I've just come off a busy weekend with two great events, both horror related. We don't do a lot of those, because the horror writer population seems to be smaller than, say, YA or mystery or romance or any number of other genres, all seemingly more fleshed out than that of horror writers, at least here in Colorado Springs. Perhaps my fellow horror writers are just underground? Who knows?
HERE. Cabin in the Woods has become one of my favorite movies. I've watched it over and over, yet I still get that gleeful thrill when the elevators ding. I remember an MTV Movie Awards I watched one year where they gave an award out for the best tool used to scare. I don't remember the exact terminology of it, but it was things like the cat that jumps out at the guy roaming through the haunted house, or the phone that lets out a shrill ring and makes the girl scream. In my opinion, the ding of the elevators wins, hands down. The first time I heard that ding, a huge grin spread across my face. I knew something good was coming.
But why the grin? Why the thrill? Why is it that horror is something I react to in that way? I'm not the only one, so why do people want that scare? I definitely want the scare. If I don't give away a cheap jump, I'm disappointed. If I crawl into bed that night and don't have that moment where I consider leaving the lights on, I feel let down. And I think people who don't feel the same misunderstand. They think I'm not afraid of the movies or the books, when I AM. I WANT to be scared. I want to spend the rest of the night running through the possible scenarios in my head, looking behind my chair as I sit alone in the dark.
A horror movie/book scare has no real consequences. My heart pounds, my breathing quickens, and for that moment I feel alive, more alive than I was while sitting at my computer, while grocery shopping, while running errands. It makes me feel happy to be alive, happy to be living in my [mostly] safe little world.
And that's why I enjoy scaring other people so much, giving them a glimpse into the twisted maze that is my mind. I write horror, because I want others to feel the pleasure of the scare if, in fact, they like it as much as I do. Even a portion as much as I do. I want them to feel as alive and energized as I do when I've gotten a good scare. I want them to get goosebumps, feel their scalps shrink up in terror. When I write a story in the middle of the night that has me backing up against a wall with my laptop just to keep going and to kill my spine's urge to crawl up into my brain, I can hope at least one other person feels the same way when they read it.
I guess that's why horror...
What's your favorite moment in Cabin in the Woods? Your favorite monster from the movie (see the board above)? What's your favorite monster ever? Do you like to be scared? Why or why not?
May you find your Muse.