I will admit, I have a hard time with horror films. I am very easily frightened and startled (and basically just a big baby about it all), but even I am excited to see Annie Clark's (also known as “St. Vincent) upcoming horror film.
The strange thing is that I loved scary movies as a child and loved subjecting myself to haunted houses and the like but, somewhere around puberty, I became too sensitive for it all. It could have had to do with how women tend to be portrayed in mainstream horror or it could have just been that I was a very stressed out preteen and the suspense just stressed me out even more, but either way the genre was kind of over for me. In fact, the phase was so short lived, I can give you my horror movie history, in chronological order (at least the ones that stand out):
I was six and at my first slumber party ever. The girl hosting the party was a couple of years older, and much cooler, than me. I tried to hang, but my mom had to come pick me up. In spite of being scared out of my gourd, I was intrigued by scary movies, and I wanted to be scared again, but it would take a few years before I could deal.
Look. I know this isn't even that scary, but I watched part of it again recently and jumped and shouted the whole time. I do enjoy the fact that the heroine's name is “Sydney” though, because that is my sister's name and I was able to torture her for a while.
Ahhhh, a classic. I made all of my friends watch this at a Halloween party one year. It was a really good Halloween party. My mom had a vet tech who was a “real goth,” and he let me borrow his real, actual coffin and a lot of other creepy crap for a haunted house, and it rocked. I made a girl named “Chelsea” yelp and I felt really good about it. But yeah, we watched Halloween and I remember enjoying it thoroughly.
From Dusk 'Til Dawn
At that same Halloween party, we had a viewing of this fine film. I think I was around eleven, and I remember thinking “this is not appropriate.”
I Know What You Did Last Summer
This was towards the end of my stint with anything remotely scary and, let's be real, I only saw it because Buffy was in it, and I loved Buffy. All I remember is something about a tanning bed (at least I think I do) and that was not good.
So yeah, I don't have the best track record with horror as a genre. I'm not even sure that all of those qualify as horror, but if anyone can get me back into horror, it's probably St. Vincent. Having seen the video for “Cruel,” I have not doubt that Clark has the creepy chops to pull this thing off.
The film will be written by Clark and Roxanne Benjamin, and directed by Clark, and will appear in XX, a horror anthology that will feature “four deadly tales by four killer women.” In addition to Clark the directors Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Jennifer’s Body), Jennifer Lynch (Surveillance), and Jovanka Vuckovic will also be contributing films.
Kusama, whose film The Invitation was just released, confirmed the news on the Killer POV podcast:
Jovanka [Vuckovic]’s film is finished. Mine is finished. I think we’re waiting on Annie Clark from St. Vincent, who is now making her own films. She has a film in it.
The films are very different, but there are overriding anxieties about female-ness to a degree. And I want to say body horror is a component. I remember my first idea I couldn’t do because not that it was… too similar, but thematically, we were treading in the same waters. [Producer] Todd Brown feels pretty certain that they’ll end up being natural thematic alignments.
In spite of my aforementioned aversion to horror, I'm pretty intrigued and excited by the idea of a horror anthology written, directed, and created totally by women. I haven't seen much of Kusama's work but, if the below trailer for The Invitation is any indication, she's a master of suspense.
According to Consequence of Sound, The Invitation centers around Will (Logan Marshall-Green), “a father, mourning the death of his son. After accepting a strange invitation from his ex-wife (Tammy Blanchard), he must reconnect with old friends and face old demons. The ensuing dinner party causes Will to question his friends’ loyalty as well as his own sanity.”
So that's at least two scary moves I want to see, which is a lot more than the number of scary movies I've wanted to see in recent history (zero, to be quite honest). Also, if you guys have any good horror film recommendations, I may be willing to give them viewing. What are your favorite scary movies? Are you excited about XX and Annie Clark's film? How do I not scream like a child when something jumps out suddenly? (Seriously, I need this tip just for existing; I just screamed in a neighbor's face because she opened the stairwell door very suddenly.)