Monday, March 27, 2017

Horror and Sex?

So, what is the deal with Horror and sex? Seems like most Horror movies include at the very least a quick flash of bouncing boobs, and the implication of a couple that just can't keep it in their pants. Usually right before they die.

Even in books it happens. In The Dark by Richard Laymon is a good example of this, though I'm also told it's a staple of books in the pulp-fiction realm. Honestly, I got so tired of hearing about the protagonist getting poked in the boobs, or her panties getting soaked with sweat. Gratuitous, that's all it was.

Still, why is this?

Well, that I know of, there's two main reasons for this.

1. Religion.

Huh? I know, but it's a fact, especially of most of the Horror that came out in the 80's and early 90's, as well as a lot of the newer Horror that now pays homage to those days.

See, here's the thing. The couples that have sex, and the girls that are bouncing all over the place. They die. It's the conservatively-dressed, virgin heroine that lives and finds a way to escape or stop the killer. The moral of the story is that sex is bad. It's a risky behavior that, if you engage in, will get you killed.

The Friday the 13th movies are the perfect example of this. It even starts on that note. Little boy Jason Voorhees drowns because the camp counselors that are supposed to be on lifeguard duty, are off getting it on and not paying attention.

Now, to be fair, society has become more accepting of sex (Seriously! Don't laugh!). And this has become less and less of an issue. It does still pop up though, and the moral of the story is that sex is a sin, and being a sinner gets you killed.

2. Sex sells.

Yeah, we know. Slap a pair of boobs on the screen and suddenly all eyes are glued to the TV. (Unless you're not interested in boobs.) Trying to sell a soft drink? Have a beautiful pair of lips on a straw.

Pictured: Selma Hayek's boobs. Also, George Clooney.
Now, if trying to inject a random moral into a movie about wholesale slaughter is kind of pointless, these scenes are completely gratuitous. At least in the religious killings, you do kind of need to know those characters are dead, so those scenes are still part of the movie. The "sex sells" scenes though, could almost always be completely cut and nobody would know it.

This is actually the kind of sex you get in a lot of the classic pulp fiction novels like the aforementioned In The Dark. It's filler, designed to titillate, hoping you'll keep reading just to get a little bit deeper (ah-hem.) into the story.

Now, there are movies that use sex sparingly, and appropriately for the story they want to tell. The Last House on the Left, starts with a horrific rape scene, which leads into the rest of the movie. The rest of the movie would never happen if that one event hadn't occurred.

The other movie that springs to mind is, rather obviously, the Horror-comedy Teeth. I'll just leave you with the poster of that one, and that should tell you all you need to know.

~ Shaun

Monday, March 20, 2017

State of Horror: 2017

A little late to the show, I know, considering we're already moving up to the end of March, but there's still sooo much more to come this year.

Without getting political, Horror has always been one of the great genres of escapism. It reminds you that things could always be worse, helps you experience that, and then brings you back safely home again. Thus we continue on with the days and weeks of our lives a little more grateful, no matter how difficult things may sometimes seem in the real world. And with the roller coaster that things are shaping up to be the next few years, we're going to need a steady stream of exactly that.

So far, 2017 has not let us down.

Movies started us off with the dark thriller Split by M. Night Shyamalan. That led us into Get Out, and The Belko Experiment.

Video games have kept up as well, with the incredible Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.

And we're just getting warmed up. 

Movies continue throughout the year with a slew of high-profile Horror movies. Including Alien: Covenant, A new version of The Mummy, It Comes at Night, and returns to Amityville and Annabelle. We also finally get to see the remake of Stephen King's IT

Video games are a bit harder to pin down, as many of them don't set release dates in stone like movies do. (Trust me, that's for the best. Games shouldn't be released if they're not ready.) But we still have a lot of games to keep us busy in the meantime that have Horror elements, even if they aren't specifically Horror games themselves. 

The big thing here though, is VR. Many, many Horror games seem to be planning to take full advantage of the ability to truly immerse a player in situations you would be insane to enjoy. Which is exactly why we enjoy them.

Of course, one of the games most being looked forward to is Outlast 2. There are a lot of others though, including a game based on the Friday the 13th movies. Other games to watch for are Perception, where you play as a blind person, tapping your cane and using a kind of echolocation to "see", and Visage, a game trying to pick up where the sadly dead P.T. left off.

Last, but certainly not least, (And I fully expect this one to be absolutely terrifying in VR), we have The Hum: Abduction. The title should give it away, but check out the trailer.

So never fear, Horror fans. There's going to be a lot of (fake) Horror to keep you up at night this year. 

~ Shaun