I am not a fan of horror films. I have watched precious few films that could be considered part of the horror genre, including those that merely parody the genre.
This glaring mark against my own geek cred is apparently very shocking to some people. I believe it has to do with my propensity in reading books that are in the horror genre.¹ I don’t see the correlation because I tend to view these horror books as more fantasy. Also, while I am hardly fond of it, I can stomach reading about frightening and/or gory things much more readily than having it graphically represented before me, which more often than not leads to some all-too-real-for-me nightmares. I don’t particularly like waking up in a state of mind-numbing fright. Not to mention nightmares are hardly the most restful types of dreams. There’s also the fact that I saw The Exorcist when I was eight. I blame my mother for subjecting it to me and to this day I don’t know how I sat through the whole thing other than the sheer probability that I was frozen to my spot in pure terror. This memory is indelibly burned into my subconscious and the mere possibility of ever being that scared through my own choice keeps me very far from horror films.
Basically, I’m a movie wimp.
Anyway, in the midst of a discussion that most likely had nothing to do with zombies, this whole fact was revealed to my friends Alice and Josh. They displayed an appropriate amount of shock and dismay at the perceived sheltered existence I must lead, at least in terms of movie watching, and it was thus decided that I had to see Shaun of the Dead. I was assured that (a.) they would be there to essentially hold my hand through this potentially traumatic event and (b.) that it wasn’t gory. So, Tuesday night they came over and together we stuffed ourselves with ravioli and plopped in front of the television to watch.
So, as to the film itself, I think I rather enjoyed it? Despite the fact that Alice clearly has a faulty memory because there was gore and it was anything but light-handed. In fact, I’m rather glad I wasn’t sitting in my ideal spot in the living room for television viewing because I couldn’t really see what was going on. Even so, one particular scene was quite unpleasant. Needless to say, all of my reasons for wanting to keep as much distance as possible from the horror genre still exist and I don’t see that about to change.
Gory bits aside, I was quite entertained and this is honestly the only thing I expect from a movie.² This isn’t a surprise for a Simon Pegg film. I’m pretty sure he could read the telephone book to me and I’d find it entertaining and hilarious. I will say that I didn’t find the film nearly as funny as everyone kept boasting it would be. Granted, I did laugh. But mostly I was just sort of sucked into the absurdity of it all which wasn’t so much rip-snorting as it was thoroughly bizarre and entirely engrossing. British humor isn’t for everyone, but I rather enjoy it and this is a fine example thereof.
Enjoyable as it was, though, I’m not exactly itching to see it again any time soon. Though, at least I know when to close my eyes or look away so as to keep my belly from roiling the rest of the night. Alice assures me that Hot Fuzz is far funnier and less gory and so I’ve apparently been talked into watching that at some point in the near to distant future.
1. More than half the books I’ve read in the last three years or so have been about either vampires, werewolves, or zombies. Or some combination thereof. Also, it should be noted that Dracule remains one of my most favorite books.
2. I find this is a simple thing to expect and so there are many films that I enjoyed, though perhaps don’t love, that others think are terrible. However, even with such simple requirements there’s no shortage of films I’ve seen that I vehemently detest.