Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winter Horror

Is snow and cold scary?  Well, did you know that in Scandinavian mythology (that's the one with Thor), the Apocalypse is called Ragnarok and involves the world ending in a freezing cataclysm of ice?  I think I'd prefer fire and brimstone.  At least it would be warm, and I've always kind of liked the smell of burning matches...

Sure, snow is pretty.  Icicles are pretty.  Frosted trees are pretty.   I get that.  I get it like I get clowns are funny, porcelain dolls are cute, and a child's laugh is adorable.  Except when they're not.  Context and perspective is what I'm talking about.  There's a famous quote that says there is nothing more terrifying than a clown after midnight.  It's true.  Picture yourself walking down a sidewalk at night and then you see a clown approaching you.  I don't care how tough you think you are, you'd be running like your ass was on fire.  Porcelain dolls, lined up and staring at you when you open the door to a room or a kid's mirthful giggle in an otherwise dark and quiet house...Just thinking about these things gives me the willies.

Winter has been used in a lot of horror movies to help heighten tension, instill a sense of claustrophobia.  Think The Shining or Misery or Dead Snow.  It really is the perfect medium for a scary story.  Trapped, miles from help, and all methods of communication inoperable.  And it's not just the psycho or Nazi zombie that will kill you, either.  As I'm writing this, it's about 5 degrees outside.  Humans don't last long in temps like that.  It has always fascinated me that people live in places where just spending too much time outside can kill you.  I am Scandinavian, so I guess it's in my blood. 

Now I just need a clown holding a giggly child's hand who's carrying a porcelain doll ring the doorbell...

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