Trick or Treat?

SJ is part of a local writers group in Senoia that meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Senoia Library. You can also follow more of her writing at creativejuices-sjcox.tumblr.com.

October has come and the spooks and specters have begun to once again show their faces in anticipation of Halloween. Steeped in centuries of tradition, the Halloween as we know it today is very different than it used to be. Things that used to be feared like monsters, vampires, and the unexplained are now more common place and celebrated during this month’s celebrations. The traditions and symbolism that we hold dear to our hearts, those that grossly represent the holiday, were once symbols that represented scary things. Now they are just considered the usual harmless part of Halloween fun.
Several years ago, after watching a History Channel documentary on the history of Halloween, I realized that much of what the holiday represented is no longer the case. Since I love Halloween and all that it is supposed to mean I decided to start a tradition of my own. I decided to dedicate the entire month of October to watching scary movies, at least one every day. Hollywood has made a fortune capitalizing on peoples fear in the horror genre, so I decided to watch any scary movie I could get my hands on. Thanks to the modern conveniences of movie applications like Netflix and Hulu, they were more readily available to me. I didn’t realize how many there were.
Not only are there the cult classics like Rosemary’s Baby and Amityville Horror, but bad versions there of. There have been remake, upon remake of the Night of the Living Dead and other zombie movie, terrible B-rated versions of Dracula and vampire movies, and of course let us not forget movies in a category all their own like the Sharknado series.
Though I am not crazy about people sneaking up behind me and scaring the daylights out of me or being in the dark in an unfamiliar place, I do appreciate the art of a good scare when it comes in a cinematic form. I grew up on movies like Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th series. Those were truly disgusting, yet scary films that made me lose sleep as a child and make me still afraid of the woods at night and what might be lurking there.
What I have found while watching most of the movies that are considered “horror” movies today is that they are just badly written films with only slightly interesting special effects. Most of them are just an excuse for an actress to run around half naked and then be killed in some gory way. In some people’s opinion if you splash a few buckets of fake blood around you have yourself a horror movie.
Regardless of the subject matter or content, I will still make an effort to sit through any horror movie in the month of October just for tradition’s sake. I figure it is a lot like going out and getting Halloween candy from the neighbors, it’s a gamble because you never know what you are going to get. Is watching a horror movie going to be a trick or a treat? Guess you’ll have to watch and find out.

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