In honor of the launch of Under Worlds Austin (a Horror Sidebar to Other Worlds Austin) each OWA staff member has written about the Horror movie moment that had the biggest effect on them. Write us a comment with your own Horror movie moment! And if you’ve made a Horror film, submit it now to Under Worlds Austin!
The Horror Movie Moment That Changed My Life
By Courtney Hazlett, Director of Operations
I grew up in a very Flanders-like household. If you have no idea what I am talking about, please Google the Flanders family from THE SIMPSONS. We rarely watched anything other than the news, PBS channel, TGIF shows, and episodes of WALKER, TEXAS RANGER, XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, MALCOLM AND THE MIDDLE, and ironically enough THE SIMPSONS (it was Dad’s favorite show).
I remember very distinctly my first real experience watching a horror film. I was in 5th grade and a girl from my school was having a sleepover. After we looked through and ogled over pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio, JTT, and Devon Sawa in Teen Beat, it was time to watch a movie. In pops HOUSE OF WAX starring Vincent Price. I vaguely recall having caught a glimpse of a horror movie only once prior, but this was going to be my very first ever full-length horror film. I wanted to be cool, so I did not object, sat there, and watched.
I clutched my pillow the entire film. The aftermath was that I had multiple nightmares and was jittery during our class trip to Ripley’s Believe it or Not. However, over time, I slowly reminded myself that it was just a movie and began to enjoy that horror film for what it is: an experience. From then on, I have been a fan of the horror genre. Horror gives a thrill that, when done successfully, transports the audience to this place of terrific excitement.
Yes, there are still films that give me the pillow-clutching heebie-jeebies during and after watching but that just means the filmmakers are extremely successful. Slowburns, jump scares, effective costuming, and makeup. Everything the horror genre brings to the table is purely fun and that is why I am excited that we have introduced Under Worlds Austin to our festival.