Any good horror fan doesn’t need me to tell them why being a horror fan is so damn awesome, but I feel like I need to write this article more for the outsiders. It’s no doubt that horror fans get the worst reputation out of any genre fans, because we love movies themed around death, scares, monsters, ghosts, gore, and everything else you wouldn’t want your mother watching. We’re sick and twisted individuals, right? Wrong. Completely wrong. If you think horror fans are just a bunch of Satan worshiping nutjobs, then you have no idea why being one of us is so awesome.
Honestly, I can rant and rave a much longer introduction right now, but I think that from the title of this article and by reading the above paragraph alone, you’re ready for this list. I’m going to explain why being a horror fan is awesome, so what’s the point of spoiling it all now?
So, without further ado, here you go, ten reasons why you shouldn’t judge a horror fan without any basic understanding of what we love!Next
1) We’re All One, Big, Dysfunctional Family
Loving horror isn’t just like saying “Oh yeah, I’m a horror movie fan!” No, horror fans are comparable to metal fans, who wear their fandom on their sleeves – or as a tattoo sleeve. When you meet another horror fan, it isn’t just a handshake or a nod, it’s the immediate questioning of their favorite genre film, with their answer dictating the next thirty minutes of your conversation. You can tell a lot about a horror fan based on their favorite movie, revealing if they’re a classics type of refined fan, or a death scene worshiping gorehound, or maybe a paranormal loving psychological horror type of person – any which way, you’re going to have a lot to talk about.
But when you meet another horror fan, it’s like running into a long lost friend of sorts, and there’s an instant connection. There’s no judging or awkwardness, and the common bond of film is strong enough to cultivate an instant social relationship right off the bat. Horror fans are passionate about what they love, aren’t afraid to show it, and come together like a lovable band of misfits whose Gods include the names Romero, Carpenter, Craven, and King.
People unfairly judge horror, stereotyping horror fans as these abominable freaks wearing all black and praying that Satan will consume the Earth in fire, but if you took one look at me, I highly doubt you could tell by my Abercrombie jeans, form-fitting polo, and short, business appropriate haircut that I’d even be writing this article. Unless I was wearing my Limited Edition Nightmare On Elm Street Nike Dunks – they’re a little bit of a giveaway.Previous Next
2) The Adrenaline Rush Of Being Scared Shitless
People get their adrenaline fix in many different ways. Whether you’re a rollercoaster fanatic, a sky diving lunatic, a surfer bro, or any other type of thriller seeker, a horror fan is no different. People question why someone would want to put themselves through a cinematic experience that would keep them awake for nights on end, but the answer is simple – it helps us feel alive. There’s absolutely nothing better then a good scare, and when a horror fan finds a film that can continually deliver a constantly terrifying experience, it’s like heaven on Earth. Hell on Earth? You get what I’m saying.
But seriously, every time a horror fan is scared enough to make their horror “O-Face” (that terrible squeal someone lets out when properly scared), there’s a little spark that makes them feel alive in a way no other genre can replicate. Your heart races, you look around to share a reassuring laugh with the closest person to you, you’re left with a lasting impression that haunts you hours later still – but that all means a horror movie was successful. It’s a proper kick in the ass that gets us going, don’t judge it.
3) The Creativity Of Genre Filmmakers
Horror offers so many creative opportunities for filmmakers that it’s just silly. You can literally do anything in horror, there isn’t a single rule. Any film can create its own legends, myths, worlds, killers, characters – literally anything under the sun. Freddy Krueger can kill you in your dreams, Chucky uses voodoo magic to kill in the form of a doll, Leprechaun turns an Irish legend into horror, Victor Crowley reanimates in full form every night – the list goes on. Sure, there are the countless slasher flicks that recycle the same bullcrap story, but those can all be ignored because of the actual horror flicks that highlight the boundless originality such a fantastical genre presents.
For the fans, this is extremely exciting, because we truly never understand what we’re going to get. Just when we think we’ve seen it all, a movie like The Cabin In The Woods comes along that once again attacks our favorite genre in a way that we’ve never even fathomed, almost like we’re discovering horror for the first time, getting us giddy all over again. Wouldn’t you want to re-live your first time (wink wink) over and over?Previous Next
4) The Massive Variety
Along with the before mentioned originality, there are so many different flavors of horror. It’s like smörgåsbord of all these unique dishes, each one providing a different experience and taste. Off the top of my head, you’ve got grindhouse horror, psychological horror, comedic horror, zombie horror, creature horror, “torture porn” horror, “found footage” horror – the list is endless. No matter what type of mood you’re in, whether you want to roll on the ground laughing or run out of the room screaming, there’s a horror movie right up your alley, providing an always changing pace which makes it almost impossible to become bored with.
It’s good too, because some horror fans aren’t into all the gushy, gross gore that is prevalent in slasher movies, so they can find their horror in more slow-burn stories that invade your psyche. Likewise, for those adrenaline junkie horror fans, there are plenty of pulse-pounding extreme horror films that exist only to excite. Hell, there are even horror movies watered down so children can get involved in the fun, introducing budding horror fans to the wonderful genre at the youngest life stage possible. Start them young, why not!
5) Practical Effects Rule!
