The archives of the articles, reviews, interviews and other ramblings written by Sarah E. Jahier (aka Fatally Yours).
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Hellgate has got to be one of the worst, all-over-the-place horror films I’ve ever seen! From the weird gags to groan-worthy jokes to the silly ghost/zombie/ghost town/magical crystals/revenge storylines that crisscross the mess of the movie, I was shaking my head is disbelief most of its running time. However, though there is no doubt this is a horribly bad movie, it still has a certain charm to it.
The film opens with a bunch of college kids on vacation who have rented a cabin in the woods. While they wait for their last friend to arrive, they tell scary stories, including the local tale of the Hellgate Hitchhiker. In the 1950s, a motorcycle gang kidnapped poodle skirt cutie Josie (apparently, poodle skirts use that rip-away technology that stripper clothes utilize!) and took her to the town of Hellgate. No one besides her dad tries to help her, which results in him killing her by accident. Years later, the father still grieves for his daughter but when a crystal is found that appears to reanimate the dead (and make turtles moo like cows or make the newly undead explode or liquefy passerby), he decides to bring back his precious daughter and get revenge on everyone. Josie now haunts Hellgate’s back roads and tries to lure unsuspecting strangers back to Hellgate, which has become a ghost town.
Meanwhile, it turns out the buddy of the college kids gets lost on the way to the cabin and is seduced by Josie (who strikes weird poses like she’s a newbie on American’s Next Top Model or something), but gets away right before her father zaps him with the crystal’s laser beam (I’m not making this up). He finally makes it to the cabin but convinces his friends to return to Hellgate in case Josie needs help. There they are greeted by the rest of the undead denizens of Hellgate…
This movie is flippin’ all over the place and from the first couple of scenes there is TONS to make fun of (Josie’s lame attempts at escape from the bikers, her black granny panties, the fact that no one helps when she is kidnapped, not even a guy with a big-ass shotgun (!), the silly scene where she is killed when a motorcycle crashes through a brick wall she just happened to be standing in front of – and this was only 5 minutes into the movie!!). The silliness only continues from there…some of it good (the banter between the college kids), some of it groan-inducing (ahem, the mooing turtle).
Despite its weird charm, the film still seems confused as to what it really is – sometimes it plays it straight, other times it plays it outrageous, and it tries to cram way too many sub-genres (ghosts, haunted towns, zombies, etc.) into its already silly story. For the most part it doesn’t work and I was rolling my eyes more than I was laughing or enjoying myself. However, this film is such a disaster I couldn’t look away! Its over-the-top nature (Zombie can-can dancers! Copious scenes of glass breaking in slow-mo! Tons of shots of Josie lying in bed pouting over the escaped college student while her nipple pokes through a huge wine stain on her dress! The crystal’s laser making things go all explody!) and straight-up weirdness kept me watching ‘til the bitter end.
Besides just laughing at the bizarre nature of the film, I will say that the zombie make-up, especially in the scene with the cars (these zombies can drive…but in this movie I guess anything is possible), is pretty kick ass. The scene itself, with the zombies starting to crowd around the college students, is one of the few well-done scenes in the film and really stands out against the rest of the trashiness of the rest of the movie.
If you are looking for a truly BAD movie to torture your friends and neighbors with that you can still laugh it, a good option may be Hellgate. At least you can have a few laughs in between the eye rolling and the exasperated sighs. However, under no circumstances would this ever be considered a GOOD movie! Thank god this was the last film for BOTH director William A. Levey and writer Michael O’Rourke!
Available from Amazon!
Posted by Sarah E. Jahier at 1:05 PM No comments:
Labels: 80s horror, accident, avoid at all costs, backwoods, goofy, isolated, magic, over-the-top, revenge, spirits, undead, zombies
Monday, May 24, 2010
Book Review: Let Me Die a Woman by Alan Kelly
Blending ‘50s pulp novel sensibilities with modern potty-mouthed wit and characters pulled from a John Waters film with a cybergoth twist, Let Me Die A Woman is a kick ass debut from Irish author Alan Kelly!
