On Tuesday night I went to the cinema with my girlfriend. The choice? Lights Out – a horror/thriller.
Was that the only film we considered watching? No. But being a young couple in 2016, every one of our possible options was a horror. There is something about being scared shitless that brings out the love in every couple.
Whether it be the joy of hearing your significant other scream or just the need to move closer to them and grab on for dear life during jump-scares, the genre of horror has hit a mark with couples since its creation, and right now it seems to be taking over the market.
Our choice for film was a tough one. Did we want blood and guts with The Purge: Election Year? Did we want suspense with The Shallows? In the end we went for thriller. The trailer and reviews for Lights Out came out on top for us, especially one that dubbed it as 2016’s version of The Babadook – a film that truly made me shit my pants*.
*note: I didn’t shit my pants.
So there we were: two student tickets, a large salted popcorn, Tango Ice Blast and Diet Coke. The stage was set and the lights went out (which, with the name of this film, put everyone in the cinema on edge).
But first, of course, there was the trailers – a mixed bag between superhero team-ups, swearing animated food and…you guessed it, horrors.
And I’m going to be honest here, every one of those horrors appealed to me. Morgan, Blair Witch, Ouija: Origin of Evil and Don’t Breathe – the latter being one that stuck out the most.
After each one, I turned to Zoe (^ the girlfriend previously mentioned), repeating the same phrase over and over again…
We have to go see that.
Being realistic, with the student budgets we have we probably won’t see them all – but I guarantee we will stream the shit out of them when they come on Netflix.
The point still remains, we are engrossed by horror movies. They’re the films we want to see in the cinema now, in the future, and when we get home and turn on our laptops.
Back to Lights Out. Wow. The idea in itself is pretty great – a beast (Diane) that you can only see in the dark and is directly linked to one of the key characters.
The film itself is full of jumps. You know they’re coming but you still cannot escape. You see the lights are going out and know she’ll appear, but still you tense up – even causing Zoe to kick her leg in the air and spill her drink…some people just can’t handle it, eh.
The success of the genre this year is duly noted, as pointed out by US box office figures up until September 1, as shown here by comicbook.com:
These figures clearly show that, despite having a reasonably small production budget, each horror film is having huge success in its own right I must add that, in addition to the previously mentioned films, we have also been to see The Conjuring 2 and 10 Cloverfield Lane, which I guess adds to the point.
We enjoy comedy, but we don’t want to sit in a cinema for two hours for it. We enjoy romance, but the same reason applies. There is something strange about going to a cinema to be scared. The rush of energy that flows through you while being jumped out of your seat is something that is a lot more enjoyable on the big screen.
Unlike most teenage guys, my movie life has circulated around rom-coms for a number of years. It started as a basis of advice on how to get girls, then it became about how to keep them. Now, it’s just an occasional pastime.
For me, 2016 has been the year of horror movies. While I admit I might not be entirely open to watching them myself at night with the lights off, they are the top-option when it comes to date-night.
Horrors, whatever it is you’re doing – keep doing it.