I don’t claim to be a particularly deep person, though I think I understand what it is that’s at the heart of my enjoyment of horror movies. I think that a good horror movie makes me feel. Generally speaking, I have in the past been relatively numb to much that went on around me.
Living in such a way not only isn’t true to the way humans are supposed to live; it’s not true to what we are, which tends toward the communal. it’s also not true to any attempt to being in touch with the Natural world around us, despite the glee which we tend to either to pave it over or otherwise beat it into submission.
A good horror movie–or a entertaining, well-done movie of any type, really–allows me for a little while to step out of the conventions and straitjackets that society impose, and to touch a purer, more primal self.
Which is probably why movies like Annabelle and Ouija are so mediocre: They both hint at fears and emotions linked to something old and primal, but don’t deliver, because they do so so hesitantly and tentatively that it seems barely worth the effort (unless you’re talking about box office, which means that we are going to see many more Annabelles, because it was hugely profitable).
And if filmmakers are so afraid of revealing the Id, what could they possibly tell me, or anyone else, about it?
Which is why I am enthusiastic about movies like It Follows, The Babadook and Late Phases. Not only are all three getting really good buzz, but apparently they touch upon the collective fears that keep us up at night, the things that turn a shadowy corner into something potentially dangerous.
It Follows International Trailer
The Babadook Trailer 2
Late Phases Trailer