A feeling of dread often starts with events that make you feel uncomfortable. Negative emotions. Poor choices. The feeling your mind is playing tricks on you. This snippet combines all of these.
It also uses a classic horror trope—something you expect to be lifeless might not be. It can’t be alive, the protagonist thinks. That’s not possible! I must be going mad… They have doubts but, as readers, we know something’s up.
When we hear a character’s thoughts, it’s called interior monologue. In this snippet, the internal monologue is shown with italics.
Also notice how the language is very simple, like the understated example from Coraline that we first saw.