I am Fioletta and I will be your guide to some of lesser known horror films, including cult classics, international horror, indie horror, mumblegore, horror-thrillers, dark fantasy, obscure, critically reappraised, underrated, underappreciated or any other horror film which didn’t get the attention it deserved.
Fioletta isn’t my actual name; it was my stage name when I was a belly dancer (don’t be impressed; I was pretty bad). If you want to know its origins, let’s just say that any Gogol Bordello fan will guess that I’m a purple leetle-leetle lady…and also a dirty, old and useless clown. Haha, just kidding. I’m usually pretty clean..though my sanity and wit vanished long ago, and good riddance, too.
I’m also the most devout horror fan alive. And I’m on a mission: I want horror to become a legitimate art form. Or rather, I want to see horror be considered an honest-to-god, respected art form.
But there’s a problem–most horror is shit.
Might as well know upfront that I am that friend who voices the thing you already know but are too polite to say, that little boy who won’t hesitate to call out the emperor and I’ll be the first to point and laugh, too. And I’m saying, unequivocally, that most horror is contemptible, inexcusable, irredeemable horseshit. But there is a reason for that. It’s because the powers that be, whoever they may be, finance that shit horror for their most lucrative demographic: 18-35 year old mouf-breavers who only care about horror if it includes 50 jumpscares, gratuitious boobies, silly CGI and perhaps seeing an eyeball explode in some new and interesting way. Torture porn. Tired, formulaic slashers, a group of 30 year olds playing teenagers who foolishly fuck with a ouija board/spend the night in haunted _________/defy a curse/take a foolish dare/go to an unfamiliar cabin in the woods (exception: The Cabin in the Woods, which was fucking great), anything directed by Eli Roth, two-thirds of the movies produced by Jason Blum (though Get Out gets him a lifetime pass), most found footage, virtually anything that starts with the words “A Haunting in…” and thousands and thousands of goddamn zombie movies.
Unfortunately, they’re right–shit sells. Mediocrity–in art, in fashion and humans–sells. And that galls me no end, because the truly talented creators/performers in horror films struggle to find funding, even the veterans like Larry Fessenden. Original hidden gems like Starry Eyes have to use crowd-funding for even a micro-budgeted $60,000…and worst of all, it gives snotty film critics even more reason to pull their knives out and Pavlov-hate any horror film before they even watch it. Think I’m exaggerating? Rex Reed savaged V/H/S 2 without even watching most of it. He got busted when he got almost every detail of the segments wrong in his savage, bitter, “nobody loves me so I’m going to watch the world BURN” review. He didn’t even apologize. Admitted he walked out one third of the way through and just made the up the rest. Granted, he’s a silly old bitch who stopped being relevant when silly old bitches went out of style, but his attitude represents a mere microcosm of many of the well-respected heavyweights.
Think about it–the last horror movie to win best Oscar was Silence of the Lambs…nearly 30 years ago. I know that the academy, too, is made up of a bunch of silly old bitches…but those silly bitches have clout.
Which is a shame, because in case you haven’t noticed, we are in the midst of a horror renaissance–even in the multiplex. It has been a very long time (ever?) in which I actually had to decide between two horror movies on those rare occasions I go out to see a film (we live just south of Bumfuck Egypt; the nearest multiplex is a 60 mile round trip). The first time I noticed was when we had to choose between The Babadook and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night—a wonderfully agonizing decision.
So why now? Well, art mirrors the times (see: living in fucked up times). All that anxiety and angst and rage is being channeled into art and nowhere is that more apparent than in horror. And streaming has been an enormous game-changer; where once VOD was a sure path to the .89 bin at Long’s Drugstore, now a movie can be discovered by millions of viewers at home. Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Vudu along with Tubi, Popcornflix and other free-with-ads streaming services are springing up like mushrooms, including many horror-exclusive channels, not to mention Youtube, which is a goldmine for older, lesser known horror…very often, when I can’t find a movie anywhere else, I’ll find it there.
And Shudder–of which you will definitely hear more of–is in a class of its own. It’s simply the best and a mere $5/month. No, I promise I don’t work for them, but I’m certainly willing to have my arm twisted any time they feel like hiring somebody uniquely unqualified to do anything but watch horror movies and talk about them (…call me, Shudder…).
Still, it surprises me when I talk to avid horror fans who still haven’t heard of Session 9 or Devil’s Candy or Kill List etc…hence, the main purpose of this blog.
So what qualifies me to be such a horror connoisseur? Read Part 2 and you’ll find out.