Well, my friends, we’ve reached the end of the 31-day cycle. It’s about 11 pm on Halloween as I type this. Our little 3-year-old bat kid and his exhausted mom are upstairs asleep. I’ve eaten the last Milky Way left over from our candy bowl (pretty decent turn out for a blustery, really cold night, btw). My 13-year-old had a blast reconnecting with a pal of hers and between the two of them they dragged back what looked like twenty pounds of loot. Not bad for a Dorothy and a chicken…
So my thoughts turn now to that age old question: why horror?
PSYCH! Actually, they don’t turn to that at all. I am SO sick of the horror genre and its enthusiasts somehow being the literary/cinematic redheaded stepchildren of the universe! How many times have we seen articles asking famous writers of the macabre to explain WHY? It’s one of those perennial bullshit questions that will never die.
At least not until we kill it.
Frankly, as fans of horror, we owe it to ourselves and those that came before to STOP engaging the why question. It’s ludicrous and insulting. NO other genre gets asked “Why?”. No one asks writers of the literary mainstream “Why?”. I don’t give a shit if any non-fans out there understand horror or not. My friend Jimmer will never be able to explain to me why he loves the Cubs so much, not in a million years. On paper, it’s not an easy thing to understand (LOL). But guess what–he doesn’t give a flying cahoot what I think about the Cubs!
“But horror is violent and icky and deals with unsavory aspects of the human condition that we don’t want our kids involved with,” someone might say. “It’s awful stuff and you are awful people for liking it.”
My answer: THEN EFFING KEEP YOURSELF AND YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM IT, WHICH IS YOUR RIGHT. END OF DISCUSSION.
Could I tell you why I like the color green so damn much? Not really, even though I know it’s one of the easiest colors for our eyes to perceive. There may be other chemical reasons in my brain that make me dig green, or perhaps I had a green blanket as a child that I equated with happiness so that color brings with it a certain good feeling. Maybe it’s random. Maybe I ACTUALLY like blue, but tell myself I like green the most because of an embarrassing experience with blue that scarred me for life. Who knows, but more importantly, who cares!
Fans and practitioners of the horror genre and its sundry ilk, I beg of you–if someone asks you “Why?” in either a professional or small talk capacity, don’t go into some defensive explanation of why horror is, like, a legitimate expression of humanity, practiced for thousands of years, blah-blah-blah.
Just look at them for a painfully long moment and say, finally, “Because I love it.”
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Enough of that. I want to leave you with something good as there are only 30 minutes left of Halloween 2014. Hmm…
How about random horror goodness nuggets?
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Here is teensy bit from the Laird Barron novella “The Procession of the Black Sloth” that I’ve always LOVED:
“I’m dead.” There was the answer, elegant in its simplicity. Royce drew on his cigarette and nodded in morbid celebration. “Or I’m comatose in a country hospital and this is a hallucination. You aren’t even real, Chu.”
Chu cackled and the fine bones of his face lent him an aspect of profound cruelty. There was a stiletto in his hand like magic and he stabbed Royce in the arm. “Do you feel dead, you fucking moron?”
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One of the most criminally underrated horror films of the past ten years is a Belgian movie called Left Bank, directed by Pieter Van Hees. It deals with a world-class runner named Marie who is forced to stop training when she contracts a bizarre illness that messes with her body in seriously gross ways. This change in fortune leads her to move with her boyfriend into an apartment in a group of buildings called West Bank. There, she stumbles across what appears to be the mysterious disappearance of a former tenant, which leads to all manner of awful for the poor gal. This. Movie. RULES!!! It is also really subtle and goes to a place you’ll never see coming, but which fits perfectly with all that went before. Triple-highly recommended.
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Here is how to carve a turnip jack-o-lantern, per our old pal Jake Zettelmaier. He says that this is actually much more old school than the newfangled pumpkins we use today:
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There you have it.
It’s been fun trying my hand at this daily blogging thing, and I hope it has provided at least one person with a good movie or author or music suggestion, a few laughs, etc. As of now, 31 Hath October will turn into a less frequently updated site until October 1st 2015, when we start up the countdown once again…
Thank you to Dora Badger, Sam Fleming, and Kristopher Kelly for their guest appearances and thank you to everyone who stopped by to see what we were up to.