August 7, 2012

Horror Fish and Horror Chips

I often get called a "Negative Nancy" on various message boards, and, having listened to my recent podcast, I can't really say that I disagree. It's not that I hate all horror movies or that I hate new horror movies, but I do hate at least 95% of the horror movies in existence.

There's a reason for this, of course. The simple fact that my blog has sections to sift the best from the others should be enough for most people to work out what is going on. Considering the subject matter, I'm hardly an "arbiter of elegance", but I'm on a mission here.

For me, horror movies are like fish and chips. I'm going to push this analogy to its breaking point so bear with me. Fish and chips are food, but they are also somewhat of a luxury or "junk food" rather than something you could eat every day without getting sick of the sight of them or damaging your health. Horror movies are the same way. You don't need to watch them; the less you watch them, the more you'll enjoy them; they are really just junk in the great scheme of things.

I suppose you could apply this analogy to any entertainment or hobby, but I've chosen to use it for the horror genre. I prefer horror movies to any other form of motion picture entertainment and, because I'm English, I have a lot to say about fish and chips.

Imagine, if you will, that there are half a dozen fish and chips restaurants in your area. If you love fish and chips, you'll try them all. You'll then find that one tastes better to you than the others, while (since you can't get bad fish and chips in England anyway) another may be nearly as good, another may be cheaper, and another may be more convenient to get to. You take all these factors into consideration when you need your fix. If by some fluke, there was a fish and chip shop which had really lousy food, you'd simply never eat there again even if you were starving, and that would be ruled out of the equation.

When I'm choosing a horror movie to watch, I know which "fish and chip shop" I prefer. Ideally, I want a shit-your-pants-scary, supernatural horror with high production values, a great story and credible acting. I want my disbelief to be wilfully suspended, and I want to be well fed with so much horror goodness that I'm left completely satisfied.

Even from the most perfect fish and chip shop, there will be a few differences between each meal. The chips might be crispier on one day than another, the fish might be more meaty, and, occasionally, I might want peas or a saveloy as well. But, if I'm true to myself, and a loyal customer, I will always prefer their fish and chips to any other.

On some days, I might not have enough money for that fish and chip shop so I'd be forced to go to my second favourite instead. It might not be quite as good but it would still be satisfying. This is also what happens when I change from my preferred subgenre of horror movies to another such as werewolf or vampire movies. They aren't what I really want, but they'll still please me.

Other occasions might find me too far away from the fish and chips I like or those restaurants might even be closed. It's then that I have to "make do" with what is available. This is when, horror-wise, I would be forced to watch a slasher or a zombie movie. It would be formulaic, generic, and not completely satisfying, but at least I wouldn't be starving. I'd bitch and moan about it, but I would have been fed.

In a worst case scenario or an emergency situation, I would almost tearfully have to eat at one of my "written off" restaurants. Short of jumping ship entirely to eat a burger or chicken nuggets, it would have to do. The analogous situation would be a horror remake, a sequel, or a low-budget piece of handycam crap. I wouldn't enjoy it, I'd be consuming it just for the sake of it, and I'd probably feel ill afterwards.

Obviously, the fish and chips analogy so far isn't perfect. There are other variables to consider such as the mood I was in, if I had a cold and lost my sense of taste, or if the government decided to play "nanny" and banned the fish and chips I wanted. I could even be in another country where fish and chips were all so horrible that I couldn't bear the disappointment of eating them. I would then be very unwillingly driven to try other things or even cook my own. Although I'm a chef, I wouldn't be any good at recreating the same fish and chips as the experts. As a horror fan, I might know how to make a horror movie, but I wouldn't presume to be able to compete with the professionals. I would also be too lazy to do either. I have my own role, my own job, and it's for someone else to fill the fish and chips making position in society.

Anyway, I hope this gives you some insight into why I am the way that I am and why I do the things that I do. I was going to do this as a podcast, but I've got better things to fill that up with such as replying to the assholes who ignore what I've written in favour of writing comments on my blog which have nothing to do with the post. That's not all of you, but as the numbers of my subscribers rise (almost to the levels of the pretty girl bloggers who post once a month and get dozens of sycophantic comments for writing absolute crap) or I've diverged into other areas of the internet, it's just one of those things that happens. "Haters gonna hate!" as they say.

If you haven't seen the movies that I've written about, please don't read those reviews and don't comment on them. If you have seen the same movie and don't agree with what I've said, don't leave a comment because I honestly don't care what you have to say. It's not going to change what I've just written or how I've thought about anything because I'm me and you aren't.

I'll read your blogs if I want your opinions, and I often do. If you ask me in your post, I'll give you a reply for sure, but, unless I do the same, don't feel that it is your right to leave some snarky crap behind. You have no rights here, only privileges. This isn't YouTube or a message board, and, as much as I'm against movie censorship, I'll still be hypocritical enough to delete your comment and ban your sorry asses.

But, if you think that I've made some good points, and they've changed the way you think about something, then by all means comment. In fact, I love comments. I even love the snarky ones. Feedback is always good. Without valid and considered criticism, none of us know where we are going wrong to be able to change things. Some things are, however, set in stone and immovable without the use of explosives.

Don't blame me because a certain movie is crap. I didn't make it. Don't blame me because I hated a movie. Whoever created it made it hateful for me to watch. And, don't blame me for preferring fish and chips to hotdogs.

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