Alexx and I have a friend who is a scholar of horror film and literature, and he recently posted this list
A Horror Film Educationhttp://www.listchallenges.com/a-horror-film-education
At the time Alexx read this to me, i've had watched 83 of the 152 films, which, as a horror fangirl, left me sadly disappointed in myself.
How could this happen? Where did I go wrong?
Upon further study of the list, I realized that I had been somewhat thrown by the use of the word "education" in the title because I still think of the word "education" as denoting a certain degree of neutrality, but, in reality, any formation of a canon, any syllabus or other form of list, is based upon personal choices, and personal choices are never neutral. For instance, by looking at this list, I can tell that the list author really loves his monster movies. Being about the same age as the list author, I suspect he was as much of a fan of the Saturday TV show, "Creature Double Feature," as I was. (Explanation for anyone who was born after the Internet: Once upon a time, there was no cable TV, no Internet, not even a video store, and so about the only source little horror fangirls and fanboys had was the "Creature Double Feature," which showed old monster movies and Hammer horror and other dark delights, and we hugged every shiver and jump scare to our wildly-pounding little hearts.)
Again, the list author and I are about the same age, and I can see a lot of 1980s horror films that I would qualify more as nostalgic favorites of the 1980s (Gremlins, Fright Night) rather than classics.
I have my nostalgic favorites also, although mine tend more toward supernatural and occult horror of the 1960s and 1970s, so I'm including those, because it's my list and I can.
I also think the original list helps to highlight how horror, as a genre, still has a lot of gender bias built into it. (Note: I know the list author personally, and any further discussion I make about gender bias is not aimed at him personally--it's just built into the genre itself.)
How does gender bias sneak into the list? ( Read more... )