Friday, August 12, 2005


I've never been much of a one for horror films. It's not that I'm particularly squeamish or easily frightened, it's just that I don't find the majority of horror films remotely scary.
Exploding heads, gore fests and the like don't really do anything for me. As for Friday the 13th and assorted clones, once you've seen one physically perfect American teen disembowelled on screen you've seen 'em all.
I prefer films that are more suspense orientated: 'Halloween' with the horror mostly in your imagination, 'Psycho' with its slow, creepy build-up.
Ghost stories can be good. 'The Others' was excellent. All atmosphere,oppressive mists, creepy housekeepers and a creaky old mansion. All cliches; a bit 'Turn of the Screw'ish, but totally compelling and highly effective. The 'Sixth Sense' was good too, although its use of the twist in the tail ending has been copied ad nauseum.
The one horror film that really sticks in my mind is 'Carrie'.
I actually find this film quite hard to watch; I find it genuinely disturbing. It's really a film about the persecution of the unusual or oddball by their peers. The sensitive, intelligent Carrie is tormented and humiliated by her high school classmates. I think that's what I find most difficult about the film: there's just so much real human cruelty on display. Carrie is a caricature of the kid that got picked on at school for being unfashionably dressed, physically awkward, or socially inept.
The slow motion scene where the bucket of blood tilts and pours over Carrie as she stands at the centre of the School Hall, basking in the mock adulation of her peers, is utterly sickening. The explosion of psychic violence which she unleashes is a relief; a cathartic outpouring of revenge for all the misery that she has had to endure.
It's a film about the agonies of adolescence and the casual cruelties which people can inflict on others. That's real horror.


Herge Smith said...

Yeah that's great, but all most people remember it for is the shower scene and tampon throwing around.

And that nutter Piper Laurie.

Sniffy said...

Yeah Piper Laurie's character was a complete nutbar.

And the one opportunity for Carrie and her classmates to be saved was the with the kindness of John Travolta's character, who had initially taken her to the prom as a bet, but had become sickened by the actions of her peers. Unfortunately, he realises their intent too late... and i think this is a reflection on what happens when people allow others to take things too far because it's easier than stepping in and become a victim yourself.

garfer said...

Yeah, it says something about peer group pressure. If 80% of people believe that it's acceptable to behave in a certain way then it's very difficult for the individual to behave differently.

Herge Smith said...

Classic example: Big Brother.

I watched the finale - I can't UNWATCH it.

Oh my god, my hate hump has now been refilled for another year.

What cunts.

They would have been all the bastards making Carries life a hell, and now we celebrate them.


becca said...

i loved this movie so much that I dressed up as "Carrie" for Halloween one year. Determined to win my mate's costume contest, i wore a pale pink prom dress, long red wig, and covered myself in Karo syrup and red food coloring. Sadly, i was beaten out of first place by a guy nailed to a cross.

garfer said...

If Carrie had been in the Big Brother house she would have immolated the tossers. That would have been fun to watch.
How could they possibly not award you first prize? Tsk. Some people have no taste.

Herge Smith said...

Becca, who was the guy nailed to a cross meant to be?

becca said...

duh St. Andrew.

garfer said...

If he was nailed to a cross how did he get to the party? Was he carried or summat?

Herge Smith said...

I guess he carried it, mind you some kind soul is always bound to help shoulder the burnden (and then regret it instantly).