Friday, May 10, 2013
Horror-Humor Done Right
I love Ghostbusters, and this blog is going to be biased. There you go. The warning is out. These movies, cartoons, and games have helped shape me into the person I am today. These movies mix great humor with scary things to make an awesome combination that makes me happy to be part of the human race. What really pulls me into these movies is that they aren’t all-out spoof or gags. They have a chewy core of terror. Yes, the comedy covers up those elements, but they are incorporated to get people to watch horror without even realizing it. I have to say because of this movie and American Werewolf in London, I was terrified of dogs for a very long time. I was also afraid I would be mauled by a monster in front of a large crowd while people ignored my agony. I must mention the current video game. It’s gotten mixed reviews, but I loved it. It frightened me in ways only the best horror games have gotten to me. It submerged me in a world of occult artifacts and creepiness, which was of course mixed with humor, but still managed to spook me. There was a part where the protagonist is forced to walk down a hall of mirrors created in another dimension, and he gets trapped while looking for a ghost. I’m not sure if my game glitched or if the game was meant to do this, but I walked up and down that hallway for half an hour while mirrors shifted, images distorted, and my own sense of rationalization was muddled. Finally, I found the ghost and progressed, but to this day, I’m unsure what happened to solve the puzzle other than I had been stuck looking at myself and contemplating my shortcomings long enough. Again, there’s a lot of comedy in Ghostbusters, but there’s a touch of darkness, too. The hint of horror in these stories pops up several times in the first film. It jumps out at the beginning when the librarian shows her true form, it shows up when the containment unit explodes, and it turns its ugly face when Vinz mauls Louis in public. The atmosphere of the story contains the essence of horror--it’s in the architecture, the surreal, radiating colors, and the design of the ghosts. I love the comedy in Ghostbusters, but the stories win my heart because of the touch of spookiness they offer.