And it is Topic Tuesday. My wonderful friend Kage Alan is taking a turn this week to suggest this question:
what 5 Halloween films are either your favorites (and why) or which 5 Halloween films scared the bejesus out of you (and how?)
Hm. Halloween films. That one stopped me. I understand that Kage meant "scary" or "horror" films, but Halloween still made me pause. See, my history with the holiday is a difficult one. I remember wanting one of the fancy costumes they had at the store, but knew I'd wind up with a cheap homemade thing. NOT a cool, homemade thing that one of my parents worked to help me make the coolest thing in the world. Nope, it was going to suck... like the year I was a roller skating bird (felt feathers attached to a hoodie).
My Master talks about "Stephen King horror" and "Dean Koontz" horror- deep, scary psychological horror and "gotcha!" surprise horror. I find I'm normally in the first camp as far as my preferences in horror movies.
1. My most favorite horror movies are the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies. There is a lot of gore, of shock within these movies. I think part of why I enjoy them so is because of how Robert Englund managed to get an almost campy humor into Freddy at times as well as how some pieces of the horror did have to potential to be a deep horror that occurred to you later, after the movie was long over. As a child with horrible nightmares, the whole notion of "If he kills you in your dreams, you die in real life" was a powerfully scary thing to me.
2. And now I'm thinking one that's more the Stephen King... although in a weirdly me way... While one hand, I totally love Dee Snider's "Strangeland," 2 fears come to me. First, it scared me to see the mixture of consensual BDSM (which I love dearly, which is an important part of my life) mixed with an illegal, unwanted sadism- that after all is part of what made it a horror movie to Dee himself. The next part of my horror is outside the movie- the fact that it seems too many people, hearing of the movie, weren't able to separate how the issue of consent (and lack there of) was such a pivotal part of the movie.
Okay, I have those 2 movies/franchises. I'm now paused for 3 more.... hmmm... At this point, I searched "horror movies" for a little help thinking. I found this page: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/top/bestofrt/?category=10 . So I admit, several movies on the list, including at the beginning, I thought "Oh, yeah, that's a classic" but then I don't exactly care about something being a classic; plenty of "classic novels" are labeled "classic only because a dead white man wrote it" by me lol. However I've picked 3 movies off the list that I do very much enjoy, even if they aren't necessarily horrific in a "Dean Koontz" sort of way.
3. "Village of the Damned." The conformity of the children, their chilling conformity was the scariest piece for me. And their unmitigated control.
4. "Silence of the Lambs." Although thinking of the whole series, the horror here is an interesting thing to me. Yes, it's horrible what the character Jame Gumm does. There are certainly a few startling moments- like at the end of this movie when Clarice finds herself at the right place at the wrong time. But I think it's more in something like the way pieces of the movies and the way they affect me that the horror lies. That scene where Lector and Clarice talk and he draws the story of the lambs out of her, the intensity on his face? Wow, I can't help but experience his intensity as erotic. Then, I think it's either in "Hannibal" or "Red Dragon," where Lector serves some of a guy's cooked brains to her and the guy, the fact of how calm Lector throughout gets the similar response from me; yes, my Master was rather horrified the first time He saw me have that response lol, but no, I'm vegan so now brain for me hehe.
5. Stephen King's "Carrie" and no, I'm not talking about the remake (haven't seen it yet), but the original 1976 film staring Sissy Spacek. As an adult who was the brunt of hideous school bullying, it's kinda disturbing to notice the film released two years before I was born. My emotional connection with this movie is complex of course; part of me almost wishes for telekinesis, to have been able to take revenge against my bullies as Carrie did hers. The terrifying things that still stick with me are Carrie's lack of education around menstruation (I remember too well the same thing so I didn't know if I was dying or what with my first period at 11 or 12) and her mother's religious fanaticism- locking Carrie in a closet for punishment.