Transistor (and friend’s) Big Halloween Blow Out!

Oh baby it’s the blessed spooky day, the big ya-hoo, Halloween fatherfuckers! It’s snuck up on us again like a Xenomorph in a medium to large ventilation system, but do not despair, I have prepared for this day since the last. I’ve asked site contributors and friends alike to recommend their favourite ever horror films in an attempt to guide you through your halloween horror evening, and let me tell you there are some gosh darn doozies in this list. So kick back, grab a… halloween themed drink and a wee fun size bag of malteasers and enjoy this compendium of trepidation. Let’s rock.

 

Liam Menzies (Site creator, wee guy): The Fly

From the impressive visual effects to Jeff Goldblum’s obsessive, deteriorating (ay-oh!) performance, David Cronenberg’s The Fly is the film you’ll always bring up whenever the topic of remakes is brought up. It can serve as a haunting demonstration of the attitude towards terminal illnesses (including AIDS which is often brought up in analysis) but even on a surface level viewing, The Fly is a chilling, often traumatic flick that is equal parts tragedy as it is horror.

 

Ethan Woodford (Staff writer, shagger): What We Do in the Shadows

Maybe not a horror film per se but a spooky film nonetheless, What We Do In The Shadows is essentially The Office but with vampires, Taika Watiti directs this hilarious film while also starring. Combining dark humour with the occasional gory moment, this film is something unique and one I always think of when it comes to important comedies of the last few years.

 

Charlie Leech (Staff writer, legend): Martyrs (2008)

Not many would describe the 2008 French film Martyrs as their “favourite”, but it is a film that is truly horrific. The first five or so minutes of the film suggest a run of the mill horror film is about to unfold, but that is disposed immediately with a gruesome home invasion. From there, the true monster of this film becomes apparent, and the film devolves into depths not many others would venture into. After a truly affecting first half, the film lurches further into territory that is some of the most despairing ever put onto film, and is approached with a heavy word of caution. A film that demands attention, Martyrs is a horror film that is truly that, horrifying.

 

Josh Adams (Staff writer, twink): The Shining

Arguably the legendary Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, “The Shining” is the type of horror film that doesn’t make you jump out of your seat but chills you to your bones as you watch Jack Torrance’s descent into murderous madness. Everything about the film is stunningly, obsessively detailed – from the twisted score to the eerily still camera work, every working part seems designed to alienate the viewer and give them some sort of anxiety disorder in the process. And the acclaimed results of its hard labour are shown in the ubiquity of its impact on popular culture: you can’t axe down a door without someone yelling “HERE’S JOHNNY!”, or an elevator full of blood spilling its contents over a hotel lobby. Some people argue that Kubrick’s films have no soul, that they are purely cerebral works intended for the intellectual and the pretentious; but I can guarantee you that no other film like “The Shining” has left me so shaken to my core.

 

Olivia Armstrong (Site editor, host of Plastic Showreel Podcast): Inland Empire

My favourite kind of films are the ones that leave me in a strange state of mind. They swirl around my subconscious and usually appeal to extreme emotional thinking. This is one of the many reasons I love David Lynch so much: dreams are a huge fascination to both him and I and many of his films operate on the emotional logic of dreams. While much of his work has creepy elements and dark fears lurking in the subconscious, Inland Empire is over three hours of pure, high-octane nightmare fuel. Both Lynch fans and critics regard it as Lynch’s most intense and disturbing film and the extent in which it invaded my mind and got under my skin solidifies it as my favourite horror film in terms of impact.

There are many horror films I love, some for their artistic merit (such as Suspiria, It Follows and this year’s Hereditary), some for their pure fun (such as Halloween, the Elm Street films or Hocus Pocus). But in terms of what truly horrifies me? No one does it like Lynch and Inland Empire is his incomprehensible opus and the scariest film I’ve ever seen.

 

Kelvin Johnston (Writer, lover, friend) Hereditary: 

My favourite horror film of all time is, unfortunately, an unanswerable question. Much like asking a parent which child is their favourite? However, at this very moment in time my favourite horror to watch is A24’s ‘Hereditary’.

