The Good, The Bad, And The Unwatchable

“Don’t you have something good you could be watching right now?” my husband asks as he walks in on me watching films like Ouija Shark (2020) and Killer Sofa (2019). Yes, there are good films I could be watching instead, but I also want to watch the bad ones.

I tend to be more forgiving of “bad” horror films compared to horror novels. My reading time occurs at specific moments of the day, and most of my reading is done as a winddown at the end of a long day. It’s something I want to be sure to enjoy. But my movie watching is much more flexible. A lot of the time, I just have a movie on as background noise, something to casually watch while I work out, make dinner, or wash the dishes. For a “good” movie, I’ll gladly sit in front of the TV and relax or knit, but if I want some fluff on in the background I have no problem throwing something on that has lower than a 4 star rating on IMDB.

That being said, if a movie is so bad that I find it unwatchable to the point where I can’t even laugh at it, then I’ll switch to something else. Even I have standards, even if they’re dangerously low.

But why do I bother? (Other than the need for background noise). Because I want to immerse myself in all things horror. It took me a while to become a fan of the genre, and sometimes I feel like I need to play catch up. Now that I write horror, and plan to do this for the rest of my life, I want to know the genre inside and out. The tropes, the themes, what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes, I can learn a lot from a “bad” horror movie. And sometimes I’m just entertained and get a good laugh out of it.

It’s also helpful to desensitize me. I used to avoid horror movies because I was scared of getting too scared. It’s taken a lot of time to work my way up to be able to watch films like Hereditary (2018) and The Babadook (2014) and actually be able to enjoy them. Some of the “bad” films have helped build my courage so that I can sit through the “good” ones.

So yes, I am still working to cross all the “good” horror movies off my watch list, but I’ll never say no to a “bad” movie. In fact, if you have any recommendations you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them.

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