I’ve never been one for frights. Doctor Who used to scare me (still does on occasion – Weeping Angels, anyone?) and I’ve never seen a horror movie in my life. Oh, except Final Destination, but that’s so preposterous I spent more time giggling than being remotely scared.
Jurassic Park, on the other hand, terrified the willies out of me.
All this leaves me casting about for a subject. My favourite “scary” movies are The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Corpse Bride and Coraline. I’m currently listening to the audio version of Neverwhere (easily my favourite Gaiman book).
Not, you have to admit, stuff that’s going to keep you awake at night.
I think my problem with modern horror is that it seems to equate to blood and guts. I don’t find that scary, just disgusting. The things that creep me out are subtler, more ordinary. An unlit street is frightening because of what lies unseen in the shadows. Masks hide faces and therefore intentions (make up also does this to an extent, which is why I’m terrified of clowns). Things that seem to move when you’re not looking, like stone angels or store window dummies.
I do like being creeped out rather than outright terrified. I like being able to sleep at night. So, no, you won’t find me queuing for the latest shock-horror-gore fest opening at the theatre, but you will find me watching the Doctor battle normal every-day objects turned bad by the twisted imagination of the writers.
Even if that is from behind the sofa.
I love the story of Snow White. It has a little of everything… magic, betrayal, jealousy, the fight between good and evil, all that fun stuff. Now, even the Disney version has those things, but the original story is much darker, as is true with most fairy tales, which have been sanitized for modern children—who apparently are hardy enough to play Grand Theft Auto, but too delicate for dark literature!
Of course, like many heroines of the early Middle Ages, Snow White is pretty daft (they don’t call that period the Dark Ages for nothing!) and the queen gets not one but three chances to kill her, once she realizes the huntsman didn’t do the job the first time around. But, despite that, it’s still my favorite, because each time I think I’ve seen or read the very last interpretation I can of it, some wonderful author comes up with another. I’ve read Sapphic, vampiric, erotic and adventure interpretations, even a BDSM one, and each retelling highlights a different facet of the story, sometimes even introduces me to one I hadn’t considered.
Maybe that’s why it remains my favorite. It’s a story in and of itself, yet has enough nuances and levels that it lends itself to true longevity. After all, there’s no higher compliment than imitation and I think Snow White, its themes and sub-plots, will continue to spawn new stories as long as humans still exist.