Episode 99: The History of Horror Films

What are you most afraid of? Chances are there’s a horror movie about it! That’s why we’re diving headlong into the history of horror films, from their inception in 1890 all the way to our present! Featuring decapitations, yelling about ‘genre’, and a surprise special guest!

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Amanda: Welcome to Spirits podcast, a boozy dive into mythology, legends and folklore. Every week we pour a drink and learn about a new story from around the world. I'm Amanda ...

Julia: ... and I'm Julia ...

Amanda: ... and this is episode 99, The History of Horror films. I don't know if this really counts as mythology, folklore and urban legends, but, but it's a really interesting conversation.

Julia: It is creepy. Cool. And there's a little guest part. There is mention of vampires, of werewolves. We go there.

Amanda: We do. We go to all the scary places, and we're so glad you're joining us.

Julia: You know who I would bring with us on a haunted house visit.

Amanda: Oh, would that be our new patrons?

Julia: Exactly. Amanda. Alec, Abigail, Alex and Kinshasa. Welcome,

Amanda: Welcome. And thank you so much, the people who have upped their pledges to take advantage of our merch discount, which is it ends today.

Julia: It does. Our new merch is now out. But first, let's also thank our supporting producer level patrons, Philip, Julie, Christina, Yore, Josie, Amara, Neil, Jessica, Maria. Ryan, Feel Fresh and Deborah.

Amanda: Y'all are amazing and we hope that your worst nightmares don't come to life and haunt you. Certainly not. Certainly not. Nor for our legend level patrons, Jess, Elisa, Zoey, Cassie, Sandra, Audra, Mercedes, Jack Murray, and Leanne.

Julia: Every month Y'all get some really, really cool physical rewards that we send you in the mail.

Amanda: The literal actual mail.

Julia: Which I'm sending out as we record this tomorrow.

Amanda: I was going to say, Julia, you better not be at a post office as we record this. That's going to be some very bad background noise.

Julia: That is some bad audio. I's a bad bake Mary.

Amanda: Soggy bottom. What might be drinking this episode, Jules.

Julia: I picked up a really, really nice bottle of California Syrah from a vineyard called Black Sheep Finds, and it was called Hocus Pocus Syrah. I loved it so much. It was a great pick. It was a really good friend, Amanda, speaking of hocus pocus, and scary things, and tar movies, I have been watching this week with Jake, the Haunting of Hill House on Netflix.

Amanda: Oh, you told me about this. Yes.

Julia: Oh, buddy. I am halfway through the season, I think, at this point. One of the episodes I was legitimately sobbing through the last 10 minutes of it. Oh boy, it's very, very well done. The fact that it has be so emotionally invested is kind of insane to me, but I love it so much. I can't stop watching it.

Amanda: Yeah, you don't expect to sob from emotion versus fear while watching a sensibly haunted series. But you really liked this one, huh?

Julia: Yeah, it's really good.

Amanda: I am so glad to hear it. Before we get to the episode, we do want to thank our two sponsors, Stitch Fix, where StitchFix.com/spirits will get you 25 percent off when you keep all five items in this dope clothing subscription service. And Honeybook, a new sponsor for the show, At honeybook.com. You can find all the tools you need to run your small business, and the code SPIRITS will get you 50 percent off your first year.

Julia: Dang. Sounds like something we need.

Amanda: Oh yeah, no. I saw the dashboard, and I was like, "Oh no, there's so much I need to be doing." But until we get there in the middle of the episode, we also just want to announce, hey, hi, hello. We're selling a spirits flask. I know, right? I'm just so excited. It was so hard not telling you guys, but our new merch is live. Oh my God. SpiritsPodcast.com/merch. We got a flask. We got glow in the dark shirts. We have a pocket tee people, a pocket tee.

Julia: I'm obsessed with that pocket tee. It's so good.

Amanda: I am so pleased about it. We got buttons, we got stickers. It's going to be dope.

Julia: You're forgetting Amanda, a Spirits Enamel Pin.

Amanda: AKA the best march item that's ever graced any podcast anywhere?

Julia: Of course.

Amanda: I am so excited. I cannot wait to order like five of them. Uh, and not give you one for Christmas because you're going to get one too. But give it to all my friends and family.

