Had to upload... this sign provides many laughs but none more blatant or hilarious than this one!
As weird as it sounds, I am so interested in serial killers.
Not that I enjoy what they do it just fascinates me to get into their head, the psychology of why they kill. I also love horror movies- together these two things together have made me a huge fan of Jason Voorhees, Leatherface and Michael Myers (Fred Krueger too but he's strictly a supernatural villain). These characters give the serial killer a larger than life persona: they're relentless, nothing slows them down, they're everywhere and they're psychotic. I love that even when the cheese is at it's smelliest, these guys are terrifying. There are so many scenes that come to mind when thinking about any of these guys that absolutely gross me out; they are all such icons for a genre. You have the same when it comes to action movies, so many actors come to mind that have built franchises out of their characters but yet in horror we haven't seen classic characters like the ones I've mentioned. Did slashes films hit the peak with Scream? That movie gave a new twist to the unstoppable killer premise, but it seems that since then there hasn't been anything worth talking about it.
What happened to the old school of horror?
One movie that I will give credit to in my recent memory is Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (featuring Robert Englund which is always stellar in my books!). It was a great take on these types of movies, giving us a look at a man who's constructed a persona and is now being followed by a film crew as he prepares to murder people serving up a legend he has created. Even chopping it down to rudimentary tasks like cardio. Leslie does a lot to keep in shape so he can keep up with his victims while walking as they run. The movies pokes tongue in the cheek of the slasher genre but yet it doesn't make fun, it's merely an homage to the greats.
While this movie has a lot of great stuff in it and some good killing it still doesn't create an icon in my mind. Jason, Myers, Leatherface and even a guy like Norman Bates, all had their own story and their own identity; Leslie Vernon is a make believe story that this guy has fabricated just so he can turn himself into a legend. Essentially this story is just about a guy who's completely off the wall and wants to be an infamous murderer- he just decided to have a little 'fun' with it. It's an awesome flick but it just doesn't create that franchise character I've been craving.
I'm an amateur writer when it comes to plays, stories, articles and mostly screenplays. I don't think I have all the solutions when it comes to revamping some genres that I love, I just feel that there's some things people are missing. Reality plays a big part even in the cheesiest, most out-there stories. Jason Voorhees had a great real story even though you had to stretch the limits of reality after the first part, and Michael Myers is possibly the absolute perfect story for a slasher (although after a few movies it's always hard to say "okay I'm cool with this"). Leatherface was partly based on Ed Gein, and also on a big fear of people when it comes to the back country of any area. Recently, the Saw series has the Jigsaw Killer- he has an amazing story behind him as well, but this is a new genre of horror which is more psychological and torture based. You need to have something real that strikes people, even the way Fred Krueger plays on your mind and what really happens when you dream. To make something terrifying it has to play on peoples fears you just have to find the right way to convey it.
Interesting deaths are obviously something that needs to a top priority. People watch horror movies to see blood. The Saw franchise is based around people being tortured to death- people want to watch other people die. It's a sick thing but that's what movies of all types are for, you release yourself and plunge into another reality where, at the end, everything is the same as it always was; your imagination is indulged, whether it be in comedy, horror, action or drama. You need to cut right to the source of peoples fears again but this time it isn't with the story it's with the imagery. Sometimes what we don't see is worse, or even when we see nothing and still hear it. Seeing the same old slasher deaths is boring, it's like movies don't try anymore. Remakes upon remakes come out (some of them are worthy and some of them are not worthy of release) and it's the same tired deaths. I want to see someone skinned alive and slipped into the tub with a few gallons of vinegar, or something like that, I don't know.. I just can't take anymore of the same neck slashing, eye stabbing, intestine pulling, hand chopping that's been going on any longer!
The biggest thing for me in a horror movie as well is acting. Now I'm not saying you've got to have someone acting at the highest calibre at all moments, I just mean that when it comes to the job of being scared and making me feel like I'm right there in the movie too you need to have someone who can do the job. It's hard to be real when it comes to that kind of terror because it's hard to get yourself into that mindset. This is why there are certain movies that terrify me, namely the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. When I first saw the original, I couldn't stop thinking about it for years until the remake came out and then I finally went back and watched Hooper's movie again. I kept thinking to myself, "What would I do?", and it felt like to me I would be frozen in terror in front of Leatherface. You put me in Dawn of the Dead and I'll flourish, but with a lone psychopath like old Face I think I would probably seize. This is why certain movies appeal to me because they have some component like that character that just terrifies me. So acting as the victims is big, but having someone who can carry that icon horror villain to the fullest is essential.
All I can do for now is hope that one of these days I'll finally make the right film, or that someone else will hit the right spot eventually. There are a lot of horror movies out there that I love, don't get me wrong, but I just feel a void in film where Jason and the rest of the boys sit that has been empty for too long. Maybe a crazy female slasher? Who knows. The best is yet to come I hope. Until then, I'll feed the void with zombies and my Nightmare on Elm Street boxset. Even the cheese tastes sweet.