You can usually tell, if you look close, when I’m on the trail of a new project. This blog ranges fairly widely at times, but when lots of posts concentrate in a single area it’s likely something much larger is going on behind the scenes. I’ve been writing quite a bit about horror lately. Quite apart from the Republican Party, scary things are on my mind often. I recently came across an article on KillTheCableBill that made me feel less weird. It’s a story covering a survey showing the favorite horror movie per state. Now, I won’t be able to fit all fifty into my usual daily word limit (wouldn’t want to arouse the word count police), so I’ll just add a few words about some of the interesting connections I noticed. As in my books, if you see something, say something, right?
It’s kind of embarrassing that I haven’t seen the movie most often mentioned: The Devil’s Backbone. I have to admit falling behind on my Guillermo del Toro movies. I was surprised at the number of states’ favorites that I hadn’t seen. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately: if you have a full-time job which doesn’t include movie watching, it can be pretty difficult to make the time. A number of classics don’t show up on the list, while some states have somewhat obvious favorites: Massachusetts’ Jaws, Colorado’s The Shining (it was filmed there), New Mexico’s Alien (think about it), and Maine’s The Lighthouse all fit into state self image in some way. Horror preferences, in other words, may reflect who we are.
A number of states, more conservative ones mostly, favor older films. The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Pennsylvania’s favorite, I haven’t seen. Like most aspects of my home state it’s a mix of things. It comes from the early seventies, just as modern horror was getting started, but not too far into it. Studies like this end up giving me homework. When I can find the time I have a lot of viewing to do to catch up with my fellow Americans. I was surprised that The Exorcist isn’t on anybody’s list of favorites, not even Washington, DC’s. It may be that films that are too real are too scary for many people. Another finding, as noted in the article, is that the southeast states like horror the least. I can’t help but wonder if things would be better, politically, if more people there watched horror and pondered the implications.