Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Whys and Wherefores.

Hi. Put simply, I like horror movies. I don't think they get the same respect as other types of film, and I think that's a mistake. At their best, horror films are art. Hell, even crass, exploitative trash tells us something about our culture that high art doesn't always. And like any enthusiast, I like reading up on what's coming out, what looks good, what doesn't. But it seems like I have a hard time when it comes to opinions about horror movies. Release dates and trailers are no problem, but what's worth seeking out and what isn't is much tougher.

Some places treat horror movies as products containing varying amounts of three ingredients: Gore, tits, and kills. If you like horror movies as framing devices for nudity and violence, I guess that works okay. But I don't watch horror movies for the nudity and the violence - I watch them to feel something. So that doesn't help.

Some places treat horror movies as an undervalued art form - okay so far - but in the effort to validate them as art, end up throwing out critical sensibility. Movies that don't work or succeed at what they attempt are still evaluated positively because it's less about their quality than the genre itself. Fandom is love, but love can make you blind and sometimes a little creepy. So that doesn't help either.

I'm not here to tell people what to go see or what not to go see. I'm just going to talk about what I've seen and what I thought about it, regardless of whether I liked the film or not. My definition of horror might not quite match up with yours, and that's okay. The less anyone can agree on what "horror" is, the more it just becomes film. And I think that's a good thing.

I like horror films, and I think they're as worthy of thoughtful consideration as any other kind of film. So hopefully I'll give a bunch of horror films thoughtful consideration here.

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