The novel opens with a rather innocuous scarecrow festival in a small town…or so it seems. Before long, the scarecrows set their button eyes on the inhabitants of the small town and massacre everyone in sight. The scarecrows, who are actually beings from another plane, have much more far-reaching plans than slaughtering a whole town, though…
Years later, horror journalist extraordinaire Bunny Flask is fired by the sleazy owner of her beloved Blood Rag Magazine and replaced by rival Alice Fiend. Seething with resentment and seeking revenge, Bunny decides to confront Alice but uncovers a horrific plot to destroy the human race in the process.
Let me Die A Woman is pulp fiction paradise! It is a gritty and gory tale of femme fatales, hellacious heroines, malevolent males and apocalyptic action that really rocked my socks off! It may be a short 109 pages, but every single one of those pages packs a wallop. It is extremely fast-paced, and once I picked it up I read the whole thing in one sitting because I didn’t want to put it down.
Given the skill of writing, it’s hard to imagine LMDAW is author Alan Kelly’s debut novel. His voice is one of a seasoned storyteller and he unfolds the violent and heated plot in such a way that holds you enraptured the entire length of the book. Kelly describes everything so vividly that the novel comes to life in your head and it feels like you are reading/watching an exploitation-style ‘50s B-movie, complete with monsters, aliens, gender-bending characters, chainsaws, strong women, outrageous dialogue and plenty of violence! In homage to exploitation/horror films of the past, Kelly even names several chapters after recognizable films, including Sorry, Wrong Number, Shivers, Female Trouble, Razor Blade Smile and Bad Girls Go to Hell, among others!
The characters are all a lively bunch, their colorful personalities taking cues from real-life horror queens like The Chainsaw Mafia founder Shannon Lark (an obvious inspiration for the chainsaw-wielding BFF of Bunny Flask) and Rue Morgue’s former editor, Jovanka Vuckovic (Alice Fiend’s vivid red hair being a reference to her). Kelly writes them all whip-smart, independent and hell-on-wheels.
Let Me Die A Woman is a no-holds-barred and over-the-top love letter to cult films in all their kitschy glory. With inspirations from grindhouse, exploitation, sci-fi and horror genres Kelly’s debut has a manic energy and originality that seems unrivaled within current genre offerings and comes highly recommended from yours truly.
Visit Pulp Press’ Official Site!
Posted by Sarah E. Jahier at 1:18 PM No comments:
Labels: action, aliens, books, brutal, creatures, exploitation, female leads, foreign horror, grindhouse, gritty, homage, Ireland, monsters, quirky, recommended, sci-fi, short story, violent
The Legacy (1979)
Always a sucker for ‘70s thrillers set in old mansions with an occult/satanic twist, I decided to check out The Legacy, a 1979 flick starring Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross. While it focused less on the occult than I expected and was set up more of like a murder mystery whodunit, I found myself enjoying The Legacy, creepy cats and all (more on this later).
The film is about Los Angeles architect Margaret Walsh (Katharine Ross) who receives a mysterious job offer from England. Before her job starts, she and her boyfriend Pete (Sam Elliott) embark on a bike ride through Europe, but trouble starts when an accident puts their fate in the hands of the wealthy Jason Mountolive (John Standing), who insists they recuperate at his sprawling estate. Soon, other guests begin arriving and Margaret realizes she may have been handpicked and brought to the estate to inherit a sinister legacy. As various guests begin dying off, can Margaret and Pete escape before it is too late?
As far as 70s satanic films go, The Legacy pretty middle-of-the-road. It’s not one of the best but it’s certainly not one of the worst. However, I appreciate that it’s not your typical satanic cult film and not a lot of emphasis is placed on the “black magick” aspect of the film. Instead, it focuses on the mystery of why Margaret is part of the proceedings and who is going to die next.