I can’t remember the last time I went into the cinema, as giddy as I was, to see a horror film and left completely satisfied. Hereditary is strikingly beautiful, it is sublimely edited and down-right fucking terrifying. It toys with cultism and demonic possession, often attempted and usually failed, but in this instance the two go together smoothly hand in hand, in the 2 hours 7 minutes that Hereditary offers.

I look forward to finding the next horror film that makes me feel the way that Hereditary does, but in the mean time I am happy to go back to Ari Aster’s horrifying gift to us all.

 

Evan Forman (Author, graphic designer, fighter): A Field in England

My hot take is that A Field in England is a Gothic Marxist masterpiece about the occult origins of capitalism, but that’s another article.

I don’t actually like horror films, I don’t think they’re scary. I think they’re boring. I think the jump-scares are cheap. The plots are predictable, and the characters are clichéd little puppets whose purpose is to die. And then the alchemist O’Neil – played by Michael Smiley, who arrives into this film by accident, when the other characters pull him out of a faeirie ring, then strings them along searching the field for buried gold – stops trying to shove stones into the mouth of his colleague Whitehead (Reece Shearsmith) and instead leads him into his tent. And then the other characters cover their ears as Whitehead starts screaming. But it doesn’t come from the tent, the sound is non-diegetic: it is coming from outside the film, and then it suddenly isn’t.

The tent’s opening parts slowly, and Whitehead emerges. He’s grinning and his eyes have retreated into the back of their sockets. His face isn’t mangled, there’s no visible special effect. By sheer force of Acting(TM), his face is just wrong. The film’s folksy soundtrack is gone, its historical verisimilitude shattered by this holy electronic drone from the future being birthed here. And then he fully trudges out of the tent and he’s seizing and jittering like a puppet – one of many images in this film that would later show up in Bowie’s Blackstar video… and there’s a rope around his neck that leads back into the tent. And then O’Neil walks out holding the end of it. Outside the protective bubble of the field (played by Sara Dee, apparently, who plays a field, because this film is mental) there is a civil war, and men are being used as tools for their masters: serfs, soldiers, cannon fodder. But right now Whitehead is being used as a sniffer dog. This is maybe the third or fourth wildest thing that I will see watching this film, and it’s fucking terrifying.

 

Oliver Butler (Site editor, mighty one): Coraline

Might be a bit of an out there choice, but Coraline is an expertly done horror. No, it’s not MEANT to be a true blue horror, but Gaiman’s fairytale was brilliantly translated into an on-screen scarefest.

Let’s be honest, the Other World is straight up horrifying, and is enough to give you nightmares for the rest of your days. It’s a masterfully produced piece of cinema, and only serves to chill your spine.

 

Catherine McNie (Uni student, my girlfriend (her finest and most prestigious accolade)): Coherence

One film which, although maybe not my favourite ever (I’m far too fickle to answer definitively anything like that!), has stuck with me recently is Coherence (2013, dir. James Ward Byrkit). I was recommended this mind-bender by none other than Mr. Cordiner, and was far from disappointed with its low-budget take on a dinner-party-gone-wrong scenario, a chilling premise even before it might force you to reminisce slightly of Higher Physics (I think the mention of the word ‘Schrödinger’ still managed to set off my fight or flight response). All in all, I really enjoyed this film, and have caught myself still pondering it many times since my first watch – and the fact I was more confused after processing it than I was during is definitely no bad thing.

 

Jake Cordiner (Site editor, Retail Worker, Catherine McNie’s boyfriend): Mandy

Mandy is one of the hardest films to pin down I have ever seen. The first hour is a meandering, plodding, almost fantasy-like fable about a couple who live in the forest. Then a mad cultist gets chucked in, then it becomes a surrealist revenge film, then it becomes body horror, then it becomes about 15 other things at once. It excels in each and every one of the genres it touches on, with Nicolas Cage giving a career best performance and Panos Cosmatos cementing himself as one of the most exciting directors around after just 2 films, it is quite simply put, remarkable.

