December 19, 2008

Oh the Fussy Horror of It!

Yesterday, I saw an old, probably rightly forgotten movie called Nothing But the Night, which is similar in plot to the better (original) Wicker Man, a horror movie that, for me, defines horror. Some of the writing about Nothing But the Night characterizes it as “slow,? and that is the feel of the thing: a lot of fussy British ordinariness that slowly goes peculiar on you. That’s the feel also of another horror classic, Village of the Damned (again, the original). What I admire about all these, at varying levels of admiration, with Wicker Man getting the gold medal, is that there is something helpfully and edifyingly right about horror emerging out of ordinariness, being a kind of modulation of the ordinary, a change in the light. That is an intuition, an expectation, a heuristic (principle of search or investigation) worth teaching. And so horror movies do some important work: they help people recognize real patterns by portraying those patterns in exaggerated and so unmistakable ways. That is one function of movies, the role they fill in the moral ecology.

Posted by shea0017 at December 19, 2008 12:19 PM