Julia: So please go to SpiritsPodcast.com/merch. You can check out all of this cool stuff. We are so excited about it. We've been waiting so long to tell y'all and now it's here. It's here. You can have it in your hands very soon.

Amanda: The website looks really pretty on your phone as well. That's SpiritsPodcast.com/merch. But enough dithering. It is time for spirits podcast, episode 99. The History of Horror Films. 99.

Julia: 99. Listeners, a couple of weeks back, I asked you to tell me what you were scared of the most and you did. What were you thinking? I could use that against you so much. Don't tell me about your existential fears, I'll make them come true.

Amanda: You tell her things like puppies, kittens, snails, tiny frogs, tiny lizards, hedgehog babies.

Julia: You know what's up. All right. Uh, mostly I wanted to see if there was like a consensus as to what all of our listeners were afraid of. But then a friend of the show, Eric silver, suggested something that kind of covered the purview of all of the fears that were listed. The history of horror movies.

Amanda: Oh, are they going to include descriptions of the most horrifying parts of the movies?

Julia: Potentially, because I'm wonderful that way. It happens that I do love a good horror movie. Jake is basically an expert on horror movies, it's true. So I've talked to him about this ,and I have come up with a pretty comprehensive history of horror films if I do say so myself. In this essay, I will. But I will say to just start it all off, I am not a film historian. I am not an complete expert in this field. So if I do not mention a horror movie that you feel strongly I should have mentioned, I apologize.

Amanda: And isn't that an opportunity to go on an informative, and positive, and generous tweet storm to say, "I would like to tell you about my favorite movie. It's wonderful." Just lovingly without criticism, explain that to the rest of us.

Julia: Yes. I'm sorry that I didn't mention it. I would love to hear about it, because clearly I either haven't seen it or it slipped my mind in the moment.

Amanda: This is an enthusiast's guide to the history of horror movies.

Julia: Yes. Not An expert, an enthusiast. So I think when it comes down to it, we've always wanted to scare each other. There is a sort of pathological desire that we have to scare one another. Humans even go out of their way to scare themselves. Haunted houses, rollercoasters, horror movies, we love that fear that comes with controlled danger. You know what I mean?

Amanda: Um, I partially know what you mean. It's more like when I leave red wine out on the counter without a stopper for 20 minutes. And I'm like, "Ooh, look at this bad bitch." That's more my speed. Or like going on a paddle boat, because those things probably aren't board certified safe.

Julia: I love your idea of controlled danger. I really do.

Amanda: But, yes, I know what you mean. I am not one for the roller coasters or the horror movies, but I understand the appeal.

Julia: Yeah. So, so much of our basis of mythology and folklore was designed to scare each other. To scare people into certain actions, or just to provide a fright in the process of telling a story. And since antiquity, human beings have even paid for horrifying entertainment, horrific plays and bloody Penny Dreadful's. Then, starting in the late 1800s horror films. So you raised your hand. You have a question, Amanda?

Amanda: I also think that a scary tales are very helpful for mortality and for teaching children. Did you have a tradition in your house, Julia, that is now called Elf on the shelf?

Julia: See, I didn't learn about Elf on the shelf until much later in life. I think I didn't even know about it until college.

Amanda: We had our own version which was named Barnaby, that my mom had grown up with.

Julia: Horrifying. Continue.

Amanda: Yeah. Like if the Christmas tree ornament had moved in the breeze, "Oh, there's Barnaby." Barnaby watches you between Thanksgiving and Christmas to make sure that your behavior is good, even when the parents aren't watching. And I found that to be completely terrifying when I was child, but it worked.

Julia: Understandably so. It is terrifying. The idea of Santa Claus is even like a idea of horrific morality. Where it's like, "Well, you better be good and listen to your parents, or else a big man is going to come and bring you coal. Which you have no use for whatsoever, a small child.

Amanda: I thought you were going to say that the home is like easily penetrable through the chimney at all times. That's horrifying.

Julia: That is horrifying. That is a good point. I think we'll get to home invasion later on in the story.

Amanda: I do though. I must say that I really love a crime and mystery novels. I love detectives. I love true crime. I think I like it more because I get to see the crime put right, when it's a tale of a solved murder or crime. But, I hear you and I'm excited to hear how horror movies started. Did you say 1800s?