The story takes a while to get going, as the first 30 or so minutes are spent on Margaret and Pete exploring the estate and puzzling over the other guests and the rather unhelpful help. The “mystery” as to why they are there and why guests are dying is pretty obvious, but it’s still fun to watch them slowly piece it all together.
Of course, it has its WTF moments – like the horrible opening credits that feature the worst song EVER to assault my ears in a horror movie, or the copious shots of cats throughout the estate (which are never really explained, though I guess they are Mountolive’s or the Devil’s minions keeping an eye on things), or repetitive shots of Margaret and Pete driving round and round on country roads trying to escape but somehow always ending up at the estate – but it also hosts some neat-o moments. The first death, featuring a drowning in a pool, comes pretty unexpectedly and jars you awake after the somewhat slow first 30 minutes of the film. There is also a scene that occurs a bit later featuring a rock star (played by Roger Daltrey) choking on a chicken bone and an emergency tracheotomy being performed on him that’s quite well-done! And who can forget the reveal of Mountolive on his deathbed?
Sure, the gore is non-existent and some of the deaths are a little cheesy (especially the one where Charles Gray’s character burns to death), but director Richard Marquand (who would go on to direct 1983’s Return of the Jedi) does a pretty good job of delivering an atmospheric, not-quite-satanic occult/supernatural story. The use of the mansion, with its labyrinth of seemingly never-ending rooms and grounds, creates a creepy atmosphere as the estate takes on a character all its own. Marquand even creates a claustrophobic feeling, even with all that space, that makes the audience feel as trapped as the guests. And the ending just feels pitch-perfect in a dark, twisted way!
The Legacy is an entertaining, though at times cheesy, occult flick from the ‘70s. From the awful opening music number to the silly “sinister” shots of cats (yeah, WTF?!) this movie had me giggling most of the time, but it also had its moments of tension and shocks and was entertaining throughout it’s hour and a half running time. It may not be entirely memorable, but The Legacy decides a look at least once!
Available from Amazon!
Posted by Sarah E. Jahier at 1:12 PM No comments:
Labels: 70s horror, atmospheric, British, castle, creepy, cult, goofy, mystery, occult, recommended, Satanic, supernatural, travel, underrated
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Every Other Day is Halloween (2010)
In C.W. Prather’s documentary Every Other Day is Halloween, viewers are taken on a nostalgic and whimsical trip back in time to the golden age of television horror hosts, a time when local TV’s witching hour was ruled by ghouls and boils introducing old black and white movies for a generation of delighted fans. Prather focuses on one of the most well-known and longest running horror hosts, Count Gore De Vol, played by Dick Dyszel, as we are given a glimpse into his wacky world.
Though Count Gore De Vol is a very recognizable horror host and still makes regular appearances at conventions and hosts his own online horror show, I wasn’t that familiar with the character’s creator, Dick Dyszel. This documentary does a wonderful job at connecting the audience to the kind man behind the well-known cape! From his beginnings as playing Bozo the Clown and Captain 20 for local kid’s shows on Channel 20 in Washington D.C., we see Dyszel’s growth and desire to do something for the adults – hence Count Gore De Vol’s first show in 1973!
We are shown lots of vintage footage of Dyszel as his different characters, with the focus of course on the Count. We also see interviews with people Dyszel’s show, Creature Feature, influenced, including writers like Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), filmmakers such as Jeff Krulik (Heavy Metal Parking Lot), Scream Queens Leanna Chamish (Stakes) and Eleanor Herman (Night Beast) as well as a new generation of horror hosts including John Dimes (“Dr. Sarcofiguy”) and Jerry Moore II (“Karlos Borloff”). There are also lots of nostalgic recollections from regular old horror fans who watched his show when they were kids as well as from the man himself, Dick Dyszel. In one touching segment Dyszel recalls having Forrest J. Ackerman on the show and we are treated to rare footage of the interview.
