Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Isn't There Enough Horror?

A reasonable question. Isn't there enough horror in the "real" world? Why do you need to immerse yourself in tales of horror, movies that make you jump, and games that make you scream? The easy answer is because I like it. I guess the more complicated answer is ... because I like it.

Ok, ok, I know - time to explain myself before you stab me in the eye with a fork.
First let me say that you don't have to be a juvenile delinquent or a masochist to enjoy being spooked, or grossed out, or left wondering what kind of sick mind could come up with such depravity. You just have to like being scared without any threat or consequence to you or others.

I'm not a scary person. I'm a mom, a wife, and I'm not capable of running after you, with or without an axe. I don't sacrifice my pets or have an altar to Coocookachoo (who?). I don't use voodoo dolls or Ouija boards, and I don't howl at full moons (anymore). In fact, my family swears that I couldn't hurt a spider (I have them for that, but I have been known to feel immense guilt afterwards) and Humane Society and Starving Children commercials make me cry. So why horror?

Because I don't like violence.

Sounds contradictory, doesn't it? I know it does, but it's true. Sharktopus can't hurt me because he's CGI. Zombies aren't going to eat my face because they're not real (yet) and it never hurts to do your research. Be prepared, I say! But I *like* stories where the evil can be overcome, where the villain isn't all bad and the hero isn't all good. It's FUN to hold the blanket over my mouth so I don't scream and scare the shit out of the chihuahua. I LIKE looking over at my kids or my husband and seeing the same look I'm wearing, clearly saying 'did that just happen?'. And good grief, what a rush to shoot a zombie in the head from the roof of a house!

Horror, or thrillers, or dark fantasies (woah, hold on, now - I'm not going there) are all about the rush; that spurring of adrenaline in your blood, the fight or flight reflex in a safe setting. You can make your heart race without ever leaving your seat, or dialing emergency services. It's reward without the risk.

So maybe you're a lot like me. Maybe you enjoy staying up late at night with a flashlight, a booklite, or your backlit tablet, snuggled up in bed with your spouse snoring beside you, dogs weighing down your legs, and a mashed pillow under your head, telling yourself just one more page... one more page and you're going to sleep... then OMGLOOKBEHINDYOU!

Yeah. No sleep for you tonight.

Isn't that the best??

Thrills and chills, that's where it's at. I like to read it, watch it, play it and write it. As long as it's not real.

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