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The Horror Movie Challenge: Day 1 – V/H/S

Today, I decided to fully unleash my masochistic side, and undertake a challenge to watch one horror movie a day for the next thirty days. I am doing this because I love the horror genre, and now that I have a lot of time on my hands, I have compiled a list of horror movies, new and old, one to watch (or re-watch) each day. The thing is, though I would read Stephen King novels all day long, and my main writing genre is horror, and I love to talk to people about their biggest fears, I am terrible at watching horror movies (especially on my own). So, hopefully, doing this challenge will change this, and desensitize me a little. Supernatural, ghostly stuff scares me more to watch, but I don’t dwell on it while lying in bed at night, as I am an Atheist, therefore skeptical towards the supernatural, despite being fascinated by it. My unoccupied mind, lying awake at night, wanders towards the serial killers, the insane murderers, because they are, indisputably, real. While watching a movie, I can handle the goriest murders and torture scenes, but a ghostly figure lurking behind the protagonist will make me scream! Spoilers up ahead, so don’t read on if you plan on watching the movie. 

Today, I watched “V/H/S” (2012) and it definitely set the mood for the challenge. I was quite terrified for parts of this anthology of VHS films (particularly the one entitled “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When she was Younger”). The movie begins with a gang of amateurish criminal young men, heading to an old house with the task of retrieving a single VHS tape. The rapey feel of the first film in the anthology is instantly triggered by the gang of young men assaulting a woman in a parking lot, removing her top and filming the incident. While, as a feminist, this made me deeply uncomfortable, and it was almost painful to watch, it set the mood for the first tape, “Amateur Night” nicely. This was a feeling of jumpy anxiety and deep discomfort as three men, one of them with a hidden camera in his glasses, attempt to bring women back to their apartment, and film sleeping with them. A very shy girl named Lily watches her friend get seduced, and then pass out drunk. Her demonic transformation commences when her turn to sleep with one of the men arrives. This is an extremely gory tape, not for the fainthearted. 

I was not scared by “Second Honeymoon,” the next tape, as it was mainly just blood and gore, particularly a pleasant vomit of blood from the protagonist Stephanie’s husband, Sam, as a knife is stuck in his throat. The same can be said for the next tape, “Tuesday the 17th” as a young girl named Wendy uses her new friends as psycho-bait. Lovely. 

Now, onto my favorite tape, “The Sick Thing that Happened to Emily when she was Younger.” This was pretty disturbing, and I think the fact that it was all taking place on video chat between Emily and her boyfriend made it scarier. There was a lot of supernatural activity going on in this part of the movie, involving the ghost of a young boy, and then, of all things, aliens. I won’t go into full detail on this sick (and I mean that with all the love in the world) piece of cinema, as I think it is the best part of the movie. 

“10/31/98” starts out as some fairly innocent fun between a bunch of costumed-out friends on Halloween, but of course, this is horror, so innocent fun is out, and exorcisms in the attic are IN! This was pretty crazy, as the four friends enter the attic, chanting along with the men exorcising the young girl tied to the rafters, only to find out that this is no party. 

Basically, I enjoyed this movie, even if I did have about three heart-failures during it, but hey, that’s the kind of shit you sign up for when you undertake crazy blogging challenges, anything for the readers! The special effects were good, and it wasn’t just the kind of endless slaughter-spree that splatters badly mixed ketchup-blood and red-painted rubber innards everywhere and waters down the horror genre. It was brilliantly disturbing, had some good tense moments, and made me scream out loud once, and shudder in disgust many times. For some, the VHS-tape and video-chat bad quality makes it all the scarier, and I am one of those people, even if I did watch it during broad daylight, as soon as everyone got back home and I wasn’t alone (I saved my “alone time” for Star Wars, which does not have the potential to drive me screaming from the house!)

I would recommend this to all horror fans. You’ll get at least one good scare out of it! 😀 

If you know any horror movies that you think I should add to the challenge, please let me know in the comments, and thank you for reading! 😀 Image