Around this time in 2005, Katherine was teaming up with Chris Taylor with one goal in mind: to create the best Film II horror film ever to come out of the Concordia Communications Studies department. Shot on 16mm film in Taylor’s redecorated apartment (I especially remember the blood/rot stain on the ceiling over the bed) with Constantine Kourtidis as main character, the Asian inspired horror film tells of a paranoid-schizophrenic man who discovers he has a winning lottery ticket and thinks this evil spirit has come to claim it. Check it out for yourself!
Although claiming “best student short film” can be difficult and subject to major debate, the film was well received and was accepted at the 2006 Montreal World Film Festival and the 2007 Young Cuts Film Festival. But the main thing that I found out about Katherine through this film is that she has a deep seeded attraction to the horror genre. In fact, I also have an inexplicable attraction to the genre that I find difficult to share with many of my anti-horror friends. So for the benefit of these people, I decided to break down what exactly turns me on about this ever-growing and changing genre.
The stories are usually outrageous and barely believable, yet the process the characters go through to survive whatever plagues them is usually pretty titillating. Specific skills and virtues are usually necessary – such as holding a family heirloom or being a chemical genius – and a little bit of luck never hurts. I read that horror films act in the same way for adults that fairy tales do for children. The viewer can identify with the situation and take some sort of lesson of morality from it. This, coupled with the roller coaster ride provided by anticipation, surprise, gore and other methods of emotional manipulation, can make for one hell of a good time.
Cinematography is THE major reason why I fell in love with film as a medium. The fact that the story is often outlandish allows for unconventional directions and methods in cinematography and lighting. I can think of several films that have created a new cinematic language to express and enhance the terror. How about The Shinning when Jack axes his way through the bathroom door, or in the original Halloween when evil Mike Myers sits up behind an unsuspecting Jamie Lee Curtis in what I consider to be framing of epic proportions.
Watching a horror film is akin to having a bad dream except that waking up from the dream can be difficult. Whereas, when watching a horror flick, you’re in a safe environment that you can return to in the blink of an eye by turning your attention away from the screen. That in itself can be pretty exhilarating.
All this to say that we are having some friends over for pizza and scary movies tonight, spurred by Katherine’s own desire to get spooked! On the menu we have:
Like Katherine says to those who refuse to watch horror films out of fear of being scared: “That’s the point, let yourself be scared. Enjoy it!” Any reviews of the ones we’re going to watch tonight?
Happy Halloween everybody!