Julia: So the first film makers started emerging during the mid 1890s, as Lumiere brothers began to really short films at the end of 1895 in Paris. So originally motion pictures have been offered as a cheaper way of entertaining the masses, as it didn't require live performances, and you could show it to audiences around the world.

Amanda: True.

Julia: It is said that George Méliès, super French name, created the first "horror film" in 1898. Méliès was an illusionist turned film director, and many of his techniques were revolutionary at the time. For example, he popularized substitution splices, multiple exposure of film, time lapse photography, and even added hand painted color onto his reels.

Amanda: That's amazing. I also love that Méliès means in French, a mixture. But in English it's come to me like a brawl, like a big tussle. And I think that's very funny.

Julia: I like that a lot. So you might recognize his work. He did the infamous Trip to the Moon movie, which if you have seen any like early film stuff, it's the man on the moon with a telescope in his eye, basically.

Amanda: I have not, but that sounds very 1800s.

Julia: Okay. Yeah. His film, the Cave of the Demons, featured transparent ghosts that haunted a cave using double exposure on the film, while the four troublesome heads featured Méliès removing his own head three times and creating a musical chorus with them.

Amanda: Fuck yeah. Don't you wish that guy was around to see the effects that we do now?

Julia: Yes, I 100% do.

Amanda: And isn't it true when you think about it for like 14 seconds that human beings use new technologies to prank each other first and foremost?

Julia: Yes 100%.

Amanda: Like early days of Photoshop. As soon as Photoshop was available to the public, like Bam, we started making hoaxes.

Julia: Yeah, pretty much. I was talking to you about this in a party the other day, how when photography was first invented and kind of popularized, people would do a prank called the headless person, where it's one person would pose as a headless person, they would hide their head in their jacket or whatever. Then someone at a table next door would just pose from the neck up.

Amanda: It's so good. I love old-timey people being people.

Julia: Yeah, I love it. It's great. So for the period, these were extremely technical skills that he achieved. His later films would include animated skeletons, transforming bats, and even an incarnation of the devil. Things that were unheard of at the time.

Amanda: Wow.

Julia: But it also set the precedent. Supernatural things, things that wouldn't work in the theater were able to strike fear into audiences hearts using film.

Amanda: Yeah, for sure. Also, they're striking visuals, right? We're talking about a time before soundtracks were able to be shown, baked into films, you'd scoring, or you had live effects some times in the theater, but you didn't have that element of the power of words. So you can do a very striking image though.

Julia: Oh, don't worry. We're going to talk about the transition into the talkies. Ooh. The first time I heard the phrase "the talkies", I was like, fucking human beings though. Like, that's so...It's so good.

Amanda: It's so dumb. I love it. "The Talkies Ma, the talkies Ma, let's go see the talkies."

Julia: So, realizing what film is capable of, the period between 1900 and 1920 featured many supernatural themed films, including the adaptation of literary classics like Frankenstein.

Amanda: Love it.

Julia: So Frankenstein was released by Edison studios in 1910 as a six minute short film, and it was a liberal retelling of the story, I would like to say.

Amanda: Also, I bet that Mary Shelley's estate got no royalties, because the work of women is just assumed to be like in the public sphere for men to profit off of, you know?

Julia: We're also going to talk a little bit about that later. Maybe not necessarily Shelley, but we'll talk about some issues with early film and rights.

Amanda: Happy birthday to me.

Julia: Happy birthday to you.

Amanda: No, it's to Julia. It was just her birthday. Happy Birthday, Julia.

Julia: Thank you.

So the film was shot in the Bronx actually, over the course of four days, and was specifically designed to actually de-emphasize the horror elements of the original story.

Amanda: Oh, so more like this is a scientist doing his thing and the creature that emerges.

Julia: Yeah. One of the staff writers was quoted as saying, "In making the film, the Edison Company has carefully tried to eliminate all actual repulsive situations, and to concentrate its endeavors upon the mystic and psychological problems that were found in this weird tale."

Amanda: Fair. Okay. You know, focus on the, on the questions.

Julia: Not gore, aaah.

Amanda: Oh no Ma, not gore.

Julia: Other films from this period feature Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in 1908, and a version of the wolf man called The Werewolf in 1913. But both of these actually were lost during a fire in Universal Studios in 1924.

Amanda: No! Archive your shit.

Julia: So, we don't have any copies of those. They did archive them. They just burned down in a studio fire.

