Saturday, October 27, 2007

Scary Movies

I’ve always felt a tingly excitement around the latter half of October, the days leading up to Halloween. It is only in this time of year that society acknowledges all of which is frightening, be it the jack-o-lantern or the ultra-gory horror film.
I’m a relatively massive horror movie fan, always searching the web for upcoming films, most of which I decide whether I’ll go see just after reading the synopsis or, more fairly, seeing the trailer. Sadly, I’ve somewhat fallen out of my practice as I watch myself morph into a respectable member of the public. Time spent scavenging for a good visual scare in cinemas and bargain bin video stores such as Village Vidiot (which boasts a fantastic collection of obscure horror movies) is now spent working, studying, or interacting with other people. My seventeen-year-old friends have grown up; they’d rather watch a meaningful film filled with clever references and social commentary over a movie produced solely for the violent effects and disfigured monsters. Bring these elements together, and terrifyingly enough, you can feel your own passion begin to wane, and I can only frown as it slowly dribbles out.
While I’m not starving, am not plagued with any terminal diseases, and nearly everyone I have ever loved is still alive and well, it is the little events in life such as this that really make me wonder if I was only put on the earth to suffer.
So, before I am dropped into the congealed soup that is the real world, allow me to take you by the hand to see a small slice of my time with scary movies.

Right around 2nd or 3rd grade, I started to realize that there was some pretty cool things about scary movies. Of course, I limited myself to childhood frights, like scary-themed cartoons, anthologies (which were pretty cool), and of course, scary-theme books, like R.L. Stine’s classic Goosebumps collection. I did my best to keep my distance from the horror that was rated PG-13, or massively worse, R. But there were just some things you couldn’t avoid.
For me, it was this little monster. God, I can nearly pinpoint the first time I saw it on a video box while we were carousing through a video store, and almost instantly I found tears welling up in my eyes.
If you think that’s bad, just think about what it’d feel like innocently flipping through the TV channels and coming across it as it moved around.

I’ll always remember watching John Carpenter’s The Thing and flying up in the air in total horror during the part where they’re testing all of the blood. See, this creature sort of got up inside people and you’d never really know who or what converted, it was pretty fucking scary, even if it was hard sometimes not to understand how the creature got inside these people. And of course, the blood test, cripes, it’s probably the most frigthenting “jump” moment I’ve ever had to deal with. Of course, this scene was pretty good too: “You got to be fuckin’ kiddin me.” It was only a shame that such obsessions kept the women away for so many years.

College is an academic community; no room for senselessly violent movies such as the ones above. Sure, they were scary, but were they artful? Apparently university librarians. I never could find any good scary movies scanning through the collection of movies they had for rent at the library, but there were quite a few “instant-classic” foreign films that were available, one of which was Audition. Yes, this movie is pure horror, even if it’s packaged as a thriller. It’s not a thriller; it’s a horror movie, right down to the torture porn scenes. Seriously, movies like Hostel or Saw got nothing on this suspenseful sickening movie. It’s scary and disturbing, and it manages to get inside you regardless of how detached you are to horrible things.

No comments: