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  • Writer's pictureM.A.O'Neil

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Horror:

The first horror film I watched was on a dare, at a sleepover, through my fingers, and it ruined my view of Harrison Ford as the ultimate hero and baths for me for a while. Yes, What Lies Beneath, I swore off the horror genre for decades after that. Then I married a Horror Movie Film Critic. They say opposites attract! Thankfully, this brush with Horror films in my early teens didn’t fully scar me for life.

In covering horror films, my husband also covers film festivals and conventions. I often tagged along to these with a self-preserving eye roll in my back pocket--for if things got too scary. But what I found instead was a community of acceptance, intelligence, rich political commentary, and just plain fascinating storytelling. I started to look at certain aspects of the horror film industry with a newfound respect and, dare I say, even started to enjoy watching some of these films. Do I still make my hubby watch films first and tell me who the “Final Girl” is and where all the jump scares are? You bet! But can I put away the feeling of being terrified and enjoy the stories and underlying social commentaries? Absolutely! And you should too.

I trust my well-versed husband not to throw me to the wolves when watching horror movies. Sometimes I watch the commentary first to see how they did specific effects. Yes, you are picking up on the fact that I’m a major wimp! But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the horror genre. So please give it a go. Start with the social history and commentary, the talent behind the genre, and especially the actors. I have never meant a group full of people who are more accepting, kind, down to earth, generous, and the list of good goes on. So dip your toe in the horror waters. You never know. You may find a sneaky new favorite genre!

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