I think it’s become pretty clear by now that I have a really broad interest in horror. Good, bad, and horrible, I like it all. For me, it’s all about whether I have fun with what I am watching or not. It’s about whether what the people were trying to do and did do allow the movie, book, television show, radio drama, whatever to work.
As much as I love it all though, I do see a need for better, and do crave better from time to time.
There is a time for the easy scare and there’s a time for the slow build and there’s a place in the world for both but it’s kind of like eating candy compared to eating a salad – you may love the candy but every once in a while you should eat a salad or you’re going to get sick.
The horror genre is sick.
Sure, there are always going to be pockets of inspiration, ingenuity, and intelligence, but take a walk down a video store aisle or browse some online and you’ll see an ocean of horrible stuff. And when I say horrible I mean specifically the cash-in stuff that solely exists to feel on the flesh of a successful franchise. Sure, there are other bad entertainments that are poorly made, poorly conceived and then there’s stuff that is just bad, straight up bad. To varying degrees everything serves a purpose and there’s a potential audience for everything, so it isn’t for me to cast lightning bolts down from on high.
We should expect better sometimes.
We should want more sometimes.
As much as I have enjoyed many of the horror remakes, and like zombie tales, and get down with a good ghost story we should expect more. We should want more than what is popular. We should want better than the churned out mass consumable. It’s a shame to see the horrible stuff that gets funded when so many interesting things get ignored. And in the end it’s up to us to make sure that good stuff, when we find it, gets championed. That gets the word out.That’s the joy of Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, and all the other ways we get the word out. That is the glory of that stuff, the ability to get and pass information.
Again, so much revolves around taste that I am not going to tell anyone that the TWILGHT series of books or movies are bad because it isn’t my place to do it, but I can tell you that if it isn’t your cup of tea there are movies like NEAR DARK that are a wonderful alternative. Same goes with everything out there. Sometimes the alternatives are obvious and right in our face, like a classic film from the past we never really gave much thought to but which is waiting to be re-discovered, and other times these things are just out of the public eye. Ah, but that’s the fun of being a fan, isn’t it? When you really get down to it, it’s the discovery, the search, and it’s finding those gems that you had never found before and that is what we have to do, and to keep doing.
When you first become a fan of anything there is a long time where you’re learning about your new passion, the good, the bad, all of it. And as you get deeper into that new passion you develop a taste for some things over others, and that’s how it is with horror. We all love what we love, and it’s great that we do love it. Just as it’s great to get into a friendly (note the word friendly here) debate over the merits of our taste. Whatever our taste though sometimes we need more, we need better. We need to seek out things that will challenge and excite us and renew our passions so they don’t stagnate. Because once your passion stagnates it dies.
We need to expect better. We need to look past the obvious, past the remake, past the sequel, past the mass production to see what else is out there. We deserve it. We deserve it because as much as we love what we know, sometimes it is only when we challenge what we know and love that we discover new reasons to love it.
We deserve better.
Let’s find it.