With Halloween just around the corner, I’ve been trying to work a few pieces of spooky cinema into my viewing schedule and my ongoing effort to expose myself to good movies. However, the more I’ve tried, the more I believe horror is a dying — pun fully intended — genre.
I will have to preface this by saying that I don’t openly dislike horror as a genre and my complaints are mostly about modern horror. Instead, I don’t have any real strong feelings about it. Instead of conjuring fears, it simply doesn’t do anything for me at all.
In part, I think it may be the genre’s reliance on gross-out moments and the slasher-sub genre that skew my opinions.
As a bit of background, I’ve been trying to get out and see the movies that are argued to be among the best ever made. I got the chance to finally see “Psycho” a few weeks ago through a classic cinema group, and I thoroughly enjoyed it and can see why so many people hold it in high regard.
With “Psycho” there was a subtlety that I feel can sometimes be lost in modern horror. With the Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, there is a slow build up to the horror elements that become obvious in hindsight.
Even in his first appearance, Normal Bates only comes off as slightly creepy. It is about a slow burn.
It is also grounded in a certain level of reality that other horror films avoid. The idea of a deranged killer doesn’t require a large suspension of disbelief. A magical maniac slashing people in their dreams? More so.
I think this is what makes a film like Misery, about an obsessive fan, terrifying in a cerebral way. It is something that hypothetically could happen which sows the seeds of dread in the mind.
Happy birthday to Carol Baxley, Elaine McHanny, Betty Martin and Ed Vaught, all of Sherman; Becky Blackburn of Howe; John Eeds of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Shelia Smith of Bells.