I can tell that Mandy, if and when it gets a more widespread release (to be fair the DVD was just released and i’m not sure how much more widespread you can get in this day and age). To rephrase, when Mandy enters the stream of popularity and chainsaws its way into the cultural zeitgeist, it may end up being the single most polarising film of the century. And it is all the better for it.

 

Mitch Bain (Band boy, Host of Strong Language and Violent Scenes Podcast): May

Having got into horror a lot later than a lot of my friends, it took me a while to pull away from the mainstream and start to develop a real horror taste of my own. Lucky McKee’s 2002 film ‘May’ was absolutely crucial for that. Having come across it in an article about the best horror films since the turn of the millennium, the story sounded considerably more subtle and nuanced than a lot of what I’d watched up to that point, so I decided to take a chance on it. It’s an INCREDIBLE film that made me realise the kind of horror film that I love the most: films that start out functioning as straight-up character drama and casually introduce a horror element. May is, over and above anything else, an intense study of its titular character. Played with unbelievable poise and relatability by Angela Bettis, it’s effectively the story of an extremely socially awkward woman, the product of a damaging childhood, and the difficulty she experiences forming meaningful relationships, both platonically and romantically, in her adult life. This is portrayed in a balanced and sympathetic way until the film builds to a shattering, emotional climax. In the hands of a lesser filmmaker, May’s more adventurous and blunt-force third act would have descended into farce, but by the time the film reaches its devastating final scene, it’s laid such a convincing groundwork that nothing about this ever feels anything other than deliberate, moving and beautifully executed. This film changed what I thought horror was and could be in a way very few films have since.

 

Seán Donohoe (Site writer, cool name haver): Suspiria (1977)

I vividly remember the first time I watched Dario Argento’s Suspiria. The vibrant colours, the pounding score, the feeling of dread that hung over me as I made my way upstairs afterwards. It was my first date with Italian horror cinema and I was absolutely smitten. What had me so unsettled was how Argento managed to target the senses so well, instead of aiming to make the audience jump he sought to get under their skin. From the visceral death sequences, to Claudio Simonetti’s whispering chants on the score, both sound and vision fall victim to Argento’s wicked mind. It all feels like another world entirely, a psychedelic fever dream of magic and murder. Even after all these years and all these watches I’m still mesmerised by Suspiria and I don’t think any other film has since had such an effect on me.

 

Rory McArthur (Site writer, honorary Australian): Green Room

It’s more of a thriller/horror blend, but Green Room must be one of the scariest films of recent years. Nothing supernatural here, just a horrifying spiral of violence that’ll have you shaken to your very core. A punk band witness a murder at a Nazi-owned venue in the middle of the woods, and things get just as crazy as that premise promises. Over 90 tightly-wound minutes, you’ll breathe approximately 4 times, at most. The Nazis, led by Patrick Stewart of all people, are absolutely relentless in their brutality, but as the body count rises you just get drawn deeper and deeper into this twisted nightmare, wanting to look away but finding yourself totally unable. Maybe one to avoid for the faint of heart though, there’s one scene involving Imogen Poots’ character using a box cutter and just…you’ll know it when you see it. It also features one of Anton Yelchin’s final roles, and arguably his best, so what are you waiting for? Go watch Nazis vs. Punks this Halloween!

 

Kathryn Smith (Master of English, soon to be Spaniard): The Others

Ye canna beat an old fashioned ghosty story, can ye? And that’s exactly what you get from Alejandro Amenábar’s 2001 film, The Others. Its packed with all the classic Gothic tropes; the secluded location, the creaky Victorian mansion, the atmospheric fog, the ‘what the hell is going on here?’ feeling. The Others made me realise as a 12 year old that horror didn’t always have to rely on gore to be frightening. Instead the film employs two distinctive attributes; pace and tension, in order to create terror. The truth is slowly revealed through a careful peeling back of the layers, and the audience is often left peering behind a clenched pillow. Who can forget the puppet scene? It still makes me uneasy to this day.