Much of the footage shown in this documentary is rare or has never been seen before, adding to the deeply nostalgic feel of the documentary. Though I was too young to recall Count Gore De Vol’s long-running TV show Creature Feature, I still deeply appreciate the era of horror hosts and especially pioneers such as Dick Dyszel. When horror hosts seemed a thing of the past in the early ‘90s, Dyszel resurrected Count Gore De Vol and decided to host his show on the Internet (and this was back when people were still on dial-up). He is considered the first ever Internet horror host!
Nowadays, we are seeing a resurgence of horror hosts, many who claim Dyszel and his Count Gore De Vol character were huge influences on them. Many of these modern horror hosts are interviewed, including Penny Dreadful, The Bone Jangler, Karlos Borloff and more! It’s amazing to see what a gigantic impact horror hosts like Dyszel made on today’s performers and it’s pretty heartwarming to see such a great guy like Dyszel still getting adoration from fans!
Hard-working horror hosts like Dyszel basically reared a generation of horror fans and influenced a whole new breed of horror hosts to go on and inspire another generation of horror fans. Since many horror fans have horror hosts to thank for introducing them to the genre, it’s quite a treat to watch this documentary and get a behind-the-scenes peek at Dick Dyszel’s long (and still going strong) career as Count Gore De Vol!
If you are looking for a superb documentary that takes you down memory lane, check out Every Other Day is Halloween. It’s a fascinating and fun look at horror host Dick Dyszel’s life and will make you nostalgic for the golden years of horror hosts as well as make you excited for the horror hosts in years to come!
Available from Amazon!
Posted by Sarah E. Jahier at 1:51 PM No comments:
Labels: biography, documentary, favorites, Halloween, holidays, homage, horror fans, horror host, quirky, recommended, underrated, whimsical
Viscera 2008 - 2009 Film Festival DVD (2010)
The Viscera Film Festival returns! Finally, the 2008 – 2009 collection of short horror films from women filmmakers is available on DVD! Featuring 10 female directed and/or produced horror films ranging from Confederate zombies to blind dates gone bad to lesbian vampire Barbies, this selection of films has something for everyone!
The Chainsaw Mafia, founded by Shannon Lark, has been hosting the Viscera Film Festival for the past several years, and it seems that each year I am more and more impressed with the female filmmakers the festival brings to light. 2007′s installment introduced me to the films of Heidi Martinuzzi (Wretched), Victoria Waghorn (When Sally Met Frank), Michelle Fatale (The Cleaner) and many more! So I very much looked forward to the 2008 – 2009 selections…
Below please find each short films synopsis as well as my reaction to each film. They are listed in order of best to worst (my humble opinion, of course).
Snow Day, Bloody Snow Day – When an unexpected snow storm strikes Seattle, the dead rise from their graves to prey on the city’s hapless citizens. From the confines of the living room, a group of unlikely heroes must rise to stop the flesh hungry hordes, only to discover that zombies aren’t the only evil they are up against.
This was my absolute favorite! Written and directed by Faye Hoerauf and Jessica Baxter, this horror comedy was gut-wrenchingly hilarious! From the Publisher’s Clearing House zombies and pizza delivery zombies to the hilarious finale at a TV news station that controls the weather (“production assistants attack!”) and ensuing zombie slaughter, this short had me in stitches the entire time. Its witty satire, great performances and fun tone makes this the best of the Viscera crop!
Confederate Zombie Massacre – Love and gore in the Civil War!
Filmmaker Devi Snively’s 2005 zombie short is another fun and hilarious short that I very much enjoyed! It’s got a bit of a slapstick feel and begins with a great concept…I mean zombies during the Civil War? Love it! It gets a bit cheesy in times (“I’m a tapper, not a fighter!”), but overall it’s great fun and has great comedic timing. I always enjoy Devi Snively’s films, and Confederate Zombie Massacre is no exception!
Fantasy – Marc and Chantal have nothing in common but for a peculiar fantasy. Tonight they meet for the first time.
This is a beautifully shot film courtesy of French filmmaker Izabel Grondin. I loved the suspense of the short, because we don’t know what the “fantasy” is in first few scenes. When it’s finally revealed things get uncomfortable fast! Despite a confusing ending, Fantasy is an intriguing short film that makes me interested to see what Grondin does next.
