One thing my dear readers will come to learn about me over the course of my blogging is that I am not a brave man, not a brave man at all. Fear is not something I actively embrace in my film/literature choice. I’ve seen The Shining, there is a copy of The Ring sat in my DVD pile (as yet unwatched). I’ve seen such horrifying films as Salo (Which consequently means that Faces of Death forever resides in my Youtube recommendations, a film I have no desire to ever watch, maybe…). My Netflix account will show I’ve seen such wonderful films as Hobo with a Shotgun and Nude Nuns with Big Guns (not as fun as it sounds, trust me). The most chilling film I’ve seen in a while actually is a little documentary called ‘The Bridge’, which is a documentary about the Golden Gate bridge and it’s notorious reputation as a suicide spot, the fact that it features actual suicides makes it incredibly chilling.
Anyways, the point of that cinematic ramble was to prove that I’m not one of these fellows who is completely averse to suffering on-screen. I have seen unpleasant and chilling films before, but there’s just something about horror which always gets me, I’ve never been a man who enjoys the sensation of being scared, by that I don’t mean jump-scares, because they are simply Pavlovian techniques designed to gauge a reaction from the audience. The type of scared I don’t like is a sustained period of unbearable suspense and psychological torture which seems to last an age, which is why films such as the Shining work so effectively for someone like me (I have read the novel as well, which is also damn creepy), because the Shining delves deep into your psyche and burrows it’s way inside, having effects which last much longer than a creepy image designed for a jump scare.
Although, creepy images don’t always disappear fast and not leave an imprint on the subconscious. I remember watching an internet review for the 1980s slasher film Sleepaway Camp, a campy 80s flick with obnoxious Jersey Shore kids at a summer camp. Sounds harmless enough right? Well, whilst I myself have never sat through the film, the reviewer in question played the last few minutes of it, and without going into too much plot detail, that final image has never left my brain. I admit to getting the chills as I wrote this paragraph, BAH! It affected me worse than those pictures of giant spiders which you sometimes see on Facebook (which are also hideous! I’m not really much of an arachnophobe, but massive spiders aren’t something I can deal with at any time…) Can’t ever say the feelings that those two things inspire are feelings I enjoy, although perhaps that’s because I’m usually alone at the time. Watching horror films should probably be done with friends, being scared is considerably more fun when the experience is shared and can be trivialised afterwards!