I want the movies I watch to be about something.
It does not have to be something big. I just want to know that what I have chosen to invest so much time into watching has some focus. This is what initially killed my interest in horrors. Even the most inventive among them were either just gore porn or a series of jump scares strung together.
It made me wonder what the point of horror as a genre was. All that ceased to matter a few weeks ago when I went to watch Annabelle Comes Home, the first horror movie I had ever watched on the big screen.
And I loved every minute of it. I mean, I spent the first 30 minutes of the movie quite certain that I was alone in that large, dark, cinema hall. So, I did not react appropriately when the silent moments of the movie were suddenly interrupted by the crunching of popcorn and swirling of soda behind me.
Even more unsettling was the fact that no amount of squinting at the back row could confirm the presence or absence of another moviegoer; not with the darkness that encompassed the hall.
But let us ignore all the ways I managed to scare myself silly. I loved this movie. It was all jump scares, but I loved! And it gave me a revelation so obvious: this is the point of horror movies. The scares. Yes, the best horror movies spend a lot of time building tension.
When that woman walks down those basement stairs in The Conjuring, your entire body cannot help but seize up. You know it’s coming, whatever it is. And when it comes, you either scream or jump, or both. Then comes the rush of adrenaline; that release, and you laugh as you glance over your shoulder, hoping against all hope that you are still alone – and I wasn’t.
Horror movies have a way of reaching into the darkest parts of your psyche. We have been taught to fear the dark because that is where all demons and ghouls lurk.
Horror movies can be fun. It makes no sense, yet…Annabelle Comes Home is worth watching.