“Everyday is Halloween, Isn’t it? For Some of Us.”
When I was a kid, my mom would always sit us down to watch whatever cartoons or action movies were on, while she went off to cook or clean. Back then, we didn’t have cable, but we did have many VHS movies, and most of them were horror movies that my mom kept in a chest in her room, away from us.
My mom had a stellar library of the classic horror films, and many of them were on VHS, and included titles she’d watch religious. Though she banned more adult horror films from us for a long time, she’d trained us to be horror fans, and to quench our thirst for the frightening, we’d watch stuff like “The Monster Squad,” and “The Goonies.” These were films that were creepy, but not scary enough to keep us up at night.
Every once in a while, she allowed us to watch more frightening fare like “The Willies” and what would become childhood favorites like “The Gate,” “Creepshow II,” and “The Blob.” Eventually, as we got older, like a druggie with their fix, the dose of horror she gave us just wasn’t enough anymore. We were thirsty for horror films, and one day, we busted into her chest, stole five of her horror movies, and watched them all day long without her knowledge.
I could watch almost any horror film, any horror film except the zombie films. You couldn’t pay me to watch a zombie movie when I was a kid. Not even sitting with adults during the day made me re-consider a zombie movie. But every now and then, I’d get curious and peek while my mom watched stuff like “Zombie,” and “Dawn of the Dead.” And I paid for it, dearly. I’d stay up all night quivering, and flinching at every shadow and sound, and I lost a lot of sleep. Zombies just scared the living soul out of me. Something about them, to this day, just gives me the case of the cold sweats. Maybe it’s their movement, maybe it’s their need for cannibalism, maybe it’s the fact that they’re humans eating other humans, I can’t explain it.
But still, every Halloween, I sit and watch “Dawn of the Dead” and “Return of the Living Dead” in spite of my penchant for getting the shit scared out of me. That’s what horror movies are supposed to do. They’re supposed to scare. And these movies do their jobs on me. Being scared is a raw human emotion, and that’s the reason why horror will never die. We will suffer through PG-13 tame fare, or J-Horror fare, or lame remakes, but horror is a constantly changing beast, as Argento once observed. It’s always changing, always conforming to society, and always going against the grain.
Halloween is an all year affair for me, and it doesn’t matter what time of day or what month I’m in. Being in October just gives me an excuse to relinquish most of my duties and drown myself in the genre. It could be July in 89 degree temperatures, and I’d still be sitting down to watch “Halloween.” It could be Thanksgiving, and I could be sitting down to see “Jason Lives.” And of course, every Christmas there‘s “A Christmas Story,” and “Black Christmas.”
Halloween isn’t a holiday. It’s more like a state of mind. It’s what I basically do all year, and my friends and family just feed it. My mom always insisted that I dive in to all things horror whether they be movies or books and I’m almost never disappointed. Regardless of the substance, there’s nothing like sitting down to watch a horror movie alone or with friends. This Halloween, I’ll be thinking of my buddies, and all those people that fed my love for horror while I’m snacking and, watching favorites like Shaun of the Dead, 28 Weeks Later, The Descent and Les Diabolique.
Tomorrow October ends, but for people like me, Halloween keeps going on and on until our pulse fades.