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?

Resi2

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!

TheBathroomSAW1.png

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!

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Jakes Horror-ific Halloween Guide

By Jake Cordiner (@jjjjaketh)

HEY HOWDY HEY DUDES AND DUDETTES! Jake here with the last Halloween piece of 2017 pauses for crowd sympathy. This has been a wild ride, and it’s been fun as hell. So let’s get going – I’m going to give you ideas for your Halloween movie marathons! And imma kick things off with…

TOP 5 FOUND FOOTAGE FILMS

Just as an aside, I’m not going to go super in-depth with the descriptions of any of these choices for the sake of brevity, so sorry! ANYWHO

5: Cloverfield

This is in my top 3 films of all time. It’s brilliant. A smashing big sea monster wakes up and attacks New York. That’s all you need to know. Not necessarily a horror film which is why it’s at number 5 but I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention it so…

4: The Taking of Deborah Logan

Caught this on a whim on Netflix and thought it was bloody cracking. Starts off as your standard possession film but goes buck wild as it progresses.

3: Paranormal Activity

The film you can blame for the wave of really shitty modern found footage films. When this was released, however, it was as big a deal as The Blair Witch Project. Incredibly effective and constantly creepy. Just avoid the sequels.

2: Blair Witch

THAT’S RIGHT I’M BRINGING THIS FILM UP AGAIN I LOVE IT FUCK EVERYONE WHO HATES IT MY ADDRESS IS removed for the safety of the writer COME AND FIND ME

1: REC

This wee Spanish-Language zombie flick is a total doozie. It all takes place in a block of flats and it’s entirely fucked up. Just watch it.

SNACK: i’m going to try and recommend a humorous snack for each of these sup categories so for found footage…

A CAMERA LENSE FILLED WITH BONBONS!

TOP 5 SCI-FI SCARE…RS

5: Slither

A small town in the US is attacked by mad wee parasitic slug aliens in James Gunn’s 2006 horror comedy. It’s very good.

4: Jason X

There has to be a wee bit of cheese throughout this article and here’s a slab of prime stilton. Jason Voorhees… in space… killing folk. What’s not to love?

3: Alien

Hell yeah, baby, the granddaddy of Modern Sci-Fi! Alien is still almost perfect like… 40 years after it’s release? An astonishing piece of work from oor Ridley. I’m sure almost everyone who will read this has seen it before but if for some reason you haven’t, do yourself a bloody favour.

2: The Thing

I can hear you all now… “he’s put Alien 3rd and The Thing 2nd…? But… But they’re the best!” I’m buzzing for you to see number 1 lemme tell ya. The Thing is a stone cold (PUNS!) classic, and the less known about it going in the better. An alien attacks a remote research base in Antarctica. That’s all that needs to be said.

1: Event Horizon

HELL YES BABY! This film is balls to the wall nuts and I fucking adore it. The plot doesn’t even matter, it’s just pure nuttiness happening on a spaceship and you should WATCH IT

SNACK: for the sci-fi genre, might I recommend some mixed Milky Way confectionary? a crispy roll perhaps? or some magic stars? and a wee mars bar as a pallet cleanser. To be served on a.. sniggers a wee SAUCER!

TOP 5 GORY FILMS

5: Literally Any Saw Film

The only good Saw film is Saw 1. The rest are varying levels of laughably bad. But if you’re a gorehound like me watching the Saw series is a no-brainer (MORE PUNS!).

4: Literally any Hostel film

Read the above entry but replace the word Saw with the word Hostel. Some of you may call this lazy journalism, I call it energy conservation.

3: Men Behind The Sun

I saw this on YouTube about 6 years ago and it’s one of the most mental films ever. It’s about Japanese war experiments and, in some places, it’s shitting vile.

2: A Serbian Film

Ah, this old chestnut. One of only two films to ever make me actually vomit (you’ll know EXACTLY what scene I’m talking about when/if you watch it) this 2010 film tells the tale of a retired porn star who takes one more job to keep his family afloat. This job ends up being FUCKED THE FUCK UP.

1: Dead Alive (or Braindead)

One of Peter Jackson’s first feature films, this is a hilariously disgusting zombie feature that includes one of my favourite scenes in cinema history (lawnmower). It’s stupid, but it’s knowingly stupid so it doesn’t get annoying.

SNACK: like a smashing big fucking pile of raw meat? fuck knows, knock yourselves out.

TOP 5 CREATURE FEATURES!

5: The Host

A wonderfully shot Korean sea monster film, you’ve probably seen the films opening scene in every “best horror scenes” youtube compilation ever.

4: Krampus

More a Christmas film this but I’m giving it a wee nod anyway. Krampus is the evil Santa who kills your family if you’ve been bad. Make sure you see the actually good Krampus film starring Adam Scott and Champ from Anchorman and not the shite ones that they always release around Christmas.

