Horror Business

Horror movies. What’s the deal with horror movies? 🤷‍♂️

Nah, I’m not gonna try to do a Jerry Seinfeld bit. But I kind of want to talk about horror movies, and my fascination with them.

The very first horror flick I have ever seen, or that I can remember anyway, was the original Nightmare on Elm Street. I can’t remember if it came out in ‘84 or ‘85, so I was either 3 or 4 when I saw it. I was a new release. My parents and I were spending the night at my grandmas house in Lodi NJ. She had a really cool finished basement that I always loved being in when I was there. It was kind of eerie, reminded me of the the lounge from the Shining. My grandpa, who passed away in 1985, built this really cool bar down there, so maybe that’s where my Shining vibe comes from?

Anyway, It was a finished basement with a a table, reclining chairs, couches, end tables, lamps, ash trays, etc… It sounds like it should be a pretty scary place for a child to play with his Lincoln logs in, but what can I say? I’m fucked up I guess.

One of the couches turned into a king sized bed and that’s where I would sleep with my parents whenever we would stay over. So this one night when we were in bed, my parents turned on the tv thinking I was asleep. Elm Street was a new release and I was about to start on HBO. This must have been a Saturday because if my memory serves me well, HBO always released movies at 8:00pm on Saturdays. So there I was, pretending to be asleep as the music from the intro of Elm Street began. I looked at the TV and all I saw was this guy making a weird looking glove. Oh at this point I was so fucking in! I was intrigued. And that first kill scene where the girl ended up on the ceiling had my flinching and pulling the covers over my face…. but as I said, I was fucking in! I peeked my eyes out and watched this trail of blood go across the wall and ceiling. My parents finally noticed that I was awake, and my mom wanted to change the channel but my dad said no, he wanted to watch the rest of the movie because HE was fucking in! I don’t remember my exact words, but I begged and begged my mom to please keep it on, so she did. Parents in their early 20’s in the 80’s 🤷‍♂️ am I right? So there I was, amazed, terrified, intrigued, Johnny Depped 😆. I loved it. I really did love it. I became a horror film buff at the age of 3 or 4, and that had only been the first horror movie I’ve seen.

A few years later in ‘88 when I was 7, I was walking around the video store with my dad. It was Friday night movie night in the house. My dad picked one movie, I picked the other. I don’t remember which movie I had in my hand, it was probably goonies or gremlins knowing me. But then I passed a stand up pop up movie poster. My jaw dropped to the floor, eyes open wide, WHAT. IS. THIS. I ask. It looked like an Oompa Loompa, but with red hair, a little burn mark on his cheek, and holding up a knife that was red and had a squiggly white line on the blade. “DADDY! DADDY! LOOK!!!”, he takes a look as says “NO! Absolutely NO!” I begged and begged, knowing how much of a push over he is. And he caved. Child’s Play. I didn’t even watch the movie yet and just by looking at the poster I immediately knew that I was so fucking in! Child’s Play is coming home with us tonight. Chucky will haunt me in my dreams and I couldn’t wait. Again, I’m fucked up, what can I say 🤷‍♂️ so I dropped the goonies or gremlins on the floor and ran over to the new releases and BAM! Child’s Play is in my heart. Now don’t think that I went from Elm Street to Child’s Play, there were other movies in between, Halloween, Friday the 13th (which I also loved, but it didn’t have the charm and charisma that Freddy and Chucky had).

Next horror film that stole my heart and curiosity came out that same year I think. Now THIS one truly did scare the daylights out of me because it was a horrible way to die. The Blob. At the time, I didn’t know the Blob was a remake. So after seeing the Blob a couple dozen times, it was time to rent the original. The original was so different, but I wasn’t bored. I was intrigued. Dude, that diner scene was the greatest.

Fast forward many years into the future, I’ve seen some really great horror movies, and some really bad ones. I started to get tired of the predictable “jump scares” and needed something to really mess me up again. But there weren’t anything like that, until Saw. Saw is the most brilliant horror film I have ever seen. They didn’t introduce the mindset of Jigsaw until the 2nd film, but after watching the 2nd I knew that it was a different type of horror. It isn’t that far fetched, these types of things can actually happen. There is no supernatural villain. And the thing I loved so much about it is that you actually get into the mind of John Kramer. And for a moment, you kind of feel sorry for the guy. You want to know more about his origins, you even want to see him survive even though you don’t want him to win. It’s weird, but brilliant.

I’m waiting for a new genre of horror to come. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead in the 20’s… the 2020’s, that’s so weird to say 😯

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