Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay's blog

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: LARRY COHEN

Some filmmakers always work in the same genre or sub-genre because they have a subconscious connection to the material at hand; Hitchcock’s story of being taken down to a jail as a child was certainly scarring enough that he spent his entire adult life making films about wrongfully accused men trying to clear their name. But there are other filmmakers who make, quite literally, anything that crosses their mind.

Horror By the Sub-Genres: Single Location Horror

Isolation is at the base of nearly every horror film ever made. Even when it is not explicit within the story or the source of the horror itself, isolation is one of the key elements that creates the suspense and dread necessary for a film to be considered horror.

Horror By the Sub-Genres: VOODOO ZOMBIE HORROR

It’s hard to argue that there could be an iconic horror figure that is currently more popular than the zombie. From film to television to comics, the living dead have done to popular culture what they do to human flesh: they have devoured en masse and made converts of us all. The ultimate irony, of course, is that the creatures that populate these movies and shows that we love so much aren’t actually zombies at all.

Horror By the Sub-Genres: Body Snatching Horror

The death of the body is supposed to be the last journey that the physical form goes on in a lifespan. Regardless of one’s spiritual beliefs, all religions tend to agree with the central tenet that the human body is a physical one, meant for eventual decay, and that we will all end up traveling back into the life cycle of the Earth, decomposed and returned to the soil, broken down to the key components that made us alive in the first place.

Horror BY the Sub-Genres: Pregnancy Horror

Giving birth is the weapon humanity has against the constant attempt of nature to destroy it, the yin to death’s yang. It is the way that people gain a measure of immortality in the physical world, a way to make sure that half of the genetic information that makes up who you are continues on after you’re long gone. It’s also an amazing way to bring together humanity, literally combining two separate human beings at a genetic level, knitting them together more closely than any relationship ever could.

Horror By the Sub-Genres: Dream Horror

There is an inevitability to sleep that makes it frightening in a way that most real-world fears can never quite match. Sharks can be scary, but you can always stay out of the water, and you’re never required to go camping or participate in a séance with your friends. But sleep… that’s an inevitability to which everyone eventually succumbs.

Horror By the Sub-Genres: Humans Hunting Humans Horror

Humans love to stalk, to hunt, to devour. Many of the advancements humanity has found in the world have their roots in the desire to overpower another: weaponry, medicine, knowledge, these are all achievements which place humanity at the top of a quickly narrowing pyramid of superiority. We want nothing more than to know that we are at the top of the food chain.

Horror By the Sub-Genres: Nazi Horror

Sometimes, it’s nice to have a bad guy that everyone can hate. In horror, you often want people to root for one person or group and against another, and it becomes troublesome to create three-dimensional villains that have real-life motivations and reasons for the awful things they do. When faced with a situation like that, one of the tried and true solutions is to bring in the Nazis.

Horror By the Sub-Genres: WITCHCRAFT HORROR

Women are mysterious; even in our enlightened and educated times, the modern male is aware of the imbalance between the sexes. Women are the ones who give birth to the next generation of life, giving them the driver’s seat when it comes to biology. Women have instincts and emotions that exist beyond the obvious and pragmatic awareness that most males tend to exist with on a day-to-day basis, which some call women’s intuition, and some mistakenly confuse as “being too emotional”.

Horror By the Sub-Genres: Underwater Horror

The more advanced and civilized humanity becomes, the less equipped we are to protect and defend ourselves without the civilization and the technological advances. The world itself seems to be aware of our inherent weakness and actively tries to confine us in the narrow window where we can survive; gravity keeps us out of the cold vacuum of space, and buoyancy keep us out of the crushing depths of the ocean. Constantly being pushed down from the sky and up from the water, and we still have the audacity to consider ourselves the superior species.

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