A scantily clad, voluptuous blonde is running through a dark forest. The look of terror on her face is clear but the knife-wielding maniac chasing her is not. You know he’s there though, lurking in the shadows, and just waiting for his prey to make one false move. The blonde stumbles over her own two feet and lands face first in the dirt. She quickly looks behind her to see how close her stalker is. The dark night is the only thing staring back at her. She hears a twig snap off to her right. Her fingers claw the soft dirt as she tries to drag herself away from the inevitable. She can hear the muffled footsteps now. Slow, and methodical. Approaching from behind. No need to run. He knows that with her injured foot, escape is impossible. As she lifts her head she sees the blade of the machete shining silver in the moonlight, raised above his masked face. She closes her eyes and screams.
This is B-movie horror at its finest.
Yesterday I saw The Gallows and it got me thinking about how much I love these types of movies. The movie wasn’t particularly scary, but the loud noises, creepy, dark corners, and figures lurking in the background definitely gets your heart rate up. For me, the anticipation is just as much fun as the actual scare itself. Mediocre plot, acting, and effects, but tons of fun and that’s what it’s all about. Hearing the nervous giggles of the people around me let me know that they felt the same way I did.
Ever since I can remember I’ve been a fan of the horror movie genre. I can remember going to the video store with my mom and telling her if she wanted to find me, I would be in the horror section. I was 7 years old and my fascination had already begun. I would scan each and every title, read the back of every cover, and tell myself I would, one day, watch every single title because, well, they all looked awesome. The day Freddy vs. Jason was finally released was one of the best days of my life.
Every birthday sleepover I ever had involved a horror movie marathon, I read countless books in R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series, and even made my own “Monster Squad” club which succeeded in getting me into trouble from the neighbour for trying to scare her children.
I didn’t like dolls. My favourite toy to carry around was a Boglin. Anybody else have one of those? I’m sure it horrified my grandparents.
I tried to share my love of horror movies with my little brother but apparently the movie version of Stephen King’s Pet Semetary is too much for some children. Couple that with the story I told him about burying our recently deceased hamsters there, and I guess he’s not to blame for not enjoying my love for the genre. If you have never seen or read the story, Pet Semetary is about an Indian burial ground where people bury their dead pets, relatives etc. and they come back to life….well, almost come back to life. They’re a bit different in a zombie, murder everyone sort of way. It’s a fabulous story.
With these types of movies you either love them or hate them. For me, the cheesier the better. Little critters from outer space that form a giant ball, roll down a hill, and eat people? Yes please. Zombie Nazis out for revenge? You better believe that’s on my list. These movies allow you to completely check out from reality for awhile. I think this is why the genre has stuck around for so long. They are pure creativity and fantasy, and just plain fun. You know what’s coming and you know the characters are going to make stupid decisions.
Please don’t confuse these movies with “torture horror” though. The Saw franchise, Hostel, and an abundance of independent films on Netflix just depress me. They are too close to real life and don’t provide the same level of “fun”. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great movies, just a different type of movie that you watch for a different type of scare. They’re gory, usually involve rape scenes or some sort of extreme violence against women, and the bad guys win. A good friend let me in on a rule she uses when choosing a horror movie. A rating of 18A means it’s going to be incredibly gory and disturbing. 14A means they’re relying on good old fashioned scare tactics. It’s been true to form so far.
I’ve never seen Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, or When Harry Met Sally and I probably never will. I made the mistake of watching The Notebook once and I cried for an hour. Who the hell wants to watch a movie that will torment your emotions like that? Give me machete-wielding, hockey mask wearing, multiple sequel, leading men any day. I wonder what Ryan Gosling looks like in a slightly burnt, red and grey sweater……