Monday, November 5, 2007

Why "Frightening Films and Fiction"?

I've been an enthusiastic reader and watcher of horror since I was a kid. I was the only fourth-grader in my class reading H.P. Lovecraft. (Reading it, not necessarily understanding it, but that's another post.) I bugged the man who ran the only movie theater in my small town to tell me the exact date "Carrie" would start playing, and dutifully showed up on opening night. I became giddy upon discovering Clive Barker's "Books of Blood" in the mid-eighties.

I love horror.

I just don't love horror any more.

At least not what passes for it these days.

I browse the horror section of any bookstore and I'm by turns bored or embarrassed by all the sexy vampires and lurid covers. I look for something out of the ordinary at the video store but can only find the latest torture porns and horror-comedies.

A friend of mine who's a successful crime novelist once told me that horror is now the second lowest-selling genre of fiction next to Westerns. Think about that for a moment. At the bottom of the barrel, cowboy-and-indian sagas that have lost their relevance, followed by monsters who no longer have to power to scare us.

These are dark days for horror aficionados who miss the pleasure of a genuine scare or the lingering unease that follows you to bed after the last page is turned or the TV is turned off.

Consequently, I've had to branch out into other genres looking for my scares. I find them, but they're almost never clothed in the putrefied tatters of the grave.

This blog is for those books and movies, the hidden gems that deserve a second look. And for those like me who are out there looking for them.

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