Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Loss of Subtlety

Although I'm quite zonked on meclizine right now in an effort to maintain balance and an upright position, I've not had quite enough to write the entry I was considering therefore y'all will have to do without more of my deep dark secrets for now and just hear my Halloween complaint...

I'm sure that my viewpoint on the matter is influenced by my English literature background and love of classic books. The whole Halloween scene such as it has become is simply vulgar and disgusting to me. What set this off was the sign that I noted on my way to work advertising "Murder on Meighan" (a local road name) then describing "haunted" things consisting of chainsaw massacres and such.

What ever happened to the subtleties of haunting and fright? I am not a fan at all of the vulgar displays of torture and terror. For me, the suggestion of fear is much more tantalizing. Think classic Dracula or some of the great old ghost stories from back when like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. There are many, many excellent books that involve ghosts and hauntings but fail to describe in all its gory detail the blood and guts. (And, no, I'm not at all squeamish about blood and guts for the record; I just don't find that particular brand of horror appealing.) For me, leaving much to the imagination, hints and suggestions rather than detailed description, leaving that echoing question about what was real and what not is much more entertaining. On a slightly related note, I think we have this problem with clothing as well. Call me old-fashioned if you want but I think it was better when some things were left to the imagination rather than everything left to hang out in full view.

Tell me, what does a huge chainsaw covered in blood and gore have to do with a "haunted" house? What self-respecting ghost really needs a chainsaw? Has the world gotten so jaded and lost so much imagination that only more extreme horrors can move anyone? If I wanted to visit a haunted house, I wouldn't be satisfied with less than the classic old mansion on the hill with spiderwebs and creaky hinges, etc. A ghoul armed with chainsaw would be anti-climatic. So there's my opinion on the matter.

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