Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Life of Fear

Happy October, everyone. I'm going to try something a little different here to try and get into the mood of the season.

Underneath my own personal fascination with horror movies lies a deep obsession with the nature of fear. Even though it's a rare film these days that actually scares me or even unsettles me, my initial attraction to the genre was one born of genuine fear. I have the suspicion the same is true for a lot of horror fans, even if a sustained love of horror seems to often bloom into more of an interest in the grotesque, the subversive, the transgressive, and a more general appreciation of the medium of film. Regardless of all the layers of meaning contained within the label "horror fan," for me it all started with things that scared me out of my skull.

It wouldn't have turned out quite like this if was I born with the ability to look away. I was the kid who always lifted up rocks to see what squirmed in the mud. At the doctor I've always watched the needle poke into my arm. My chances of surviving as a character in a horror film would be next to nothing - I'd be the one opening the door to the basement. I'd head out into the woods to investigate the strange sounds and lights. I'd be the one reading the cursed book or digging up the sordid history of the abandoned cabin. So where many people hide their eyes when something horrific shows up on the TV or movie screen, I find my own become locked open, fixed to the screen even when I don't want to see what comes next. In horror stories, knowledge tends to come with dire consequences. Unfortunately in most situations, I can't stand not knowing the truth.

So throughout this month I'm going to turn the microscope around to myself and examine the things that have terrified me in the past. I'll also take a look at what still has the ability to do so today. I'm not going to limit myself solely to films, but since this is typically a film blog, and film is what got me into horror, there'll be a lot of movie-related talk.

I'd also like to hear from you all. Tell me the things that kept you awake when you were a kid. Tell me about the dark things that run circles in your brain. I'll recount my experiences more or less chronologically. Stay tuned.


  1. The things that scared me most as a kid were usually surreal moments in movies and music videos – typically people transforming into things. So of course, I was terrified of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" videos, The Incredible Hulk TV show, and any movie with a transformation scene, like The Howling or Swamp Thing or Teen Wolf! lol

    1. I have vivid memories of both of those too - but strangely enough the transformations never bothered me. But Ursula changing people into little seaweed creatures in The Little Mermaid - I won't lie, that was terrifying.