Life in progress


Horror vs. Slice and Dice

I was having a little discussion, as I do, in the comments on this post with my friend Foolsquest on his blog, 642 Things about horror movies and what makes us laugh, and I got to thinking about the horror I write.

I don’t particularly like watching horror movies. I used to enjoy them when I was a kid, even though they scared the bejeezus out of me. I remember one night when I was about 15, babysitting a couple of young kids in this old century house. It had a clawfoot bathtub in the washroom. Anyway, I’d read and thoroughly enjoyed the book Carrie and the movie was on TV that night so I decided to watch it. I admit I was fine until the damned dream sequence at the end. I’m sure that bit wasn’t in the book. Suffice to say I was so grateful when the parents got home that night I almost hugged them. But I digress.

I DO, however, enjoy reading horror books. And I enjoy writing horror. What I really can’t stand are slasher films. You know the ones – they invariably include a half naked chick getting stabbed through the bare naked chest and a bunch of people who can’t seem to run as fast as the bad guy can walk. At best, they make me laugh, but for the most part, I think they’re a waste of time.

Now give me a psychological horror and I’m all over it. Even better if it’s in print, because there’s only so much psychology that can be related on screen, The Silence of the Lambs notwithstanding. So I got to thinking, maybe it’s the blood and gore I don’t like. But then I reminded myself of this bloody little gem I wrote just over a year ago and I realised that’s not necessarily all there is to it.

I think blood is okay. Sometimes it’s necessary to fully explore the world in which the characters live, if they’re very off balance or have particular … er … tendencies.

I just can’t see the value in watching pointless violence, just for the sake of violence. Do you?