Time for another installment of “What Do Horror Fans Want?” This time, we take a return trip across the pond and pick the brain of Pazuzu Iscariot of Horror Extreme.
When asked “What do horror fans want?” I thought “fuck… that’s me” and then…… “I haven’t really thought about it”. So I thought and thought… and couldn’t decide. So I stopped thinking (as I often do) and wrote this:
Chapter 1: Innovation
One big draw towards horror in my world is that directors and writers are more willing to express themselves and do exactly what the fuck they want and need to do to express their feelings via their creations. It is the less mainstream horror that attracts me like a moth to a burning hobo, a lot of horror films reject the coherent story and the socially acceptable love interest, the hero, the bad guy and the end of movie fist-fight between the aforementioned hero and bad guy and just attack the viewer with an idea rather than a story in the traditional sense of the word. The best movies evolve from an idea rather than try and squeeze an idea into a current winning formula and horror usually permits the more unusual ideas to develop into the species that survives natural disasters rather than drowning in the first worldwide deluge.
Chapter 2: Emotions
The best horror loves to fuck with the viewers emotions. Often the concepts of love, friendship, lust, security and morals are presented and then flipped to the other extreme. A beloved family member can become a monstrous and twisted killer; a lifetime friend can become a hateful revenge fuelled axe murderer; mans best friend can become a salivating, blood-soaked, hate filled exploding hooker. Many movies trigger an emotional response but horror movies are in a position to create the expectation of one emotion then throw a different one in the viewers face with the impact of a surprise throat-fuck from Ben Grimm. A prime example of this is Takashi Miike’s “Audition” – one of the most emotional love stories I have had the pleasure of beholding.
Chapter 3: Necessary Sensationalism
Horror can be very thought provoking and philosophical about life but has the freedom to express this in ways that cannot be expressed in movies aimed at the wider audience. Back to Takashi Miike again but “Visitor Q” would have just been another irrelevant look at society without the happy family cadaver carving at the end and proves that Spike Lee movies would have made more of an impact on societal ways if he’d thrown in a bit of corpse fucking. Horror needs to exploit society’s taboos to be effective.
Chapter 4: Unnecessary Sensationalism
Sometimes movies are just about providing a couple of hours of brain-off entertainment and a great way to do that is to throw laughs, shocks, love, boobs, gore and disgust into a short time frame. Whether it’s the full on sensory abuse from a Lloyd Kaufman movie or some ridiculous ending of an eighties slasher wanting to use the “To avoid fainting, keep repeating It’s only a movie…” tagline, most horror movies know how to end and leave you a little perplexed. Screw happy endings… leave me thinking “what the fuck just happened” and I’ll mull it over for a few centuries.