Hello everyone and welcome to another #fridayschoice.
Today I am going to be talking about how I enjoy horror films even though I am a very squeamish person. I thought that this would be the perfect topic for the first Friday of October because we are in spooky season after all, and for the next few weeks there will be horror movies everywhere.
I will start off by saying that I never really enjoyed horror movies. I never understood the appeal of being scared. I never got that thrill. I hate blood, and I hate gore, and I am so jumpy that any jump scares would have me hiding behind a cushion.
I have slowly started to enjoy horror movies. I think this development has come from studying films in college. I have always enjoyed watching movies since I was young, but in the last three years I have really developed an appreciation for the art of films. I love looking at behind-the-scenes specials. I love analysing shots, and different film techniques. I love comparing one director’s style to another’s. I think doing all of this allowed me to look beyond the blood and gore and actually begin to enjoy horror movies.
Now I’m still squeamish. I think I always will be, but lately I have had a realisation. I used to say ‘I hate horror movies.’, but I have come to realise that I don’t hate horror movies. There are many movies that I love the plot of, the premise of, I mentioned in this week’s #moviemonday how much I love the score of Sleepy Hollow, I love Tim Burton’s nod to German Expressionism in Sweeney Todd, I love the score of that movie too, I love the complex, layered, nuanced story of Sweeney Todd. I love the characters. This is just one example of a horror movie that I have really come to love. What do I hate? The blood. The sight of blood still makes me feel sick, and it most likely always will but I don’t actually hate horror movies, I just hate the blood. Knowing this, I am able to watch a movie like Sweeney Todd, and I have watched it enough times now to know when I should look away, and now I can enjoy this movie for it’s many other wonderful aspects, and I simply look away for the really bloody parts.
Here’s some tips on how to enjoy horror even if you’re squeamish like me, so you don’t miss out on all the Halloween horror fun.
Look up the parental guidance review. This review should tell you how scary other people found the movie to be, and it will usually tell you how many instances of violence occur in the movie, it will tell you how many times certain language is used etc. So if you see that a movie only has two or three instances of blood and gore, then you’ll know there may be only two scenes that you don’t want to look at as opposed to missing the whole movie.
Watch a horror movie with a friend who has already seen it. I am so lucky because I have really good friends who know the sight of blood turns my stomach, but they also know what a movie lover I am so there are times when they might say to me ‘I think you’ll really enjoy this movie, and I’ll tell you when to shut your eyes.’ So that is what we do, we watch the movie, and they’ll tell me when to look away, and then they’ll tell me when to look again, and most of the time when we do this, I end up really enjoying the movie and I’m glad I only looked away for a few minutes rather than not watch it at all.
Not all horrors are bloody. If you say you don’t like horror movies, you may be like me and only dislike one aspect of a horror movie. So ask yourself, if it was not for this one thing, would I enjoy this? For me it was blood. I used to say that I would love this movie or that movie because the story is really interesting but I just can’t watch blood, and now I have a way around that, when those moments play out onscreen, I simply don’t look. Figure out whether you don’t like horror or whether you don’t like an aspect of horror because if you can overcome the one detail you don’t like, you may really enjoy the movie.
Don’t feel pressured to see the movie in the cinema. If you don’t love horrors but all your friends are going to see one, don’t feel bad if you sit the movie out. You can always meet your friends afterwards. It is important to remember that seeing a movie in the cinema is different to watching it at home. At home you can pause it, leave the room, lower the volume down, and leave the lights on. The cinema is dark, and you’ll also be seeing something for the first time with a group of people who are also seeing it for the first time, so no one can tell you when to look away. I think that if you’re trying your hand at horror movies and you already know that you don’t love them, it is better to watch something for the first time in the comfort of your own home, so that way if you want to turn it off you can – and there is nothing wrong with that.
I am very happy that I have found ways to be able to watch horror movies with my friends and enjoy them. It means that I can be involved in spooky season, and lean into the fun of Halloween. Now that I have figured out what I do and don’t enjoy, I am able to watch a horror movie, and now that there are aspects of horror that I enjoy, I can now understand the fun of watching a horror movie. I like to be intrigued, I like to be curious, I like to be a little unsettled. I love an eerie atmosphere. I just don’t like blood – so if you’re squeamish like me then maybe this #fridayschoice will help you this Halloween.
This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you enjoyed it. Do you love horror or hate it? Do you love the thrill? Are you squeamish like me? Let me know.