Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pick your poison

Ahhh yesssssss. 'Tis the season and our thoughts turn to pumpkins, witches, spiderwebs, ghosts, spooks, and monsters. It certainly makes sense in our macabre state of mind at this time in October that there have been numerous horror movie trailers and horror movies of the week being played on television.

You know the ones... Scream 1, 2 and 3... Poltergeist... Nightmare on Elm Street.. Saw 99... Halloween 172

No thanks.

I am not a fan of horror flicks even though I admit that I have seen a couple. I would argue though that the films of which I speak are not simply horror movies but instead they dance on the line between the "horror" and "suspense" genre. (I don't know if having your eyes covered during half the movie counts as actually "watching" a movie though.) But as I said, I will admit to having seen a couple.

Heck, I'll even admit to enjoying one of them...

But come on... gimme a break!
What a story that was!

Shh... quiet.. think about it now... and listen to your memories. Can't you just hear the tires of the little boy's big wheel going round and round on the carpet down the endless empty hallways? I remember it clearly and thinking about it now I can hear the little bump sounds the wheels made when he rode over the strips joining the carpet as he went around the corners... and what exactly was he going to see around the corner!?!?!

Don't wanna think about it right now.

As I was saying, I personally prefer a good spooky suspense type movie/story that makes you sit on the edge of your seat. I know it's just a matter of preference though, because there are (obviously) tons of people who love horror flicks. Some folks LOVE movies with blood splashing, knives flailing, and chainsaws roaring... the more blood the better. People running and hiding INSIDE the actual house where the raving lunatic killer is located instead of running away from the danger. Nope. I'll pass.

YOU go ahead and stay to see what is behind that blood covered door...
I am outa here!

I prefer the story... the suspense... resorting to gore is just too easy. That is not 'scary'... that is just revulsion. There is truly an art to 'the startle' or 'the scare' in word or on film.

Ever try to write a scary story or tell a frightening tale? Your audience is always trying to guess the outcome, what is around the next corner... I guess it's hard not to. Human nature I suppose. I even know quite a few people who read the last chapter of a book, or even just the last page before they ever start reading the first page! Or now with the internet try to look up spoilers regarding the story line and/or outcome of a movie before they go see it! Now what's the fun in that!?

But the peeking around the corner, reading ahead in the book, opening the present early is just people try to avoid the surprise... even though the surprise is exactly what they want... and if you think about it... they didn't really avoid the surprise they just found out about it early and usually out of context. Kinda funny huh?

It does not matter though. Folks just want that little burst of adrenaline. Just a little adrenaline is intoxicating isn't it? Just go ask someone in law enforcement, a bank robber, or an X-game athlete.

A little harmless scare is fine for me. I will pass on the nightmares that a movie like the Excorsist would give me thank you very much. If I am going to watch or read something scary to get in the mood this time of year it would most likely be one of the classic yet unreal type stories. I don't care for the realistic daily news type of tales. I was a probation officer for too long reading police reports, looking at crime scene photos trying to come up with a way to explain what actually happened to a judge. The real stuff wears on you. So, I will pass on the 'real life' scary stuff. Beleive me there is a big difference between the fantasy and the realistic.

For example.. this guy is great fun:

That character may be very loosely based on a real person... and even more so on that person and a combination of old mythological stories. However, he has been providing many years of frightening fun... because he is unreal.

However, one of the inspirations for that character was this guy:

Vlad Dracul... perhaps better known as Vlad the Impaler. Now, he was real... and truly terrifying. See what I mean? Not so much fun anymore is it? Now, if you don't know much about this Vlad the Impaler guy, and you don't like REAL horror stories... then don't look him up. Trust me on this one.

I will stick with the mostly imaginary tales.
Some favorite scary stories:
Edgar Allen Poe's The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart,
The Cask of Amontillado...

Some scary movies:
Just about anything directed by Alfred Hitchcock... all day long.
The Rear Window, Vertigo, The Birds, Rebecca,

and THE classic scary ass movie...

Some others are Frankenstein, Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein.

Some of my favorite monsters?
Cookie, Animal, Godzilla, Wild things, Bride of Frankenstein, Nazgul / Ringwraiths.

My not so favorite monsters?
That's easy

Either way, it is Halloween time!

Have a fun and safe Halloween! Choose your frights carefully.

Remember... don't be afraid. It's all in your imagination.

Isn't that right... Norman?

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