BLOOD AND GUTS FOR GROWN UPS
When I was a child, I liked childish things like pop-rocks, Dungeons & Dragons, hanging out at the mall, and watching Horror Movies. Actually, I was a bit of a Horror fanatic. It drove my mom crazy as she probably thought my obsession with garbage blood and gore films would lead to a career in serial killing. I would even draw my favorite Horror slashers heroes when I was supposed to be paying attention in class. I swear to God, I drew a picture of Freddy Krueger fighting with Jason Voorhees back in 1985. That was my idea! Today, I’m no longer a child. I’m a man. I’m an actual adult man. I do, however, still enjoy Horror Movies. I still love Horror Movies!
It’s not that I never grew-up; I went to college at age 18, pursued a career, and today I am a happily married home-owner. But just as I have evolved and changed throughout the past 20 years, so have Horror Movies (and indeed all Cinema). There sheer number of films being released today is exponentially larger than in the mid-eighties. Genres have been split into sub genres, with additional branches added almost monthly.
In my youth, I loved the movies about high school students who find their care-free lives interrupted by an evil darkness (the obvious metaphor for adolescent angst), like: Fright Night, The Lost Boys, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and (of course) Friday the 13th. From there, I drifted into more adult-themed Horror like Hellraiser, Alien, The Fly (1986), and Re-animator—movies that really took some effort to watch and pushed the envelope (not to mention the gag reflex). Then, like any true coinsure, I went back and learned my Horror history by renting “Classics” like Night of the Living Dead, Psycho, Jaws, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and of course, The Exorcist (just to name a few).
Today, I no longer love the movies that most appealed to me as a youth, that clichéd repetition of humping teens being impaled (often while humping), people running up the stairs when they should obviously be running out, and those who assume the killer is dead simply because you shot him and he’s lying very still. That trite stuff won’t even raise a neck-hair on me anymore. Luckily, the Horror Genre has charted so much new ground these past couple decades that there’s not even an envelope left to push. Add to the mix the growing number of incredibly made independent Horror films, foreign Horror, and re-releases of obscure oldies, and it no longer takes any effort to find a really decent fright. And as a former literature major, I can’t help but see beyond scripts and images, finding themes and symbolism that my juvenile mind couldn’t possibly have absorbed.
Let’s get it straight from the get-go. I don’t intend to write about tired old Hollywood teenage-formula flicks. This is Blood and Guts for Grown-Ups. And when I say “Blood and Guts”, please trust that I’m not limiting myself to those films that actually portray disembowelment since, as any true horror fan will tell you, the scariest movies (the ones that really get under your skin and haunt your memories) can be gore-free. (Rosemary’s Baby and the recent hit Paranormal Activities are great examples.)
This blog is for adults who may feel embarrassed about the fact that they still crave a great scare and those who get excited about seeing remakes from their childhood. You are not alone. This blog is for people who enjoy a really good story, whether it’s about a green ogre named Shreck or a group of friend who get lost on a road trip. You are not alone. This blog is for those brave enough to see past the shocking imagry and negative mainstream media reviews. You are not alone. This is a blog for thinking men and women who just so happen to love (or even just like) Horror Movies. You are not alone.
Without drifting into pseudo-academia, I hope to use this blog as a vehicle to promote a more intelligent dialogue about Horror Movies. Sure, I’ll review new mainstream films as they’re released, but I’ll also do theme entries where we can discuss things like: The Zombie phenomena, Remakes verses Originals, American Adaptations of Foreign Films, “Re-boots”, and Horror as Satire/Commentary on Contemporary Society. We can even explore why we crave these terrifying creations and the purposes that they serve. I’ll do my best to share the gems I discover as I plum the depth of Netflix and Red Box, and I’m opened to topic suggestions from anyone reading.
I am not alone… or am I?