#girlsonfilm is a feature in which your friend and ours, Hannah Oliver, recreates famous cinematic scenes in real life and then writes about them. The idea being to discover what happens when the fantasy of film is brought down to the reality of everyday life.
I have a confession to make. Whilst I try to avoid being placed in any overt category of society and humanity in general (it’s more nonchalant, init. I do like to make life easy for myself and myself easily likeable for others (as my sentence structures suggest)), I am subject to one particular “-ism”. I hate horror films. I am “horrorist”; awfully prejudiced against the character, lifestyle and values of the Horror Movie. Frankly, I find them dull and try-hard. Yes, I am stereotyping dreadfully and dismissing many great films in utter ignorance. Like any person belonging to any “-ism”, I give you full permission to hate me. There are more “I”s in this paragraph than can ever be justified. Let’s start a new one.
Much as I (there’s that little word again!) am wholly unqualified, therefore, in tackling this genre, it is Hallowe’en and a lil’ bit of horror is therefore necessary. It just so happens that my baby sis, who was too scared to read The Worst Witch until her teenage years, is visiting. It also happens that we have an eery, smelly flat below our own that hasn’t been occupied for a good many years. Time to try out a generic horror scene on my one unsuspecting member of the public this week: pretty teenage damsel-in-distress enters spooky, abandoned habitat and is left to her own devices. Yes, I know, never heard that one before!
*Innocent female approaches door*: Isobel has a very sensitive nose and immediately notices, before she even enters, that there is a fermenting toilet somewhere in the vicinity. This is something that will never happen to an audience in any film (an idea for 5-D, perhaps? James Cameron, eat your heart out. We want to smell Pandora, ftw). Then comes the exploring: *enters a dark shadow* (no body-snatching occurs); *tries a locked door* (sees through the convenient window-in-door that nothing interesting/lethal lies ahead); *floorboards creak* (no shit! It’s her own footsteps) *cobwebs* (=spiders). Etc, etc, etc … I could go on, but I won’t, because I’m not a Horror Movie (mwahaha) … dad-joke.
Unfortunately, I did not succeed in scaring my sister. She found it all a little bit bemusing, but I think really she wanted to get out to lunch. Just like I can’t sit through more than ten minutes of gormless teenagers creeping around in anticipation of getting sawn/eaten/waxed to pieces on screen, she got bored. The event, I must admit, culminated when I let the kid out of my sight for two seconds and she disappeared. *Two seconds later*: Lo, behold! – Isobel jumps out from behind a cupboard and I shriek. Like when the powers-that-be decided to capitulate the devil with a talking goat in Drag Me To Hell, the joke was on me.
Hallowe’en and horror are an excuse to scare-monger, to be uncivilised and exercise various degrees of misbehaviour. Why do I tease my sister about The Worst Witch and beckon her into a damp, empty flat? Why does she find glee in making me shriek with surprise? This isn’t an example of film taking life to a high and elevated level! Outrage! We regress into debauchery and indulge ourselves in … ah, fuck it. I can’t even be bothered to try and salvage some substance from this genre. Let’s all just be Mean Girls and dress up slutty and steal sweets from children.
What have we learnt from film-life this week? Hannah is a miserable, fun-sucking leech. Horror is boring. And Mean Girls will always save the day.
Hannah Oliver studies English Literature at Edinburgh University. She would like to think that this is an apt excuse for her tendency to be overly florid, pleonastic and long-winded (yeah, we couldn’t find a more pretentious word for long-winded). However, there are two things to effectively shut her up – coffee and/or chocolate. ’Nuff said.
If you’re interested in getting involved with PTL – drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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