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'Tis the season

The first horror movie I ever watched was The Nightmare Before Christmas. And I was terrified. I have since watched it every year religiously.

Though it seemed my introduction to the weird and wonderful world of Tim Burton opened my mind to much darker things. The stories I began writing for homework had an element of the macabre. One tale about a demonic dummy involved the murder of most, if not all of my classmates. Don’t worry, no twelve-year-olds were harmed in the creation of the story.

Since then I have enjoyed many horror movies, but please do not think in any way that I am a horror movie fanatic. I am most definitely not, especially if the film involves ghosts and children. Basically, I’m a coward.

The films I like are what I have fondly dubbed as the teen screams of the 90’s and early 2000’s. Films such as Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Final Destination, Jeepers Creepers and Wrong Turn. A bunch of teens/twenty somethings, usually played by actors in their thirties or forties, are killed off one by one often because of their own stupidity. I have many fond memories of screaming at the screen, ‘what the hell are you doing?’ and ‘why are you going that way?’

In my teens I moved on to the Saw series. The idea that someone could just take you from the street and put you into an almost impossible deadly game was terrifying, but the contraptions were incredible, and I was really into the gore. Not so much these days though. Seeing Saw 3D was possibly the most insane cinematic experience I'd had. It was brilliant.

My teen screams continued with Black Christmas, Prom Night, Sorority Row and My Bloody Valentine. There’s just something about a teen slasher that thrills me.

Last year I took a chance on the new version of IT. I prepared by ensuring I didn’t watch the film alone, and that it was in the middle of the day. I was surprised at how not-scary it was. There were definite creepy parts and Bill Skarsgård’s performance was spectacular, but it didn’t leave me feeling unnerved. I’m rather looking forward to watching IT: Chapter Two.

I won’t go into King movies as I don’t want to offend his many fans, but the storyline of IT was far better than my low preconceived expectations.

Thanks to my interest in screenwriting and self-exploration of the industry, I now see that many 'horror' films are written and filmed in such an amateur way, that my heart rate stays completely normal. I'm not stating that the whole genre is like this, as I know there are many films I won't even try as they will scare the s*** out of me. Unfortunately, horror seems to be a genre amateurs start in and the free offerings we can see on the TV leave a lot to be desired.

As Halloween is right around the corner, the horror movies are in plentiful supply. I will be satisfying the child in me with the masterful delight that is Hocus Pocus and quite possibly the most terrifying film I have ever seen, The Witches. Don't get confused though, the witches themselves don't scare me. Yes, when they take their face off they're pretty ugly, but I can deal with that. What terrified me as a child, *spoiler* was the little girl who was put into the painting, where she aged and one day, simply disappeared. That concept right there has haunted me ever since my first viewing. Who needs FX makeup and a menacing villain when you can use your audiences own imagination to curdle their blood?

Do you like scary movies?

Happy Halloween

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