Why I Love…Horror

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He hid under the bed and grabbed my feet if I moved too slow…

When you are young you are ultimate frightened of a lot of stuff, but you find yourself drawn to the scary things.  When I was young, I loved being scared by my sisters or pushing the head of the battery operated cymbal monkey that would screech.  It was horrifying and the anticipation was terrifying…but I loved it.  It didn’t matter how many times I did it, it still ended up in the same result.

This translated to movies and books pretty early on.  My earliest “scary monsters” were the original Lon Chaney Jr. Wolf Man who lived under my bed (I am guessing I knew him from the comic books which were loaded with pictures that you could order) and I was also haunted by the Headless Horseman who I learned about from a neighbor’s scary story record…the fear was real, but something about that constant fear was reassuring.

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Let me in, I’m cold!!!

Some of the first horror movies I actually experienced were TV movies.  For some reason I was allowed to watch Salem’s Lot.  I can recall the vampire at the window but as a kid I thought that it was a painting coming alive to attack.  Another early movie was Ants! (or as it was called It Happened at Lakewood Manor).  I was terrified of being bitten and thought I’d surely die if it happened.  The movie Don’t Go to Sleep also rather freaked me out with an evil ghost girl and Desire, the Vampire also had me fearing vampires once again…and all of these still give me chills just because they scared me when I was little.

Classic horror films next found fancy and the Monsters series by Crestwood House introduced me to a ton of classic horror characters.  I would check them out from the library and pour over them…waiting for them to come on TV.  Our local horror movie host Sammy Terry would bring the classic to me (along with holiday weekend marathons).  I distinctly remember getting to stay up to finally see The Wolf Man, but being forced to miss it when the power went out.

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Can you stand the horror of C.H.U.D.!?!?!

The first slasher film I recall seeing was the sequel Friday the 13th Part IV:  The Final Chapter.  A friend rented it and we scared each other the whole night watching it…blood, nudity, and all.  I got to follow the night with a long walk home…on a path between a lake and the woods between the houses.  Despite that, I kept coming back from more.

Without the internet, finding out about horror was the biggest challenge.  Books, magazines like Fangoria, and clip movies like Terror in the Aisles lined up horror movies to seek out in the fun horror section of our video store Rainbow Videos.  Slasher movies (Halloween), sci-fi horror (Invasion of the Body Snatcher), and just plain old B-Movies (C.H.U.D.) were always available for a fun weekend.

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Just remember…don’t look now!!!

Horror like most genres goes through changes and good and bad periods.  The slasher kind of met his end in the late ’80s and early ’90s with the best kills being left behind.  When Scream came along in 1996, horror got “smart”.  Soon every movie was self-reflexive and no one could get killed without being witty about it.  It was fun for a bit but then it got old.

The next genre was foreign horror.  Movies like The Ring (which was actually scary) was borrowed from Ringu.  This infused the horror back into the comedic horror…unfortunately when the subject ran dry they turned to remakes of American films (though I have to admit, I didn’t mind the Friday the 13th remake which felt like an ’80s slasher).

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I want you to enjoy horror!

Another genre which is still being explored is the whole gore trend that started with possibly Seven (which was more of a thriller) and evolved into Saw.  The darker horror took the gore from Hellraiser movies and the torture from movies like Last House on the Left and combined them into a strange twisted style of film…I’m not really into the whole torture horror format, but there are some merits in the movies.

Horror is pretty amazing.  It can be the scariest thing that keeps you on the edge, or if done wrong, horror can be the best comedy.  I can pop in a horror movie that scared me when I was a kid and still get the fear of anticipation in jumps that scared me then…even if the movie isn’t the most terrifying movie ever made.  I love horror and love how it changes and affects you.  Bad horror, good horror…it is all good in my book.

Preceded By:

Why I Love…The Legion

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Why I Love…Samus Aran

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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