Why I Love Horror Films & The Month of October
I’ve loved the month of October ever since I was little. I remember being so happy when the month came around and fall began. I could and still “smell” when fall approaches. It’s the prettiest time of the year, with the leaves changing color, and the temperature cooling down. It’s very festive and eerie. Even when I was young I loved the eeriness of fall. I was always drawn to that aesthetic. So naturally, October was that month for me. I loved the holiday of Halloween, not just for trick or treating for candy, but for the other aspects like carving jack o’lanterns, haunted houses, decorating the house, dressing up in costumes, and of course horror films.
One of my earliest memories as a child was watching Frankenstein (1931) at my grandparent’s house when I was 5 years old. We lived on the same property and my brother, who was seven, was invited to go over to their house to watch Dracula (1931). I remember begging my parents to let me go with him and they surprisingly said yes. Probably just to shut me up. So I remember we walked down the driveway on a spooky Friday night in October. We got to their house and my brother turned to me and said “This is going to be scary. You’ve been warned.” I was up for the challenge. I don’t know why I wanted to watch it so bad. Maybe it was the fact that I wanted to watch a horror film or it was because my brother was doing something without me. Either way, we went inside and my grandparents were happy to see us. They had a VHS copy of Frankenstein (1931). My parents thought they said Dracula but they misheard them. My grandpa popped in the VHS and we watched the classic monster flick. I remember my experience, it was nothing I’ve ever seen before. It felt like a surreal nightmare but I was having a blast. The film blew my mind. I left terrified of course but enthralled. Frankenstein is still one of my favorite horror films of all time. From then on, my love for horror films was born.
After my first exposure, my horror film craze grew exponentially. My memory is fuzzy but I remember watching the beginning of Halloween (1978) when I was way too young and it scared me to death. I was able to finish it years later and I soon watched the rest of that franchise. I plan on writing about my thoughts on that series this month. Anyway, the older I got the more horror films I watched. I’ve seen all the classics and hidden gems. Listing all of them would take up too much time, so at the end of the piece I will list my top ten horror films.
My favorite film genre is film noir. I went over why in an earlier piece. Horror is a very close second. It’s hard to explain why horror is such an iconic genre and why it’s so loved. If you think about it, horror is fucked up. The idea of watching scary things as enjoyment sounds psychotic, yet it’s not. The best way I can describe why I love horror so much is because I enjoy being scared. It’s like a rush but it’s safe. When you sit down in a theater or go to a haunted house, we know that we are safe even if we are put in a scary situation. When I’m watching a horror film, I put myself in the character’s situation and I am terrified but I can easily look around the room and see that I am safe. Same with a haunted house. It’s like a roller coaster ride. It’s thrilling, entertaining, and I know I am safe. Unless you’re on the roller coasters from Final Destination 3. Horror films can also be comforting in a way. I don’t really know why but they are for a lot of people. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) is my favorite horror film and a comfort film. I can’t explain why but it’s comforting to me. Maybe I am a psycho and it’s fitting that I love the horror genre. Either way, I know others will understand.
Horror has many subgenres. I won’t go over all of them but I want to list my favorites.
I completed my own mad scientist horror screenplay this past year and I plan on starting the sequel here soon. I also started a psychological-murder mystery-slasher mix of a horror script too that I want to finish as well. Writing my own horror scripts is something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m happy I’m finally accomplishing that goal.
October and horror films go together beautifully. Every October, for as long as I can remember, I would watch so many horror films throughout the month. I even started a new tradition 2 years ago where I’d watch one horror film a day, some I love and some I’ve never seen. It exposes me to new films while watching the classics I love. There’s nothing like watching an eerie and creepy film on a dark, cold, foggy, October night. It’s perfect.
My brother is also a horror fan so every October, we watch films together and go through our own traditions. There are some Halloween costume stores we go to basically every weekend. September might as well be called Pre-October to us because that’s all we talk about. Once we are out and about we talk horror. Mostly about the Halloween series. We have our own views and opinions that we repeat over and over again but the conversations never get old. One of our favorite things to do every year is attend a horror convention in Indianapolis called Horrorhound. My brother and I go with a family friend. There, the three of us can meet celebrities from horror films, buy memorabilia, and party with other horror fans. It’s so damn fun and we’ve been going for almost a decade. It’s one of my favorite things to do and it’s always a blast.
October is great for another reason. When we were kids, Halloween was more innocent and fun with trick or treating and eating candy. It was fun and I have a lot of fond memories dressing up and going house to house on Halloween night yelling trick or treat with friends and family. The older I got, Halloween became more mature and fun in a different way. We can drink now and attend parties. My brother and I still dress up and attend a Halloween fest in a nearby town and it’s always a blast. Our costumes get better every year. We’ve been doing that for over a decade and now we take our significant others and they experience our traditions too. October is great for all ages. It’s interesting to look back how it was when we were kids to how it is now as adults. It’s a holiday I will celebrate for the rest of my life.
This time of year is when I’m the most happy. The feeling is nostalgic but I always try to pursue new adventures every year. If I could live in an alternate timeline where it’s October all the time I’d live there in a heartbeat. I hope everyone has a wonderful month full of good horror films and spooky adventures!
Top 10 Favorite Horror Films:
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
The Thing (1982)
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
The Lighthouse (2019)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Session 9 (2001)