So when first reading Breeding Ground, the spiders did absolutely terrify me. Or at least the spider-like creatures. There was very little of detail added to them, giving me the ability to use my imagination to fill in the blanks for the creature. Of course, me being terrified of spiders, I had the vision of just giant mutated spiders crawling all over the place and honestly that kept me up at night. But, I would not say that was the most terrifying things about the book. Perhaps it is because a woman wrote it, but the most terrifying thing was how the women were used as hosts for the creatures.
Way back a little over 7 years ago now, I was pregnant with my son. It is hard to remember most details, but what I can remember is the feeling of him moving inside of me and seeing it happen for the first time. It was a horror movie appearance for me. There are some mothers who see that and think its magical, but I didn’t. I was an odd pregnant person. When people asked what it felt like for me when he moved, I described it as a fart you hold in and it rumbles in your stomach instead.
Seeing Chloe pregnant at the beginning and the relationship her and Matt had, reminded me a bit of my own pregnancy in a way that when she started to devolve into a creature herself, it made me feel uneasy. The way her skin bubbled and looked like the creature moved underneath it reminded me of my own pregnancy that was all too real.
Granted, this got pushed off to the side and replaced with the actual monsters themselves fairly quickly, but the images of Chloe stuck with me far longer than any of the other moments showcasing a spider.
This is what makes a horror so amazing to me. Not just showcasing inteligence in the creature and its behaviour, but making it close to home. Had a man written the book, it may not have come across as terrifying as a woman who is much closer to the experience. The again, it may have done just as well. But that body horror is a perfect example of things that could terrify me in a lot of different ways and including spiders into it added to my terror. This also reminded me of a short story in Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark where a girl was bitten by a spider and the spot grew until it burst into baby spiders, which was terrifying for me as a child and still scares me sometimes when I see a spider bite on myself.
If ever someone asked me for a book that makes you feel terrified and stay up late at night just to push through it like you would a movie, this book would certainly be my choice.