Monday, March 20, 2006

Horror Movies

Brian and I spent the weekend working on a project that involves horror movies. And right now, it involves watching lots of horror movies. He introduced me to a few of the modern classics, "Night of the Living Dead", "Dawn of the Dead" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." I'd been outright avoiding these movies for twenty-five years.

Watching them I realized they weren't nearly as scary as I imagined. And it wasn't because they were old. And it wasn't because I was grown up. It was because I'd been scared of the legacy of these films more than the films themselves.

When we were growing up, there was only one kid in the class who was allowed to watch rated 'R' movies; my friend Michael O'Shea. He would rent anything, then give us full a synopsis the next day in the schoolyard. He made 'Heavy Metal' sound mysterious and expansive. He made 'Porky's' sound pornographic and hilarious. And he made 'Dawn of the Dead' sound terrifying. Each image he painted in my head had an unlimited budget, no rating and a sociopathic director. I was paralyzed by the mere idea of zombies in a shopping mall that when I finally saw the bright red syrup coming out their ears on dvd, it was a relief. I didn't even have nightmares.

I had the same experience at Steve Klausner's movie "Headspace". I'd never gone to see a horror movie in a theater and I didn't know how I'd react. I had a great time. It always helps when Renee jumps and I don't. Somehow I feel like more of a man.

Horror directors say that it's what you don't see that frightens you the most. What I didn't see kept me away from these movies most of my life. My imagination can be a bitch.


Harris Bloom said...

Modern classics? Did you watch the remakes?

What's up, Jon?

Jon Clarke said...

No we avoided the remakes at all costs. It was 70's gore all over the house that weekend.