Or You Might Just Make Better Movies…

Lookin for fear in all the wrong places?
Lookin' for fear in all the wrong places?

This little piece on CNN.com caught my eye for a couple of reasons. Never mind the fact that people have been looking for excuses to capture the brain’s reaction to just about any stimulus for decades, just who the devil experiences fear when they watch a horror movie? Excitement, possibly. Annoyance, often. Fear? Have I just been watching all the wrong movies all these years?

And ever on the prowl for an opportunity to “engage the readership,” CNN has even posted a poll: “Should movie directors use medical science to test audience reactions — or go with their filmmaking instincts?”Judging by a few recent offerings, I’m thinking they could do worse than to rely on the former.

But what really caught my eye was this: the producer they interview is Peter Katz, one of the people behind a movie called Pop Skull. It makes something of a cameo in The New Horror Handbook‘s chapter about Rue Morgue magazine. Here’s the exact quote:

“…the magazine has gained an even more distinctive
personality, thanks in large part to the way its stable of writers regularly savage the worst that cinema has to offer. Stuart F Andrews’ issue 78 summation of indie film Pop Skull as being “a challenge to sit through…without hate-fucking the fast-forward button” remains a shining example of film criticism that New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael would’ve envied, however quietly.”

Maybe it IS time to fire up the ol’ brain scanner, but movie audiences wouldn’t be my first pick for testing…


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