 

Andrew Barr (Site writer, Uni student, Hopeless): Insidious

I’m probably the furthest you could get from an authority on horror so my choice is probably embarrassingly mainstream. I’m gonna talk about Insidious. I’ll show my age here because me and my pals were shit-scared by even the trailer but nowhere near old enough to see it in the cinema. As such, it built a cult reputation amongst us with folk talking about older siblings and cousins who had to leave the cinema out of sheer horror, while none of us could get a hold of it ourselves. Anyway, a few months after it’s release and long before the DVD became available I went on a family holiday to Turkey and found a bootleg DVD in a market. Needless to say I was the coolest kid in school after this, and for the next few months any sleepovers would consist of me bringing my insidious DVD. I must have seen the film about 8 times in a year at that point, and while I was far younger then and haven’t revisited it at all recently, I can’t forget how on edge I would find myself even after a tedious amount of repeat viewings, and even now I find the quote “it’s not the house that’s haunted, it’s your son” etched in some dark corner of my brain.

 

There you have it then my beautiful ghouls and ghoulettes, a pantheon of spooks to last you through the wee hours of halloween night. On a rather personal note, i’d like to thank each and every person who has read, shared or liked these past few halloween pieces from the bottom of my heart. I wasn’t sure if i’d ever be able to write journalistically again after the shite my brain’s thrown at me over the past few months but here we are, and i’m here to stay. Special thanks to Site runner and good pal Liam Menzies for having faith in me and giving me the time and space I needed to get back into the writing headspace. All love brother. Have an incredible Halloween, I’ll be hearing from you all very soon. Love you.

 

Jake Cordiner

Jake’s Favourite Horror Movie Soundtracks

Hello my troublesome troops, Jake Cordiner back again on this crazy train of horror fuelled journalism! In celebration of Thom Yorke’s (from the Radiohead’s dont’cha know) recently released soundtrack from the Suspiria remake, I thought I’d just have a wee chat about some of my favourite horror film soundtracks over the years. That cool with you? Well, I flipping hope so because YOU CAN’T STOP ME, DAD. I’ll make a dainty wee playlist for you lovely lot of my favourite tracks from the soundtracks I discuss, and maybe some extra ones! Let’s get going.

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First off, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Goblin’s utterly masterful soundtrack from the original Suspiria. Goblin are renowned for their soundtrack work, scoring such classics as Zombi, Contamination and… Patrick? What the fuck kind of title for a film is Patrick? I digress, those other soundtracks are exquisite pieces of synth-driven prog, but the Suspiria soundtrack is where the Italian weirdos shine. It covers such a wide range of soundscapes and genres: there’s a bit of jazz thrown in, some industrial rock, a wee hint of post-rock and some driving prog as well. Its scatterbrained nature lines up perfectly with the original Suspiria’s unashamed obtuseness. It’s really, very, very good.

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During the 70s, 80s, and 90s, I don’t think John Carpenter slept. His directorial work is almost untouchable (that almost being Ghosts of Mars (which is still a good bit of fun)). But when he wasn’t in the director’s chair, shouting at presumably Kurt Russell, he was in the studio, maaaaaan. Rocking out and crafting some of the best soundtrack work ever. Seriously, some of this stuff is insane, from the utterly iconic main theme from Halloween to the rockier material found in the Escape From New York and Escape From L.A scores, the man couldn’t be stopped.

However, my personal favourite work of his, both cinematically and musically, is In The Mouth of Madness. This wee slice of Lovecraft inspired gold is hideously underappreciated, and so is the soundtrack. The main theme, in particular, is an absolute banger, mixing the creeping synth work that Carpenter had made his signature style with some badass guitar from DAVE DAVIES FROM THE KINKS! How and why that came about I’ll never know, the solos on the song couldn’t be further from how the Kinks sounded in their day, but I do not care. It’s cool as fuck and deserves to be heard.

