Film Thoughts: Horror Films

Friday 22 February 2013

Today I'm going to be talking about a subject that is close to my heart, Horror films. I can't remember when I first fell in love with horror films, but I remember the moment that I realised I liked them above most other kinds of films. It was in Sixthform, during 'A' level Media Studies. We had to make a Promotional Pack for a fictional horror film. So for research we had to look at lots of horror trailers etc. I watched so many horror films that year, and that's when I realised I loved them. I think my love of horror was always apparent when I was younger though...

My first memory of a horror film is watch Nightmare on Elm Street when I was younger. My family used to have a takeaway and film night every week, I think on a Sunday. One week the film that my dad and uncle chose was Nightmare on Elm Street. Originally my mum didn't want me to watch it, but I protested. I can't remember what age I was but I remember being fascinated with that film. I'm sure I sat and watched it a good 5 times before it had to be returned to Blockbuster. I also remember mum renting Sleepy Hollow, and I watched that over and over until it had to be returned.

The first horror film I remember being terrified of was Darkness Falls. Short story, it's a film about a tooth fairy. The thing that scared me most about this film was that she could only get you in the dark. I was terrified of the dark anyway like most 7/8 year olds, but this made me paranoid. In fact I'm sure this is the film that started my stupid 'running and jumping into bed' thing that I used to do because I was terrified that a monster would grab me from under my bed. I re-watched this film today with my friend Ellie, who was also scared of this in her childhood. It wasn't as scary as either of us remembered, but there were still a few good jump scares in it that got me. It was watching this that made me realise how much I love horror films, and it's because they shock, scare, and gross me out that I love them. I've spoken about this before on my old blog, but there is something about a film that can make me feel scared that I just like. I don't know why, I just do.

In the last few years I've attended Abertoir Horror Festival which is held in the town I go to University at. This has just grown my love for the genre and helped me to get together with a group of like minded people. It always still shocks me though, how little other people think of horror films. Just because they don't understand them, or they won't give them a chance. One big example of this was the release of 'The Human Centipede 2'. They screened it at Abertoir the first year I ever attended, and I loved it. Don't get me wrong, it's sick, very gruesome, and in places downright wrong. It's the fact that it doesn't take itself too seriously that makes it a brilliant film. It received a shocking reception from my fellow film students, some of whom slated it and refused to watch it. They all had opinions on it without even sitting down to it. Now I understand if you don't like gruesome films, you don't have to watch them. But that doesn't mean that you can go and slate a film with gore in it, just because you don't like gore. Over half the people commenting on the discussion slating the film hadn't even seen it, and that wound me up so much.

The thing I love most about horror films is that they push boundaries. I want to be shocked! I'm waiting for a day when a film shocks me so much that I have to walk out, and on that day I won't be slating the film for being too much for me. I will applaud it for pushing it that far!

I seem to have gone slightly off-tangent there, but my point is, I love horror films. They've been in my life for a long time, and I hope they stay in my life!

Do you have any childhood memories of watching horror films?

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