Back to Basics

It’s becoming harder and harder nowadays to devote yourself completely to something. It’s a world filled with so much distraction, but opportunity, that carries us from one passion to the next.  And it’s as easy as that; we’re six-year-olds hooked on sharks one week and pirates the next.  But we’re hooked nonetheless.

You are here because we share a common passion that, throughout all of the world’s ups and downs and heres and theres, has stuck with us.  Which I think means it’s a true passion, one solid thing to go back to when the other things don’t work out, or we lose interest.  But never will we ever lose our horror.

So where did it all start? I’ve been writing for this blog for about a year now, and after some time devoted to other passions (school! Not building Twinkie palaces, I swear) I’ve come back thinking long and hard about where my love of horror began.  And I’ve been thinking about what your answers to this might be, too.  We’re all different ages, from different places, exposed to this genre in so many different ways.  It’s a story we love to tell, but we’re not often asked to tell it.  So tell it!  Here’s mine.

Halloween was always my favorite holiday.  Candy, sure, but there’s an air around it, that autumn eeriness that embodies the thrill of being scared and the feeling of invincibility that follows the initial shock, that feeling that you are here and can conquer anything.  It was everything.  It set the foundation for my love of horror.

Then, it was just being in a certain place at a certain time.  I watched my first R-rated movie at my brother’s friend’s house.  It was Ghost Ship of all things, which burned a depressingly disappointing image of people getting sliced in half with a wire cord into my mind forever. The rest of the time I covered my eyes.  I was ten. The next year I stopped watching The Sixth Sense at the part Haley Joel Osment hides under his tent from a perpetually-puking ghost girl.  I had a thing with vomit. Yeah, it was an unforgivable start.

But in high school I was dragged to the premiere of Saw IV, never having seen the first three.  I watched it, and despite the fact that the twist ending made zero sense to me at the time, I was filled—elated—with that feeling of having conquered something.  It wasn’t so much the movie, or the gore factor even.  It was the thrill and the excitement of a theater full of people who had waited a whole year for this thing.  I was swept up.

I lost myself in it.  First the Saw movies (of which I soon was holding yearly marathons), then the classics (Halloween, Nightmare on Elm St., Friday the 13th), the shit remakes, even, and the soon the ones I became obsessed over: The Shining and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  These two transcended the genre for me; they made me want to write horror, direct horror.  As many of you understand, I’m sure, it’s a whirlwind spiral.  You simply cannot get enough.  It led me from the insane (David Lynch) to the fun (Romero, Hostel) to the compelling (The Walking Dead, that’s right), to the downright terrifying (Audition).

So here I am, at a point where I’m trying to keep up with the much-talked-about new releases of horror, while still digging through the trenches of indie and foreign movies for something unique.  But it does not always work, and sometimes it all seems like it’s the same as everything else out there.

So here, I’ll turn it over to everyone reading this, including fellow blog-writers.  Celebrate this Halloween by looking back and finding the things that first drew you in and sparked that love of horror.  Share them, compare them, and perhaps even ignite that passion in someone who hasn’t yet succumbed to love of the macabre.  Tell me your story.