With Friday 13th having snuck up on us like Jason Voorhees on a babysitter, I thought it would be an appropriate time to talk about FEAR. No not the average film staring Mark Whalberg where he goes a bit mental over a girl, chops off a Rottweiler's head and rides a roller coaster (that is literally all I can remember about it), but the bum hole twitching, palms sweating, heart pounding terror that comes from being truly scared. Whether that be by a horror movie, something taking place in the real world, or watching any of the frighteningly bad films Nicholas Cage has been churning out in the last 5 years, fear is something that we all have (other than Chuck Norris), so that is what this weeks blog is going to be about, and because it's Friday 13th it is only right that I focus on scary movies.
Now to me a scary movie is not one that simply throws a load of gore, blood and filth at the screen like say 'The Human Centipede', no it needs to be something that taps into the fears you have inherently in you. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the thought of someone turning up at my house, slicing my knee caps and then gluing my mouth to some other dudes bum hole like we've totally misunderstood how to do the conga doesn't scare me, it certainly does, it's just that this is not something that a rational person ever thinks about.
Well I say that, but since writing that last sentence that's all that's running through my head. Let me just go and check the locks and make sure I've stocked up on mouth wash, back in a mo....
No to me a truly scary film is one that makes you think about the movie when you are no longer watching it. I mean who hasn't swam in the sea and suddenly started thinking about Jaws, or watched 'The Descent' and decided that pot holing is potentially the most horrific hobby anyone could ever consider? It is those films that get under your skin and effect the way you think that are the most effective.
Now what you can guarantee with all horror films, whether they are good ones (E.G Jaws/Paranormal Activity/The Blair Witch Project) or bad ones (E.G Any 'Saw' film after number 2, Hostel, The Last House on the Left), is that they are packed to the rafters with people doing stupid things. You know, where rather than all stay together to fight the killer, everyone decides to split up and do it on their own. As New Kids on the Block, Take That, Blue and most of Nsync will tell you, if you started as group, stay as group, as once you've gone out on your own your shortcomings will soon become apparent. And if that short coming is exposed by a knife wielding maniac wearing a hockey mask, then you are bang in trouble.
So I have put together a list of stupid/illogical things that happen in horror movies and how to overcome them:
1) No one ever turns the lights on.
If you are going into a room in a house that you know is haunted, contains a man who likes wearing masks and playing with knives, or has an inbred with one eye and a penchants for rape potentially hiding in the cupboard, turn the fucking lights on! I can guarantee it will make the whole escape thing easier.
2) People run upstairs rather than out of the front door.
If you are on the ground floor of a house and someone is chasing you with a kitchen knife, a chainsaw or the head of your dead housemate, don't just run past the front door and then up the stairs. No try going out of the front door, legging it up the road, flagging down a cab and hot-stepping it to Starbucks to have a coffee until you calm down.
3) People offer lifts to those that they shouldn't.
If a bloke is standing on the side of the road asking for a lift and he looks like a serial rapist or like his sister is also his girlfriend, do not pick him; drive past, maybe give him a look as if to say 'sorry no room' and then get to your destination and have a good time. I'm sure he won't mind waiting another 5 minutes for some other idiot to pull over.
4) People do things they know will lead to trouble.
If someone tells you that saying something into the mirror a specified number of times will lead to your immanent demise, heed this advice, don't just jump up and yell Candyman 5 times whilst your doing you hair as he will undoubtedly turn up within a few minutes and beat your arse to death. My advice would be to get rid of your mirror, or anything that provides a reflection just in case.
5) People temp fate.
If you have heard that there is a giant crocodile/piranha/alligator roaming around a specific lake why on earth would you ever decide to go swimming in it? Get back in your car, drive to the nearest swimming baths and go and enjoy yourself. If you're lucky they may even have a water slide, or a wave machine.
6) People fall over for no reason.
When a serial killer is casually strolling after you whilst you sprint for your life, watch your step, as there is a 99% chance you will fall over something that in everyday life wouldn't normally send you tumbling. So that blade of grass that just the morning before you stepped on with no problems at all? Well it is now likely to be out for revenge, so try to avoid it at all costs. And remember at no point will the killer break into even a light jog, as for some reason all horror movie murderers are lazy bastards, so you have time to watch your step.
7) People do things that are illogical.
It's 3 in the morning, a man with an axe is chasing you (slowly of course) and you're banging on the door of a shop that said 'closed' in the window. Quickly realise that you're being an idiot, it's 3am and you're banging on the window of a haberdashery, so why the hell would it be open? Just in case an idiot turns up looking to escape a mass murderer? If it was 17:31 and you can see the staff cleaning up, then yeah bang away, otherwise it's probably sensible to try and hide elsewhere.
8) People don't take other peoples good advice. If there's a shark that's the size of a house circling you and someone says 'We're gonna need a bigger boat", take their advice, go back to shore, pick up something like a cruise liner or an Aircraft carrier and return. Chances are if you don't one or all of your arses is going to end up as chum.
9) No one ever listens to the experts.
You think your house is haunted and a ghost hunter/priest/weird man you met on the internet says whatever you do 'don't try to summon the demons yourself'. Don't do what they do in the movies and immediately run off, set up a Ouija board, dim the lights and then start asking your mates 'are you moving that glass?'. It's 100% certain that they aren't, that it will spell out something scary and then all of you will end up getting the crap kicked out of you by something you can't see (probably because you haven't turned the lights on).
10) People stay in an area even though they know someone's out and about killing everything that moves.
So there's a man on campus who is killing everyone. Now rather than staying put, or going to a secluded spot to engage in 'heavy petting' with your girlfriend, try going back to mum and dads for a few days until the killings have stopped. I'd imagine your teachers will allow you to miss that homework deadline if your excuse is that there is some fella roaming around your halls of residents cutting peoples hearts out. It's got to at the very least be worthy of an extension.
11) Zombies like to bite people, but people still wear clothes which leave lots of flesh exposed.
If you are under attack by the living dead and they are keen to gnaw on your arms, legs or head, don't walk around in a bikini, or a pair of shorts and a vest, get yourself some jeans, a role neck sweater, Doc Martin boots and ideally put on a motorcycle helmet. Yeah you may look like you've come straight off a 1990's porn set but that's got to be better than having some bloke chewing on your nose.
12) People don't question what they've been told even if it doesn't make sense.
Take Gremlins for example, so you buy an animal that's certainly not your run of the mill pet and the wise old Chinese man who sells it to you advises that whatever you do, 'do not feed him after midnight'.
So rather than go home and break out the chicken wings, the first thing you should do is question when the hell 'after midnight' ends!? Surely all time is after midnight? If not then where is the tipping point? I'd want to be made fully aware that if i'm serving up a plate of chicken nuggets at half one in the afternoon that this was sufficiently past midnight that I wasn't going to come back a few hours later and be confronted by a monster intent on shooting me in the face with a crossbow. It's just self preservation people.
So that's it, there's plenty of other things that happen in horror movies that are illogical or just downright stupid, as that is what's needed to make a good scary movie because if everyone was sensible then no one would ever get killed. I mean imagine watching Candyman where at the beginning everyone just threw away their mirrors, or Jaws where no one went in to the sea, that would be one boring 2 hours in the cinema.
Anyway just to finish off I have listed my own favourite scary films of all time. Now depending on what type of scary movies you're in to, you may agree or disagree, but all I can say is that each of these films had the ability to scare the bajeebers out of me when I was growing up:
2. The Descent
3. Paranormal Activity
4. The Blair Witch Project
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street