I interviewed a couple of horror fans on Moviepilot about what it means to be a horror fan, and what makes a good horror movie. These are all wonderful and talented people that you should follow. I left all their information right here for you guys to check out their amazing content. Thanks guys for guiding me!
I've always been an action junkie. Since I was a kid I watched all the violent action shoot em ups, and old comedies like Abbott and Costello movies. Abbott and Costello were a comedy duo back in the 30's and 40's. I loved their goofy antics, but I couldn't watch two of their movies without getting scared. It's when they met the Mummy and other classic Universal monsters. I couldn't sleep and I actively avoided watching them. To the point that I hide them away from the rest of my VHS collection. It was at that moment that I decided I didn't want to be scared, and refused to watch anymore scary movies.
My friends on the other hand grew up with Horror movies. It's what they loved. What they were passionate about. They talked about them all the time, and for me I felt left out. I couldn't contribute to their conversations, and when they turned to ask me what my favorite horror movie was I couldn't answer them. At the time I saw very few horror films, The Shining being one of them. I never saw classics like Halloween, or Nightmare On Elm Street. I knew what they were, but never had any interest in watching them.
The way my friends talked about horror was like they belonged to a club, and I wasn't invited. I wanted to understand what was so popular about the genre. I was so curious to get into it that I dived head first into everything that is Horror, and my first mistake wasn't starting with the greats/classics. I went along with my friends to see all the new films that were coming out in theaters. I was worried at first. I knew I was immune to the gory of action films, but what about these new horror movies? After watching them all that made me think was, "How can my friends love this crap?" In a way it was a relief. A few found footage horror movies, and a couple of remakes made me numb. Is this Horror? Is this scary? I found it funny in a bad way. But, this was the start of my journey, and I had to keep trudging on if I was to fully understand the genre.
I couldn't take watching another lame Paranormal Activity movie anymore. More so I couldn't keep paying to watch them. So, my friends invited me over every Saturday and we watched a horror movie. Each movie was something they grew up with. A nostalgia trip that I was immune too. After several disastrous attempts to get me to like movies like Venom, a generic slasher, I branched off on my own. I was getting tired of watching these horrible cliche movies, and my friends were getting tired of me ripping apart their childhood.
I decided to try what made me scared in the first place. I dug through my VHS collection to find those old Abbott and Costello movies I hated and watched them. I couldn't believe I was scared of them. They were so funny and creative. Then I saw all of the original monster movies, and afterwards really appreciated them. The Creature From The Black Lagoon was my favorite along with The Invisible Man. I just really loved all the craft that was put into making these classics.
I then went with what I knew best which was action/adventure. Movies like The Mummy (1999), Predator, Aliens, and Terminator. Why I didn't just watch these first baffled me. They were tense, exciting, and just fun. I sought out more like these, and found my love for Evil Dead 2, and it's successor Army of Darkness. I found out that I loved the comedy/satire horror sub-genre. Cabin In The Woods, or You're Next felt like a breath of fresh air to me. I could never go back to more modern mainstream horror after watching these superior films.
Though I found these movies to be incredible I wasn't scared. Even when I visited movies like Halloween I appreciated the craft, and I could tell why it's scary. I wanted to have that feeling of being utterly terrified, because that's what makes a good horror movie a 'horror movie'. I had a craving to relive those moments as a kid. Getting scared beyond belief, and unable to go to bed. I have only found two that have made me do that. A relatively new release The Babadook and the original Thai film Shutter. Both the images and the sounds of these films broke me. They were both unrelenting and patient with its scares. There is build up with great characters, and there is never a dull moment.
Horror, like any genre of film, needs basic components to be enjoyable and of course, to be good. Great dialogue, good story, relatable characters, etc. But with genre films you have to add one or two more things that make it stand out amongst everything else. Breaking it down, taking the formula, and starting from zero I finally understood. It's fun being scared. Getting a thrill. It's fun seeing the intense gory and the ridiculous kills. It's jolting, and hilarious at the same time. I was blind and now I can see. Don't get it yet either? It's okay. Just like these Creators told me I'll tell you. Start with what scares you, and what interests you. Then you'll slowly understand.