I don’t care if you’re a gorehound or not – horror has some insanely impressive special effects. You can’t deny it. For a director to create a film like Cannibal Holocaust, where the killings are so believable he gets taken to court, you absolutely have to respect the craftsmanship at hand. Sure, you can argue it’s disgusting, and such visuals shouldn’t be applauded, but aren’t films supposed to be as realistic as possible? Isn’t it the job of a director to deliver something on-screen that looks like real life? How some of these guys/gals pull off a gruesome murder while remaining completely true to reality is absolutely astounding, especially considering special effects.
While it’s sad that CGI is becoming more prevalent in today’s horror game, there are still plenty of directors who stick to the old-school method of going to the workshop, whipping up some props, and covering everyone in a thick layer of fake blood. Filmmakers like Steven C. Miller, who I chatted with after the release of Under The Bed, thankfully feel the same way, agreeing that while extra effort has to be put in for practical effects, the result is always 10x better than CGI. I completely agree myself, so for all you directors still staying true to practical effects, keep fighting the good fight, it’s why we love this shit!Previous Next
6) The Fans Themselves
I already touched on the community feel horror has, but the fans that make up this collective are even more unique. These are people ballsy enough to embrace the most f*cked up genre of filmmaking, love every minute of it, and scream it from the mountain tops with pride. Horror fans are some of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet (scientifically proven), and they treat their favorite genre right. Going to horror film festivals is always a riot because of the people you end up meeting, and the insanely unique personalities each one possesses. Walking into a room, you look around and never see a herd mentality type situation where everyone just appears to be the same – we’re all black sheep, and we’re proud of it. You don’t get that with other genres, because horror is so niche, and that brings us back to that communal feeling that is oh so warm and fuzzy.
7) The “Zero F#cks Given” Mentality
I’ve seen it all in horror – whether I like it or not. Sometimes it’s for the best (Dead Alive), sometimes it’s for the worst (The Human Centipede), and sometimes I seriously can’t even react to what I’ve just witnessed (A Serbian Film). Nothing is off limits. Nothing is sacred. No one cares if you’re offended. If a director wants copious amounts of pointless nudity, no actress will have her top on. No celebrity is safe. No one gives a fuck about status. Basically, the horror genre doesn’t care about anything, and if you don’t like it, then just go away.
There’s no better feeling than loving a genre that isn’t always caring about winning new fans or being widely acceptable to all audiences, as a good horror film already knows its audience. We want our films bigger, badder, meaner, and more vicious, and again, a good horror director always strives for that. There’s exceptions to every rule, but for the most part – the horror genre doesn’t give a single f*ck.Previous Next
8) Interviews With Horror Directors/Writers/Actors Are Usually Hilarious
Being someone who actually conducts interviews with actors/directors/producers/etc., I can say that horror movie interviews are by far my favorite. Why? Because I get to ask Eli Roth why other directors like killing him so much, or I get to delve into an actor’s real fears, and I get to ask people what it’s like re-creating these horrifying events – it’s ridiculously fun.
But as a viewer, it’s also way more weighty of a topic and provides hilarious tidbits, whether it’s actors talking about getting decapitated or hearing production problems caused when a prosthetic head just won’t explode the right way. These interviews, and even open Q & A sessions, always take a turn for the entertainingly hilarious and the truly weird, and I could talk horror for days, whereas there’s only so much I can say to someone about a romantic comedy.
9) It’s The Most Giving Genre
The best part about being a horror fan has to be the filmmakers themselves though, because they’re just as passionate about their craft as we are! If you watch enough interviews, you’ll notice that most horror directors/writers are always thanking their fans first and foremost, acknowledging that their success wouldn’t have been possible without such passionate fans.
Whether it be Sam Raimi’s Deadites or Adam Green’s Hatchet Army, these filmmakers absolutely understand just how important the horror fanbase is, and they give back as much as they can. You don’t hear some rom-com creator thanking fans, do you? Nah, people go see that shit anyway. But horror directors? There’s just a sense of validation and awesomeness what I hear a horror director say “this is for the fans” or “we need to meet the fan’s expectations,” because that doesn’t always happen in Hollywood.
Let’s be honest, that doesn’t always happen in the horror genre either, as the mainstream will always be there to water down horror, but there are still so many people striving to only please us genre maniacs and it’s awesome to hear an entire fanbase be acknowledged.Previous Next
10) Because We’re F#ck$ng Awesome, And Horror Never Dies
I mean it. We are all fucking awesome. No genre promotes more individuality, no genre celebrates more originality, and no genre stays more true to itself than the horror genre. Sure, horror fans get a bad rap, but if my experience at the New York City Horror Film Festival taught me anything, it’s that, well, “haters gonna hate,” and you know what? Fu*k ‘em.
Being in that crowd of horror lovers, throwing back brews and meeting these individuals, it was just too much fun. I don’t knock people who don’t enjoy horror, it’s not for everyone and that’s pretty obvious, but don’t prematurely judge someone because they’re wearing a shirt that says “This Is My Boomstick!” That’s someone proud to show off their passion for something, no matter how different it may be.
Horror isn’t about sickos being obsessed with death. Horror is about relentless fun, thrills, and that jolt of energy you get from being properly spooked. Being scared is OK, and it reminds us how good life really is – and a true horror fan understands that.
We’re people too, you know – just with a few extra herbs and spices than most.Previous