Hi Coffin Hoppers! Given that today is a busy day for me, I thought I’d share a post from last year to make people aware of this overlooked horror gem.
From my youngest days, I have been a horror fan. I cut my teeth as a tyke on films like Alien, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Friday the 13th. I saw them at a lot younger age than I should have, but my parents explained that no one really died in the movies, so I could enjoy getting the crap scared out of me. It was one of my favorite pastimes, which probably tells you a lot about young Jonathan.
That thrill continues to this day, the only caveat, of course, being that it’s a lot harder to scare me, or even make me tense during fiction. Slasher flicks long ago lost their thrill; my eyes glaze over. The danger is not real to me. I mean, aside from the classics, of course. The problem is that one of the key elements of horror is to present something that’s familiar and yet completely unexpected. If you’re expecting a slasher, sure, it’s familiar and comfortable, but if horror was about familiar and comfortable it would be a lot more mainstream, you know?
If I had my way, the slasher genre would disappear for about twenty years, then return, much in the same way that Psycho set up the genre, but there was a significant gap between it and the films that evolved the concept.
There is, of course, the wave of zombie movies, which were my go-to horror from the early 90s to the mid-00, with what were once obscure films like Lucio Fulci‘s Zombi and some bizarre takes like Zombie Lake (seriously, nazi zombies – check it out, it’s so bad it’s great). Then somewhere everyone decided that zombies had to be everywhere. Now, don’t get me wrong – the original Dawn of the Dead will forever be one of my favorite films. Return of the Living Dead? Great horror-comedy. Original Night of the Living Dead, awesome. Hell, I even like the remakes of Dawn and Night for what they are. But I have major zombie fatigue. I should be eating up the Walking Dead, as I loved the comic, but some part of me is incredibly resistant. I need a break.
Oh, and I think we can all agree vampires started being about horror right around the time they started sparkling, although Salem’s Lot remains one of the most intense books I’ve ever read.
But you know, I found out that a horror film can still surprise me when we saw Take Shelter in Manhattan last week. After a long trek from the Port Authority up to Rockefeller Center and further on to Central Park, we decided to take a break at the Lincoln Center Cinema and take in an indie film. What could be more New York?
The movie was sold on the theater’s website as being about a man who begins having dreams about an apocalyptic storm, and the man begins to question whether these dreams are prophecy or represent him slipping into the schizophrenia that runs in his family. Life changes for him due to the changes in his life as he prepares for this storm that may or may not be real. Continue reading