I have always had a bit of a thing for horror. It was the first genre I really got ‘into’ in terms of reading. I remember my teacher being a little concerned that I was reading The Exorcist at 9 years old. I remember, whilst in primary school, splitting the cost of The Rats trilogy, second hand from the local market with my best friend. I wrote to James Herbert at around 10 years old and I still have the reply. I believe that my first career aspiration was to study parapsychology. I wasn’t much of a gamer when I was young. It was being sat in front of a console and told to give Silent Hill 2 a try, the slights turned down, surround sound on, which sparked my interest in gaming. I have always maintained that Halloween is more interesting than Christmas and all the trash horror films I have seen blur into one.
I wanted to start a semi regular blog series in the run up to Halloween this year. Halloween has taken on a shade of uncomfortable significance for me after the events of and following Halloween 2016. Horror is supposed to be cathartic fantasy, haunted house jump scares to exorcize real fear. Masks and costumes to confuse and ward off the demons. In this, Halloween 2016 failed in its purpose.
And what to write about? What has not been said about the classics which make up the bulk of my horror genre Fandom? I would love to say I have sought out niche horror, short films from marginalized directors, titles casting diverse characters, but this isn’t the case. The majority of horror media I am familiar with are the same ones which appear in top 20 lists, the antagonists household names, Jason, Chucky, Damien, Pyramid Head. My horror fanship is uncultured, littered with problematic tropes, white, male, abled, heterosexual viewpoints, prohibitive morality. Fuck and die, get high and die, be black and die, be gay and die. The transformation into seductive, demonic predator at the penetration of the vampires teeth, at the werewolfs bite, forbidden knowledge duly punished. Only the white, blond virgin survives. None of this has not been noted a thousand times.
And so in part I would like to explore deeper, more interesting horror, and in part I would like to review the horror I have explored. Not necessarily in context of its quality or significance, cinematic devices or literary techniques, but horror media and horror actuality as it has woven through my life.
This may not be weekly as with my Friday blog but I plan to post fairly regularly on this topic.