Every week on My Favorite Slice, a Movie Trivia Schmoedown competitor shares their favorite category on the wheel! This week’s guest is William “The Beast” Bibbiani from Critically Acclaimed, the former Singles Champion.
I still remember waking up, dripping with sweat, panting in terror, because of that danged doll from the Child’s Play movies. I was six years old when the original Child’s Play came out and I hadn’t even seen the movie yet. The commercials and posters gave me all the information I needed: evil dolls were coming to get me, and it was only a matter of time.
I had recurring nightmares about Chucky, the red-haired plastic murder moppet from Child’s Play, for many years. I also lived in abject terror of Freddy Krueger, the child murdering dream demon from A Nightmare on Elm Street, and I didn’t want to meet Jason Voorhees in a dark alleyway either. The world was full of monsters and I was their prey.
And yet, decades later, horror is my favorite genre. It’s tempting to call that “ironic” but there’s a clear, logical through line: the power horror movies had to warp my psyche was the unbridled power of cinema. Once I became aware of the many cinematic techniques that were used to fill my subconscious with imaginary traumas, I became fascinated with the capacity of motion pictures to manipulate us.
There are many subgenres of horror cinema, but what they each have in common – whether they’re terrifying or funny, brutal or subtle – is that they explore our fears. They’re keying directly into our primal anxieties, those emotions we try to overcome (or at least hide away). Horror has the freedom to go straight for the jugular, and bypass the dramatic or comedic subtleties of other popular genres. If you squirm, horror wins. If you laugh to break the tension, or because something that scares you suddenly seems ridiculous, horror wins.
And horror has been winning for a long, long time. The genre may not get much love at the Academy Awards, and every few years a “serious” publication inevitably publishes some poorly researched article asking “Is Horror Dead?”, but the film industry practically runs on horror. Low-budget films with built-in, dedicated audiences, and the often-realized potential for enormous box office rewards. Heck, Universal wouldn’t even exist today if its horror franchises hadn’t kept it afloat during the great depression.
I don’t just watch horror movies. I consume them. Blockbusters, indies, cult oddities, classics, and even some real turkeys. I love watching how different filmmakers confront our fears, how they make old wounds fresh again, and how tap into the new anxieties that perpetually arise as our cultures evolve, and conquer our old demons… and generate new ones.
William Bibbiani’s Favorite Horror Movies Ever:
The Old Dark House (1932)
Invaders from Mars (1953)
The Haunting (1963)
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Child’s Play 2 (1990)
Tales from the Hood (1995)
Get Out (2017)