What Do Horror Fans Want?

This week’s edition of “What Do Horror Fans Want?” we finally give an unbridled rein to one of our new additions here around the TerrorScribe grotto, Auntie Maim.

Do you ever find yourself talking back to the movie screen? C’mon admit it, we’ve all done it, there’s no need to be embarrassed. Talking to the screen is a natural reaction to stupid characters doing or saying stupid things, particularly in horror movies. We talk to the screen because we already know what’s about to happen and some inner voice suddenly decides to out itself in desperate belief that somehow we can save the idiot on screen, if they’d only follow our advice.

We all know the rules:

  1. You run as fast as you can and even though the killer is severely injured and lumbering along, they’re always just a few feet behind you.
  2. Never go outside, upstairs, downstairs, to the basement, to the attic or anywhere else ALONE, because if you do, you’re never coming back.
  3. You’ve killed the bad guy, don’t check, just run. They’re NEVER dead.
  4. Forget the car, it’s not going to start.

I could go on, but I think most horror fans already know the drill by heart and are sick of it. I personally would love to see a beautiful, intelligent, fully dressed, clear thinking female, cut the killer’s head completely off and hold it high like a hunting trophy. This way, there’s absolutely no question, that the killer is entirely and most assuredly, DEAD. Unfortunately that’s never going to happen, because nearly every teenage slasher movie currently in production, would be forced to come to an abrupt halt and be re-scripted.

I’d like to see a horror movie made for adults. I’m not talking more boobies here fellas, calm down. I’m talking about a horror movie that requires genuine acting from talented actors. A storyline that will draw the viewer back in days later, to a particular scene or situation that keeps niggling at them, causing them to stop and reflect upon the possibilities of finding themselves in a similar set of circumstances. Plausible situations that are patterned after real life and could actually take place in any neighborhood.

I WANT the neighbors to hear the screams and commotion. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to see what their reactions would be? Maybe the entire neighborhood would eventually become involved in solving the ongoing local murders or disappearances. Face it, by nature most people are curious and if there were killings or random disappearances happening in a real neighborhood, practically every phone in town would be at risk of cellular meltdown.

Characters NEED a background! After having this particular discussion many times, I feel I must say something about this or be put in the corner and forced to watch movies such as “Respire” and “Fertile Ground” repeatedly, until my eyes bleed. Real people have real histories that tell their life stories. Characters in any movie genre need a background, but the horror genre has almost eliminated this key element in their telling of tales. I not only want, but now need to know at least some history behind the characters in the movies I choose to view. Why? What? Who? How? These are the questions. Why is the killer compelled to kill? What event, action or situation triggered the killer to become active? Who are the people targeted and How exactly do they fit into the killer’s reasoning?

Instead of adding one more generic serial killer bent on another arcane rampage to the list, I want a storyline that takes me along on the killer’s journey from beginning to end. Tell me the story, don’t just drop me into the middle of chaos in a small town, expecting me to sift through the bullshit filler of a poorly developed script. Give me characters I can care about and understand. Even a serial killer, richly written and fully fleshed out, can become a hero of sorts. I’ll admit, I have a wild crush on a fictitious serial killer, simply because the writer gave him a fully understandable background and a real personality.

The victims are not to be ignored either. Why does a certain character deserve to die. I want to know from the killer’s viewpoint or the intended victim’s background, why they’re on the kill list. Who are they, how are they involved? What makes the killer think that by dispatching a certain character, he will somehow achieve vindication for himself or someone else?

Tell me a story. Tell it from day one to the last bloody frame and make it come alive with realistic characters in believable situations. People that you could bump into at any grocery store or post office anywhere in the country, people that have backgrounds and stories of their own. Then make me live in fear.

These are the things that THIS horror fan wants.