Monday, 13 October 2014


After watching the first episode of American Horror Story: Freakshow and seeing how some of my friends reacted to the clown in the show, it got me thinking. I'm also doing a marathon of horror movies at the moment that deal with things like killer dolls, evil robots and other beings that were never meant to be alive, so all this is kind of mingling in my brain and making me contemplate what makes these things scary to some folks.

Because to me, they do nothing.

I don't see why they are scary. My theory from an outsider perspective is because they take something that should be innocent, something that is never meant to be tampered with, and twists it against humanity. It is a corruption of childhood. When it comes to things like clowns and dolls especially, these are meant to be things that charm children and comfort them. That was their original purpose for existing, and why sometimes some adults (like myself) like collecting dolls and clowns. Clowns especially are meant to be harmless, and are there to amuse and fascinate children. Dolls are meant to be companions, something to teach children to care for something outside themselves.

Perhaps it's just the whole Uncanny Valley thing. The way dolls, masks and clowns seem so close visually to normal humans, but there is something about them. They aren't us. But they try to mimic us.

I personally don't actually see why these things are scary. I find them interesting and fascinating, just like I find masks symbolically intriguing. Masks can actually unnerve me though if they use it in just the right way, but dolls and clowns have never really frightened me. I like watching them try though. I laugh at their antics, and at best find them charming. Yes, I find IT charming. Even when he's creepy as fuck. Maybe I'm just drawn to the Uncanny Valley and wanna move in there.

The things that tend to freak me out aren't creatures. I find a little of myself in monsters and inhuman creatures. For me, fear doesn't tend to be things outside of the human experience. The unknown tends to draw me rather than repel me. But humanity at it's worst, now that triggers me. People being horrible to each other is much more convincing than an evil clown. The person under the clown is more frightening than the clown itself. Or cockroaches. I hate those fucking things. I figure a fear of clowns is akin to my fear of cockroaches, and I can get real irrationally violent and want to set the house on fire to make sure the fuckers die a horrible, screeching death. It's a primal fear. A phobia I have had since childhood. So if someone also carried a fear of dolls or clowns with the same lizard brain phobia, then I could see how watching something like Child's Play might be a bit much for them.

Horror is wonderful because it makes us face our fears, and sometimes, we can test our boundaries to see if we can overcome it, or be consumed by it. I still hate roaches, but I can deal with pictures of them better because I sometimes see them in films. Just don't put a real one in front of me. I might go all Firestarter and burn the house down with my mind.

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