It's Friday the 13th! Does it make you uneasy, anxious or downright terrified? Do you believe in all the superstition attached to the day? If so you might have Triskaidekaphobia - the irrational fear of the number 13!
Well regardless of how Friday the 13th makes you feel, it's impossible to overlook the connection that the date has had with the horror world. From The film of the same name right through to bad things going down at number 13, the fear is built on and built on by an industry solely designed to terrify!
It's no secret that we love a good scare here at The Historical Combat Company and if you've ever been brave enough to come on one of our horror experiences you'll know what we're talking about! We'll be marking this most unholy of days by trying out some new prosthetic pieces this evening and watching some of the great horror classics that we've dug out of Netflix and amazon.
The thing we've come to love about horror is the technicality of making a truly terrifying experience. Anyone can jump out and shout boo, giving you a fright - but we like to go so much deeper into it, we like to really get into what makes you scared, uncomfortable, nauseous...the things that are rooted in the psyche that scream "run away" at you.
Over the years there have been many great techniques in film making that create the perfect scare and it's not always about blood and gore, although that certainly plays a part! For a master class in horror look no further than the masterful work of Val Lewton, he created a scare so iconic it's still used in movies to this day - The Lewton Bus. The early masters of horror didn't have CGI and big budgets to work with, it was still in the era of black and white! So lighting and atmosphere played a vital role in building up the tension and scaring the pants off the audience! The players have to make you repulsed by them, wary of them, outright terrified of them, pure hatred and revulsion in a heartbeat and that's harder than it looks. Putting it all together in a package for a film is truly an art form. If you've ever seen anything by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Eli Roth, Guillermo del Toro or James Wan you'll know what we mean.
In subsequent years directing greats have pushed horror into a huge, almost cult genre, with conventions and scare attractions becoming ever more popular. What is possibly even more incredible that the genre is now so vast that there are full subdivisions and fandoms within each; from Slasher, to Hammer or Zombies to The infected, Vampires and Werewolves (no not that Twilight rubbish real vampires like Lost Boys!) All we can say is that horror truly is a vast field and that field is littered with corpses and soaked in red.
Happy Friday the 13th! Be careful out there, whatever you are!