Saturday, November 28, 2015

Candidate #3

(October 2014)

"Horror has come a long way since it first got its hooks into me. As a devout fan, I used to feel like an outsider, but these days, I meet fans everywhere I go.
“Horror is now more popular than it’s ever been.”
--Tal Zimerman

I could be wrong and memory is f*cking with me right now, but I think this is the very first actual doc that’s made its way to ¡Q horror! Candidacy (as opposed to the occasional faux doc that’s made the rundown).
Rob Lindsay and Nicolas Kleiman’s Why Horror? follows long-time horrorhead Tal Zimerman as he explores his life-long fascination with the genre, asking the titular question, “Why horror?” of art historians and literature experts and language professors and psychologists, as well as a host of familiar genre faces, from the old school vanguard (John Carpenter, Don Coscarelli, George Romero) to current established names (Alexandre Aja, Simon Barrett, Eli Roth, Ben Wheatley).

For any audience member who happens to be a kindred spirit to Tal, the game-changing benchmarks of a lifelong horrorhead of a certain generation--such as the socio-political horror of Romero’s original zombie trilogy, giallo, the home video boom, the self-referential metahorror of Scream, J-Horror, found footage, and the digital revolution sparking the current wave of global horror--are all touched on in the great animated section “A Way Too Brief History of Horror Cinema” (with VO from one of our all-time favorite hobbits, Elijah Wood).
There’s even the acknowledgement that, yes, Virginia, there are actually female horror fans (who make horror films too!), with appearances by the Soska sisters and Karen Lam.

For the more critically-minded horrorheads out there, or, for those who, at the very least, are curious to dig at the possible roots of their fascination with the genre, Why Horror? is an excellent and highly recommended watch that smartly encapsulates just how deeply horror is entrenched in our humanity, and how it’s really a universal language that we all know.
The question is, just how fluent are we willing to be in it?

“I like ‘smarts.’ I just like intelligent views of the world. And I am deeply committed to finding ‘smarts’ where other people don’t think to look for it. And I think horror is the perfect place.”
--Dr. Susanne Kord
European Languages, Culture and Society
University College, London, England

(Why Horror? OS courtesy of

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