Watching a horror movie a day for a whole month may seem like a mindless form of entertainment, but what started off as a way to kick my writers block to the curb (which worked by the way - I finished writing my Cosmic Decay: Contamination sequel earlier in the year!) ended up being quite a learning process for me.
Back in 2017 I learnt the challenge was a good ice breaker for the singles amongst us, and a great idea for a date. I learnt that I am really desensitised to violence now (despite shying away from gore when I was younger) and I learnt that more people are freaked out by the idea of watching 31 horror movies in a row rather than the horror movies themselves.
It's 2018 though, and this October 31 Day Horror Movie Challenge was quite different for me. I didn't need the inspiration, less people on Tinder were intrigued by my horror movie a day vibe, and lots of friends who I would watch these horror movies with had moved away. Despite it all I was still excited in the lead up to the challenge.
And then it kind of fell flat. I found it quite difficult to find horror movies that interested me this time around and I kind of hated all of the newer and somewhat lamer low-budget flicks that infested Netflix and Stan during October. I've gotten rid of a lot of my DVDs in my recent hygge clean out and divorce so I have been left with only my favourites that I have seen countless times. So what was a horror lover to do?
When it doubt, go back to the roots of horror
My goal was to watch horror movies I hadn't really seen before and I felt much braver this time around to face more blood and gore than I would have been in my younger days. Unfortunately there wasn't a lot of newer flicks to satisfy this new craving for blood-lust so I decided to turn back the clock and go back to arguably the most iconic era of horror (and I say arguably because I want you to stay tuned - I will address it in This Side of Sanguine in the coming months). I'm talking about the era of the naughties and nineties slasher flicks!
This method worked out quite well for me because despite talking a big horror game I haven't actually seen a majority of the slasher movies that made the nineties/naughties iconic for horror. We're talking Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Saw, Nightmare on Elm Street and all of their attached sequels. They also had just the right amount of blood and gore that would satisfy the cravings that wouldn't leave me scarred for life. So turning back the clock saw enough slasher movies and their sequels to make the October 31 Day Horror Movie Challenge fresh and exciting.
Unless it's super deep and dark, slasher is still the horror safe bet
This year, I wanted new and exciting and unfortunately a lot of more modern horror movies fell flat due to their cheap scares and lack of deep and dark storylines. The same could be said for comedy horrors, which just seem to be verging on stupid rather than cleverly funny nowadays. Because of this I avoided the comedy horror aspect this year with a few exceptions (yes I watched This is the End again because it's my favourite) but this year I was looking for something a little more jumpy, scary, gorey and classic.
Maybe I've spent too long writing about zombies and maybe I'm just not into comedies anymore, but my foray back into the world of slashers proved that even at it's campy over-reacting best, classic slasher horror movies are still always a safe bet.
When your a "resident horror movie expert" the October challenge means no one will blink an eye at your choice of movies anymore
Last year when I told people I was watching a horror movie a day they all kind of thought I was psycho and that it was potentially going to turn me into a murderer. But since then I've written another horror novel, created this very horror blog that you are reading, and have cemented myself into social media as the "resident horror movie expert" I was dubbed by one of my editors. Because of this, when I approached October and announced the second coming of my 31 Day Horror Movie Challenge no one was shocked or surprised. It wasn't even strange to consider this cute floral dress wearing cupcake would be watching people die on screen every day. Looks like I've found my brand.
Human nature is still the real essence of horror
Supernatural creatures like werewolves and Wendigos aren't scary - what is really scary is how psychotic people can be to one another, like crazed killers who slice and dice for no real reason, or people who act evil due to Satanic worship. That's what make zombies so perfect to me - they are the embodiment of all things evil and bloodthirsty in human psyche. Doing something malicious and unpredictable is what makes the horror genre scary today, and I guess that's why I sought out more bloodthirsty movies this time around rather than ones that focused on technology being evil or supernatural creatures being the cause of terror.
But if you read my last article about 'The Ones That Made The Cut' you'll have seen that the most horrifying horror movie of 2018's list went to the 1980's movie The Shining due to its portrayl of a very real violence and domestic abuse that can happen in your home today. It was the most horrifying because this human cruelty is very real. Humans are still the most terrifying of the monsters in the dark.
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