Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Fear Factor

This is the creature from the 1957 film Night of the Demon, it's based on the MR James story 'Casting the Runes' and a variant cropped up recently called 'Drag me to Hell' I believe.

Once, when I was a fairly small child, my parents were watching Night of the Demon on TV and I knew it was on. They sent me to bed but I really wanted to watch it so I sneaked downstairs again and peeked round the living room door, desperately hoping my Mum and Dad wouldn't spot me.

The film terrified me and I'm not sure if it was my panting breath that gave me away or my whimpering. Let's just say I was packed off to bed pretty sharp!

But I still remember, with a shiver, the strange chirruping sound that heralded the arrival of the demon and I know I didn't get much sleep that night. I like to think that experiences like that stimulated my imagination!

I've always been a bit of a 'wuss' when it comes to horror films but I will make myself watch them now and then. Being scared is a natural feeling and I'm sure it's healthy to be scared every now and then.

I'm not advocating the wholesale chasing of children round darkened buildings by someone dressed as a clown and weilding an axe but a little controlled fear let's you know that you're alive.

The trouble is, you can always close the book and stop reading for a while. It's your imagination you can't control sometimes...


Mark said...

Funnily enough I watch the film on Youtube about 2 months ago (it is in 13 or so parts). I was surprised how go it was, it seems that only modern films mistake special effects for story.

And I'd agree about imagination. I've not seen a film that can freak me out as much as my own imagination.



Anonymous said...

I simply can't watch horror films, the ideas of watching Saw, for example, completely repels me and Jaws gave me nightmares for years. Same goes for war films. Interestingly though, I can and do read horror and write horror and my current book has a whole war theme. I wonder how many other writers find themselves fascinated by and writing in an area that, in film at least, completely horrifies them.

DOT said...

I am a complete wuss when it comes to horror - I just don't get the point of scaring yourself further with life being scary enough already.

btw I found an uncorrected proof copy of Mortlock in a charity shop in Brighton - now that is scary. How did it get down here?

DOT said...

What is really scary is I found an uncorrected proof copy of Mortlock in a charity shop in Brighton. How did it get there? On what misshapen wings did it fly?

I bought it and keep it chained in a safe.

Jon M said...

Mark: Thanks for dropping by! It is quite atmospheric!

Bryony: I'm a horror film coward too!

DoT: Very strange where these things end up! Thanks for rescuing it! Let's make it a collector's item, then when we meet one sunny day, I'll sign it and you can e-bay it for a fortune! :o)

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Your imagination is a delightul place for us to romp around in!

I used to sneak around to watch TV like that when I was little too; but it wasn't for horror films. Can't watch them, or they stay with me forever.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore