At my university we are raised to have as wide a taste as possible, and fortunately, I think of myself as a very eclectic person.
For instance, I don’t have anything against musicals (Les Miserables was one of my highs in 2012), and I consider ‘The Notebook’ one of my alltime favorite movies.
But when push comes to shove, my true love, my muse, my filthy whore in the alley: that’s horror movies baby!
And it’s not exactly the genre that gets the most love. Ironically, with a subject as widely loved as cinema, and a following that’s mostly made up out of true nerds (wear that title with pride people!) horror still gets a lot of hate.
I always thought that the general nerd would feel a lot of love for a genre that has been getting boatloads of hatred for years and years, but apparantly I was wrong.
Not that it matters, I still love it with all my heart, and it’s about time that I explained the reasoning behind 80+ horror reviews on my website with a lot more to follow this year.
My fascination with horror began around 2000, but to understand that we need to go back a bit further to 1990 to be exact.
It’s christmas eve 1990 and I’m 4 years old when E.T. is playing on the tv downstairs.
Not knowing what I was about to witness, I sat down with my dad only to see E.T.’s head pop out of his neck in the garden a few seconds later, inadvertently scarring me for the rest of my childhood life.
We now skip to 1994 when my mom and dad decide that it’s time I watch something that’s a bit more scary and fun then the usual Disney lore, and so my dad brings home ‘Ghostbusters’.
Well..let’s just say that the library ghost at the beginning already did me in, and so it became known that Paul was not to watch scary movies under any instance.
Despite having loved Jurassic Park a mere year later, and Jaws to boot, that was the general thought my parents kept in their minds.
So it’s the year 2000 when a friend from school invites me to his house after our schoolday was done.
We went up to his room where he had his own VCR player and tv which he used to tape mainly porn and horror movies. Both were off a hugely intriguing level of interest to me, and so began my first foray into horror.
The movie was Child’s Play, and I loved it.
Whether that was the fact that I still ‘wasn’t supposed to watch those type of films’ or the movie itself, I absolutely ate it up. Within weeks I saw all the big movies and their numerous sequels: Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Exorcist, It, you name it: I saw it.
And that’s the root of my love, the beginning of the romance so to speak.
Now that I study film and I have to analyze my own behaviour and thoughts regarding what I see on screen, many fellow students ask me why I still watch horror.
It’s clichéd, made for cheap shocks, the story is always the same…you name it, they’ve said it at least once to me as an argument to stop what I’m doing and rewatch ‘The Graduate’ again (great movie btw).
But the thing is: horror isn’t what the crowd makes it out to being.
Horror is probably one of the most intelligent and self aware genres that exists amongst all of the others.
It’s basically a woman saying ‘hey, I know I walk funny, but you know you want to date me anyway’.
Horror is not afraid to call out it’s own weaknesses, the hero running upstairs instead of out of the backdoor when being chased, or the batshit crazy villain taking just a minute to long to speech before he kills someone.
It’s a genre that constantly needs to reinvent itself in order to stay relevant, and that can’t afford to lean on achievements made by others in the same genre.
In what other genre are movies judged so cruelly and harsh as they are in horror?
Basically, for every dude or dudette out there who’s going to shoot one, you will be measured up against Friedkin’s masterpiece: ‘The Exorcist’.
And not just that, feature a killer with a knife and people will bring ‘Halloween’ into the conversation, put a mask on the guy and ‘Friday the 13th’ will be named as well, in short: you simply can’t win.
The problem with horror is that when it works, it works so goddamned good, that people remember it for 255 years.
That’s why a movie like ‘Evil Dead’ (which will release in april this year) has had countless websites furious because it’s a remake of the beloved 1981 original.
The thing is, horror is that one genre that is tailor made for us: the viewers.
It’s sole purpose is to scare our socks off, make us wonder about situations we wouldn’t like to wonder about, and to relish in the fear of it all.
I love it because it’s always reinventing itself, it’s a changing, living and breathing beast, that never fails to surprise me at least once a year.
It’s an E.T., Jaws, Chucky or a deranged killer away from making me a devotee all over again, every year, every month and every day.
Horror is here to stay, and with so many new horror movies releasing in 2013, expect that to be this way for a long time to come.
I haven’t written anything for the website in about a month, mainly because I felt I needed to focus on other (more important) stuff that warranted my attention.
Mostly, it’s the fact that I want to watch more movies than last year and enjoy them a bit more as well, so for all of you who commented if I was dead..sorry to dissapoint you but no, I’m still very much alive.
Just trying to focus on quality and not quantity for our 2nd year alive on the internet.