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Know Jack # 424 Oh, the Horror!

What’s the last horror film you watched that you really liked? I heard the question posed the other day and took a moment to think about my answer. As a lover of horror movies and sometimes writer of horror tales, my answer might surprise you. As someone who knows Jack, the answer still might surprise you, but for a different reason. The first to come to mind was The Wolfman, with Anthony Hopkins made about fourteen years ago A little reflection changed that choice to Winchester, with Helen Mirren made in 2018.

As a kid, I watched all the radioactive terrors of the 50’s. Godzilla, Them! The Thing, and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms were all made before I was born and I loved every one of them. But none of them compared to the thrill of watching those made a decade or more earlier like—Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein, and The Mummy. I still watch them every time they are on, so obviously, for me, special effects do not make a movie great.

Many today confuse gore with horror. I was a nurse for 25 years and I can’t remember the last time I was grossed out by anything—except maybe the current president and his cabinet. I find the slasher movies boring and, as far as I can recall, have never watched one all the way through. I am quixotic enough to appreciate the idea of an unbeatable foe, but realist enough not to accept his defeat until the next sequel.

It could be that I expect too much of modern filmmakers. Interesting scripts, realistic dialogue, clear photography, and actors with talent are a lot to ask. It’s not that I don’t try. I’ve watched the first ten minutes of hundreds of movies. Still, I keep hoping to see The End again someday.

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