Better Life: Scary Stuff
Life advice from someone who has a lot of life left to live.
Ah, Halloween, my favorite holiday. It is the perfect time for DIY crafting, creative decorating, and scary movie watching. I love horror movies; every year I go to the movie theatre for a special showing of the original Halloween, as well as participate in other fall festivities. So, naturally, when people say that the horror genre will eventually die, I get a little frustrated.
People love to be scared. We like to conquer our fear of heights by riding roller coasters, our fear of falling by zip-lining, and our fear of snakes by visiting the reptile house at the zoo. The same is true for scary movies. We want to feel our hearts slam against our chests, our palms get sticky with sweat. People like to be scared for a variety of reasons, including the adrenaline rush it provides.
So, if everyone enjoys fear, why do people think it will fade into the background? It’s not like the genre has had a few major successes recently such as Lights Out and Don’t Breathe. There are also many wildly popular television shows such as The Walking Dead and Bates Motel. Even the major production company New Line Cinema, who has brought us movies like the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Elf, is literally nicknamed “the house that Freddy built,” harkening back to the infamous horror villain Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street. A Nightmare on Elm Street was a massive hit when it came out in 1984, and it helped save the company from financial ruin. However, critics of the genre like to focus more on the movies that were not as successful such as Saw VI and The Happening.
The problem with this school of thought is that every genre has bad movies. There are bad romances, action movies, and even documentaries. It’s not just that, either; not everyone will like every movie they see. There have been more movies than I can count that I have outright hated, and I know I’m not the only one.
The other problem people have with horror is the fact that they like to use horror as a scapegoat for the evil in the world, but the fact is that there has unfortunately always been violence in the world. Scary movies are just a reflection of what we
see already in society. Stephen King once said, “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.” Horror movie director Alfred Hitchcock said, “A glimpse into the world proves that horror is nothing other than reality,” and John Carpenter stated in order “to make Michael Myers frightening, I made him walk like a man, not a monster.” Do you see the pattern yet?
I will probably love horror until the day they put me in the ground because there will always be horror movies. Horror will continue to succeed until there isn’t anymore evil in the world. As Wes Craven once said, “If I have to do the rest of the films in the genre, no problem. If I’m going to be a caged bird, I’ll sing the best song I can.”