To me, horror movies are a part of human culture. How can they not be? It’s a genre of ever growing audiences, and it’s a great canvas for originality. Sure, originality is a difficult word to comprehend but trends and fads come and go, and the thing that never dissipates is the horror.
Do you remember seeing your first horror film? The impact that it made on you? The sense of fear it gave you? I’m sure it even made you question why you where scared in the first place. “Why do I fear Halloween? It’s just a guy in a mask.” Of course it’s just a guy in a mask, but the idea of someone you don’t know hiding their face in a mask, eyes sunk into the back of their head, ready, willing, and able to kill you at the drop of a dime, with super human strength and with absolutely no emotional landscape.
For me personally, horror has been a place of security, a place of zen and peace, and a reason to question morality.
When I was a little kid, maybe 7 or 8 years old I discovered horror. It all began with my moms VHS collection. She had comedy, romance, etc., but what always stood out to me was the horror ones she had. The covers…any stood out to me. Why a pumpkin and a knife? It says Halloween but I don’t see candy. Friday the 13th? The fuck does that mean? Isn’t that just a day? It got even more out of control when every weekend my mom would pick me up from my dad’s and take me to the video store. You would think most kids would go to the video games and children’s movies, but not me. I would walk around the store, pacing every isle looking for the coolest horror covers I could find. If the cover was interesting to me, I rented it. Halloween, Friday the 13th, Pumpkinhead, Bloody Murder,
A Nightmare on Elm Street, An American Werewolf in London, An Interview with a
Vampire, Child’s Play, Hellraiser, Children of the Corn, Anaconda, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre just to name a few.
From that point on, I was addicted to horror the way a junkie is to heroin, the way a whore is to sex and so on and so forth. I would go on benders of buying and renting horror of all genres just to satisfy this urge, the urge to see cinematic greatness.
But what is it that makes horror so fucking profound? What makes horror the best selling genre in movie history? Why do people go and see a film they know will scare them? A movie that will make them second guess leaving the door unlocked at night or even taking the trash out without the dog by their side? People know these movies make them look behind them. They make you say “fuck the basement, I’ll do laundry another time.”
Yet, still they watch. Why?
Personally I love the thrill. I love driving through the cemetery after having watched Night of the Living Dead. At any moment, a zombie could emerge and you will suffer the awful fate of being eaten alive, only to potentially become one of them.
Sure, it’s all bullshit but the little things make life… even movies about death.
Fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of science and most of all, fear of death, which is the biggest unknown. People may have ideas or beliefs on what happens following death but the truth is no one actually knows and that is terrifyingly relatable.
We as humans use things like music, comics, art and movies as a means to an end when trying to escape the ugly reality we live in. Even if it’s for just a moment, it’s an escape.
Horror comes in all shapes and sizes. From universal monsters, the hammer films, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons, found footage, urban legends, slashers, body horror and etc. The list goes on. It invokes the same thing within them all and that is fear.
To close, know I am a fan just like each and every one of you. You may not know who I am but you love horror just as much as I do.
Together we are people, together we are fans.