Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t it feel like there’s been a lot of seemingly unnecessary and frightening carnage happening in our world recently? It seems like every day we are hearing about another shooting, stabbing, bombing or general loss of innocence and life to people all over the world. And while it may feel like these tragedies happen in waves, they don’t. They’re happening all of the time and really always have been. Whether or not it’s in our nature to inflict pain is debatable, but the fact that we are fascinated, intrigued, curious and reflective of our ability to do so is not. Why else would people create grisly works of art? Why else would we create an entire genre dedicated to fear? And often pain? And often violence?
My fascination of horror probably began when yours did – as a very young child. The first films that truly inspired me, or rather the first character that I ever felt I could relate to, was Godzilla. Okay, that may seem a little silly, but as I child I would watch that radioactive monster destroying (or protecting) Tokyo and I’d be right there with him, blasting my radioactive breath all over my building blocks and imagining the shrieks of innocent civilians caught in my path. This is taking me back…
I’m getting carried away. Obviously, I’m much older now but throughout my years my love of fictional carnage has only grown, and now I get giddy at the thought of watching another helpless person cower in fear or fight for their life against a ruthless killer. Or ghost. Or monster. Or alien. It doesn’t matter; the seed was planted and it grew, but only relatively recently I began to think about how the real world is the original seed, the inspiration for these things I love so dearly. It begs the age-old question: does life imitate art or does art imitate life?
Everything worthwhile in this world has a price, and horror is no exception. Some of the most intriguing and entertaining horror has its roots in suffering. Without Ed Gein, we’d have no Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or Psycho, or countless other classic works of terror. Think about all of the art that was inspired by real life slashers Ted Bundy or Jack the Ripper. Hell, even Godzilla wouldn’t exist had we not dropped nuclear bombs on Japan. Horror is our real world fears manifested in our imaginations, and even the silliest horror or the campiest project has it’s roots in real life horror.
And maybe that’s why it’s so alluring. We watch these images of horror, listen to sounds of suffering and dream of mass destruction because it gives us fear, and reminds us that we could be next at any moment. After all, we’re all going to die someday and rarely do people have any say in how they go. And in a world full of real life horror, it will catch up with some people. So enjoy it while you can, horror lovers, because before you know it you could be next…
Be safe out there, and thanks for checking out LAHorror.com.
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