Well, it’s that time of year again. The winds blow a little cooler. The leaves begin to change. The nights grow a little longer. The Christmas decorations go up, yet there’s no snow on the ground because two centuries of rampant industrialization have locked the planet’s climate into a death spiral that will kill us all by 2300 AD.
Yet, October is upon us. Which means, here at The Futurist Dolmen, is that now is the time to begin that most blessed of celebrations, that…of Spooktober.
I’ve come to horror rather late in my life. Unlike sci-fi, which I’ve liked in some form or another since early grade school, and fantasy, which I got into in my teens, I started sampling horror in university, and only got serious about it over the past few years. I suppose my reluctance to sample horror was due to the fact that it took a long time to find a kind of horror I liked. I don’t find the threat of physical danger, whether from giant rocks, rabid wolves, or knife-wielding hillbillies, to be that interesting. It’s a very basic animal fear, a simple stimulus-response reaction, and it’s so common to all living creatures that there isn’t much need to explain it; what you see is what you get. I also don’t particularly enjoy watching people in physical anguish; I mean, I will watch if it happens, or if it leads somewhere, but I have no taste for butchery as entertainment.
No, what I like is when things get weird. When reality becomes debatable. When something from outside the accepted, rational world intrudes into ours, or when it is discovered that there is a hidden controller behind everyday existence who has chosen to reveal themselves. When people get locked into dreams, and find themselves awakening into a dream within a dream. That’s the sort of stuff only humans worry about, and it’s the sort of thing right up my paranoid little alley.
So in order to celebrate this, the most spooky of months, I’m going to be digging through my collection of horror stuff to share with you guys. I’ve got a bunch of little direct-to-DVD horror movies, which are actually very interesting if you approach them the right way, as well as a book or two I might be able to squeeze it. Heck, I may even relax my rules and talk about one of my few horror-themed video games. (Interesting thing I’ve noticed about both movies and video games; when people are just starting out in both mediums, and they don’t have a lot of cash on hand, they usually end up making a horror story. If I had to guess, I’d say that provoking a fear reaction from someone is fairly easy, and if you’re just starting out in your medium, it’s a good way to experiment with using all the tools at your disposal to provoke that reaction.)
Anyway, my first thing will be up later today. Until then, please enjoy one of my favorite horror scenes of all time, the Winkie’s Diner scene from David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001). It’s two guys sitting in a diner in broad daylight, it ends with a jump scare, and it is terrifying.