05/27/2014 08:19 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Saying 'No' to Horror Movies


I'm over horror movies.

Unless there's a truly compelling reason -- such as that it's made by an A-list director or features top-tier stars -- I no longer feel a need to review -- let alone to see -- horror films.

OK, so that's kind of a sweeping statement and there have been exceptions in the past, just as there may be exceptions in the future. I'm just saying that the horror-movie experience, as it currently manifests itself, is not something I crave. Crave? I can barely muster the interest to see one, let alone sit through it and write about it afterward.

It's something I've been thinking about for a while, for a couple of reasons.

For starters, I have no interest in the supernatural and paranormal -- mostly because I don't believe in it. (Of course, that's the perfect set-up for a horror story.) I've never had a paranormal experience, though I'm sure there are people who believe they have.

So, no, I don't believe in ghosts or spirits or communication with the dead. Which means I'm less susceptible to those kinds of stories.

Vampires? Werewolves? Zombies? Again, sorry -- it's less that I don't believe in them (I don't) than that they have become such tired concepts or conceits, full of familiar tropes. I simply can't summon the energy to care about them.

Even those, however, are preferable to the kind of torture-porn that seems to dominate the genre. Special effects have evolved so far that you can find a way to graphically depict any sadistic act you can imagine, from disembowelment to decapitation, and worse.

This commentary continues on my website.