Amanda: Have two location archiving.

Julia: Actually fun fact about the Werewolf, the plot is amazing.

Amanda: What is it?

Julia: Here's a description. "A Navajo woman becomes a witch after erroneously coming to believe that her husband has abandoned her. She teaches the same skills to her daughter, who transforms into a wolf in order to carry out vengeance against the invading white settlers."

Amanda: Amazing. I hope they used indigenous actors. Maybe not-

Julia: But probably not.

Amanda: But that's sounds so fucking good.

Julia: Yeah. No it doesn't. I want to see the actual remake of that where it's-

Amanda: Oh yeah.

Julia: ... and they actually use indigenous actors-

Amanda: ... filmmaker. Yeah.

Julia: And the white people are the bad guys.

Amanda: Because let's face it, they are.

Julia: They are, absolutely in that situation. They are.

Amanda: Also side note, if y'all have not read the original short stories that are Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Frankenstein, both are I guess in the villas, but they're pretty quick reading. I definitely suggest that you do. They are outstanding. It floored me to read them. My favorite things I read in my degree, like definite top five. Both of those are so wonderful. I revisit them all the time. Get a cheap, like Dover paperback has a $1, $2 copy of them in the US. Definitely check them out.

Julia: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is slightly easier of a read. I found a Frankenstein to be quite dense when I really dug into it, but once you get past just the language that Mary Shelley uses, and kind of adapt to it, it is a really, really great read.

Amanda: Yeah, and don't be scared of critical editions. That's the kind of editions meant to be read in school. They have footnotes, they have illustrations, they have little explanations. It's so good. It's so helpful. Critical editions for the win.

Julia: Do it.

Amanda: Back to horror.

Julia: We hit what begins to be considered the pinnacle of horror films in the very classic sense, and for good reason. During the 1920s and '30s, most of the classic horror genre was defined. This period is also interesting because it is split in half quite neatly by the introduction of the talkies, in a field that up until this point had been silent.

Amanda: The talkies Ma.

Julia: I told you, we'd talk about the talkies.

Amanda: Please, can you give me a little film reel crackle on that? The talkies Ma. News on parade.

Julia: So silent films of this period where epic in their own right. The Cabinet of Dr Calgary in 1920 for instance, is a perfect example of German expressionist cinema. It features the story of a hypnotist who uses a sleepwalking man in order to commit murders, which is just great concept. Great fall guy thing.

Amanda: Whoa! Why haven't we done that? Not we in our lives, but like pop culture. Specifically why haven't we done that?

Julia: So the movie is important because it introduces the techniques of the twist ending, and the unreliable narrator both to the language of film and to horror movies. Fuck yeah, isn't that amazing? Oh God, it's so good.

Amanda: I also love how the genre films ... so for those that might not be aware, the word genre is not just like the kind of story, but it's used by people sometimes to be dismissive of stuff like SciFi, or fantasy, or horror. Things that are, I don't know, have the audacity to be not a story about a person living a life in four days in a city, that are very normal. I love how throughout time genre books, movies, audio dramas, pink podcast, whatever it may be, pioneered these techniques that then become mainstream. Things like The Unreliable Narrator.

Things like not chronological storytelling, or reverse chronological, or twist endings or red herrings. These are all things that happen in procedurals, in genre. In things that the establishment may look down on as being for mere entertainment. But you know what? Mere entertainment is how we get high culture, and I will fight anyone who says any different.

Julia: No, I absolutely agree. I think that what happens in genre leads the way and leads the path to being used in the mainstream. It's important that genre films have that kind of space, because they're not taken seriously, that have that space in order to create and play around with stuff. They have that kind of liberty.

Amanda: Yeah. The burden of verisimilitude is lifted from genre things. Meaning, they are not expected to be completely true to real life and completely evocative of someone's real experience. But I don't know, I just, I love it so much. Oh God, guys I've had two glasses of wine and this is what I do when I have two lessons of wine, is just yell about academia and the popularization of entertainment.

Julia: See, that's why I love this episode, because I feel like you are going to have so many things to say about it. I love it. Okay. So equally important from this period is the premier of Nosferatu in 1922 still-

Amanda: Yeah, that fucker.

Julia: Which still ranks as the second best movie in the horror genre of all time.

