We all love a good scare. Some of us jump off planes, others go on the tallest, fastest roller-coasters. Is it for the adrenaline? The thrill? Me-I watch horror. If you ever read junk about the psychology of horror, you will find, that according to the stats–I am, as a woman, in the minority. Figures. Personally, I don’t believe that’s true. I just think we’re under-represented. I am not alone guys.
And there are more and more of us out there. We’re coming out of the closet. Honestly, I think there are more female fans than in the past, for the same reason we got out of the kitchen-because we have time. That, and it’s more socially acceptable for women to enjoy the horror genre. But that’s just my psych 101. I don’t have any stats to back that up. But, enough feminism for today. Here at this blog, we don’t care if you’re a man or a woman or what-have-you, we just care that you’re interested in the crap we have to say.
Some believe we like horror films because we have some primal need to feel such strong emotions such as fear and dread. Personally, I think it’s a big part of it. I know that for me, it’s a distraction from my busy life. But it did not start that way. My love affair for the macabre began as a little girl. It was forbidden as a child. My mom did her best to keep me away from horror movies, yet she would scare the bejeezus out of a little uncoolghoul with her Mexican urban legends and tales of
her macabre nightmares, which usually concerned the devil(and she wonders why I ended up being so ghoulish). Luckily for me, my aunt never stopped us kids from watching horror. Thanks to her, I got to see Child’s Play and A Nightmare on Elm Street and countless other unsuitable movies for a little girl. Precocious child that I was, any time my mother said I couldn’t watch it–I suddenly had to.
As an adult, I still love horror. It doesn’t scare me senseless as it did when I was a child. Instead, I find myself searching, searching, and searching some more for the next movie that thrills me. I will watch crap like The Human Centipede just to prove I can. But I prefer horror that is more than just “shock and awe”. I prefer the ones that speak to that primal part of each of us. Horror is just another name for fairy tales. These tales warn us that the familiar can still harbor Evil; that it exists and lives close by.
As I mentioned before, horror does not scare me as much as it did when I was a child. But there are still some movies that intrigue me, not because they were particularly the best, but because they were based, at least in part, in reality. Why? Because the truth can be much more horrifying than anything Eli Roth can come up with. Because who knows what’s going on with the neighbors behind closed doors.
Some of the Best Horror Movies based on True Stories
Open Water—The Movie Story: When unmarried couple Daniel and Susan take a group scuba diving trip, a mistake by the crew while taking a head count of the divers who return to the boat leaves the couple floating alone in the ocean, surrounded by sharks.The Real Story: In January 1998, married couple Tom and Eileen Lonergan disappeared off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef after a diving company accidentally left them behind in the water. It took two days — when a bag containing a wallet and passports was found — for the crew to realize that they’d left the couple behind. A search was conducted, but their bodies were never found. Belongings discovered weeks later showed no signs of the violent shark attack that the film suggests.
This is particularly horrifying for me because my swimming skills are severely lacking and I get scared in the deep end of the pool.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose—The Movie Story: A priest is on trial for the death of a young woman named Emily Rose, upon whom he had performed an exorcism. Through flashbacks, we see the tribulations that she suffered while possessed. The Real Story: The film was inspired by Anneliese Michel, a 16-year-old German girl who, in 1968, began displaying symptoms of demonic possession. For years, she suffered paralysis, self-abuse, starvation and demonic visions until 1975, when two priests performed exorcisms of what was believed to be several demons over 10 months. During that time, Anneliese barely ate, and she died of starvation in July 1976. Her parents and the priests were tried and found guilty of manslaughter. They were sentenced to six months in jail.
I don’t know whether the poor girl was truly possessed, or even if there is such a thing as possession. Nonetheless, a girl suffered and died horribly-that much is true. Either way, the end of life must have been a horror.
The Exorcist—The Movie Story: A pair of priests attempt to exorcise a demon that has possessed a 12-year-old girl living in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC. The Real Story: William Peter Blatty, screenwriter and author of the novel The Exorcist, was inspired by an article he read in college at Georgetown University about an exorcism performed on a 13-year-old boy in Mount Rainier, Maryland in 1949. The story’s details have been muddled through the years — perhaps intentionally so, in order to protect the family — but the boy’s actual home lay in Cottage City, Maryland, and the exorcism was performed in St. Louis. Evidence points to the boy’s behavior not being nearly as outrageous or supernatural as was portrayed in the film.
…And Movies inspired by Ed Gein( I will go into detail about his exploits in my next Manic Monday):
Psycho—The Movie Story: Norman Bates is a psychologically disturbed hotel owner who has delusions this his dead mother, whose body he keeps in the cellar, wants to kill hotel guests. He develops a dual personality and dresses like her when he commits his murders. The Real Story: The character Norman Bates was inspired by Ed Gein, a Wisconsin man who was arrested in 1957 for committing two murders and digging up the corpses of countless other women who reminded him of his dead mother. He skinned the bodies to make lamp shades, socks and a “woman suit” in hopes of becoming a woman. He was found to be insane and spent the rest of his life in a mental institution.
The Silence of the Lambs—The Movie Story: A young FBI cadet, Clarice Starling, begins her career on the Buffalo Bill case-Buffalo Bill liked to skin his victims to make a “woman suit”. The Real Story: Again Ed Gein
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre—The Movie Story: A group of young people traveling through rural Texas fall prey to a family of cannibals, including Leatherface, who wears a mask made from the skin of his victims. The Real Story: Again Ed Gein
I did not include movies such as Amityville Horror, The Entity, or A Haunting in Connecticut because their is no “real” verifiable proof. Also, I don’t believe in ghosts. (That’s right…I said it….ghosts don’t exists). That being said, I love Amityville Horror….it’s one of my faves, but it’s a big fake. Also, I didn’t post any Crime-horror films because I think it deserves its own post.