The origin of my love for horror is due to my fascination with the particularly sinister antagonists of novels. Especially those inspired by real shadows of the night. (I am one of those that's muscles tense at those five little words that come unbidden on the screen: "Based on a true story.")
I first heard about Jeff Menapace through my mother. We are both crime/thriller addicts and she'd just started his enthralling Bad Games series. Curiosity peaked, I searched around and found him in his little corner of the internet. Soon, a friendship was born. Jeff and I initially bonded over our love for horror films, specifically Texas Chainsaw Massacre. We were recently talking about how the range of horror has sadly become limited through the years. The only thing we seem to see nowadays is plots about demonic possession, gore infestation and contagious viruses.
I really do feel that the younger generation crave violence and gore or a violent evil spirit in order to be scared. I may be biased but I remember a time when we didn't need all of this extreme digital editing and gore to be scared.
Take Evil Dead (1981) for instance, dodgy effects and not exactly superb acting and we were all scared sh*tless. Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), the makeup wasn't as phenomenal as it is now but it still had a desired effect. Sleepaway Camp, a slasher film, it wasn't as explicit (well, maybe a little bit) as slashers are now and that wasn't what scared us, it was the ending that gave us all nightmares. I very much miss the times when dodgy film effects and people pointing at you and screaming was terrifying.
The film examples I've mentioned above are all for the scare factor through the physical section. I love a good gory and jump-scare film (Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) is one of my favourites after all) but do you know what I really enjoy? The films with tension. The ones that focus on the psychological side of things. The films that are twisted right down to the smallest detail. The films that make you think "My god, that could actually happen." The films that didn't require blood and guts every second.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 Remake) remains to be one of the main films that had the ability to trick us all. No one can say they saw the ending coming. I adored Silence of the Lambs because it was the characters themselves that truly scared me. Given Ed Gein and Ted Bundy are huge influences on the antagonist of my novel made the film all the more gripping. Then there is Psycho, the slowest paced film with no visual carnage whatsoever and yet, it still had the power to frighten us.
We need that suspense, the threatening calm and psychopathic and unpredictable plots like the ones there used to be.
Well. I hope you lovely lot enjoyed my little venting session for my Monday Musings.
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Until the next Manic Monday!