When I was very young, I would become scared extremely easily. Not just horror films would frighten me; anything that implied harm gave me a strong sense of impending doom, which sent me into a frenzy of tears. I recall my father watching a programme about the universe and the possibilities of the end of the world. The situation alluded to Alvy’s in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. I became so troubled by the thought of death that I did not sleep properly for months. But something changed when I got older, I’m not quite sure what; or when, but I began to be fascinated with death and dying, especially from a literary point of view.
It was probably when I was in Transition Year and I went to JDIFF to see Guillem Morales’ Los Ojos De Julia. The film was phenomenal, and seemed to awaken some spiritual blood lust within me. I craved to see films that were more terrifying than the last; and I knew that someday, I wanted to make something that would terrify people. I became obsessed with fear from that point on, and I have not looked back since.
Many people ask me why I love gore so much, but it is really difficult to put my finger on it. I suppose you could say it is sublime (in a Kantian sense) to an extent. Horror consumed me and I’ve never been the same since. It’s that moment when you lose your breath and scream and adrenaline rushes down every vein in your body. That’s what I love.
But unfortunately, it takes a lot to make me budge these days. I am constantly on the lookout for something more horrific that I can sink my teeth into. People seem to be very put off by my enthusiasm for the grotesque; but they overlook the fact that it is not real. It is only a mimetic representation of a warped vision of reality. I’m sure Quentin Tarantino would back me up on this.
But even though it is not real life as such, people will still claim it has a massive negative influence on people’s behaviour. Fair enough; there is a lengthy list of alleged Natural Born Killers copycats, but these people have to be absolutely deluded to go on a rampage. I have seen A Serbian Film four times and never have I ever wanted to sodomize a newborn baby. I have a massive crush on John from the Saw saga, but I’m not attempting to finish his business in real life. But people still think I am somewhat perturbed.
Maybe it’s just me, but there is something quite beautiful about the macabre. It’s a chilling beauty, a harsh one. Gunshots, bones breaking, music to my ears. Here’s my top ten films that will probably make you hurl:
- Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
- Salò Or The 120 Days of Sodom (1957)
- A Serbian Film (2010)
- Videodrome (1983)
- Excision (2012)
- The Loved Ones (2012)
- Saw (2004)
- Audition (1999)
- Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat (2002)
- I Spit On Your Grave (1978)