Updated: Jun 29, 2022
Welcome to OFLON and our quest to determine what qualities make good horror.
I was first exposed to horror when my babysitter let me watch The Shining when I was in the 5th grade. I was then exposed to more Stephen King when I read Cujo and Christine not long after. I slept with my bedroom door open, a night light on, and the closet door open for years. When I was young I was not allowed to watch horror movies, however, I was hooked and read every horror novel I could get my hands on from then on.
As I grew older, my interest in horror grew. I watched everything from slashers to thrillers to the supernatural and read every Stephen King book. The kind of horror I’ve enjoyed as I grew older has changed. When I was younger, I followed the movie reviews of Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, and regularly watched Siskel & Ebert at the Movies. However, while I enjoyed following movie critics, I found their reviews of movies not only did not reflect my viewpoint, but also often did not reflect the general viewing public’s opinion of movies. The role of critics in guiding the horror followed has only gotten smaller.
Horror movies have historically received little attention from movie critics, but continue to be a successful and strong component of the movie industry. Production houses like Blumhouse have been highly successful in drawing audiences with low budget horror that generate hundreds of millions in revenue. Which brings us to our quest.
Scott and I, while both being fans of horror, found ourselves in disagreement over the better horror movie - Bird Box or A Quiet Place? Traditional movie critique approaches are ineffective. Audiences and movie critics look for different elements in a horror movie.
My hope is to understand what elements make horror worth watching and reading. What better way to do this than by watching small budget horror movies and reading all manner of horror books and discussing them from a fan perspective rather than a critic's? Small budget horror movies are forced to be creative with effects and rely on the story to keep the attention of audiences. Books rely on imaginative story telling to keep the pages turning.
At the end of the journey, as we learn more about what makes a horror movies and books worth watching and reading, hopefully Scott will discover the joy of the masterpiece that is Bird Box. Join us in this journey as we watch, read horror, and discuss what makes them tick.