Why horror movies consume me

tl;dr – Blood and violence aside, horror movies ooze out creativity other genres just can’t compare to.

I could never watch scary movies when I was a kid. I remember closing my eyes for most of the movie in The Swarm, and I was absolutely pathetic with A Nightmare on Elm Street. In fact, I’ve never finished any of the movies. Instead I just surrendered myself to bed, hours before bedtime.

The entire premise for A Nightmare on Elm Street itself is horrifying. The fact that this child molester is killing teenagers in their dreams while none of the adults (usually the ones kids run toward for help) would ever believe them makes it even worse.

It wasn’t until this year did I decide to face my fears and paid for an Netflix account. My first DVD queue was A Nightmare on Elm Street, and guess what – not only did I survive that movie, I fell head over heels in love with it. Or the idea of it.Maybe it’s the campiness of the film, maybe it’s the cheesy effect from the 80s, or maybe it’s that fact that I finally conquered something that defeated me years ago, I absolutely loved the original movie. The fact that Tina starts in the beginning, but she’s not an actress threw me in a loop (something Wes Craven re-created in his Scream franchise.)

And so I began my journey to watching horror/thriller movies. Sequels after sequels, I’ve watched the entire Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, from the first to the sixth. Then the documentary about the films. Then Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (my absolute favorite!) Then Freddy Vs. Jason. Then the 2009 remake. And despite some disappointments in a number of them (Avoid the sixth one, at all cost), Freddy kept me marching on into the darkness.

Since I’ve started my Netflix account back in April, I’ve already watched the following horror/thriller movies: 30 days of nights, The Crazies, Paranormal Activity, The Signal, The Collector, Pandorum and so on. And while I still can’t do torture and gore that well (which explains why I’ve missed any of the Saw films), there’s something utterly satisfying about watching these films.

Robert Englund is the original & the best
Robert Englund is the original & the best Freddy

In a way I like this genre because I clearly know it’s not real. Freddy doesn’t exist, and neither do Jason from Friday the 13th or Samara from The Ring. Compared that to romantic-comedies, filled with Gerard Butlers, Kate Hudsons and charming one-liners leaving you wondering what’s real and what’s not.

And then there’s the actual killing itself. Blood and violence aside, each kill scene oozes creativity. In this genre, every kill has to be more creative than the last one in every movie. Screeching sounds, shaky camera, fast movements, one more than the last, one better than the former just to bring viewers into the grand finale. And then what? Explosions, action and violence, everything happening all at once with only seconds before the credit rolls. Then Freddy’s knife glove slowly unveils onto the surface of the lake. “So when’s the sequel’s coming out!?”, from vampires to zombies, serial killers to burnt child molesters, no other film genre can leave you yearning for more than horror.

But yeah, I’m more afraid of rom-coms than horror films.

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