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Disasterpiece (better known as Richard Vreeland) is really cool. He’s scored some of the indie gaming scene’s biggest darlings, from Fez to Hyperlight Drifter to Cannon Brawl. But nothing he’s done has come even close to his work on the It Follows soundtrack. I’m quite sure everyone reading knows what It Follows is, but for the uninitiated, this 2015 horror is one of my modern pillars of the genre, alongside Hereditary, The VVitch, and The Babadook. It is about an STI that causes scary people who can’t be stopped to follow you. It’s magnificent, and so is the soundtrack.

Vreeland uses distortion, reverb and, perhaps most effectively, silence throughout the soundtrack and manages to add to the films lingering sense of dread and despair tenfold. Its a rare case of a film soundtrack being literally integral to the film, without Disasterpiece’s work on It Follows I’m not sure the film would be nearly as effective in its quest to scare. Get on it immediately.

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Under the Skin is tremendously fucked up. Based on Michael Faber’s 2000 book of the same name, Jonathan Glazer’s Glasgow based horror follows an alien (played brilliantly by Scarlett Johansson) going around Glasgow and harvesting men. That’s all you need to know. The soundtrack fits the films perpetually dark and dreary vibe impeccably. Scored by Mica Levi, the music smashes together a contemporary orchestral foundation with layers upon layers of distortion, haunting reverb and a deliberate opaqueness that showers everything else. In essence, a vast majority of the soundtrack makes the listener feel like they’re being sucked into an endlessly black void. It’s genuinely uncomfortable at points, but so is Glazer’s film. A perfect marriage, submerged in black.

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Lastly, I’m going to touch on Sinoia Cave’s soundtrack for Panos Cosmatos’ abstract masterpiece Beyond the Black Rainbow. To attempt to describe this film would do it a great disservice, but basically, a girl is off her tits and is trying to get out of a Bad Building. That’s the gist of it. The soundtrack was composed by Jeremy Schmidt of Canadian rockers Black Mountain, who claimed his main influences were the creeping horror of soundtracks like Halloween, The Shining and, hold on, Risky Business?! Leave my favourite wee Scientologist out of it you fiend!

Regardless, this soundtrack can only be described as epic. A sprawling and oftentimes jarring synth driven journey that complements Cosmatos’s vision effortlessly. I stand firmly in the camp that the soundtracks near 20-minute odyssey “1966 – Let The New Age of Enlightenment Begin” is in the upper echelon of music for any genre of film, fuck just horror. It is that good and weird and creepy and off-kilter.

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So, those are just a handful of my favourite pieces of horror soundtrack work to date. I’ll embed the wee Spotify playlist at the bottom with some more lovely pieces of sound to creep you the shitting fuck out. Tune in next time where I transcribe a decidedly one-sided interview I had with famed murderer Michael Myers! Ok bye, love you!

 

Jake’s 6 Underrated Horror Flicks

Hey y’all, Jake here.

For my next trick, I’ve decided to try and shine a wee light on some of the lesser known horror flicks that are floating around the filmosphere, because I feel bad for them and feel they deserve a bit of attention. Here we chuffing go, you lovely lot!

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First on the agenda is 2013’s Coherence, directed by James Ward Byrkit, this Canadian sci-fi/thriller is a hard one to describe without ruining anything. Basically, some old friends meet for a dinner party during a meteor shower and shit hits the fan in a wonderfully headfucky way. Great acting, a plot that is near impossible to pin down, and one of the best endings I can remember in recent sci-fi history, this is definitely one to add to your Halloween watch party.

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Next up, I thought I’d go contemporary with Stephen Congnetti’s 2015 found footage spooktacular Hell House LLC. It follows a team of… it’s hard to give a description of their job, they travel around the US refurbishing abandoned / spooky looking places and making them into haunted mansions or ghost train things. It’s a hard job but some poor motherfucker has to do it.

