The scariest moment for me in any horror movie is the scene shot through a window. The characters are obliviously minding their own business in their well-lit house, but something is watching them from the outside. Ugh, just typing that sentence had shivers running down my spine, and me glancing nervously towards my window. That feeling of horror is what author Ruth Ware tried to recreate with her book In A Dark, Dark Wood, by setting it in an entirely glass house in the woods—and boy, did it work. I read the book in less than 24 hours, and haven’t had the courage to open my curtains ever since.
The action of In A Dark, Dark Wood alternates between the glass house in the woods, over the course of one weekend, and a hospital in which the protagonist, Leonora, is recovering a few days later. She’s covered in blood and bruises, has become a suspect for the murder of one of her friends, but can’t remember what happened—or, for that matter, who has been killed.
The more we hear about the investigation, the more unsettling the flashbacks become for the reader. When hospitalised-Leonora realises her bruises come from having recently fired a gun, the shotgun hanging over the fireplace in the glass house becomes terrifyingly foreboding. The police’s interest in tracking down Leonora’s phone just makes our hearts beat all the faster when glass house-Leonora realises it’s gone missing. Piece by piece, the events leading up to the murder start to fall into place—acted out by the characters on their glass stage in front of the dark, dark wood. But who is directing?
Ultimately, the story became a little far-fetched for my liking—but yikes, it’s a chilling book. And it’s about to get even scarier: the In A Dark, Dark Wood movie is currently being developed by Reese Witherspoon’s female-centric production company. I’m envisioning lots of scenes shot through windows—and I’m pretty sure I’m already too terrified to watch it.