For the past few months, I’ve been writing a series for people who don’t watch and/or appreciate horror. The series, which I’ve simply and lovingly called “How To Start Getting Into Horror” has taken multiple subgenres of horror and made several film recommendations to get someone interested in learning more.
At first, this series was met with no small amount of derision and scorn. Horror fans asked why such a series would exist and how this would even reach the people it was intended for. I’ll fully admit that I need your help in that matter to share it with those people. After all, they’re not going to seek it on their own.
But maybe you, fellow horror fan, have that person in your life that you would love to see at least appreciate your passion. That’s who this series is for. That’s who you share it with. That’s who you take the time to slowly but surely introduce to the films that we hold so near and dear to our hearts.
So, while I know you have the best of intentions to try and bring someone into the fray, sometimes it’s best to take a step back and let them flounder and discover things on their own.
That’s why this week is a small series of lessons to non-horror people who want to learn more (with thanks to Starship Troopers). But these are the ground rules for how to proceed, because we don’t want you to run away screaming. After all, that’s the job of the ancillary characters in the films.
With all that long-winded intro out of the way, let’s hit these rules!
Don’t Do It On Your Own
I know that everyone wants to be independent these days. But you don’t have to be. It’s not a weakness to ask for help or to look up places to begin. Hell, that’s why I wrote this whole series to begin with!
Doing it on your own might work. But there’s a far likelier possibility that it won’t and that’s just statistics talking. Everyone wants to try and prove, to themselves or to others, that they can handle things that are often a bigger bite than they can chew. There’s nothing wrong with starting easy and working your way into something, hence why I recommended films like The Mummy or The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. You start with something that has horror elements and build from there.
The analogy I think is somewhat appropriate is learning how to play the guitar. Trying to play Van Halen’s “Eruption” immediately after picking up a guitar is impossible. You need to build up the callouses on your fingers first, which takes time. And as you build those callouses, everything else you begin to practice and play becomes easier and more manageable.
Take. Your. Time.
Don’t Ask The “Randy” In Your Life
We all have that friend that’s super passionate about something. I love hanging out with these people because that passion is infectious, it’s contagious, and it’s exhilarating. But many of these people don’t know how to bring it down from a “10”. They want to throw you into their passion pool head first, right into the deep end.
Can you imagine if someone were to say, “Oh, you want to get into horror? Alright, let me grab my copy of Cannibal Holocaust!” Yeah….no. No no no.
You need someone a bit more chill, a bit more relaxed. Find that friend that’s into the casual horror movie, the one that gives them a few shivers of the spine but not much else. They’re the ones who will give you the best recommendations on what to start with.
And furthermore, many of them will watch it with you, which leads me to my next point…
Don’t Watch Them Alone
Coming back to the first point, you don’t have to try and prove anything to anyone by watching a horror movie on your own. If they scare you, having people nearby who will watch with you is a comfort, a way to feel safe.
Look at the above clip from Scream. It’s a bunch of pals enjoying themselves to Halloween, which is considered one of the scariest films ever made. The movie can subtly mess with you later, haunting you as you walk through your place in the dark, but you’ll always have good memories attached to it. And that makes a big difference.
Some of the best memories we have in our lives, the ones we cherish the most, are the ones that we share with others. Horror doesn’t have to be any different.