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1. What do you like most about horror movies?

Horror movies have been my go to movies to watch since I was in Junior High School.  I remember my first kid version of a horror movie (the baby step toward horror movies) being “Hocus Pocus”.  Yes, I know, its kid’s Disney movie. It’s the watered down version of our demonized Salem witch, but there was so much more to it. After watching “Hocus Pocus” at the Hawthorn Hotel with Kathy Najimi and other fellow Hocus Pocus and witch fanatics, I saw the movie in a totally different light.  Kathy mentioned, “You realize that I signed onto a horror film. I was one of three witches that were mean, cannibal eaters, child eating, torturing and killing the humans of Salem.” It blew my mind, because I never looked at the film that way. I just knew that at 7 years of age, I was both fascinated and mortified of those three women… and I knew that I couldn’t sleep alone for  a week, thinking that a witch would fly past my bedroom window and try to snatch my life. It has the components of horror, as Kathy mentioned.  It induced a tintiliating fear within me while also empowering me as a woman. Yes, I had seen women on screen before that moment, but these women were Venus and Artemis archetypes, not horror characters. Women depicted in the 90’s were mothers, lovers, princesses, vulnerable maidens, and prom queens.  Up till that moment, I had not taken a pause to see a strong woman, and in this PG movie mini horror of “Hocus Pocus”, I witnessed female power at its best. I witnessed two female heroines breaking rules and taking charge as they saved the city and fought evil, while also viewing what society has done for so long…demonizing the strong female outcasts of society that didn’t fit into what they viewed as the “normal” female. I saw strong women that were weird in their own way, learned and strong in their own way, and going against the norms in their own way be depicted (though rightfully so, due to their murdering cannibal eating propensities) as evil, as a derelict archetype of feminiity, and as public enemy number one. Their characters (the Sanderson sisters), however, empower women, as all horror heroines and antagonists do. They gave a face to independence, to breaking the norms and being authentic, and to truly showing us what female power can and often does look like… strong, beautiful, intelligent witty, and sad enough… sometimes scorned when others feel threatened by such power.  

As time has gone on, I have always turned to my fascination with this “mini horror”, due to the fact that its basis of fear, empowerment, connection of reality meeting mysticism, the ability to make sense of a troubling world and conquering it, and the power that is felt through the mystic powers illustrated within its story as well as through its heroes, heroines, and demons has always moved and inspired me.  You might say that what I like about horror movies is what I like about biopics that depict the real ruthless atrocities of life. Oftentimes in Hollywood, we like to sugar coat the story.  Aside from the brazen prolonged “Battle of the Bastards” in “Game of Thrones”, the audience gets a mere 5 minute max blip of reality, of gore, and of the true horrors that arise in life.  Its as if the unspoken rule is, “Tell us the story, but don’t make us relive the bad parts… give us the idea and make it pretty.”  Horror, to me, like well written an executed real biopics, give us the taste of what can be when humanity loses its humanity and sees their fellow brother and sister as something “other”.  Horror gives us the allowance to tread within those boundaries of travesty, of torture, of tumult, knowing that it isn’t real and that we will come out alive.  Horror allows us… allows me… to face our Boogie men in life.  In that Boogie Man, that Sandman, that Jason, that Freddie, that Pennywise, those three witches, lie our deepest fears of what we might face in human atrocity, of what man can become when taking out his/ her humanity, to face Ted Bundy, Manson, Aileen Wuornose, Jeffrey Dahmer, horrific terrorists as we have currently had to witness, that clown that horrified us when we were babies , etc.  We have the ability… I have the ability… to face our real life archetypes of evil, helping us to cope with the real possibilities, the present possible realities, and the truth of what might be in life, so instead of being stunned like a deer in the headlights when the Boogie Man does come, we fight back hard like Laurie Strode, like Wendy Torrance, like Officer Dewey as they teach us to in this genre we call “Horror”.  

2. What kind of horror movie do you feel we need more of? 

As stated earlier, I feel that horror movies help us understand, process, and face some of the traumas of life.  As a therapist, I can see how seeing movies, including horror movies, can help us process very big issues that we have to face in this world.  These are issues that have traumatized us as children, growing up, o the news, via world events, via stories of real life Boogy Men, or even issues that arise for us to understand some of the atrocities in history, in religion, and in mysticism.  


I absolutely adore our classic characters we have is horror right now.  They have become the faces of men and women that we can now face with strong hearts and minds in our own world we live in.  They help us continuing in believing that the “bad guy” will not win as long as you are true in heart and pure in passion and strength of character.  They give us this archetype to find hope in coping in the world around us.  

I love these characters, but in seeing how these characters have helped us cope as humans in this society, I would love to see more horror movies that incorporate more real life events, more spiritual aspects, and (of course, because its totally a “me” thing) more witches.  I would love to see more movies delving into the esoteric, the mystic, the areas of life that seem archaic and long forgotten such as Egyptian lore and horror, horrors from within the jungles of the Amazon or India, horrors that comes from conjuring spirits, the dead, and angering G-d.  Movies that depict real life versions of stories, such as “The Pope’s Exorcist” or movies that would illustrates some of the horrors found within the Bible, the Nag Hammadi, or the Kybalion would fascinate story makers and the audience alike, as they are very much real and old stories that have lasted the ages… Pandora’s Box that has yet to be opened.  I also loved the resurgence of the story of “the witch” in films.  


I, however, would love to see a horror version of the true story of the witch’s horror in history. These women underwent unthinkable horror from horrific versions of their own Boogie men. So far we have seen fantastical stories of witches and magic, but we have yet to tell the horrors of the actual strong willed, intelligent, awe inspiring, outcast of a woman dubbed “the witch”.  I would give anything to be on a project that would be able to illustrate that horror and truly see what that would look like as a horror film.  Arthur Miller gave us “The Crucible” as his ode to the Salem Witch Trials paralleling his trials during the Red Scare in Hollywood. It would be a fantastic homage for a writer, director, and a producer to create the equivalent within the genre of horror in parallel to some of the plights that modern day society has experienced as individuals being the outcast, being gaslit, tortured, killed, and forever emblazoned in history as a evil entity just because they were different or because one’s evil act needed to be covered up by making the victim the vicious. That would be a wonderful horror.

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