Anyway, this particular house that they decide to flip is positively crawling with ghosties and ghoulies, so much so that the majority of the crew don’t want to continue with the build, except for the project manager who for some reason cares more about the build than the safety of himself and the other crew members. If you look past that silliness it’s a remarkably effective and enjoyable found footage romp. I caught it on Shudder, and I believe it’s on Amazon Prime now as well.

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Now we’re onto Turkish gore-fest Baskin. Directed by Can Evrenol, this film is all sorts of fucked up. It follows a group of Turkish policeman as they investigate strange goings-on within an abandoned building. The true nature of these goings on, I shan’t tell you, for it would ruin the fun, but just know that this flick is not for the faint of heart. Half of the budget must have been spent on the gore effects alone, and I mean that very sincerely. This is a raw, visceral film that does not hold back one bit, and it is all the better for it.

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Penultimately, let’s talk about Creep 1 & 2, starring the incredible Mark Duplass. This tells the tale of a violently mentally ill man who may or may not have given his videographer (played brilliantly by Patrick Brice) the full low down on his “situation”. Creep 2 follows the story along almost straight after the events of the first have unfolded, so to spoil any of that would be silly of me, wouldn’t it? BAD JAKE! VERY BAD! STRAIGHT TO YOUR ROOM! WITH NO SUPPER!

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Eh, sorry. Haha. Anyway, one thing Creep 2 does masterfully is sort-of-but-not-really dissect YouTuber culture and the lengths some creators will go to just to gain more clicks. It’s really cool, superbly tense and Mark Duplass is fucking magnificent. They’re both on Netflix and they aren’t long at all so it’s really ideal for a double feature.

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Lastly, for this piece, I’d be positively overjoyed to talk about Monster House! Monster House, while not overtly “Scary” per-se, has a creepy atmosphere that lingers throughout. It’s also incredibly funny and sad and weird, AND it was written by Dan Harmon. It follows a team of three kids who are convinced that the man who lives across from them’s house is alive and is eating children, pets, toys, cars, you name it! (Sounds a bit like my mother in law! ZING! (Sorry Catherine please god don’t hurt me)). This is one you can fire on and watch with your younger siblings/ children/kids your babysitting / whatever you get up to I won’t tell the police, so it’s well worth firing up on Netflix if you’re after a wee bit of fun.

So that’s my list! Tune in next time where I put on a GoPro and jump into a piranha tank! Bye, I love you!

Why I Love Horror

words fae jake cordiner 

Hello you beautiful bunch, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve written any solo content for the site.

This is due to a number of reasons, chief among them being my brain was, for the best part of the last 4 months, comparable to a lukewarm bowl of oat so simple. I just didn’t have the motivation or mental capacity to write anything worthwhile for the past while, so sorry? Not that I imagine anyone has missed my bollocks, but on the minuscule chance that you have, I’m back! Hopefully for good, but I’m not sure.

It’s October (for those among you who hate calendars like me), which means it’s peak time for spooks aplenty. So I thought this would be a perfect time to get back on the saddle and do Jake’s Month* (*see: fortnight) of Horror 2: Electric Boogaloo. I’m going to try and mix things up this time, I’ve got a rather ambitious idea for the end of month entry this year but we’ll see how it goes (spoiler: I might be enlisting some help). With this first part of my series of writings on horror, I decided to go all personal and try and pinpoint exactly where and when I started loving horror as a genre, so expect some anecdotes and potentially a small paragraph at the end to try and tie things together in a nice wee bow. Let’s go!

It must have been about 2003, I was at my pal Steven’s house. His big brother had Resident Evil 2 on PS1, and Steven and I went on a covert operation the likes of which the minds of the masses couldn’t come close to comprehending… We waited until his brother left then went into his room and got the game. Genius, I know, and yes Theresa May is planning on enlisting me as a military advisor, how the devil did you know? We put the game in, and before the classic PS1 splash screen even came up we were positively fucking shitting ourselves. I mean besides ourselves with fear, I think it as because we had seen the cover and it looked a bit creepy?

