As the leaves begin to change throughout the beautiful hills of the Lehigh Valley, I find myself craving steaming mugs of hot cider and the delicious thrills of a good horror film. Once October hits, I go into full Halloween mode. Halloween is my favorite holiday for a multitude of reasons, but the chance to give myself the creeps for an entire month is pretty near the top.
I recall studying the idea behind horror films in my Philosophy class a few years ago. Some weird part of our psyche actually enjoys the experience of horror–we willingly pay money to see these films that make us scream and hide our eyes. We visit amusement parks to be hurtled around at top speeds, inches from death on roller coasters. In short, we love to scare ourselves silly. We crave the thrill of the darkness, the discovery of how far we can go without crossing into the experience of actual fear. Why? Horror in these controlled settings seems to be a sort of curious pleasure in life, and the conversations behind why this may be are fascinating to me.
Also interesting to me is the variety of horror sub-genres in both books and film. There are a myriad of ways to experience horror vicariously–slasher flicks, ghost stories, satanic possessions–you name a fear, and there is probably a genre of horror to accomodate it. What this says about human nature is fascinating and well worth some consideration. Why do we as a species have this unyielding curiosity to look under the bed, to peer at the disturbing capacity human beings possess for evil, and to postulate on dark creatures that exist only in our cultural mythology?
I hope that my journey into “Horrorfest: A month of analyzing horror films,” will make you think about horror and its place within our culture. Also, please share your thoughts (as well as horror recommendations) along the way.
Happy Horror everyone!