So tomorrow is Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve or That Night We Turn Out All The Lights And Pretend We’re Not In, depending on how you view 31st October.
And as is typical of this time of year, the TV channels start throwing all manner of classic horror films our way; Halloween is an ultimate given, of course and if you’re lucky they might chuck in a good dose of The Exorcist and maybe a spattering of Poltergeist or Nightmare On Elm Street.
Also as is typical for this time of year, I shan’t be busting a gut to watch any of them.
‘What’s that?’ you say ‘a horror novel fan and paranormal/vampire fiction writer and you’re not into horror films?’
Well as disgustingly shocking as it is, I’m not honestly a HUGE horror film fan.
Now there are some exceptions. I adore 30 Days of Night. As vampire films go, it’s definitely one of my favourites and in this age of sparkling vampires, it’s good to see the vamps so unrelenting in their evil. They even look like nasty bastards from the arse-end of Hell. No fabulously bouffant hairstyles in sight and you certainly wouldn’t want to snog any of them.
Poltergeist II is still a favourite, although maybe these days it does seem quite dated but no clergyman has ever given me the jitters as much as Reverend Kane. I can still hear the song now….’God is in….his Holy Temp-le’. Urgh.
But generally I just wouldn’t go out of my way to watch a horror film. Maybe that’s because no horror film can ever really capture what you envisage using your own imagination and that’s the beauty of books. It comes from you, with a little help from the author, of course, but you will picture a character very differently from the next reader, you will imagine a place very differently from the next reader…and that’s the way it should be.
Now, if you want to talk about what films have shaped me, chuck an alien in there and I’m all over it. I’m not sure anyone would pin me down as a sci-fi fan but I am seriously into all things extra-terrestrial. My favourite film of all time?
E.T. Yep you heard right. E.T or ‘that little wrinkly poo on legs’ as my husband used to call him. I can’t even put into words how much I LOVE that film. I quote from it constantly. I’ve watched it so many times I practically know the whole script. And I STILL cry every time Eliot says ‘I’ll believe in you all my life, every day’. I’m not too ashamed to say I have often sobbed at that part.
My second favourite film?
Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I literally wet myself the other week when the uncut version was aired on UK TV. No joke.
I couldn’t necessarily list the others in any order but the Alien series is up there. As is War of the Worlds (the Tom Cruise version). And Independence Day is my guilty pleasure.
I’m also a big Star Wars fan. Growing up my older brother was a Star Wars fanatic and used to build these amazing towers using my Ladybird books and he would place a Star Wars figurine in each ‘tent’. It used to piss me off that he wouldn’t let me play so I’d take great delight in kicking the side of the tower and watching it come tumbling down. He thought I was just being the annoying little sister, but Hell I just wanted to play with the Star Wars toys.
Anyone ever see Spielberg’s TV series ‘Taken’ with Dakota Fanning? Seriously good and I always dreamed I would write something as amazing as that. I was addicted to that series and loved it so much I bought the DVD box set which sits pride of place next to the Star Wars, Aliens, Jurassic Park (yep am also a dinosaur nerd) and the Underworld (confessed vampire nerd) DVD’s.
So you see, I’m pretty much a sci-fi nerd in the guise of a horror fan. I’m a fake, a fraud, a nerdy charlatan who pretends she’s tough liking all these horror stories yet I’m never happier than when I’m watching a small, squishy alien whose finger lights up, eats M&M’s and says ‘ouch’ quite a lot.
Alligators in the sewers, my friends, alligators in the sewers.