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Sunday, 7 January 2018

Scary Stuff


I’ve never been a fan of horror films and books. Growing up they always scared the shit out of me. I found the film The woman in black terrifying and hated it. Scary stuff aside, I don’t think horror is very interesting. The stories are usually the same; people being possessed by demons or evil spirits, needing to kill them, usually failing in the end. I love drama, comedy, psychological thrillers or fantasy, but not horror.

However, as I've gotten older I've found scary stuff to be not so scary. I'm a major Stephen King fan, and I've not found a single of his stories scary, even though I've read a few of the 'creepier' ones: Misery, Carrie, Cell, and a bit of It. I think Misery is one of the best stories ever, and Annie is a wonderfully evil villain, but it's more creepy than scary. The movie is more unsettling. Speaking of movies, I've seen The Shining twice - or three times - and it isn't scary at all. If anything it's humorous and eerie, but that's just my opinion.

I started It because I read a lot about it and found the premise interesting. The whole serial-killer clown thing doesn’t bug me much; murder doesn’t freak me out (probably too much Sopranos). It’s more the relationships between the main characters and how they come together to defeat this giant monster that I found interesting. It’s beautifully written, with amazing language and I love the way it’s written with the jumping backwards and forwards in time.  Also, Derry was mentioned in 11/22/63 which made me want to read It. The story was intriguing and hard to stop reading, but I stopped in case it got too scary and have a bad habit of not finishing books and was likely in the middle of another King story anyway. Plus it's over 1000 pages long; I think I got to 200 ish.
OK, NOW FOR MY 307TH BOOK, THIS COUPLE IS
ATTACKED  BY...A LAMP MONSTER! (Can't find
the video on YouTube anymore :( )
Maybe it is an age thing. The stuff that scared me at 14 is not the same stuff that scares me now at 20. I’ve always been scared of spiders; I can laugh at The Shining but have to look away in that scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Ron and Harry go to that part of the forest with all of the spiders. Spiders freak me out; have never liked them and often have to kill em if I see em. They're a common phobia, along with heights, flying, the dark, mice, snakes, dogs, open or closed spaces. 
Wouldn't mind being eaten by him.
I remember at 12-14 being freaked out of things easily. In Year 8 we did a module in English on horror, reading about Dracula and Frankenstein and getting to write our own short horror story. I have a memory of walking into my brother's room because I was scared, and he yelled because he used to yell a lot in his sleep, and I screamed 'DRACULA! DRACULA!' Thinking back it's pretty hilarious. Around that age I used to get scared in the night and go to my brother's bed. I've always suffered from insomnia, which is more terrifying than any kind of clown or monster. Lying away in bed staring at the ceiling and wondering how long you'll be awake for is one of the scariest things ever.
Bitch we all float down here...
Recently I watched Coraline, which came out in 2009, so I was about 12/13. I remember thinking it looked so scary - way too scary for a kid's film - when it came out. I could say the same about The Hole, Harry Potter and The Woman in Black, all which are rated PGs or 12s. I didn't find Coraline scary in the slightest - the opening is a bit creepy, but honestly I just found it really interesting and well put together. Coraline is a great and brave protagonist, and I loved the cat and Wybee. Beldam didn't spook me out despite being a spider-lady (spidery cartoons are meh), she's just like any other villain. Ramsay Bolton makes her look like a fluffy kitten. 

It was the same with It - I watched it (2017 version) some months ago with my housemates and there definitely were some terrifying scenes, but overall it was more of a creepy-thriller/coming of age film than a 'horror' film. Other horror films I've seen - Sinister, The Possession, half of Mama - just aren't that interesting. The horror genre reminds me of the romance genre - boring and one-dimensional characters - a possessed child, a demon, some concerned parent - and a lame and predictable plot. I think psychological thrillers with some eerie elements like Misery, Silence of the Lambs, Psycho, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle are a lot cooler and more interesting.  But that's just my take on it. When in doubt, Scary Movie is a good watch. It's about as scary as Spongebob and has the ridiculous laugh-out-loud humour of American Dad. 

What are you scared of? Do you like horror movies or novels? Do you scare easily or not? Let me know below!

End Note: I wrote a novella called 'Psycho Girl' a year and a half ago and posted it on my blog several months ago. Someone commented saying it was horrifying. I found it hilarious, more of a black comedy, but then I wrote it. Maybe read it and see if it scares you?

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