5 Books to Read If You Loved “Skinamarink” by Calebrity
Skinamarink is one of the biggest horror movies of the year, an impressive feat for a movie made on just $15,000. It’s a bold and unsettling movie, in no small part because of the way it is filmed. The way the movie refuses to focus on the horrors creeping in, and the lingering question of what – if any – parts of the film are real.
If you love the dark and unknowable dread of Skinamarink, here are 5 books that will give you the same feeling.
5. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
What makes Skinamarink so difficult to watch is the film’s refusal to focus on – or even tell – a story. The encroaching darkness, the terrifying and distorted voices that call to the children, and the way the film looks away is all an incredible metaphor for growing up in an abusive household.
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay follows the Barretts and their 14-year-old daughter Marjorie, who is seemingly possessed. All the while the family is followed around by a documentary crew. But is Marjorie’s possession real, or is she playing it up for the camera?
While A Head Full of Ghosts is more linear and cohesive than Skinamarink, it tackles many of the same themes. The book also allows the reader to doubt what is truly going on and whether the possession in the book is real at all.
4. Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones
Mapping the Interior follows a teenager who sees a stranger in his home one night. When he follows the stranger, it leads to a room that wasn’t there before. From there, the protagonist realizes his home is much bigger on the inside, and he sets out to map the interior. However, doing so puts his younger brother in terrible danger.
Like Skinamarink, the house in Mapping the Interior warps around the young characters in the book, and the story is just as much an exploration of pain and grief as it is the house.
3. This Thing Between Us by Gus Moreno
This Thing Between Us shares a lot of similarities with Skinamarink, namely in the way it questions perception and reality. However, whereas the movie is 90-ish minutes of pure dread, This Thing Between Us is surprisingly funny. The novel follows Thiago in the wake of his wife Vera’s death and the way he tries to cope with the loss.
Obviously dark things happen, and you’ll never look at an Alexa quite the same way. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more palatable and character-focused, this is a great book.
4. Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey
Just Like Home is a bizarre, claustrophobic, and dark novel that resonates in a similar way to Skinamarink. Vera never wanted to return home, but begrudgingly does so at the request of her dying mother. It’s the home her father raised her in, and it’s the home where he buried his many victims. As Vera unpacks her grief, it is clear that something – maybe the house itself – wants her to stay for good.
Just Like Home is an excellent exploration of childhood and coming to terms with the terrible actions of parent figures. Themes that line up quite well with Skinamarink.
5. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
No creepy house book list is complete without House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. The actual story is relatively simple at first. The book follows a documentarian whose new house is bigger on the inside than the outside. It’s a small difference at first, but that difference grows into one of the most bizarre and unsettling reading experiences ever put to print.
Readers are also following Johnny Truant, a low-life who has stolen this manuscript and is narrating his experience reading it through footnotes left by “The Editors.”
Unhinged does not begin to describe House of Leaves, and it is the closest experience you will get to the feelings in Skinamarink.