We watch a horror movie to be scared by ghouls and screams and blood. We expect half-burnt faces, headless horsemen, mangled bodies and mythic creatures or aliens. The latest breed of movies veers toward the downright vulgar to scare people. The only Saw movie worth watching was the first. After that, it just became an exercise in making it as cheap and gross as they could. Cutting people up, extracting pieces of clues from behind eyes and inside stomachs…all that is not scary. I do not want to be shown hospital procedures as horror.
The entire point, I believe, in a horror movie, is not to be scared shitless, but to feel that deep fear inside. The kind we used to feel when, as kids, watching the curtains billow on sweaty afternoons and wondering what strange thing breathed behind it; or never wanting to go into a dark room. That fear had no face. It was something that grew in your stomach, growing heavier with each step towards the black abyss you saw in the room. Like a wet cloth clinging to your intestines, feeding on your juices and drawing your sweat inwards. The fear pounded in your head. Senses heightened, you could feel every single movement, see every change in shadows. And the darkness seemed all the more heavier…
You withdrew. You did not enter. You went back to the light of the afternoon. Back to safety.
But the fear hung around. Tightly wound round your insides. Like a coiled snake waiting to strike.
That is fear. That, is horror.