Zombies and The Dead or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Horror

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

It’s Halloween! A time for ghouls and gasps and shrieks in the night. For Freddie and Jason and Chuckie and Clowns!

As a curious cineaste and nerdy film geek and graduate, I should be able to consume (like a peckish zombie feasting on some entrails) all of cinema, not just the easy, feel-good fare of Some Like it Hot but the tense and grotesque and uncomfortable worlds of The Fly and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But I’ve always had to make myself watch the ‘classics’ through gritted teeth. I’m in my thirties now and I’ve managed to sit through some truly nasty stuff, including, on the evening of Halloween 2015, French torture porn Martyrs which was probably the most horrific cinematic experience of my life. Yet it’s only recently that I’ve actually started to not only toughen up but also to actually enjoy the horror genre ride.

Back in the day, I used to be so squeamish, a right silly softie. With slashers, thrillers, splatters, body-horror…and sharks, I just couldn’t get through them without hiding behind my fingers or running out of the room. It was really the gore, the horrible guts and gunge, not so much the scary jumps and bangs or the high pitched squeal of a violin. I was always okay with vampires, the gothic romanticism got me past the blood and screams and I was fine with the supernatural because I’m an atheist. So for a while I avoided most things that made me squirm and even walked out of Sam Rami’s 2009 horror comedy Drag Me to Hell, I just couldn’t get past the scary woman spewing insecty mucus.

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The Walking Dead

But now, since making it to Season Seven of AMC’s The Walking Dead, the darkest, bleakest most horrifying TV drama I have ever seen, I can pretty much handle anything. Sure it’s got some rather gory zombie action and more blood and guts that you can shake a chainsaw at, but it’s the brutality of humanity that makes it such a tough watch. I can cope with entrails now.

On Friday I went to see Sang-ho Yeon’s Train to Busan, a Korean Zombie action film with a touching father/daughter drama and some biting (‘scuse me) social satire thrown in. It’s an exciting two hour journey with a thrilling pace and terrifying Zombies and I loved it!  It’s no wonder it’s already huge in Asia and I highly recommend you hunt it down. 

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Train to Busan

My Top Five Horror Films

Jaws

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The Descent

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28 Days Later

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Let the Right One In

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The Cabin in the Woods

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