Nice try, Entertainment Weekly, but, no, us girls don’t like horror flicks for the “strong female leads,” whomever those might be. Or because we can cuddle with a man during the cover-your-eyes parts.
No, I love horror movies because they make me feel bad-ass, like I’m “one of the boys,” so to speak. It takes a strong stomach to sit through two hours of shocks, jolts, and adrenal surges, and not every cream puff can hack it. I might paint my nails baby girl pink and sleep with a teddy bear sometimes. But I saw the zombie flick “Quarantine” in theaters twice, and my boyfriend, who says scary movies keep him up at night, wouldn’t dare watch it once.Vera Farmiga, star of the recently released horror flick, “Orphan,” told EW that she grew up loving the feeling of being scared:
“[Horror] elicits this surge adrenaline you don’t get with any other genre. Maybe women are so drawn to it because we’re more emotional creatures and it’s such a visceral experience.”
That’s exactly why I’ve always thought otherwise sane people enjoy movies where zombies gnaw people’s faces off. Horror films, with, say, Halloween haunted houses, are a contained, intense emotional experience for adrenaline junkies. Adrenaline ebbs, it flows, it rises, it dips, and you know the whole experience will be over in less than two hours. And unlike “Jackass” stunts, which are another form of adrenaline, no one loses an eye. (Except to Hannibal Lecter.) I can’t speak for other women, but I like being terrified and knowing I’m safe, just sitting in a movie theater on a sunny day.
Plus, for someone who suffers from crippling panic attacks, like I do, it is liberating to succumb to fear and terror that goes away on its own. Fear isn’t always something to fear. Sometimes, it can be fun and even silly.
It’s a cheesy genre, often badly written, full of caricatures and stereotypes, but if you have your own reasons for loving horror flicks, like I do, it scarcely ever disappoints.
Here’s a short list of good horror flicks I highly recommend (with ***s next to the best ones!):
- “The Descent”***
- “The Happening”
- “The Strangers”***
- “Prom Night”
- “The Village”***
- “Amityville Horror”
- “The Exorcism Of Emily Rose”
- “Baby Blues***”
- “28 Days Later” and “28 Weeks Later”