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Regardless, the “RESIDENT. EVIL. TWOOOO” bit occurred and the two of us ran out of the room screaming, it’s not even particularly scary in retrospect but as an 8-year-old it was a different level of frightening. So we made Steven’s mum go in and turn the game off and went back to playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, the only frightening thing about that game is how bloody good it is! I think this specific incident was the catalyst that sparked my half-lifelong obsession with all things horror, however, there was another thing that happened only a few months later that may have played a large part as well…

It was 04/05, and my dad had rented the first Saw film on DVD from a video shop in my town called Global (it’s closed now, but I owe a lot to it, namely my love of gaming. Might be an idea for another article at some point, but I digress). Father Cordiner (not a priest) was under strict instructions by my mum not to let me watch Saw, under any circumstances, and fair play to old James, he did his best. I tried to come in and was swiftly told to get out, so I obliged.

BUT LITTLE DID HE KNOW, DEAR READER, THAT I SAT ON THE STAIRS AND WATCHED A GOOD TWENTY MINUTES OF THE FILM, COMPLETELY UNDETECTED! (*Insert Skyrim “Sneak 100” meme here*). It wasn’t even a particularly gory segment of the film (it was the flashback bit where Kramer gives his alibi and then a bit onwards), but I was infatuated. The way it was shot, the grimness and grossness that pulsated through every scene, it was cool as fucking fuck, basically. And for that reason, I hold the original Saw in very high regard. For the curious among you, I closed the living room door behind me but left it slightly ajar, and our living room door is mainly glass so I saw the action PERFECTLY!

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The last example of my early love for horror would come in 2007, I had a computer in my room so that was basically how I spent all my time (WHO CAN RELATE LMAO?). I had recently gone to the cinema to see Michael Bay’s Transformers (a solid 6/10), but there was a trailer before it for a title-less film, “1-18-08”, soon to be known as Cloverfield. Now, anyone who knows me even in passing knows how much love I have in my tummy for the Cloverfield franchise, and the main reason is that of the viral marketing that surrounded it. 11 year old me was positively balls deep in that sweet, sweet ARG. I trawled numerous sites, forums and youtube videos in a near-manic attempt to devour any and all information about the film. As the release date drew near, and the pieces starting falling into place in regards to what the film actually was, my excitement reached fever pitch.

I didn’t see Cloverfield until it came out on DVD. I wasn’t old enough to see it at the cinema, so I had to wait. It was a painful 6 months, seeing the reaction to the film online, the excitement, the reviews… It was tough. On my 11th birthday, I must have watched the film maybe 6 times in a row, digesting every scene like a mother puma digesting her prey. Even though I’d kept up with the film after it’s release, I hadn’t had it spoiled for me (fucking somehow), so it still remained fresh to me, and it was, and probably still is, the single best experience I’ve ever had watching a film. It was bloody brilliant, and though I’ve seen films since that I perhaps admired or enjoyed more in some aspects, Cloverfield will always remain my favourite film.

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Now while Cloverfield may not TECHNICALLY be a horror film (I’d argue it comes under the genre’s umbrella as both found footage and a monster film), it’s just as responsible for my love of horror as the other two anecdotes. And maybe that’s the main reason I love horror so much, the primality of it all. It’s ability to make you feel so frightened so quickly. Good horror holds your every sense and sensibility hostage and makes you lose sleep for maybe one night, but great horror, horror like Saw, Cloverfield, or more recently (and less anecdotey) Hereditary, The VVitch and films of that ilk, get under your skin like a master surgeon. It consumes your thoughts for days, weeks even, it makes you want to tell EVERYONE about how it made you feel, hell, it might even make you disobey your parents and watch it from the stairs.

Cheers for reading troops, I dunno what grand point I was really trying to make with this article. I just thought it might be a nice way to ease my way back into the swing of writing more long-form stuff. I hope you liked it, I hope I haven’t wasted your time, and I hope to see you again very, very soon. See ye!