WOW! The legendary Horror Movie has been completed! I have heard about this project since I was in Grade 9! Always hearing updates from teachers, thinking to myself “are they really making a full class movie?” At last, it was my turn and wow was it fun.
This project as always started with the learning. As a class (despite extremely sick) we made our way down to Seattle for the Museum of Pop Culture. During our visit we experienced their horror exhibit that allowed us to get our first understanding of the driving question: Why is horror an effective way to reflect and comment on our society?
During my time in Seattle I had one major takeaway. In order genuinely enjoy horror, one must have a “sugar coat” around themselves, reassuring the horror is not actually real. One must mentally detach themselves from the text and experience the text from an outside point of view. The attempt to relate themselves to the text and “putting on those shoes” is not what you want to do with horror. I learned this in an instrumental realization as we braved the Georgetown Morgue Haunted House. Where the mindset, “it’s not real its all fake” could no longer be used as there I was standing face to face with a massive clown on stilts. I could not detach myself from the horror, as I was literally experiencing it. Later throughout the project this is helped me develop my understand of how to make a good horror movie.
Upon return from Seattle, we deep dived into different texts. We explored many different titles such as Halloween, The Exorcist, and I was even V for Vendetta, which we watched during our previous project but I was still able to draw from. Each movie served a different purpose with different commentaries on society. For example, The Exorcist is a perfect commentary on society back in 1973 during its release.If it isn’t already a fear, can it be used to scare?” Where I reference how a modern day audience isn’t scared of the Devil because they don’t believe in it.
As we explored text, we began our movie… We took a weekend trip to Loon Lake where we filmed our movie. I took part as the Line Producer but mainly as a main actor. Josh, a sexist gym rat obsessed with girls. Sounds bad, I know. Looking back, I wish I could have taken a step back from production. Being a main actor required me to be present for almost every single scene, so managing shoots and timelines was hard. I couldn’t be in more than one place at a time which I learned the hard way. While walkie-talkies helped, they also presented their challenges. I do feel I did a very good job acting as I spoke to a good acting friend River Codack. River has acted in many TV shows and movies and I talked to him beforehand asking for some tips. They helped alot and I can say they made a major impact on my acting skills showcased in the movie. We organized our movie as a content creation retreat where each character directly contrasted each other. This aided in setting up different narratives and mini arks within the movie itself. We made sure to add our social commentary and things we wanted to address in our modern day society. Watch the movie and let me know what you think we commented on!
To conclude, Horror does an excellent job commenting on society suing fear, shock and suspense to highlight and confront different issues in society. Horror at the end of the day, allows for the exploration of controversial topics, through a safe sugar coated lense that allows you to separate yourself from the horror. The unsettling and horrific atmosphere created highlights fear and uncertainty within a society, encouraging reflection, discussion, and change.