Taste of Flesh, Taste of Fear – The only thing better than B-grade lesbian vampire movies is a B-grade lesbian movie made with dollar store imitation Barbie dolls! After a horrifying accident on a dark, deserted road, Laura and Eve find themselves under the spell of the mysterious Lady Mortidella. How long can they resist her seductive gaze?
Another hilarious horror comedy courtesy of Stacie Ponder (aka Final Girl)! A whole horror short acted out with (imitation) Barbies featuring bad voice over work (Laura sounds like one of the Chipmunks and Eve sounds like a dude)?! I am so there! And I was, completely enthralled in this silly send-up of lesbian-tinged vampire flicks!
The Date – A blind date goes terribly wrong.
This was the winner of the Viscera Award and made completely by women – specifically Jennifer Gigantino and Natasia Schibinger. It uses an old ’50s dating audio track to accompany a blind date…that ends rather horribly. A bit surreal, a bit retro and entirely disturbing, The Date clocks in at under three minutes but sticks with you long after viewing it.
Don’t Lose Heart – An old lady struggles to survive the zombie apocalypse. She is okay in her home, but soon food and water run out forcing her to try and leave her barricaded sanctuary and she must confront the hordes of zombies and fight for her life.
This was an emotional, heartbreaking short from Talieysn Brown. We really come to care for the lead character as she struggles to survive in the zombie-infested world. I also found it refreshing that an older woman was featured as the lead character, something that is very rare in any film, but especially in the horror genre! Furthermore, the zombies look terrifyingly great!
The rest of the films were pretty mediocre to flat-out horrible, but here they are!
Lip Stick – A lonely woman with an overwhelming obsession of masturbation must extricate herself from what consumes her every moment.
This short set in a dingy hotel showing the lead character’s (Shannon Lark) descent into obsession and madness (plus the copious shots of her masturbating) just didn’t do it for me and it didn’t seem this short really went anywhere or had a point. I was pretty disappointed considering it came from Lark and Stacie Ponder.
Sisters – Two sisters hiking in the woods fall in a vast underground cavern and soon discover they are not alone.
The Descent this definitely isn’t. It clocks in at under four minutes, and yet despite its short running time I still got bored of watching this pointless flick from Belinda Green-Smith. It never really develops anything and all that happens is the two sisters screech whenever they hear something growling in the cave.
Deadly Beauty – A blond beauty gets revenge on the man responsible for murdering and raping her young daughter.
This film by Chandeline Nicole was nearly impossible to watch because of it’s grainy, low-budget quality. I watch low-budget horror all the time, but this seriously looked like it was filmed via web cam way back in 1993. Sadly, that wasn’t the only thing that annoyed me – the story was stereotypical, predictable and boring. The acting was atrocious and I never felt sorry for the woman we are supposed to feel sympathetic for.
Hollow Halls - They thought the prison was abandoned, but five kids on a dare will learn soon enough that someone or something walks the halls and is soon killing them off one by one.
This was one of first films I saw, and what a sorry choice to kick off the Viscera DVD. Again, this was boring, predictable and stereotypical…which would be sort of ok if any of the characters were likable…which they weren’t. And the “surprise” “twist” ending? Ya, saw it coming a mile away. For a slasher, the kills are pitiful and no care was taken to develop a killer who would actually be scary. Avoid this short from Ebony Winston at all costs.
Not all the films from the Viscera Film Festival 2008 – 2009 DVD are keepers, but half of them are definite crowd-pleasers and definitely worth a look! And you can’t go wrong with an hour and a half of independent films by women for only $10 (Buy it HERE)!
Posted by Sarah E. Jahier at 1:27 PM No comments:
Monday, May 17, 2010
Book Review: Lucas Manson by Thomas Hauck
“When Special Agent Mark Dylan investigates a gruesome homicide, he uncovers the terrifying world of the Kingdom Seven Family Temple and its leader, the charismatic and ruthless Minister Lucas Manson. As Dylan and his partner Jill Kelly penetrate the secret inner sanctum of the temple, they learn that friends cannot be distinguished from enemies. The vast and powerful temple holds dark secrets that will change their lives forever.”
