Pictured: A tender embrace between lovers. So sweet.
There was our simple first age as a species, Cro-Magnon’s who had to limit our minds to whatever scary things we could draw with berry juice on a cave wall. Then we walked upright boldly into an age of movies, an age of horror movies. We created bold new monstrosities to watch in wonder and fear.
And then, with The Shape of Water dawned a new age: an age where people could boldly and openly say they would bang with monsters.
And I’m glad for those people. But life isn’t all about the carnal pleasures. It’s about meaningful relationships. Bonding with someone you love. Stability. So, putting aside your weird fantasies for a second, I implore you to consider this.
What monster would you not only want to be with…but also build a home with?
For the next few weeks, we at Horror Press will be doing some polls around a curated list of horror movie icons to determine who has the makings of a solid life partner. And you, dear readers, get to vote and determine who passes on between the weeks up until the very final article is publish on Valentine’s Day. The name of the game is long term, stable relationship, so, let’s put them to the test and you put your three votes to good use!
But before that…
THE GROUND RULES
If we were to go through all of horror’s great monsters to do this, we’d be here all day. So we’ll have to whittle down our list of possible candidates.
Rule #1: They must be the villain of that film. Self-explanatory.
Rule #2: They must be sapient and consenting. Relationships require communication, trust, and respect, and anything that only has sentience alone cannot give you those three things. This disqualifies any creatures that behave like wild animals, i.e. The Things from The Thing or Aliens from Aliens. Sorry to you nasties out there.
Rule #3: They must be able to do things other than killing/torturing. Anything completely mindless/mechanical in their motives are incapable of being reasoned with, so they’re a no go. This disqualifies the likes of Michael Myers and Pinhead. If they go mindless as the result of a transformation, they’re on the table. If they just do just because it’s fun, that’s a boring person to be around, its effectively the same as someone who has made their hobby their whole personality.
Rule #4: They must be single. This disqualifies the Jack Torrance’s on our list who are in relationships. This also disqualifies Pennywise and The Babadook since they are in a loving relationship (iykyk). Killers in a poly relationship feel like cheating by submitting extra ballots, so they’re also off the table.
I must make a very specific ruling as a Chucky fan, if you have some mechanism by which you split your soul, but only one iteration of you is in the relationship, this does not count as being single. That’s just…you in a relationship with extra steps. So sorry Charles, you’re still taken by Tiffany and vice versa.
Rule #5: They must not be bound to a singular location. Monsters or killers stuck to a particular stomping ground are often too inflexible and too rigid. How would you go on vacation? What if you find a nice apartment at a reasonable rate in another part of town? It’s just not realistic to limit yourself, Jotun from The Ritual.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’ve narrowed our competitors down to 30 horror stars from across all genres. THE LIST IS, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
- Baguul (Sinister)
- The Phantom (Phantom of the Opera)
- The Tall Man (Phantasm Series)
- Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street Series)
- Wolf (Alien VS. Predator)
- Herbert West (Re-Animator)
- Audrey II (Little Shop of Horrors)
- Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs)
- Rose the Hat (Doctor Sleep)
- John Kramer (Saw)
- Angela Baker (Sleepaway Camps 2 & 3)
- Norman Bates (Psycho)
- Annie Wilkes (Misery)
- Sweeney Todd (Sweeney Todd)
- Gabriel (Malignant)
- The Gill Man (The Creature from The Black Lagoon Series)
- Marie (High Tension)
- Roman Bridger (Scream 3)
- Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th Series)
- Seth Brundle (The Fly)
- Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre Series)
- Leslie Vernon (Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon)
- Tom Hanninger (My Bloody Valentine Remake)
- Sue Ann (Ma)
- Dracula (Dracula 2000)
And that’s it for Week 1 everybody.
MAY THE BEST MONSTER WIN! Your heart.
VOTING HAS CLOSED! THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING!
Follow Us For a Chance to Win our ‘It Follows’ Giveaway!
I don’t know about you, but this is one of my favorite horror movies ever (regardless of questionable footwear), and this box set delivers the goods. So, if you’re a fan of the movie (who isn’t?), you’ll want to read on to find out how to enter our giveaway.
HOW TO ENTER:
Entering our giveaway is a breeze, and we promise there’ll be no need to make a mad dash onto a beach in the middle of the night while wearing heels!
Step 1. Make sure to FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM!
Step 2. LIKE the giveaway post!
Step 3. Tag a friend who loves horror!
Step 4. Make sure you’re signed up for our NEWSLETTER on the website.
The winner will be selected on September 22nd and notified via direct message. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, we will randomly select another winner.
WHAT YOU’LL WIN:
The winner of our giveaway will receive a brand new Limited Edition 4K UHD and Blu-Ray copy of It Follows from Second Sight Films.
This version is region-unlocked and comes jam-packed with cool extras.
