Horror films have always been a crushing disappointment for me. I can guarantee I have spent more time trying to find a decent horror film than the accumulation of time spent actually enjoying every horror film I have ever seen. The problem with horror movies is they are utterly, utterly clichéd. They are either about teenagers being murdered by a serial killer who’s goldfish died and now he’s upset and needs to kill everyone at a summer camp, or they are about ghosts in a suburban American house filmed on a hand-held camera where things jump out un-expectedly and make you jump a little bit. These two styles of horror movie might be enough for the millions of mindless morons who pay to see them in 3D, but not me. The best kinds of horror films are those that draw similarities from our own lives and play games with our fears and dislikes. Films about zombies killing everyone on the face of the planet are less likely to scare me than say a film where a man becomes lodged between two rocks and can’t get out, inflaming my paralysing fear of claustrophobia and forcing me to sit in the cinema stuck to the floor (and not because of the already sticky floors) and keeping me there all the way through the movie, as well as the next two movies showing in the cinema afterwards.
The problem with film makers these days is, they think horror is about making people jump out of their seats, and don’t get me wrong that’s an important part, but it’s not everything. Films that have people/monsters jumping out left, right and center shouldn’t have the good grace to call themselves horror films, they should be called Jumpy-Movies. Films that test your endurance and your mind and make you question your own beliefs and ethics, they are horror films. Movies like “The Shining” started the fallacy that all horror movies should make you jump and people have just kept idea that going since. But occasionally, every once in a while, I find a good horror film that restores my faith in humanity and makes me believe there is still a future for the horror genre yet. The film in question is, of course, “The Human Centipede”.
This film has been analysed to death. People saying it is sick and unnecessary (but what horror film IS necessary?), some people saying it is hilarious, but the truth is (and say what you will), it redefined the horror genre once again. It was a film that didn’t make you jump, but made you feel sorry, made you feel sick, and made you question the sanity of all German people. It was an idea that brought some originality back to horror and shied away from annoying ghosts and ridiculously absurd serial killers. It was a film about a man who had lost his mind, a film about survival and a film about sickness. It may not have been the greatest horror movie ever created, and it may have furthered the stereotype that all German people are sick minded, but at least it was an interesting film.
Remakes. More horror films are re-made than any other genre of film. From Nicholas Cage’s appalling performance as a dancing/woman-punching bear man covered in bees in the 2006 remake of the 1973 classic movie “The Wicker Man”, to unnecessary re-make of the 2007 Swedish masterpiece “Let The Right One In”. Hollywood has an alluring talent of taking horror movies that have been somewhat successful and turning them into piles of rotting faeces. But what’s worse is that they don’t seem to learn their lesson, as is shown through their snubby re-makes of “Halloween”, “The Omen”, “Psycho” and the 2005 sham of a film (that tried to hide from the fact is was secretly a re-make of The Last House On The Left), “Chaos”. We honestly don’t need any more re-makes Hollywood, too many films have been obliterated by your hands already.
Please, world. Start making real horror movies again. The kind that used to make me defecate in my trousers by relating to my fears as a human being, not because of a spooky ghost slamming a cupboard door really fast in 3D.