Hi, Jason Sorrell here. One of my dirty little hobbies has been watching and collecting horror films. I have always been fascinated by the horror genre, ever since I was a kid watching the Friday-night Spook Shows like Sammy Terry. I watch everything I can get my hands on; from high-budget productions put out by the top producers, directors, and writers to the low-end by films created by independent production companies direct to DVD. My collection has become fairly large, somewhere in the range of 200 films... admittedly modest but still impressive to most. I decided that it was high-time to do something with this collection, to add another layer or nuance to the process. Thus, we have this blog.
I have some rules regarding my collection. I collect these films on DVD, and I buy them either second-hand or from discount suppliers. I never pay full-price for a horror-film. I rarely go to see a horror-film in the theaters. Part of the experience for me is re-creating that same environment I had watching films late at night at home; I pop some popcorn, open a Coke, turn down the lights, get comfortable in my own chair, and enjoy the show. I focus more on R-rated films than PG-13, owing to my feeling that the effort to meet the ratings codes and market these films to teens takes something from the films for true horror fans... but that will be discussed in another blog. I also avoid "double-feature" or "multi-film" DVDs. I understand that you might be able to get 6 films on one disc, but I prefer to have the discs each in their individual case...the more extravagant the better. I always try to find the "extended, remastered, super-director's cut" and often find myself trading up in my collection for the latest release of older films. The exception I make here is box-sets, but I go for true box-sets; where each film is on a distinct disc. I also stick to wide screen formats, my one departure from my childhood experience. The wide screen offers the film as the director saw it, not as some hack on the mass-production level thinks he wanted you to see it.
For this blog, I will be reviewing the films in my collection, as well as other films I can watch at home (recreating that childhood experience) either via rentals or downloads. Due to a shift in my thinking, I have been divesting myself of much of my collection, keeping only the films that are exceedingly rare or are my very favorites. This means that many of the latest horror films won't be reviewed while I will review some very obscure titles. The point is to document my horror-film experience.
Given the number of films I have and the rate by which I purchase them, I should never run out of things to write about.
I am drawn to films that have a heavy-occult aspect, that are psychological in nature rather than strictly slasher, and can forgive a low-budget production for what it lacks if it makes up for it with a good premise, solid writing, and great acting. A horror film should draw the viewer into an alternate reality. What is portrayed should be done so in a manner that convinces the audience that what they are seeing could happen. If the viewer doesn't believe that what is happening is possible, then they not fear it, and the "horror" aspect of the film is lost.
Horror films do not always have to be frightening to be entertaining. As this list of reviews grows, you will find that my flexibility with the term "horror" is fairly inclusive. The line between horror and other genres is blurry. For example, Alien is a "sci-fi" flic, save that the intent of the story is to make the audience fearful of the Geiger Monster. By this logic, Terminator could also be viewed as a horror-film. On the other hand, monsters and other horror-film aspects might be employed for comedic effect or a common horror-film premise may be rendered in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. Common horror-film symbols may also be employed in action-adventure, or eve hero-films. I may include any or all of these under the banner of "horror-films" and review them as a part of my collection.
Horror-films have an entire supporting industry orbiting the films themselves. Horror-fans include both video-philes and bibliophiles, and I am a collector and reader of books as well. Publications dedicated to horror, from magazines about the industry like Fangoria to lifestyle publications like Dark Realms. Horror fans produce artwork and music related to their interests, and merchandisers create items catering to this market. While I intend for this blog to focus on the films in my collection, it will no doubt extend to these other aspects of my horror-interests as well, including my own horror-inspired works.
Ultimately, I am writing this blog to hear from other fans of the horror genre. Feel free to comment on my posts, even if you disagree, or email me. If you know of a film you think I would like or one you think I should avoid, tell me about it. So, boils and ghouls, let sit back and enjoy some hair-raising tales of horror and suspense.