So what are you waiting for? Head over to our Instagram, make sure you’re following our account, like our giveaway post, and tag a friend for your chance to win your limited edition copy of It Follows.
Good luck, and stay spooky!
**Giveaway entries are limited to addresses in the United States.**
A Beginner’s Guide to Jump Scares
Jump scares get a bad rap. In the horror discourse, they’re often dismissed as cheap and tawdry ways to get audiences on the edge of their seats, like a bargain basement replacement for the psychological thrills of more “important” horror movies. But the fact is, jump scares are a vital ingredient in the horror pantry, and they can be used to propel artful masterpieces just as much as popcorn-munching chillers.
A Step By Step Guide to Overcoming Jump Scares
However, even if you agree with that assessment, some people just aren’t built for jump scares. If you or someone you love is interested in seeing certain jump scare-focused movies but can’t control a viscerally negative reaction to those roller coaster thrills, I have prepared a three-step program to help teach you how to watch them and wean you onto the really gnarly nerve-janglers. (Full disclosure: I’m on step 3 with someone very close to me right now, and so far it’s doing the trick).
For the purposes of the following examples, I’m going to assume you are the horror fan who wants to eventually show a particularly scary movie to someone else, so we’ll refer to that person as the Scaredy Cat.
Step 1: Hop
Depending on where your friend/partner/family member/dark passenger is in their horror fandom, you may have to start them at the very beginning to build up some jump scare stamina.
First, we should start with true gateway movies, titles that are aimed specifically at children. There are quite a few scary moments in iconic children’s classics, so maybe they’ve already been exposed to some of them. Think Large Marge in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Fizzgig popping out of the tree stump in The Dark Crystal, or the screaming book in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (I don’t recommend giving J.K. Rowling any more money by paying to watch this, but if you’re a millennial or younger, you probably have a copy lying around or know somebody who does).
If they haven’t experienced any of these delectable kindertrauma offerings as a child, then sit them down for some essential viewing. The filmmakers behind these kinds of movies intend to scare the audience, but only a little, couching these moments in off-kilter but more family-friendly aesthetics that will allow viewers to process their fear in a safe environment.
Step 2: Skip
Once that step is done, I recommend viewing some iconic horror shorts like David F. Sandberg’s Lights Out, Andy Muschietti’s Mamá, or Parker Finn’s Laura Hasn’t Slept. While these can be mighty scary, and in my opinion, frequently scarier than the feature films they inspired, they all tend to follow a certain rhythm. Make sure your Scaredy Cat is very prepared going in. Don’t try to have fun at their expense.
Have your Scaredy Cat try to focus on the way the short film is trying to scare them, how it builds tension continuously into one quick release. With shorts like this, there is usually just one jump scare at the very end, so they can rest assured that they will have as much recovery time as they need afterward. Also, knowing the run time of the short ahead of watching it can help them keep an eye on exactly when the scare is coming.
Watching a few shorts in a row can be an excellent guide to how filmmakers craft the scares that are dotted throughout their features, but in a bite-size package that’s slightly easier to swallow.
Step 3: Jump
If your Scaredy Cat has proven themselves willing and able to pass steps 1 and 2, it’s time for the final showdown. This is where you dip their toe into feature-length horror for adults. While this step will look slightly different for everyone, there are two routes you can take depending on what type of movie fan they are.
Route 1: The Franchise
This is the route I’m using with my personal Scaredy Cat. If they are a completist who likes exploring the full breadth of a franchise, they might not be able to resist a horror series with slightly stronger continuity or more built-out lore, like Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and Scream. They might be scared by the movies, but it may also be difficult for them to resist the urge to find out what happens next. These franchises also usually have an escalation of scares as they go along, naturally weaning your Scaredy Cat onto scarier and scarier movies.
Now these franchises will inevitably have entries that are worse than others, but having the conversation about which are your favorites and why is also a useful tool for having them engage with the franchise in a way that isn’t solely about jump scares. Also, if Insidious is the franchise you choose, it’ll clue them into the James Wan style of jump scare, which is very common in modern horror and could come in handy for future movies.
Route 2: The Familiar Face
Another route would be to find a movie that stars or features an actor they love from something else. If they love Daniel Radcliffe, for instance, The Woman in Black is a very good place to start. Are they a Buffy fan? Maybe The Grudge, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Well… maybe. Don’t @ me if that one doesn’t go well, this all depends on who they like. But seeing a star they enjoy might be the carrot that helps them get over the stick of jump scares.
If you’ve completed all these steps and your Scaredy Cat’s heart hasn’t exploded, then they might just be ready to approach the big guns like The Conjuring, It: Chapter One, The Descent, and [REC]. Jump scares still may never be their cup of tea. But at least they will have the tools to recognize when one is coming and the experience under their belt to know they can handle it when it does.