I love being scared. Fear is one of the most primal human emotions and one of the strongest. If something scares you, you remember it. As a result of this, I watch a lot of scary films and read a lot of scary books (I do play some scary games, but I won’t focus on them this time). And one thing that I’ve started to notice is that I’m just not scared any more.
This might be because I’m getting older, or maybe because I’ve watched/read so many scary things that I’ve become desensitised to the whole horror genre (I hope for my sake that this isn’t true). Another theory is that things are becoming less and less scary. I mean, sure, things in films make me jump, but what I’m talking about are things that are scary: things that keep you up at night as you replay them over and over in your mind. What I’m talking about, is a little thing called Fridge Horror.
A lot of people will look at this and think that this’ll be a post about how manky our student refrigerator is. It is not. Oh, and for the record, our fridge is fine: slightly oozing, but fine.
No, what this post is about is something that a few people overlook when watching films: the subtle things. It is called Fridge Horror because, after watching the film/reading the book you’ll head to the fridge for a snack and then SUDDENLY the thing you have been watching/reading will make sense and scare the living shit out of you. This has only ever happened to me once (I wasn’t at a fridge though) and it is one of the best/scariest feelings ever for a horror fan.
Nowadays with the help of CGI and what-not, practically anything is possible: a man can watch as his guts fall out in front of him and then try and stuff them back into his chest (Dog Soldiers); giant monsters can destroy cities in a vomit-inducing 90 minutes (Cloverfield) and Eddie Murphy can transform himself into a whole host of ‘racially-sensitive’ characters (Norbit, The Nutty Professor, The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Coming to America, you get the picture). The point being, that nowadays many films don’t rely on the subtle in order to evoke fear in the audience: they assume that unless they have something literally poking out in front of their faces (Saw 3D) they will either not see it or think to themselves ”Hmm, no one’s been ‘human-centipede’d yet, THIS FILM ISN’T SCARY!”
The problem with trying to make a ‘subtle’ horror film is that people don’t pay enough attention to films, in general. Nowadays people tend to put films on ‘in the background’ rather than sitting down and investing their time and attention into them. Whilst this is perfectly justified for some films (I mean, Transformers: Dark of the Moon doesn’t really have any ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ moments, despite the perfectly crafted storyline and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s exquisite performance), other films require a little more investment. As a result of this, many people watching a ‘subtle’ horror film would likely get bored.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy slasher films and films about ghosts but, whilst they make me jump at certain points (Paranormal Activity 3 – ‘the women bit’) I’m not scared by them. What I want is to watch a film and feel genuinely creeped out: this is why I love watching ‘home invasion’ films. These are the films, funnily enough, where someone’s house gets broken into (The Strangers, Funny Games, Inside). The reason I enjoy this type of film is that it could happen: most of these films’ premise is that an unsuspecting family/couple become the target of a home invasion, and it could happen to you. The same principle applies to ‘kidnapping’ films.
Recently I stumbled upon a website called CreepyPasta which is a collection of user-submitted creepy stories/images. It is definitely worth checking out. Some of the stories are pretty lame, but occasionally you come across some real gems like the one I’m about to mention. This is a collection of 6 short-ish stories all based around the narrator’s childhood. Now, I’m not going to spoil it but I was really creeped out by them. They are the kind of stories that leave you thinking about them as you try and get to sleep and is, in essence, Fridge Horror.
Here is the link to the first short story, entitled ‘Footsteps’, taken from Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/k8ktr/footsteps/ There’s also a link at the bottom of each story to the next one.
I could talk for hours and hours about horror films, and probably will at some point, but for now I’ll leave it at that. If anyone has any experiences with Fridge Horror or any creepy stories/films they would recommend I would be more than happy to hear them and check them out.