As noted previously, The Child and I were having our very own horror movie evening every week. And it had to have a hashtag or else it didn’t really exist. So, there we have it: #FridayNightFright.

Part of our motivation – other than just simply wanting to watch some good horror movies – was to try to understand what a horror movie is. I’m not happy with the “I know it when I see it” approach but I’ve struggled to come up with anything better. So, the research continued…

The Descent is another movie by Neil Marshall – we will hopefully have seen all his movies before his Hellboy comes out. There’s a cliche about monster movies that goes “it’s less scary once the monster appears” and I think this is demonstrated here. There’s a scene where one of the cave explorers gets trapped in a very tight place that had me barely able to breathe. Nothing that comes after quite matches up.

Thirst is South Korean horror movie from director Park Chan-wook. It’s definitely a horror movie; there’s a vampire, there’s buckets of blood, and there’s scenes of death and depravity. But maybe the S. Koreans do their horror differently. This one doesn’t seem very frightening at all. Their vampirism is more slapstick than scary. It’s a good movie – it keeps up its pace throughout and isn’t afraid for its characters to be unlikable – but again…doesn’t horror have to be at least a little unsettling? Or, maybe it’s just me? Maybe I’m dead inside. Which, you know, would be at least a little appropriate.

And that’s where we left the official #FridayNightFright. There’s too many non-horror movies to see, it turns out, to spend all our time on one genre – even one as all-encompassing and fluid as horror. Some of the best movies I saw in 2017 were horror movies – whether totally or in part: The Witch, Mother!, The Shape of Water…In the end, maybe genres just matter as a broad starting point in our discussion of movies, or of art in general. We shouldn’t get too bogged down in insisting something is one thing compared to another; I think there are more interesting conversations to have about movies. And, over the course of the year, I hope to start working out what those conversations are.

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