The blah witch project
This week I sucked up my 13 year fear, and finally succumbed to watching The Blair Witch Project. ‘TERRIFYING’ promised the promotional posters. ‘How exciting’, thought I.
My boyfriend and I also managed to get our wires crossed, so I spent half of the film believing it was an actual documentary. I wanted to cry a little bit, especially when they heard that baby giggle. ‘This is it’, I then thought, ‘it’s all about to happen’. And then it didn’t. Well it did. But off camera. What sort of crap is that?
The witch could at least have crawled over to the camera and winked, or ripped her own face off or something. Sheesh. Maybe I just expected a little too much from a film that was released in ’99. I delayed watching if for so long that it was just outdated and disappointing.
At the beginning of the film I was thinking ‘Oh no, I can’t believe I’ve put this on, I’m definitely going to have nightmares’, but then when it ended up not scaring me, I was actually disappointed. Why?! Fear is a physiological response to things that are BAD. It’s our body’s way of saying ‘please stop this right now’. It’s meant to be an unpleasant feeling. So why do we actively seek it out? Pain is also a negative response to stimuli, yet we don’t stick our hands on red hot hobs for kicks.
I’ve watched so many horror films now, that I’m starting to become a bit immune. I deliberately seek out films that have been banned in the hope that I’ll find something that’ll affect me again. I guess it’s kind of like a drug addiction. You start off sniffing glue behind bike sheds, then you end up have to resort to weird forms of acid that make you bite off homeless people’s faces. The Human Centipede could serve as that acid. Although a lot of that film is quite boring, let’s face it. (Haha ‘face’, get it?)
Anyway, the reaction of fear is there for a reason. Should we really be training it not to work? Is it really normal when watching someone get brutally murdered on screen to think ‘well it’s your own fault for being in a cabin in the woods on your own, you stupid bitch’, as opposed to ‘Oh no! Her poor family! They’ll be so devastated when they find out!’
I also get far more traumatised over the death of animals than people. The most upsetting bit of I am Legend wasn’t that the whole world got wiped out, ‘aw hell no’ (in the words of Will Smith), it was the death of that poor innocent little doggy. That stayed with me for weeks. And I’m pretty sure it’s rated PG.
If you do find yourself in a position where no horrors can fill the gaping void left by The Blair Witch Project (if you saw it when you were 10), then I do have a few suggestions. You need to be really committed to googling. Luckily, I’m an English student and have a lot of time on my hands:
- Cannibal Holocaust It was banned on its release because the effects were so innovative for its time that no-one believed it could possibly be fake. Nowadays, they’re pretty average. But the animals they kill in the film are actually real. It was the 80s.
- A Serbian Film I feel bad for recommending this because it’s wrong on absolutely every level imaginable. Not scary. Just disturbing. As hell.
- Martyrs It’s French but subtitled. French horror films are actually really good. This one is both scary and really original.
- Haute Tension/High Tension Another French one. I think you can get a dubbed version, though. It’s brilliant. It’s the first film in ages to leave me frightened to sleep. I’m not even sure why. The ending is just really unexpected.
- Grotesque It’s Japanese, and also subtitled. Although there isn’t really much dialogue. It’s scary if you’re affected by gore. There isn’t really much of a plot, either. It’s just gratuitous torture. Although to be honest the end spoils the entire thing. In my opinion.
So there you have it. Do those things. And everything will be fine and dandy. And hope that if someone ever tries to kill you, your fight or flight response is still firmly intact.