Friday, April 21, 2006

I fear horror movies

Yes, the horror movies of today are scary. Okay?

You fell for it? Did you? Alright, fine...Let me elaborate and say they are scary in a scrappy way. From the classic "Nosferatu", "Rosemary Baby" and "The Exorcist", I've come to appreciate the horror that was the supernatural mixed with a story. I love the struggle between humanity's weaknesses and vices shown on screen rapping against the Devil or those legendary creatures of the night. It was great, I shivered in delight...And then.

Then, we got the likes of horror slasher's like Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers...The idea, in their first apparitions, were interestingly fun. Not something I would quiver and look away. I know what would be coming to those horny teenagers. In some cases, I wish it happened faster simply because I wanted to see those killers onscreen a bit more. These guys, those antagonists were turning to be my protagonists. I was pulled by their presence and wanted to know how they would deal with Bimbo# 26 or airhead#53. Slash, axe, stab!!!! Yeah, baby! Blood galore, ketchup sweetness!

And then the Hollywood's machine squeezed the lemon. Again and again and AGAIN. Sure, they were turning to be franchises almost but heck, they did such a good job at them that I felt I needed to lean back against my seat. See? I wasn't even on the edge anymore with those slashers. I became extremely bored. The only interest pulled from those movies were the different death scenes...And even they bored the shit out of me. I backed away from that genre within my favorite genre. No more slashing movies for me.

Thankfully, there was movies like Ridley Scott's Alien. If you are going to state the movie is just sci-fi and not horror because of it happening in space, ooooh buddy, you need to open your eyes. Alien was fun, Aliens was superb and then well...You know what happened. I ate fries with ketchup at Alien Vs Predator. Great huh?

Slowly, I was pulled away from the pledora of slap-me-I-paid-for-this-crap horror movies. I had enough, I gave enough chances and for many years I just watched something else until Fantasia (A Montreal horror/Asian movie Summer festival) and fell in love again. Yes! I could get back home and open the light at night. I shivered when I heard sounds in the dark when I was alone. Thank you Hideo Nakata! Sadako rules! She still does! I remembered having thought of buying the tape. No, not the unmarked one. Just a copy of the movie with her eye on the cover. My girlfriend at the time thought it was stupid to possess that movie in the house. Of course, she went to see the movies with me and was as scared as I was. Exciting moments, let me tell you that! I had long hair then and for kicks, I pulled from the shower and put a long t-shirt on...I then dedicated a bit of my time to adjust the way I walked and got slapped for it! Amazing! Just that look in her eyes...I wanted to see it again.

And so, I started watching as much Japanese or Chinese horror movies as possible. Miike's Audition was one I absolutely enjoyed. I mean what the BLEEP happened? Could you have thought of the ending just by watching the movie? Sure, the girl was weird but that? Yikes!! That'll teach the guy to trick those pretty little girls huh? Well, Asian cinema gave me a good smile and rekindled the hopes I had for the genre.

I watched and caught up with some movies. I cried of happiness after "Jacob's Ladder" but I remained nonetheless cautious of anything ending with a number. So yeah, I saw Scream..I know what you did last Summer...All those teenager slashers I gave another chance. The idea was basically the same as the slasher pioneers like Krugger. Man, Englund would be proud. Of course, I stopped watching right when they released another with a number.

Along the way, I was invited or given an opportunity to watch more horror movies from around the world. I still do now. I am waiting for the fire to burn me again and it was with some pessimism I walked into SAW. I found that smile again and the idea's execution was done in such a fresh manner I had to go and see SAW 2. I mean honestly, did you think they wouldn't pull a second one? The killer was still at large and Jigsaw was perfect. Smart, freaky, visual...Twisted. Yes, exactly the kind of buddy I would not want to share a beer with. The idea was so great, they had to release something similar with Hostel. I mean after Cabin Fever, I wasn't sure I wanted to give him another look...But I did, I'm such a softie at heart, I got to give a director another chance. So yeah Eli, I caught the movie and I winced at the graphic...It was a bit much. It shocked me to see that horror has come back to some humanity.

Jigsaw or those antagonists in Hostel, they are human...Men or women just like you and I. It's been done before of course, the action movies don't pitch Joe Vs Satan every time but in these movies, I remembered why I truly loved horror. The humanity of it. The idea and the premise. The possibilities were endless. Of course, people are not seeing a movie only because they want to see a character development. They want to see how the gore was exposed. They want to feel the adrenaline pumping into their veins when the killer would be a few steps away from that innocent broken protagonist we don't really care about.

So yes, I do like horror for the sense of how twisted humanity can be in the face of either another man/woman or supernatural entity. I want to bring that out again. I want my reader to feel the humanity, its struggle and my characters conflicting externally about the demons within. I want an atmosphere along with my action or kill scenes. My readers should feel what's happening and genuinely care for the possible ordeal afflicting my protagonists. I take and favor relationship as a base to my stories. When you read me, you know the main protagonist is never really alone. You feel he/she is alive through my words. Some would say people want to see gore. They want to see people's blood! Give them "bread and games". I do. I'm guilty of that much but never would I want to be pointed as someone who forgot what makes those characters tick and could be reflected to the viewer/reader's personal experience.

It will be vampires. It will be ghosts, demons and angels. They will all have humanity pouring from their aura. What would be the point of not making them be that way? I never spoke to a real angel and wondered at its wings. There is some readiness I strive for but it's still very much grounded in every day's life. It's just me though... I know the climb would be long and arduous.

Ah yeah, they've redone some of those old classics again...Where's my ketchup?