Two months ago, I published a post about problems only horror fans have and understand. Since then, I’ve thought of more problems that face the horror community, so I’ve decided to write a post about those problems and try being funny as well as educational. And I’ll probably fail miserably while I’m at it.
And now you’re thinking, “He’s going to try to be funny and educational and fail at it too? EEEK!” I wish you wouldn’t think that, I put a lot of work into this blog post!
1. Not enough Slender-Man media. If you live under a rock, Slender-Man is an Internet meme I’ve visited before on this blog, a faceless being with a tall body and long, lanky arms wearing a suit. The myth varies depending on who’s telling it, but usually he lives in the woods, occasionally has tentacles, and likes to kidnap/scare/sometimes even kill children. It started as a couple of photos made for a contest on an Internet site and has since grown and become a modern piece of Internet folklore.
Sadly, Slender-Man’s copyrighted, and not by the guy who originally created him (who is fine with any adaptations as long as they’re good), but by a third party whose identity is unknown to the public. So if you want to make a for-profit work based on good ol’ Slendy, you need to find this third party and ask them for permission. Which sucks because how can you negotiate a deal with someone you can’t find? Such is the quest to make Slender-Man merchandise.
2. We’re getting our IT adaptation…with a catch. Last time I wrote about this, I mentioned how Cary Fukunaga’s two-part adaptation of the Stephen King classic was cancelled because Fukunaga and New Line couldn’t see eye-to-eye over budget and creative directions. Well, good news, looks like New Line is still trying to make the adaptation. Just two problems: one is it’s probably going to be a single movie. Really? This is a thousand page book! Even a three hour movie will hardly get most of what made one of King’s scariest creations very good.
Even worse, the guy being courted for director is Andy Muschietti, who directed 2013’s Mama. Now a lot of people found that movie scary, but I felt that it was overall not very good. Started out great, but got slow and cliched near the end. So you can see why I’m a little hesitant over this directing choice, especially with only one movie to work with.
Seriously, why not two parts? The Hobbit got three, and it’s one book! And when Peter Jackson adapted the LOTR trilogy, it was a big, risky move. Look at how that paid out!
*Sigh* I really hope I’m surprised by this movie if it comes to be.
3. “Why not a happy story?” This actually happened to me today. I was talking to my boss and we were discussing an ice cream truck that passes through the base every day. I was trying to think of a short story involving an ice cream truck with an original and scary twist. She just looked at me with this funny face and asked, “Why can’t you write a happy story?”
Who says horror stories can’t have happiness in them? Seriously, some of them do end with the monsters gone and the main characters still alive and actually stronger for their struggles against evil. Yeah, some of them end in tragedy. But there are happy endings.
And besides, would a happy story really be that interesting? Once upon a time a bunch of schoolchildren went to play in the flower fields. They picked flowers, and one of the ones they picked turned into a handsome prince. The prince said a witch had turned him into a flower after he refused to marry her, and he would’ve died with the first frost if the kids hadn’t plucked him among the flower fields. So the prince made them all honorary princes and princesses and they were forever allowed into his castle to eat ice cream and ride the horses and learn how to dance like they do at Viennese balls.
I think I might vomit if I don’t fall asleep from boredom.
4. “But don’t you get nightmares?” Another one from my boss (in her defense, I think she ordered a copy of Reborn City today, so at least we know she’s got good taste). Yes, I do get nightmares occasionally. It’s estimated that all adults get at least two nightmares a year. Rarely do I get them from the movies I watch and books I read, though. And I’m willing to risk the possibility that one day I’ll be scared in my dreams because of one of those books or movies. Just means someone’s doing their job in making something super-scary, right?
I’ll even dream about him if it means a good scary story!
5. Horror’s so cliched. Actually, no it’s not. True, a lot of horror stories do have their tropes and conventions that appear a lot: the virgin girl, the slutty girl, the campground, the sin factor, etc. But hey, have you seen people who get upset over Bible films if there’s even a single deviation from even the most obscure text? They want the same story every time! Now that’s a lot of cliches.
And horror doesn’t always rely on cliches. There’s a lot of originality in horror, if you care to look. It Follows, I Am a Ghost, Carrie, Dracula, Interview with a Vampire. All of those were very original, thank you very much.
6. Horror has no depth. Oh, so there’s no depth in a ghost or heads getting cut off? Really? Well, where’s the depth in comedies with fart jokes? Or stories where we all go in knowing the hero and heroine will eventually hook up and that’s the only reason why we paid money for this? Where’s the depth in that?
You’d be surprised how deep a horror story can go. Anne Rice’s early Vampire Chronicles are known for their poetic philosophy and imagery. Some, including the author, has described them as “the agnostic’s search for the truth” (this is a rough quote, I may have phrased it wrong). IT, which I discussed above, deals simultaneously with the loss of childhood innocence and the rediscovery of childhood belief. And don’t you dare tell me that The Shining doesn’t explore the struggle of personal needs and desires versus the good of the group! Think about it!
7. No, I’m not sex-starved and that’s why I enjoy horror. Yeah, horror sometimes is dirty. Doesn’t mean we’re making up for something. Unless you’re the filmmakers behind the Friday the 13th remake, in which case you packed in as many boobs as possible because you wanted people to see the movie AND it was a dry spell (Ooh, new slam on that shitty movie!).
And why are you wondering about our sex lives? It’s none of your business, you perverts!
Yeah, I like these guys. So what?
8. Ghost hunting. Okay, this might just be my problem, but just bear with me, because it’s related. Plenty of people believe in ghosts, interest in horror or not. Some of us believe that it is possible to find out about ghosts using modern-day technology, which is why we support ghost hunters and even watch some of the ghost-hunting teams that have their own TV shows.
So what’s the problem? Some people think ghost hunters are snake oil salesmen and make fun of them and their shows whenever the subject comes up. For those like me who believe in ghosts and maybe even base our ghost mythologies on what ghost hunters may uncover in investigations, it’s hurtful.
Yeah, this isn’t strictly a horror problem. But it’s a problem nonetheless.
Did you identify with any of these problems? Did I miss any? Was I funny? If not, did you at least learn something?
Well, hope you enjoyed this whatever your reaction. Just thought I’d get out another list. Hopefully I won’t find any more reasons we horror fans have it tough. Have a goodnight, Followers of Fear!
The wait till DVD…oh dammit!