Saturday, September 12, 2009

Why I love Horror: The Early Years

Yesterday I wrote a post about something I definitely do NOT like in genre fiction, specifically horror, and it got me thinking - Why exactly do I, a 33-year-old husband and father, still have such a strong love for the genre?

Going back, I think it comes down to a few simple images from my childhood.

When I was three or four, I wandered downstairs late one night and walked in on my parents watching the Stephen King TV movie "Salem's Lot" and specifically the image of a little kid vampire floating outside of another kids window (pictured above). I was obviously shocked enough that my parents found me behind the couch and sent me back to bed, but that image still freaks me out today.

When I was 10 (and my sisters were a couple years younger), we were all baby-sat one night by a kid called Daniel who brought along a VHS copy of "The Terminator" Now I don't remember the whole movie from that night, but what I do remember is the scene in the hotel room where the terminator removes its human eye (pictured above), because our babysitter rewound that scene and re-watched it with us about a dozen times!

Like lots of young tweens, I loved having movie posters in my bedroom, and having only sisters I preferred horror movie posters, as kind of a "No Girl's Allowed" sign. As a twelve year old I had up Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, and a the movie poster for John Carpenter's "Prince of Darkness."(pictured above) Even as a kid I had a need, a BIG need, to walk the walk - so if I had the poster, I needed to have seen the film; and sweet cheese and crackers Prince of Darkness is so scary it still works as a great heaping bowl of nightmare batter for me when I watch it.

These three early films (for me) may not have been even vaguely age-apropriate, but believe me, they got me very interested in what goes bump in the night, and what I would do if it wanted to bump into me or my friends.

As kind of a fun exercise, think back to the earliest things that made you love whatever it is you follow, whether we're talking Science Fiction, Soap Operas, or Comic books. You might find that by examining these things, you get a better hold on why you love what you love.

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