Writing about horror films rant
a guest Apr 23rd, 2019 61 Never
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- God, I feel like one of the most frustrating things in the world is when you have some sort of anxiety that you want to express, but you have no immediate creative outlet to do so. Obviously, the thing to do is to try and explore those outlets, or to find a certain outlet that works well for you.
- For example, I am insanely passionate about movies. And in my head, I feel like I know a lot about films, or at least portions about what makes a good film. I sort of have these epiphanies about movies where I realise the inherent meaning behind a certain scene or a certain image, or when I sort of realise about how a certain technique was employed and the effectiveness of it. It’s really cool whenever that happens.
- Sort of how I deal with the world is just by going about my day, where it’s essentially a grind sometimes, and I come home after an exhausting night and I would switch on a movie, and there would be this person on screen. That is, a virtual person. Someone, that I can relate to, but that I don’t have to expend any emotional energy to interact with. (look up Shannon Strucci’s Parasocial Relationship series for more about this phenomenon; para-social relationships are essentially defined as one-sided mediated relationships, that is where one person feels like they know the other person and the other person does not know the person at all)
- However, beyond that movies clearly have a significant effect on the way people and cultures essentially perceive the world. For example, in my experience there are many movies that I watch and would perceive a certain character trait, which I would then attach to a person that I know in real life, or sometimes to myself.
- And movies are definitely effective as a form of exposure therapy, that is in order to help understand really negative emotions and feelings and helping to overcome toxic relationships with people.
- I remember back in Primary School I would watch violent horror films, and even at the time there was this cathartic reaction to watching them. They were shocking, but there was this element of safety to them. I think my classmates had this sort of horrified reaction to the films. There was this sort of mystification about the movies, like they would sort of just guess at some of the moments in the film, which would tend to be completely inaccurate or exaggerated. I guess that’s kind of funny in retrospect.
- From the NME’s list of the 25 scariest horror films, the top 5 in descending order are Alien, The Shining, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist and The Omen. I’ve tended to notice that a lot of the so-called ‘Scariest movies ever made list’ usually just repeat the same films over and over again. They kind of get narrowed down quite easily like that, where I feel that many of these films are essentially commentating on films exploring generalized anxieties and fears people have.
- Hence, I feel like that my movie tastes have essentially evolved from basically just watching violent horror films for that sort of catharsis, to watching films specifically about horrors and anxieties that I have in my own life. Hence, I often think that scariest film lists are somewhat useless, because a lot of what goes into what a certain person thinks is the scariest film ever made is essentially just reflective of that person’s personal anxieties. As in, it’s all inherently subjective.
- Hence, I feel like films work as a great form of exposure therapy. Movies are inherently safe, but I the emotions that the film reflects are real. And you can watch a film over and over again until you get the point or are fully able to understand the emotions and feelings that the movie is trying to get across. Or something that I did was essentially just selecting movies to watch essentially at random, and then a certain movie would have a scene or a certain theme that would be reflective to something that I’m experiencing, and it would hit almost like an epiphany. If you watch enough films, it can often happen seemingly at random.
- Of course, upon saying that there are limitations to the exposure therapy effects that can come from watching films. For example, it is inherently a para-social medium, that is you are not required to put in any sort of social interaction, and therefore you do not have that feeling you get from if there was another person there. The medium is virtual, and you are just looking at images of people. And most of what you are experiencing is essentially subjective to yourself and is subject to confirmation bias.
- So, I feel as though with the idea of movies as a form of exposure therapy, the trick is to not get completely obsessed with the images. As in, there is a point where if you watch movies with enough frequency you essentially just become a movie junkie. That is, you are no longer obtaining any sort of meaning or enjoyment out of watching the movies, and you are essentially just watching movies for the sake of watching movies.
- On a tangent here, but I often feel with my movie watching habits, that they have essentially evolved to the point where I can recognize a good movie to watch, and that I feel as though I have very defined movie tastes. However, if I were to get asked as to why I like a certain movie, I would probably just answer back with really sort of rudimentary and obvious answers.
- Like, I would probably just give a very basic plot synopsis, and even then I would probably kind of screw up because of social anxiety. I feel like I can probably describe some of the basic composition behind films well, and especially explaining the emotions that go behind a movie. It’s just that attempting to write some of this stuff down and trying to compile it together is often very tough, because I have not trained myself to write.
- Hence, I often attempted to try and make reviews of films by recording myself talking about them, but I often feel as though I tend to slip up and repeat myself or repeat the same points over and over again. However, upon saying that I feel like making recordings of myself ranting about certain movies is often a good thing, because I feel as though I can sort of get out a lot of what I have to say about certain scenes and what-not about certain films.
- I feel like the thing one should do is attempt to find some sort of device or instrument where you have an intimate connection between the ideas in your head and the device/instrument. That is, something where essentially the ideas just flow out.
- It’s hard to really define for instance as to what would constitute an intimate device. It’s more of an emotional connection and basically would be reflective of your own personality and mood. For example, I found that whenever I write stuff that seems deeply personal, I would tend to handwrite it. However, if it is something where it feels like I am working on something, or that I have to compile something together, I feel as though I would be better suited with a laptop.
- I mentioned earlier that sometimes I record what I think about certain films, and I feel like that does tend to help to a limited degree. I sometimes think of myself as Kolchak from the TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker, essentially just recording my paranoid ramblings to myself. Sometimes, it works to think of yourself as a character when you are trying to compile your thoughts together.
- It’s also worth noting is that I do not feel as though you should essentially just go towards the most exotic option, or towards the most expensive and luxurious option. Like basically whatever works for you. I’m essentially just writing these notes on a laptop that cost me around £500, which is somewhat economical. I can basically type whatever I want to type, and it feels great.
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