Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Why I Love Horror

Although I pretty much enjoy all genres of film, my passion for the horror genre is like no other. Ever since I can remember, I have been addicted to watching horror movies.

When I was young, I use to hang out at my grandmother’s house as she would babysit me during the day when my mom was away at work. My uncle still lived there at the time, and he was into horror movies. He would end up showing me many films, most of which I can’t even remember. However, I have a distinct memory of watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. I turned it off after the opening bridge scene, because I was so freaked out.

I’ll never forget watching the Friday the 13th series and loving the brutal force of Jason Voorhees. He became my favorite and to this day, it has never changed.

My uncle had a huge stack of Fangoria magazines under a table in his bedroom. In the land before the internet, Fangoria, a monthly horror publication, was possibly the only way to learn about upcoming horror releases or get a behind the scenes look on your favorite horror movies.

When most kids my age or older would sneak into bedrooms to look at nudie magazines, I was sneaking into his to look at the photos in Fangoria. It was there, flipping through those pages, that I first got an intimate glimpse into the world of horror filmmaking.

With my young eyes, I saw the makeup process that transformed Robert Englund into the iconic Freddy Krueger, or some of the men behind the mask of Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. I believe this is where my fascination with horror really blossomed into more than just a love for the movie, but a love for the craft of horror filmmaking and the grotesque special effects that are designed to terrify the viewer.

Growing up over the years with separated parents, I have the fondest memories of going to the local video store when visiting with my father. I always went to the horror section and tried to pick something out. Although he would not let me rent everything I wanted to see, it was still fun to go there and see all the VHS tapes standing on the wall. I discovered a lot of new (to me) horror movies this way. Sadly, this is something that the new generations will never be able to experience, but I am grateful that my dad took me and gave me that experience. Thanks Dad!

My mother used to let me stay up late, much later than my proposed bed time, just so I could watch new episodes of Tales from the Crypt. As you could tell, I was not like most kids my age. I do not believe I was even ten years old yet, but I loved the hell out of that show and the Crypt Keeper. Thanks Mom for letting me watch it.

I attended my first horror convention in 2003. (My uncle took me.) The first celebrity I met that day was Gunner Hansen (RIP), the actor that portrayed Leatherface in the 1974 classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I was nervous, and I did not talk to him for very long, because meeting him was so surreal. I could not even tell you how many times I have seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre growing up.

From that first time in 2003, until now, I could not even tell you have many conventions I have attended. Before I started regularly going to conventions, my love for horror movies was high, but not as high as it is now after attending dozens of them. Having the pleasure of meeting almost all of my favorites has pushed my love for horror to new heights.

So why do I love horror?

People ask me this from time to time. I never actually sat and thought about it, until I wrote this.

Perhaps it’s all of those family connected memories growing up. I believe they slowly molded me into the fan of horror that I am today. What started as a taboo by simply viewing a movie that your parents did not want you to see because of your age, has matured into a passion. One that arguably grows as each new day passes.

Since 2012, I have compiled a top ten list of what I think are the best horror movies of the year. Not only is it fun, but it also gives me an excuse to watch as many new films as I can. Although the newer ones don’t scare me as much as the older ones did when I was younger, because every horror fan undoubtedly grows a tolerance, I still enjoy every minute of them.

Horror sometimes gets a bad rap. People periodically think differently of you, just because you’re a fan. Well, say what you’d like about the horror genre, but it’s my genre, and I love everything about it.

- Matt

Do you love horror? Leave me a comment and tell me why.

The idea for this post came from reading this post.