“Wounded Beauty”: Me in America

magazine, talking about horror films and the sublime:

I love horror movies because they show me the sublime. I love them for a lot of other reasons too, I admit, depending on my mood. I don’t believe in a grand, unified theory of horror, or of any other genre of film; most genres are a welter of traditions and counter-traditions. Sometimes you want to see evil defeated by the triumphant “final girl”; at other times, by contrast, you want to see that even the most competent and loving heroines can’t win. You root for them anyway, knowing that their lives weren’t rendered worthless by their defeat.

Sometimes you need to know that other people have seen the world as a helpless nightmare factory of hurting and being hurt, and they decided to make a movie about it. Almost all of us at some point wonder if despair is the truest reaction to the world we see. Responding to that 2 a.m. question by making art (or shlock, I’m not too picky) can itself be a form of commiseration, a kind of gallows comfort that lets you know that at least you’re not the only one who’s worried.


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