Thursday, October 16, 2008

What is Horror???

We all have our own opinions on what exactly horror is... I've started many times that to me horror is fear. Whatever the fear is, horror brings that fear to the forefront and intensifies it. The early horror movies had their monsters and villains that we feared. Friday the 13th made us fear sleeping. So many horror films have dealt with different type of fears that we all have. To me, fear is the driver of the horror vehicle. My fear... being buried alive. All my life I have had a fear that when I "die", I will wake up in a casket because of some mistake the doctors have made or whatever. I think this fear began when I was a small boy and heard a rumor about a huge swimming park near where I grew up in West Virginia. It was called Rock Lake Park or something like that. I remember some kids in school talking about when they were building the park it had been a cemetery and they had to move all the caskets. Supposedly, one of the caskets opened up and the person had tons of hair in their hands and a horrifying look on their face. Urban legend... probably, but as a kid it scared the crap out of me and from that moment on, I've had that fear. There are two definitions of horror from the dictionary and Wikipedia below. As well as a clip from a great movie The Vanishing starring Kiefer Sutherland and Jeff Bridges. This movie is based on one of the characters being buried alive. If you have not seen this movie, you really should. It is an intense thriller. Whatever you think horror is, it is a genre that is based on fear and tries to pull you into it. I love horror! It is adrenalin to me! I love the feeling. Enjoy the clip...

From the Dictionary:
an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting; a shuddering fear: to shrink back from a mutilated corpse in horror.
anything that causes such a feeling: killing, looting, and other horrors of war.
such a feeling as a quality or condition: to have known the horror of slow starvation.
a strong aversion; abhorrence: to have a horror of emotional outbursts.
Informal. something considered bad or tasteless: That wallpaper is a horror. The party was a horror.

From Wikipedia:
Horror films are movies that strive to elicit fear, horror and terror responses from viewers. In horror film plots, evil forces, events, or characters, sometimes of supernatural origin, intrude into the everyday world. Horror movies usually include a central villain. Early horror films often drew inspiration from characters and stories from classic literature, such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Later horror films, in contrast, often drew inspiration from the insecurities of life after World War II, giving rise to the three distinct, but related, sub-genres: the horror-of-personality film, the horror-of-Armageddon film, and the horror-of-the-demonic film. The last sub-genre may be seen as a modernized transition from the earliest horror films, expanding on their emphasis on supernatural agents that bring horror to the world.[1]
Horror films have been criticized for their graphic violence and dismissed as low budget B-movies and exploitation films. Nonetheless, all the major studios and many respected directors, including Alfred Hitchcock, Roman Polanski, Stanley Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola, and George Romero have made forays into the genre. Serious critics have analyzed horror films through the prisms of genre theory and the auteur theory. Some horror films incorporate elements of other genres such as science fiction, fantasy, mockumentary, black comedy, and thrillers.

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