Thursday, July 30, 2015

10 Horror Questions

            I found a list of questions on the topic of horror by a comedian who pretends to be the resurrected author, HP Lovecraft.  I figured I would just answer those questions because I have not written anything for fun in a while.

What is the first horror movie you remember watching?
            I think “Aliens” in a TV edit.  But I am not sure that should count.  I remember flipping to it, finding the “Ripley and Newt locked in a room with face huggers” scene too intense and flipping to something else, but then coming back cause it was awesome.  I do remember seeing the Power-Lifter vs Queen battle at the end and I had no idea what the hell was going on aside from, “Yoaw-Zah! Giant Monster Battle.
            The first scary movie I watched all the way thru is “House” when I was 9?  I think.  I remember watching it and commenting on how tense I was, that my butt was clenched.  I am certain it won’t hold up to my adult sensibilities but I have not tried to confirm those suspicions.  Maybe I should watch it again to gain some perspective.

Considering the only trailer I could find of it has "" in the corner it is probably not going to leave me chilled.

What is your favorite horror movie?
            Maybe “Poltergeist”.  I feel that it is such a well-paced film beyond the elements of being spooky.  Stuff is strange with chairs reordering themselves and the white noise on the TV… then the tiny psychic shows up and starts battling the devil.
More importantly though there are human elements.  The family acting like a family sets “Poltergeist” above most other crap in horror.

What is your favorite horror franchise?
            I do not think I have one.  In all honesty I think most horror movies only work in a limited sense and quickly transform into crap when extended beyond the initial introduction.  The best long running horror series are borderline anthology shows with a cast of characters moving from one strange thing to the next (“Supernatural”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “The X-Files”) or are just anthology shows (“Tales from the Crypt”, “Twilight Zone”, and “Outer Limits”).
I guess I will go with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” but that is barely horror, as it is a direct subversion of horror tropes and characters by a superhero.

Who is your favorite horror director?
            James Wan.  While “Saw” is the poster child for my above condemnation of horror franchises (and I do not even like the first one) Wan knows how to create tension and pace a scene.  He knows how to make a movie look and feel good.

What is your favorite horror movie genre?
            I actually had to look this up because I find the term “genre” to be really odd.  It could be described in terms of tone, subject matter, themes, or setting (for instance, “Ex Machina” is a cerebral-feminist-science fiction film, while “Shawn of the Dead” is a horror-comedy-romance).  There are even genres that are styles of filmmaking, like Dogma, documentary, or found footage.  So looking on I found that the subgenres of horror mostly have to do with what is causing the horror.
            I fall very much into the Paranormal group.  I find that ghosts, hauntings, curses, and the like fall more into my view of the world.  My life is mostly dictated by the repercussions of bad decisions made by people in eras gone by.  Laws I do not agree with, the economy being a mess, the environment trying to kill everyone, and my own personal anxieties are all ambient hauntings of a world gone by.  That speaks to me.
What horror genre scares you the most?
            I guess Paranormal, for the reasons listed above.  Going a little deeper I find that people going mad or breaking under the pressure of paranormal influence adds to it.  I like “Insidious”, “Sinister”, “The Conjuring”, “In the Mouth of Madness”, “Jacob’s Ladder”, but I don’t really like “The Shining” which would be most people’s ultimate example of this, because I find it boring.

What is the last horror movie that actually scared you?
            Going back more than a decade to “The Ring”.  I do not know why but it came together.  The mystery element, the sense of the oncoming specter of death, and some of the horrific violence (or implied violence) that is well used.  I felt tense watching “The Ring”.

Who is your ultimate scream queen? Past and Present
            Another thing I had to look up (can you tell that horror is not really a genre I ascribe to?)
            I decided to go with Charisma Carpenter, Cordelia from the “”Buffy the Vampire” TV universe.  She is attractive and is a good foil for all the characters in the show.  Ultimately she has an arc which takes her from typical damsel-victim up to mature-hero.  Or am I just supposed to judge this category by looks alone?
Strangely, the article I reference this photo from does not share my opinion of her.
What is a concept that you’d like to see in horror?
            Really my tastes are already kind of served.  Since I do not consume too much of the material and I can read metaphors into what is already there just fine.  Horror movies tend to explore what I find scary to an adequate level.  Haunted by past trauma and anxiety, a loss of control in one’s life spiraling out of control into madness.

What is your favorite on screen kill?

            I am not a fan of gore for gore’s sake, and I tend to require a good character being killed in a way that naturally raises the stakes of a story.  So obviously my first thought went to Johnny Depp in “Nightmare on Elm Street” who is turned into an anti-gravity blood-fall (like a waterfall, but blood).


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