Sunday, February 20, 2011

What is Horror???

What really is horror??? The genre is full of "different" types of horror. Just go to the horror genre menu in NetFlix and you will see no fewer than 12 different varieties ranging from Slashers and Serial Killers, Vampires, Satanic Stories, to Teen Screams. With that kind of variety, it is not hard to find a favorite. Back to the question at hand... what is horror? Horror to me is all about fear. Everyone has an opinion, and I would never fault any one for theirs. However, the best horror movies are the ones where it is remotely possible for the event to happen. I'm not discounting the supernatural, monsters, alien, or zombie films, but they are not as likely to happen as say a Hannibal Lecter.

My wife is not a fan of unrealistic horror. I will watch just about any horror movie and enjoy it, but she doesn't care for the ones that are too out there. Give her a serial killer movie and she's on the edge of her seat so to speak. Watch Predator... not so much. We all have varying taste. Me, I loved Night of the Living Dead from the 60's, but I really don't care that much for zombie movies. Most are way too cheesy for me. I love comic relief in horror films, but I hate unintentional humor. I guess that is why I really don't care for "B" horror movies. I feel they do a terrible disservice to the genre. How can horror be taken seriously when treated in the manner so many of the "B" movies treat it. A film like The Shining has all the elements of great horror... fear, tension. a sick, disturbed mind, and a taste of bloodshed. If you're not afraid while watching a horror movie, then it is not doing it's job. Fear and tension are the primary elements that make great horror... not gore. I love the Saw movies, but there is fear and tension throughout. It is just filled with over the top gore. The movie I posted about the other day, Chain Letter, it was over the top gore. However, it had enough tension to satisfy me. I saw a site called "" and they list their top 100. Here's their top 10:
10. Friday the 13th (1980, Directed by Sean S. Cunningham)
9. The Evil Dead (1981, Directed by Sam Raimi)
8. Psycho (1960, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock)
7. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, Directed by Wes Craven)
6. The Shining (1980, Directed by Stanley Kubrick)
5. Night of the Living Dead (1968, Directed by Dean Lachiusa & George Romero)
4. Halloween (1978, Directed by John Carpenter)
3. Dawn of the Dead (1978, Written and Directed by George A. Romero)
2. Alien (1979, Directed by Ridley Scott)
1. The Exorcist (1973, Directed by William Freidkin)

Can't say I really agree with their choices, but it is an interesting list. Demonic movies like The Exorcist really creep me out. I believe it can happen. so therefore, the movie was really in the fear factor. I could go on forever with this rant, but I would be beating a dead horse. To sum it up, The Shining, The Exorcist, Frailty, Silence of the Lambs, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are some of the best horror movies ever made. I think I will discuss gory movies next time!

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