I’ve mentioned it before, but being a fan of horror (let alone a writer of horror) can be very difficult sometimes. We’re not even in the Top 10 Most Popular Genres. We might be in the Top 20…I think. Such is the fate of a group that likes to be scared, when most people would rather avoid the feeling of having something evil and murderous lurking over your shoulders. Because of that, I thought I’d make a list of problems that is mostly unique to the horror genre. Here it is for your humor edification.

1. You’re not dangerous or creepy, you’re actually well adjusted. For some reason the popular image of horror fans is that we’re a dark, moody bunch who got bullied a lot as kids and we’re just looking for the opportunity to get our revenge on the world in the most depraved of ways. Why does anyone think that? Is it because we like movies where serial killers find half-naked girls in the woods, throw them against trees, and then cut them in half?

I don’t know. But if I’m anything to go by, I’m not that image. True, I was bullied a bit when I was younger, but it definitely didn’t affect me that badly! People tell me I’m a funny and really nice kind of guy whom they generally like. And most other fans I know are good people, we just like a good ghost story or slasher flick on the weekends rather than the latest Sandra Bullock comedy or have a fantasy football league. I mean, some of us do those things as well, but we also like to shout “Redrum” when we’re angry or go see Slipknot when we’re in concert. It’s just how we roll.

2. It’s hard to get people to go to the movies with you. Is there a new Avengers flick out? You’ll probably find someone to go with you by simply sending a text message. Comedy or romance film? If no one in your immediate social circle is available, chances are someone at the office will go with you. Horror movie? Yeah, unless your date or your friend is super brave or tolerant of scary stuff, you’ll be sitting in that theater alone for the most part. I speak from experience.

And speaking of which…

3. You can’t make people see why Cary Fukunaga’s departure from the new adaptation of IT is such a disaster. In case you didn’t know, Fukunaga, who’s directed True Detective among other things, was set to direct a two-part adaptation of the Stephen King classic. Sadly he split after he and New Line couldn’t see eye-to-eye over certain aspects. To which many say, “NOOOO! Why?” Most people just assume we’re being drama queens, especially since there’s already an adaptation of IT out there that scared them as children.

Really not scary.

Really not scary.

Yeah, as children. Truth be told, you watch it again, it’s a crappy adaptation, sanitized for TV audiences and with so much changed from the original story fans of the novel are left with a bad taste in their mouths. And Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown isn’t even that terrifying. Mostly he just laughs at a distance and talks about making corpses float. The kids are never shown in real danger. I’ve seen scarier things in a college final (for more reasons why the IT TV miniseries sucks, watch this review by the Nostalgia Critic and laugh yourself silly at how you ever thought this could be scary).

So naturally, we were hoping that we would get the adaptation IT deserves. Without Fukunaga, it’s about as dead as a corpse floating in a sewer, and we’re all disappointed.

Hey, maybe I did make you see why Fukunaga’s leaving is such a disaster. Go me!

4. You can’t wear your horror fan badge with pride on first dates. Horror fans do date, and a lot of us have great relationships and families. However, declaring you’re a horror fan on the first date and several subsequent dates is like romantic suicide. People assume that, if you’re male, you’re some wannabe serial killer creep who spends too much time peeping on girls, looking at graphic porn, and practicing killing in a dark and moldy basement. If you’re female, they think you were one of those goth girls in high school whom nobody got along with and who has anger and break-up issues.

Like I pointed out above, we’re not. Most of us stay out of those basements, get along with plenty of different people, and would never dream of hurting anyone. Not as if we can point that out on the first date though. Maybe pull out a Stephen King novel when you start staying over at one another’s places, and that’ll signal that you like to dip into terror every now and then. After a few more sleepovers or whatever and the books consistently stay scary, they’ll realize that yes, you like horror, but you’re not going to hobble them with an axe or mallet and chain them to a bed in your house.

As you can see, Halloween's a big deal for me.

As you can see, Halloween’s a big deal for me.

5. Halloween is more than just a single day of the year for you. No, it’s an entire freaking month, and a lot goes into it. You want the perfect scary costume, the perfect creepy decorations. You have to decide what scary movies coming out you’re going to see, what scary movies you’re going to revisit on DVD, what books you’re going to read. You’re going to want to discuss how the new season of American Horror Story is doing leading up to the two Halloween episodes. And you’re going to want to find the perfect party to show off your Halloween love.

You see, Halloween for us is kind of like how moms treat their daughters when they enter beauty pageants for children. We want to show the world how good we are, we want it done right, and you all better cooperate with us and with our zeal for this or there will be plenty of hell to pay! Happy Halloween, bitches! You just try and beat me at my own game!

6. Our love of metal is probably much healthier than being a fan of Justin Bieber. Again, we’re back on that negative image. Most horror fans have a pretty wide-ranging taste for music. Stephen King’s a rock fan, and I have an eclectic mix of J-Pop to classical on my iPod. Yes, I like metal too and so do a lot of other people, but it’s all just fun. We’re not actually looking to submit to Satan or in danger of turning into gunmen. Most metal artists are apparently pretty decent people when you meet them too. They have normal lives like you or me, they just are good at reaching our inner angst through music. It’s much better than listening to an overgrown toddler still going through puberty and acting like a total idiot when he’s not on tour, anyway.

7. It’s hard to discuss serial killers, fictional or real, in the company of others. I learned this the hard way, and to this day I still wish I’d shut my mouth before it made people give me stares. Sorry if I’m a little passionate about explaining how Ed Gein helped inspire Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You’re the one who asked if that last one really was based on anything real.

 

8. Most importantly, we go to great lengths to find gold in a pile of shit. I mean that metaphorically, of course. But it applies so well. There’s a lot of horrible horror novels and films out there, and horror fans will go to great lengths to find a film if they think it’ll be interesting to watch, much more than fans of other genres. Fear for us is like a drug, and we’ll try the gamut of bad films if it’ll give us the high we’re looking for. And even if we get a couple of bad ones, it’s well worth it when we find a really awesome one that scares us to our core.

Like Fukunaga’s IT would’ve been. And now I’m sad.

~~~

If anything, this post is meant to show you that horror fans are normal people, just like you or bronies. Are we perfect? No. Are some of our interests very macabre? Yes. Have I been to a morgue? Once or twice, but in the long run, does it really prove anything? Not really. It just shows, like everyone else, we’re all a little different and have our own special quirks.

So the next time you meet a horror fan, do us all a favor. Don’t discuss serial killers with us until we know you better. Instead, talk about the IT adaptation we wish we had and about how hard it is to get a good scare these days. Or the economy, that works just as well.

Was there any particular problems about being a horror fan that I missed?

Do any of these items stand out to you at all?

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Comments
  1. 1. Right???
    2. Luckily my Mom loves horror movies so we watch them together on netflix/hulu/rental. But yeah, going to the movies… not so much. Hubby and I did see Avengers LOL!
    3. Most of the 80’s/90’s horror movies weren’t scary, sadly. They were when we were kids but now… yeah….
    4. OOoooOOOoooo I could see that. Being a “girl” ( that’s the last time I dated LOL!) being into that stuff was considered “cool” (this was also late 90’s and we were teenagers, so…)
    5. YES!!! The sad thing is I have a lot of halloween decorations that have turned into regular decor because they are “cool”.
    6. I like a little of everything, though I’m not a fan of rap or R&B.
    7. I was raised on True Crime sows/books – my mom loves those (and my grandpa did too, which is where she got it from), so my bro does too, and luckily hubby does. But yeah, “normal” people? Not so much.
    8. Yes!!

    Fun blog!! 😀

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