Facebook horror groups. Many are the bane of horror fans everywhere, with their continuous posts reviling 'A Serbian Film' and any remake they come across, whilst posting idiotic 'battles' between two horror villains, such as 'Pinhead versus Leatherface' for example. Michael 'Mad Mike' Nagy wrote an excellent post explaining where horror pages on Facebook let everyone down, and also of the incredibly small minded attitudes you face on there. I do suggest reading it, as he explains very well the exploits of these pages and how they effect horror fans, both new and old. (Click HERE read his post).
There are also questions which seem to crop up all of the time on horror pages, and these are sometimes informative, but mostly just go over the same things again and again. For example, I myself was banned from a horror page for saying that 'Blade Runner' isn't a horror film. When I made the point that both 'Predator' and 'The Terminator' have more elements of horror than the aforementioned movie, I was laughed at. In the end, I got kicked, and that was that. One thing that bothered me was that I was never given a single reason as to why this person considered 'Blade Runner' a horror film. It just was. I tried seeing things from this persons point of view, but unfortunately my head wouldn't reach my rectum, and I haven't yet had a glass stomach fitted that would aid me visually should I try and see things somebody elses way again.
A very common question asked, is "What is the sickest horror film ever"? I think this is a difficult question to answer, not at least because people find different things sickening. It could be rape, dismemberment, child killing. I know 'A Serbian Film' features all three of these (and other things which totally break the boundaries of taste) but I in no way consider it to be the sickest film made.
There is only one film that deserves that title to this day, and I still feel it has such power, and is completely timeless in it's commentary on humanity. That film is 'Cannibal Holocaust'. It shows the sickness every man and woman possesses when confronted with something different, and the idea that they can control other humans, and do what they will with them without any repercussions. It is this realism, that strikes a chord with me and turns my stomach every time. Compared to 'A Serbian Film's' over the top content, 'Cannibal Holocaust' might look tame to some, but I deny anyone not to be effected in some way by the idea of superiority of an advanced civilization to that of a tribe, where the people from the apparently more intelligent part of the world come across as primitive beyond belief. This 'sickness' seems to be inherent in many around the world, and because the film shows it so well, certainly manages to chill the spines of many horror fans, whilst the behaviour, actions and finally deaths of the films protagonists definitely fill the gore quota.
I know the film features real animal deaths, but I understand all of the animals were eaten by the cast and crew. These deaths are again chilling, but it is no different to what goes on in abattoirs around the world. I am not condoning animal cruelty in any shape or form, and perhaps the murder of the Muskrat definitely goes too far, it is a true and again very fitting commentary on our behaviour that still exists to this day.
This is only my view don't forget, and I am sure there are many of you out there who will say just how wrong I am, and start mentioning titles such as 'Salo' or 'Nekromantik', but I can honestly say that none of those films have had the same effect on me.
Another question that seems to be asked alot is "I am just getting into horror. What should I watch"? What I am going to do next, is make some suggestions to anyone that hasn't seen many horror films, what they should think about watching. Again, this is just my opinion, so agree or disagree. That's your prerogative.
'Nosferatu' (1922). This expressionistic horror classic deserves to be seen by everyone. What it manages to achieve is far beyond any other silent film. There are shots featured in films that are taken from 'Nosferatu' to this very day. The atmosphere is enveloping, dark and brooding, and the characters, especially Count Orlok, imprint themselves on your very being (or at least in your nightmares).
'The Phantom of the Opera' (1925). Beautiful photography coupled with a truly chilling villain make 'The Phantom of the Opera' another horror film that should be viewed by everyone. The make up alone (devised by Lon Chaney, who also plays the phantom) is enough to make a grown man quiver in fear. Everything about this film screams 'Grandeur', and the sets seen in the film are nothing short of beautiful. Again, the film oozes atmosphere and creates such a feeling of horror, it will take you a while to get over what you have just seen.
'Black Sunday' (1960). Mario Bava manages to mix the gothic sensibilities of Hammer with a precursor to the gore seen in later Italian horror films. The opening scene alone is enough to make anyone squirm, and the atmosphere is think and suffocating throughout the entirety of the movie.
'Blood Feast' (1963). Herschell Gordon Lewis' first splatter film might be considered silly by todays standards, but I still consider it a classic. While there have been many films that have been much gorier, 'Blood Feast' bares the title of having done it first. Just watch to see pretty ladies meet a grisly end, and the birth of 'Splatter'. I feel those are reason enough for this to be on every budding horror fans list.
'Night of the Living Dead' (1968). What 'Night of the Living Dead' did for horror was revolutionary. Gone were the superstitious locals, the gothic scenery, the castles shrouded in darkness. This was replaced with real people behaving in such a realistic manner, that horror was bought into a different realm altogether. Add flesh eating ghouls into the mix, and you have the birth of a new type of horror, and of the flesh eating zombie. That really does deserve to be seen by everyone.
'The Exorcist' (1973). A movie that still has the same power today that it had when it was first released, the term 'Horror' could never be more fitting than it is here. A simple slow burn story that manages to increase tension to unbearable levels whilst throwing in scares that are both expected and surprising makes 'The Exorcist' one of the greatest horror films of all time.
'Halloween' (1978). I still consider this the scariest movie I have ever seen, like a row of Jack-in-the-boxs all set up and perfectly timed to deliver once scare after the other, executed with a perfect sense of suspense and terror. Michael's mask acts as something we project our own fears on to, and while there is very little blood in this film, it doesn't need it. This film is the stuff nightmares are made of.
Hellraiser (1987). Possibly (with the exception of 'Dracula') the greatest love (or should that be lust) story ever told. Steeped in sexuality and gore, 'Hellraiser' is a horror film like no other. Yes, there is a man with pins covering his head on the cover, but the films story, of a man coming back from the dead, and his brothers lover helping him become whole again by murdering men, is one of obsession and lust. The Cenobites are images of S & M depravity, icons of a pure embodiment of torture and horror. Everything about this film screams horror, and I deny anyone to say that they didn't enjoy the gleefully gory and anatomically brilliant special effects on show.
I could go on, but getting into horror should be a journey you take by yourself. Discover what you like, what you don't. Don't let others have any bearing on your own tastes, and always, and I really do mean always, like what you like no matter what anyone else thinks. There will be people out there who tell you how wrong you are for liking something, but if it makes you happy, how can you be wrong.