Lucas Manson first starts as a typical crazy cult/serial killer/police procedural novel – still interesting and well-written, but nonetheless a little bland. However, as the book progressed it thankfully added some unexpected twists and turns that took the story in an entirely surprising direction. I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say that the book reinvents a classic monster archetype in an entirely new way!
Besides the unexpected surprises the book holds, Lucas Manson is thrilling and action-packed. It encompasses many locations, from Boston to Egypt to Arizona to New York, keeping the action moving at a quick clip. From unraveling an ancient mystery in Egypt to tracking the rock star-like U.S. tour of the Kingdom Seven Family Temple to breaking into the cult’s heavily guarded compound in Arizon, Special Agent Mark Dylan careens through an action-packed landscape of grisly murders and centuries-old mysticism.
The murders aren’t especially gory, but fit quite well into the overall tone of the book. Despite not being gory, they pack quite a punch, as victims are drugged in a very unique way and then bled through several incisions in their arteries until their bodies are drained of blood. And it just gets creepier after you learn why the victims are being drained of blood!
However, the book does have its flaws. It gets off to a rocky start, including an awkward introduction of lead character Mark Dylan when he’s working undercover that has no bearing on the rest of the book. It then jumps directly into Dylan and his wife’s problems with getting pregnant, a character development ploy that doesn’t really go anywhere and drags on far too long. It doesn’t really have any impact on the rest story, and it didn’t help me feel more for the lead character either.
Despite these bumps in the road, once the novel takes off it really takes you for a ride! It may start off as a typical killer cult book, but it has plenty of twists and turns that elevate it far beyond any “standard” horror fare.
Check it out on Amazon!
Posted by Sarah E. Jahier at 2:07 PM No comments:
Labels: books, cult, monsters, occult, religious, serial killer, supernatural, vampires
Silent Scream (1980)
From the golden age of slashers, the awesome 80s, comes Silent Scream, an intriguing film that features a stark raving mad Barbara Steele! I don’t know about you, but I’ve loved Barbara Steele ever since I saw her in Mario Bava’s black and white masterpiece Black Sunday, so she was pretty much the reason I decided to check out Silent Scream.
The story is relatively simple – spunky college girl Scotty (Rebecca Balding) rents a room in a gorgeous mansion overlooking the beach. Sure, the owners are a little weird – the geeky teen is always watching TV and his mom is a bit of a recluse – but her other housemates are loads of fun! The problems start when a mysterious killer starts offing the housemates one by one…can Scotty survive the slaughter or will she be next?
I really wasn’t expecting too much out of this film, especially since it wasn’t released on DVD until recently. While it isn’t the greatest film ever made, it certainly isn’t the most horrible. Though it contains some common cliches, it still manages to be fun and entertain…and isn’t that all we really want in a slasher film?
The thing that probably sold me the most on the film was “Final Girl” Scotty. She was just so down to earth and likable, and not even cheesy scenes featuring her and her hunky blond roommate getting down to awfully corny music could ruin her appeal. The other characters were all pretty likable, and eventually we even got to see the unhinged character Barbara Steele plays. It doesn’t seem she has that much to do in this film, but when she does she does it with aplomb!
I also appreciated how the film got things off with a bang by showing us the end of the film, when the cops storm the mansion to find a bloody spectacle on their hands. It definitely lent lots of suspense to the rest of the film as we are never quite sure if anyone will be left alive by the film’s end.
Speaking of grue, this film really doesn’t boast much in that department, though there are the typical stabbings and shootings. Nothing new there. However, I did enjoy the human sand castle scene!
Also stereotypical is the killer’s back story, though I still found myself enjoying it. I also enjoyed how the whole family got caught up in the madness and fell to their own demons.
