Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On Horror

Pan's Labyrinth is amazing
So the other day, I wrote that I wasn't a fan of horror movies. Two days later, I excitedly went to see Guillermo del Toro's LACMA exhibit, which was absolutely amazing. I adore del Toro's aesthetic, and wandering around looking at all of the amazing art that he both owns and created was positively astounding, and really revealed a lot about his process as a creator. However, these two facts are seemingly contradictory. How can I both dislike horror and like horror at the same time? The exhibit got me thinking about horror in general and my own tastes and style in movies and art.
BEAUTIFUL sculpture by artist Mike Hill

Here is what I do like. I like the macabre. I like gorgeous set, costume, and makeup design. I like fantasy and science fiction. I like sympathetic and otherworldly creatures. I like things that are kind of weird, including Victorian side show freaks. I think taxidermy is cool. I appreciate the strangeness of a work by Dali or the humorous oddity of Bosch. Penny Dreadful, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, X Files, Stranger Things, and Hannibal are a few of my favorite shows. I love Labyrinth and Dark Crystal. I like Alien and Predator movies. I like Sam Raimi films. I love Jurassic Park and Pacific Rim. I like the original Frankenstein/ Bride of Frankenstein, Godzilla, Dracula, etc. I LOVE What We Do in the Shadows.

Here is what I don't like. I don't like movies that heavily feature rape/ sexual assault. I don't like when small children are threatened by violence or murdered. I don't mind violence, and
Del Toro's process is what I loved
the most about the exhibit
I don't even mind beautifully filmed viscera as is featured in shows like Hannibal, but I can't stand movies where torture is the only draw. I don't like jump scares. Actually, I don't really like being truly scared in general. I love movies like John Wick and The Raid that feature martial artists/ gunmen just killing a bunch of people, but I really hate slasher movies about serial murderers without much motivation or backstory who lure teens into the woods. I don't like villains/ ghosts that are invincible. I like movies about monster hunters when the monsters can actually be killed/ escaped from, not monsters/ killers just killing a bunch of dumb innocent people who are helpless. I don't like being helpless. As soon as you give a character a gun to fight off a creature I am not scared. I don't like creatures/ ghosts that just kill people in houses because they died there. That seems dumb. I would rather have the ghost just be a character that hangs out. Monsters and ghosts that sort of hang out/ are characters are cool. Jump out, scary ghosts are too scary. Vampires are totally fine. Zombies are kind of boring.

So there ya go. Does this mean I am a fan of horror? I don't know. I guess I say I don't like horror movies because I don't like being scared, but I like horror movies that don't scare me if that makes any sense at all. Anyway, the del Toro exhibit at LACMA was amazing and everybody who lives in Southern California who enjoys his work or appreciates creepy weirdness should go see it.

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