3: Shin Godzilla

2016’s Shin Godzilla is balls to the wall mad. It ends up being more about how the Japanese government deals with the effects of Godzilla rather than just a film about Godzilla going mental but it works and it absolutely should not. This was one of my favourite films of last year so give it a shot!

2: The Fly (1986)

This could have been in the sci-fi list as well but I don’t want to mention the same films twice (which is why Cloverfield isn’t in this list as well). The Fly is a terribly sad film about a man who does a wee experiment on a fly that goes horrifically wrong. Also, Jeff Goldblum is in it and he’s the best actor ever.

1: The Descent

This is such a good fucking film god damn it. Cave exploration GONE WILD 2017 XXX. Is all I’ll say.

SNACK: Monster Much, obviously.

TOP 5 HORROR GAMES!
Oh yes, baby a motherfucking curveball.

5: Amnesia: The Dark Descent

If you’re at all into gaming, you’ve heard of this. You can’t fight your enemies, you have to run away, which makes exploring this victorian-era castle all the more unnerving.

4: Outlast 2

This game got way under my skin when I played it earlier this year. Using only your camera, you must traverse through a Christian cult’s compound in the remote mountains of the US of A. You will shit yourself.

3: Silent Hill 2

I shouldn’t have to explain what this game/series is all about so y’know what? I won’t. Just bloody hurry up and play it. Trust me, it’s very, VERY good.

2: Resident Evil… SEVEN

The latest installment in the Resident Evil franchise is tied with Resi 4 as the best in the series for me. Resi 7 is way scarier though. One of the only games where i’ve had to pause and have a wee break in between sections. You explore the Baker house as Ethan Winters, looking for your wife Mia. Then bad things happen.

1: Dead Space 2

I just replayed this, so I may have a slight bias to it but I genuinely think this game is almost perfect. As Isaac Clarke, you wake up in a psychiatric ward in the wake of another necromorph outbreak. As you learn more about why you were in the ward in the first place, the puzzle pieces start falling into order and you realise you may have had more to do with the outbreak than you thought…

SNACKS: millionaire shortbread because it’s nice 🙂

 

BEST SLASHER FILMS

5: Freddy vs Jason

An absolutely wonderfully shitty cheesefest, the two kings of the slasher genre face off to see who’s better at killing mentally deficient teens. It’s a worldy of a film.

4: You’re Next

This could also fall into the category of home invasion films. You’re Next is about a big family getting taken out one by one by psychos wearing big animal masks. It’s better than I’ve made it sound, trust me.

3: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

It’s shocking how well this film has stood the test of time, it’s still fucking disgusting FORTY THREE YEARS after it’s initial release. Well worth a watch or a rewatch for just how dirty and horrible it makes you feel. It’s obviously about a man in Texas that insights a massacre using a chainsaw. Duh.

2: The Cabin in the Woods

Kind of bending my own rules here but THERE ARE SLASHER ELEMENTS IN THIS FILM! I love this motion picture. It’s funny and scary in equal measure. Go in as blind as you possibly can and you will be rewarded with one of the smartest horror films ever made.

1: Scream

Hell yeah my dudes I love Scream to the moon and back. I said all I really have to say about this genuine masterpiece in my top 10 horror films piece (that’s right, i’m not above shameless self promotion) so see that if you want to know my full thoughts on this wee classic.

SNACKS: make cupcakes with wee marzipan eyes on the top. Woah spooky!

and for your last list…

BEST HORROR FILMS OF THE DECADE (SO FAR)!

5: It

2017’s It is an utter joy of a film. Every performance is brilliant, every scare lands perfectly but above all else it’s gutbustingly funny. This is a break out performance from Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard (such a fucking rad name) but everyone in the cast gets their time to shine.

4: Cohesion

This is an awkward one to talk about. If you only go in blind with one of the films i’ve talked about in this article, please make sure it’s this one. I cannot say anything more about this film than something strange happens at a dinner party and that it’s honestly incredible.

3: Raw

A coming of age story wrapped around someone’s uncooked leg. This is part Clueless part Cannibal Holocaust and it is ALL AMAZING baby.

2: The VVitch

This film is about a witch that terrorises a family in 1500s New England and it is truly terrifying without relying at all on jump scares. So good.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Horror has been so good recently that i’d feel bad not mentioning these so HERE GOES;

Baskin
The Void
The Conjuring 1 & 2
Insidious 1 & 2
Ouija 2
The Babadook
It Follows
Kill List
Evil Dead
Under the Shadow
Gerald’s Game
Train To Busan
Green Room
Hush
Creep

and your number one modern horror film IS…

1: Get Out

Jordan Peele is a genius. This is a ludicrously smart film about the way POC’s are still be treated in modern day society. It’s hilarious in one moment and hideously uncomfortable in the next, and that’s why it’s my favourite modern horror film.

SNACKS: hmm… Soylent because it’s modern!

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There’s your lot! I want to thank Liam for letting me write about horror films for the past month. I love you my guy. If you want any further recommendations from me for some reason, you can find me on twitter here: @jjjjaketh. Peace out fuckers. x