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The 2014 Horror Binge

So, it occurs to me that I didn't actually write anything either this year or last about "Shocktober" or "Frightfest" or whatever schlocky-but-fun term for "watching a bunch of horror movies in October" you want to use.  I'm definitely not the only nerd on the Internet who has clung to Halloween as a time to celebrate movies, but so far I might be the quietest.

For the past couple of years, I've tried to make it a point to watch a new horror movie each day in October.  It's actually perfect for my blog; October is all movies and November is all minutes.  Which means that for at least the next three weeks, I get to shrug off my writing obligations since I'm going to make up for it next month.

Time for an arbitrary pre-Halloween marathon pic to set the mood....


Ah... I miss our old apartment sometimes.  Solid floors.  Functional sinks.  Insulated walls.  Those were the days....

Anyway, I don't actually have a lot to say about the binge - other than to just mention that it's something I'm doing - but it does lead me to wonder what it is about Halloween that's so attractive to movie buffs nationwide.

I suspect it has to do with the fact that Halloween is the only holiday explicitly dedicated to telling tales.  Other holidays have stories and mythology associated with them, but there's a factual or religious basis to them that gives them the somber aftertaste of seriousness.  For example, you ever remember being super-psyched about getting a shitload of Christmas presents, but then you realized you had to go to church for two hours and hear that same story about Christ sleeping in a manger and you got all cranky and bummed out?  It was always like, "Why are you guys trying to ruin my fun?"  Every holiday has to mean something.

But not Halloween.  Halloween is a day where we have agreed, as a society, to rip away all pretense of moralizing and historical significance for the sake of fucking around, dressing up in costumes, and either drinking or eating boatloads of candy.  Or both.

There's also the horror movies.  I can come up with enough justification for myself anytime I need to that it's a good idea to watch movies all day, but pretty much the only time I can convince a group of people to join me is during Halloween:

June 7: "Hey, guys!  I just got the box set of the Tremors movies!  Wanna watch all of them at once and have spaghetti?"  No...?  Why would we do that?

October 31: "Hey, guys!  Want to watch every single Children of the Corn movie while eating eight different types of corn chips?"  Sure!  That makes perfect sense.

The holiday definitely puts us in a frame of mind where we're more excited to delve into movies.  I could come up with a few different hypotheses on why and possibly make some thesis statement about the nature of dressing up in costumes and its effect on our receptiveness to fiction.  But I think it just comes down to the fact that Halloween is a time we celebrate gluttony via candy and lust via costumes... so why not celebrate sloth via parking your ass in front of some horror movies?