Despite its flaws, I found myself thoroughly enjoying Silent Scream. It may not be the most original movie or the most suspenseful, but it sure was a fun way to spend an hour and a half…and Barbara Steele always makes everything better!
Available from Amazon!
Posted by Sarah E. Jahier at 1:59 PM No comments:
Labels: 80s horror, awesome 80s, fun, insanity, slasher, underrated
Friday, May 7, 2010
Editor's Column: Honeymooning with Horror
|Founder Sarah E. Jahier|
Hey, check it out…this is new! For your entertainment and my sanity, I’ll be spewing sharing my opinions in a weekly/monthly/whenever-I-get-to-it column. Topics will vary widely and I’ll talk about whatever I please in the realm of horror! Onwards, Fatal Fiends!
Horror and I have been going steady for many years now. Our relationship fluctuates a lot – from volatile to comfortable to passionate. Horror can be a fickle lover, turning its back and being unavailable at times, but I still stick with it. Even when the bad boy of movie genres gives me bad remakes or PG-13 bubblegum horror, I tend to stand by its side.
Lately, though, I feel like I’ve been in a slump with the genre. I know that it can be capricious, but lately I hadn’t been feeling the love as much as I used to. While people praised Shutter Island, I felt like an old grouch grousing about it. The same can be said of numerous new horror movies I’ve seen in the theater or on DVD, which is why my reviews around here have been pretty sparse. Something is just missing and I’m not sure if it is me or the genre itself that’s grown stale.
Is this just another bump in the road in my relationship with horror or is the honeymoon finally over…for good?
I remember the days when horror and I were first becoming acquainted, horror aggressively pursuing while I played coy and peeked out from behind my fingers. I quickly became acclimated to the genre and it itself showed me its many different sides. From giallo to J-Horror to exploitation to ghosts to vampires to zombies to slashers and everything in between it seemed that horror proffered endless possibilities. From then on we were inseparable. We would spend our evenings and weekends together, me bathed in horror’s warm, red glow and my love and affection of the genre seemingly endless. As the years wore on though, we started to change. We started bickering about the smallest things – I felt horror was starting to get sloppy and becoming repetitive and derivative. With the market inundated by dumbed-down remakes, reimagings, reboots or whatever catchy phrase they were branding these cinematic abortions as, I struggled to find horror worth watching. Spending time with my go-to genre now seemed more of a chore rather than a pleasure. The thrill was gone. Horror turned its back for a while, calling me cynical and critical, insinuating that I was no fun anymore.
Finally, I decided to take a break from horror. My horror movies sat collecting dust on shelves and my Netflix queue was filled up with comedies, TV shows, dramas, quirky indies, even some Disney movies (but no romcoms…I wouldn’t go that far!). I enjoyed my time away from horror, but after a few days/weeks a sense of separation anxiety set in and I truly began to miss horror. I missed the shock value, the blood and guts, the predictable (and not-so-predictable) storylines, the spooky atmosphere, the scares and the sense of community. It was a short break, but I realized I just couldn’t ignore horror’s alluring siren call and wished to be held in its monstrous gaze once more.
Horror and I are now back together and going steady, but I still yearn for the days when the genre made my stomach turn flip flops and released a nervous fluttering of butterflies in my stomach. I’ve explored many areas of my favorite genre and wouldn’t trade it in for the world, but horror’s down-times are still hard to bear. However, I’ve learned that during these lean times in the horror genre make for a great opportunity to step back, take a break and in the end fall in love with horror all over again.
I’ll admit that horror doesn’t give me the butterflies like it once did and is completely unreliable, giving us turds like Return to Sleepaway Camp along with wonderful gems like Zombieland, but our love is fate. I can’t deny that the genre makes me cranky sometimes, and while I may lament its demise on occasion, I all know that horror is what I love and despite its flaws I’ll continue to love it year after year.
Posted by Sarah E. Jahier at 2:16 PM No comments:
Labels: about me, editor, editorial, Fatally Yours
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