On Inexpertise & the Virtues of Being Scared

Many people consider themselves to be experts.  They namedrop.  They flash an intimidating lexicon of terminology pertaining to their unique breed of fanaticism.  They scatter their articles, books, and blogs with so much fairy dust of their own (again, unique) comprehensive comprehension, that others lose track or are intimidated into assuming they know nothing on the subject when they know more than they allow themselves to realize.  We live in a society that needs experts and boasts of many who actually aren't.  In the soiled pool of art criticism, Horror critics are just one more society of false prophets.  A slasher gem to one horror-lover is crusty film garbage to another.  Anyone with a rental subscription and the ability to read and rant is suddenly an instant expert (case in point = Betty), and the opinions are amusingly polarized.  Well, here's the good and the bad news about Betty:
We at Betty Bloodletter do not consider ourselves to be experts at anything.  There, you can unsubscribe to the blog now.

Except, just maybe, like so many other real horror lovers, we are experts at being scared.  Allow us to massage our ego for a moment, please.  (Isn't that what blogging is about anyway, or perhaps we missed the memo.)  In spite of the warnings of friends and relatives to "stop being such a worrier" or "live life to the fullest" and "don't be afraid of anything", being scared has driven us into somehow getting what we want/need.... .....and probably also kept Betty Bloodletter from doing time in a rustic prison for arson, grand theft auto, and hatchet killings.

Fear is sometimes the "mind killer".  Whatever.  But fear also keeps us from doing lots of really stupid shit.  That time you wondered what it was like to light that short-fused firecracker in your hand and didn't? (Well...ok I sorta did, but you get the point).  That time you wanted to jump off that bridge?  That time you wanted to smoke up in the bathroom in middle school?  That time you wanted to ride bareback (I ain't horsetalkin') but decided to wrap it?  That time you wanted to steal that $500.00 ipod but decided security cameras had a one-up on ya?

Yeah.  A lot of us ain't on welfare with 16 children and an arrest record, permanently wheelchairbound and minus kneecaps from bridge-jumping AND sans a right hand because....ba-da-bum!  We were too AFRAID to do it. Yeah yeah, fear "will keep them in line", fear is "the oppressor", blah blah blah, but that is only one side of the coin.  Fear keeps people employed, it puts food in kids' mouths, it puts on seatbelts, it reminds you that maybe going into that dark alley with that hook-handed toothless knife-wielding but friendly man MIGHT just be a bad call.

Not too shabby. 

Horror movies and fiction fascinate horror lovers because deep down, we all want that rollercoaster.  We all want to face the monster and defeat it - or sometimes even to be defeated by it.  And what we adore about horror-lovers is their ability to enthusiastically contribute to the search for the perfect horror film/book.  Not really so we can shout it from the mountains and re-watch/read it again and again and devour every subtle nuance of perfect filmmaking or writing (though we usually do just that).  It's so we can have the living shit scared out of us once and for all!  So we can have that vicarious moment of pure terror, filmed or worded to perfection.  So we can get on with things having had that mutual experience with the character hiding in the closet from the thing outside without having to be eaten for real. 

Horror fanatics are addicts.  They often hide it, and sit through romantic comedies at friends' and lovers' behests feeling like they'd rather be shivering and plugging their fingers into their ears to avoid the part where the creature jumps out of the sewage pipe.  They forget their love of being scared, intrigued, and mesmerized at the same time long enough to drift unwittingly back to the section in the bookstore or movie rentals.  They savor the occasional nightmare, once they've woken up and realized what a good plot it would be. 

Unlike experts, we will tell you that we am going to be at times pretentiously and horrendously wrong in our opinions as well as annoying, obnoxious, and offensive in other times and because this is horror, you'll probably have many 'expert' opinions of your own, and if it gets bloody...well, that's kinda the point.  If we trash your favorite horror film, tell us why we're wrong.  Likewise, if you were in one of these movies and can't handle the criticism, quit acting, as it's not your line of work.  We hear library sciences is a good career too.   

This blog is all about rating and recommending horror books and films.  We will post on each book or film as we review our repertoire of years past and present using a handy dandy little rating system we lovingly call: WTF. 
Ahead lie our decadent ramblings in the world of supernaturally fabulous fiction & film.  Get your jammies on and dig in.