Leaves are falling all around, which means it’s about time that I start my annual brief fascination with the horror genre. This is a couple of weeks where I work up just enough courage to watch a few scary movies (or play a scary game), until something I see scares me too much, and I mostly quit the genre until the next year. The buildup to Halloween is an obvious inspiration, but what else is it about this season that inspires me so? Is it the chill in the air? Earlier sunsets, so I’m moving around in darkness much more than I’m used to?
Or maybe, it ties in to my general sense of unease and restlessness around this season, because for so many years of my life, Fall was a time of big transition and change, and for the last number of years this has not been the case. But, I still find myself feeling ‘twitchy’, like something big needs to shift in my life, and I’m missing it. So maybe the horror genre is my way of unsettling myself and my thinking when the rest of my life seems much more settled by comparison. (I mean, there are always ups and downs, but at my stage, change is a steady constant rather than a Big Event).
Whatever it is, last year’s Horror Kick ended with The Babadook, which genuinely got under my skin and rattled me. “I’m good on horror for a while,” I remember telling people. And yet, here I am, back at it again, reading reviews and impressions and trying to psyche myself up to put something on. Maybe I’ll document the capper to this season as well, if there is one as clear as last time.
If you find yourself in a similar place as me, I can’t make a lot of recommendations, but I do have a few (in no particular order). I can’t say they’ll work for you at all; scariness is obviously personal and subjective, but I’m sharing them anyway. I used to watch tons of scary movies in University, but I don’t anymore, because I lost my edge; they frighten me more easily. I also like to stick with things that are more supernatural / cosmic, because when it comes to people doing harm to each other on film, I mainly watch and think “people actually do this to each other in real life” and I’m just sad and nauseated.
With all that out of the way, some memorable scary movies:
- The Ring (2002) – I know I’m supposed to like the Japanese original more, but I saw this one first and couldn’t shake it for days. I watched it in the actual theatre. Why did I do that?
- Annihilation (2018) – is so beautiful and weird and unsettling, like a fever dream.
- Resolution (2012) and Endless (2017) – While I don’t think you need to see the first one to jump into the second, it’s worth it and will enrich certain scenes.
- The Cabin in the Woods (2012) – apparently a great year for metahorror, this one is also funnier than everything else on this list.
- The Thing (1982) – One of my friends pointed out that what makes this scary (besides the insane creature effects) is that these men are rational scientists and for once make all the “right” decisions about their predicament — but it doesn’t help
Thing I Saw: A copy of Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams for the Xbox sitting in a little drawer in my home. I’m fascinated and terrified by the SH games, but watching a Let’s Play of this game years ago is part of what inspired me to make my own videos. I recently bought this copy in hopes of making my own series on it, but that means I’ll have to play it for more than ten minutes at a time, and that might be too much for my nerves. We’ll see.
Thing I Learned: The number of 1kg bags of fries to prepare for roughly twenty construction workers is: eight. (We had a company BBQ lunch here today)
I’m Grateful For: Space in my day to chill out and blog.