Wednesday, July 15, 2015

This Old Boring House

Like a lot of horror fans I find myself spending more time scanning the lists of streaming horror than I do watching the fear-fests they claim to present.
A long time back I stopped falling for the lure of anything with 'zombie' in the title. The only zombie films I'm willing to try these days are overt comedies like the Dead Snow movies.
Also, I'm generally avoiding anything sporting cannibal hillbillies (unless they're in France), slashers, demonic possession and haunted dolls.
I'm still quite gullible regarding witch cults, weird parasites, fairy tale creatures and plain old bizarre setups for disaster.
Generally I'm more inclined to supernatural or 'weird' horrors than I am the mundane and purely gorey sorts.
So, I'm kind of surprised to find myself losing interest in most of the haunted house offerings I'm seeing these days.
I was good on the first Insidious... even the first Paranormal Activity film... but the last several 'spooky house' movies I've watched have been pretty played out. I find myself just yawning till the next jump scare. I've watched my way through most of the better Japanese ghost films... and those are fun... but again, they seem to end up being the same bag of tricks rearranged.
My tastes have definitely drifted toward 'the weird'. I've been reading lots of Thomas Ligotti and Michael Cisco and Robert Aickman. Not necessarily 'scary' but definitely haunting... stuff that sticks with me long after I'm done reading. Sadly I'm not coming across many films that capture that feel. Maybe it's something that doesn't translate well to film.
I'd like to find a new Eraserhead or another Banshee Chapter to watch... Bellflower wasn't really horror in the usual sense but it put me in the same zone as The Snowtown Murders and the first season of True Detective. The best ghosts I've seen lately were in my recent binge-watch of Carnivale and its cursed town of Babylon, Texas. Haunting and sad... frightening without jump scares.
Maybe I'm tired of movies trying desperately to scare me when what I want them to do is haunt me and leave me feeling that old Chapel Perilous doubt of my perceptions.
That's harder to do and not something the average U.S. audience can sit still for these days. But that's what I'm hunting for at the moment.

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