Sphinx's Final Thoughts On His Horror Movie Experience
Since I have spent this past month watching several horror movies for the first time, I should share some overall feelings based on the small sample size I had.
The Good: Since I co-host an action movie podcast, I have seen a lot of violence. Horror movies, especially the three slasher films I chose, have lots of violence. While it sounds odd to say I enjoy watching violence, I did like the unique ways in which it occurred throughout these films. Action films have their way of displaying violence, and horror movies have theirs. Having one’s throat stabbed and their body pinned to a door makes sense in a strange way in a horror film, but probably doesn’t have a place in an action movie. I also enjoyed stories of the supernatural in these movies. Whether it is being possessed by the devil, being a killing machine that can’t die, or an alien taking the form of other beings, there is no shortage of imaginative ideas in the movies I saw. The sound in a horror film, and the atmosphere it creates is pretty awesome too. In many cases I got to hear iconic soundtracks in their proper environment (The Exorcist and Halloween in particular), but the editing of screams, rustling leaves, and simply heavy, extended silence lures you into what’s going on in the movie. Finally, I liked how many of these movies kept me guessing on how things were going to turn out in the end. Even though there were lots of foreshadowing (in camera angles, music, dialogue, etc.), it never took away my enjoyment in what was going to happen to a victim.
The Bad: Something that had kept popping up in my blogs this month was how I didn’t have much fear or anxiety in watching these movies. Maybe that’s because I’m older, maybe I was able to predict too many things coming, maybe I have no soul (like Craig W.K.) and I should have been scared, but I just wasn’t. Heck, I even went to a movie theater to get the true movie experience, saw people all around me scared, but didn’t feel much personally (Deadite won’t admit it, but when we went to see the new Halloween, he cuddled closer to me out of his fear). I’m still looking for that film that has my heart racing a little bit more, has me sweating in anxiety, and gives me a good nightmare. Only two scenes from all these movies really stick out in true surprise: *SPOILER ALERT* Nightmare on Elm Street when Freddy jumps out from behind the bed, and Friday the 13th when Jason jumps out of the water and grabs the girl from the boat.
The acting in these movies can be pretty corny, and simply act as filler to move things along. However, for a lot of these actors these films were their breakthrough, which includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Bacon, and Johnny Depp. As for plot, most of these films lack substance. Typically, I like a movie with a solid background story, subplots, and misdirection. Some of these movies did those things better than others, while some did not. But I think that may be the point - going into a horror movie doesn’t mean I’m about to experience a complex dramatic or sci-fi film. There are plenty of dumb action films that are very simple that I love, so shouldn’t I give similar treatment to horror films?
Final Thoughts: My whole plan behind this little challenge was to open myself up and explore a genre of film that I have always kept distance from. I found horror movies dumb, cheesy, poorly made, and not scary. And this stopped me from ever watching them. Even as a teenager (the prime age to watch these movies. I mean, they always seem to be the victim), I never watched the movies of my generation like Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Blair Witch, and others. I thought I would go into the movies that I chose only to see that they were exactly what I thought they would be.
Well…..I was right…..partially. By finally watching these movies, they have made me want to actually watch more! I find that to be this largest level of proof that even though I don’t love horror movies, I still find them very entertaining. I feel that I’m happy to have experienced the classics of The Exorcist and Halloween, even though I didn’t particularly like them. But the entertainment I have had in watching these makes me want to continue to search and find that true horror film based on my stingy criteria. These films remind me a little bit of my love of James Bond movies - even though some of them are not very good, I still enjoy watching them. These horror movies fit in a similar category. They certainly aren’t Oscar winners, they certainly don’t always make sense, but they sure are entertaining.
Watching these 6 movies has wet my appetite to explore more in the future. Deadite and I have already agreed to do this again next year. I cannot thank Deadite enough (and Mrs. Deadite) for welcoming me into their home once a week to see these movies. I didn’t have to spend any money since he had them all (except the new Halloween obviously), and he brought in some great commentary. Deadite is going to give me some recommendations for next year, and I am also going to ask each of you to be involved in picking a horror film for me next year. You can let me know in the comments below, or head over to our Discord and list your recommendations there. Overall, I’ve really enjoyed this experience, and am excited to do it in the future. I do hope next year I get to see that movie that really frightens me.
Thank you for following along this past month.