
1. haunted theme parks
There aren’t many stories set in theme parks to begin with, but especially not spooky ones! A book on my TBR with this setting is Dark Ride.
2. carnivals of debauchery
I couldn’t care less about “normal” carnival settings most of the time, but throw in a creepy or devilish twist, and I’m there. One of my favorite bookish examples is Daughter of the Burning City.
3. ships lost at sea
I have a deep-seated fear of the idea of being lost at sea — especially alone! — so stories about ships lost at sea, shipwrecks, and anything of that nature always intrigue me and mess me up a little. A great book with this setting is The Devil and the Deep, an anthology of sea-related horror that has a few stories at sea.
4. secluded cabins
Speaking of settings I’m actually afraid of, who isn’t a little freaked out by creepy and/or secluded cabins? (If you haven’t noticed, I tend to love settings that give me the heebie-jeebies!) One book on my TBR with this setting is The Shuddering, which involves being stranded in a cabin in the winter.
5. old cemeteries
I love old cemeteries, but maybe not for the reasons you’d think: not for the fear, but for how much history they hold and how many stories they tell. My favorite example for this one has to go to The Graveyard Book (and while we’re at it, I can’t recommend the full-cast audiobook of this one highly enough — it’s incredible!).
6. unknown international locales
This one can be hit-and-miss, because sometimes it just ends in an insensitive vilification of indigenous peoples, but I’m a total sucker for when it’s done right: ignorant (usually American 😂) tourists stumbling into things they know nothing about and paying the price. My recommendation for this example is actually a movie: The Green Inferno (2013), which I strongly recommend to anyone who’s got a history of being able to stomach Eli Roth’s particular brand of grossness.
7. deep sea dives
Yes, this one could probably have been combined with #3 for a general deep sea theme, but… well, ya girl was stuck at 9 settings and needed another. 😂 If you also love films set in the deep sea, allow me to recommend the film adaptation of The Meg (2018), which has a lot of fun sharks and some really lovable actors, and most importantly, a deep-sea diving scene that gives me the best type of anxiety. 🦈
8. barren frozen tundras
Out of all of the settings on this list, this is one of them that I have the hardest time getting my “fix” for, and it makes me so sad, because I am such a sucker for “icy wasteland” settings. Hell, I’ll even settle for frozen suburban settings, like the Alaskan town that one of my favorite creature flicks, 30 Days of Night (2007), takes place in.
9. crisp, red-orange halloween nights
This will be my last film recommendation, but I couldn’t not add it in once it popped into my mind, because it’s literally my favorite October atmosphere style: crisp, crunchy, reddish-orange, cold Halloween nights, usually in somewhere I should probably move to, like New England. *wistful sigh* One of my favorite films of all time, friends: Trick ‘r Treat (2007).
10. abandoned space stations
Last but not least, the setting that gives me the most existential crises, yet I keep coming back to it: abandoned space stations. (Bonus points if it’s abandoned because everyone died due to some weird contagion, mutation, etc.) An underrated fave for this one: Pitch Dark, a YA sci-fi/thriller/horror lite story featuring what is basically a teen Lara Croft in space. ♥