I am not a fan of horror movies. Let’s just get that out in the open. I don’t dislike them either though, but the first one I ever watched was some pretty heavy material, and I still haven’t found the guts to re-experience that particular nightmare. It was House Of Wax. I believe there are various versions out there, but I’m talking about the one starring Paris Hilton (yeah, horror, I know). During the screening of this very first horror movie I ever saw, I already figured out I need two props in order to watch any movie from the genre successfully: a big pillow, and someone to snuggle up against (m/f).
The pillow to dig my face into and scream all the trauma into, as well as a way of only being able to watch a certain slice of the actual screen I’m watching the movie on. My theory is that it the percentage of the screen surface I can actually see, equals the percentage of full-on horror I will be consuming (with 100% being all the horror the movie has to offer). The other person will just have to get used to the fact that I’m not gonna let go once I’ve grabbed on (which happens earlier on in the movie, the scarier it is. Obviously). We will be taking bathroom breaks simultaneously (and only when I say so). Yeah, watching a horror movie with me is not a pleasant experience for everyone.
So why do I keep doing it? It’s not my favorite genre. I don’t necessarily seek them out either. About two years ago, I bought the original version of The Exorcist, and once again I haven’t yet manned up and watched it. I did watch The Shining last year (for the first time), because the university Film Society organized a screening. It was right there, presented on a silver platter. And it’s more of a psychological thriller than an actual horror. It was still scary as shit tough. I didn’t know any of the others present very well, but you bet your ass that I arranged myself a buddy.
Taking into account that was the one and only time I have ever watched The Shining, you may understand that I wasn’t very much aware of any underlying message it may have been proposing. But apparently I must have been trying very hard not to notice anything, because it appears there is a lot to be said. All that knowledge has not really warmed me up to the movie though, and I am not sure if I will ever volunteer to watch it again.
So, if horror is not my genre, what is? Is this a fundamental question to you as my reader? People often ask me what my favorite movie is, and I honestly have no clue. By default, I usually go with The Lion King, because I like Disney and this is without a doubt the best movie Disney has ever produced. But does that mean it’s my favorite? Is it the best movie I have ever seen (which is a different thing, mind you)? Is this a question that you guys want answered? Because if so, I might dedicate a post to the quest for my favorite movie :)
In the meantime, the whole issue of genre is not something I am terrible fond of, and it appears that Zen Scribbles agrees with me on this. Or rather, I agree with Zen Scribbles. It’s the same with music. Can’t I just like the best, no matter what genre it belongs to? There are comedies I love and comedies I hate. There are adventure movies I love and some I hate. I guess that the genre I enjoy reading most is historical fiction (right now I’m gripped by James Clavell’s Shogun), as well as fantasy. And just stuff about film. I’m not terribly fond of movies in the genre of historical fiction, which I found rather surprising, seeing as literature and video have historically been very much intertwined.
Zen Scribbles also mentions that she understands why authors would stick to a single genre (while she herself doesn’t do this). And this got me thinking. Because one of my favorite works of historical fiction (in literature) is Ken Follett’s The Pillars Of The Earth (now also a TV series, which comes highly recommended! So from me. If you wouldn’t watch it for my guarantee, watch it for Eddie Redmayne. Thought as much). In his introduction, he describes the process of creating the book, and he ends like this: “It seemed like the wrong book; I seemed like the wrong writer; and I almost didn’t do it. But it is my best book, and you honoured it.” This really hit something with me. The cathedrals, this particular, it seemed as if they had been slumbering passions of him. But he discovered them within and brought them to fruition. If that makes any sense at all.