Amanda: Wow.

Julia: Yeah, that's crazy. It was made in 1922.

Amanda: Amazing.

Julia: It is also where we get a lot of our vampire cliches from in modern culture. Technically the film is an unauthorized adaptation of Dracula, vampire becomes Nosferatu, while Count Dracula becomes Count Orlock.

Amanda: That is very funny and very punk and I am here for it.

Julia: So interestingly, the studio that made the movie, Pronto Film, was specifically created with the intent of creating more occult and supernatural films. But most Nosferatu was it's only production, as it declared bankruptcy in order to dodge copyright infringement lawsuits from Bram Stoker's wife.

Amanda: That is the most punk thing I've ever heard in my entire life.

Julia: Got To love her. Her name was Florence Bellcomb.

Amanda: Amazing. Florence marry me, be my grandma. I don't care.

Julia: So when the court ruled that all existing copies of the movie had to burn, one print had already been distributed and escaped burning and was duplicated over the years, making it one of the first instances of early cult films.

Amanda: Julia. So punk!

Julia: I know it's great. So Roger Ebert, who is a well known film historian, said this about the film. "The film is in awe of its material. It seems to really believe in vampires. Is Merinos Nosferatu scary in the modern sense? Not For me. I admire it for its artistry and ideas, it's atmosphere and images, and it's ability to manipulate my emotions like a skillful, modern horror film. It knows none of the later tricks of the trade, like sudden and threats that pop in from the side of the screen. But Nosferatu remains effective. It doesn't scare us, but it haunts us."

Amanda: I love Roger Ebert. If you have never read any of his reviews, google "top 10 Roger Ebert reviews". He was such a beautiful voice in film criticism, and in cultural criticism more broadly. But I love that phrase, "In awe of its material." That's what I want to be. I don't want to be just respectful of my material, but I want to be in awe of it. I want to be like, "Fuck, I'm so lucky to be doing work in this, whatever this is." A plus. Five stars.

Julia: So once the talkies came into the picture, the expansion of the monster movie simultaneously came into play. The 1930s saw similar films from the period prior to 1920, but revitalized them using sound and color adaptation. So for instance, Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in 1931 the Mummy in 1932. So the '30s are also this critical moment in the history of horror films because it's the first recorded instance of the word horror being used to describe the genre. Additionally, it's the birth of the first "horror star" Bela Lugosi, who you might know.

Amanda: Amazing.

Julia: Actually, I'm going to ask, do you know what Bela Lugosi is from?

Amanda: No.

Julia: He is the original Dracula in the 1931 film.

Amanda: Wow.

Julia: Yeah. So the film was adapted from the Broadway hit written by Hamilton Dean and John L Baulderstone, which had been an extremely successful production. Lugosi had played the role on Broadway, but the director was not interested in him because he had no film experience. So interestingly, the film suffered from its special effects. It was mostly just simple fog and lighting with the occasional large fake bat.

Amanda: So nothing really flashy.

Julia: Yeah. We saw all these amazing supernatural stuff really early on in the genre. This really didn't touch on that at all.

Amanda: Gotcha.

Julia: All of the Dracula transformations were done offscreen, kind of like a Shakespeare play.

Amanda: Yeah. Got to cut away right now because I don't have the budget.

Julia: But it remains in our minds because of the fact that it is one of the first American full length supernatural chillers. Whereas as most horror films up until this point had been shorts, Dracula ran at its premiere for a full 85 minutes.

Amanda: Wow. Really immersing you in that feeling and that universe, huh?

Julia: Yeah, absolutely. And of course there's Lugosi's performance, the deliberate pacing of lines, the air of the walking, talking corpse that he put into the character, and those intense icy closeups of his face. That's what we remember about the film.

Amanda: That's awesome. Got To love a theater actor making it on screen, or not making it and being celebrated after his death.

Julia: Yeah, so when we go to the costume store, like I did this weekend, when we see the Dracula costume and the Dracula makeup and the Dracula look, that's Lugosi.

Amanda: It's pretty amazing. I wonder how he felt, if this happened during his lifetime, of being so well known for a thing that was not his primary calling.

Julia: Oh, that's interesting. I'll have to look into that. Maybe I'll find an interview or something, and link it in the show notes.

Amanda: I also wonder, do you think that the reason that monster movies in particular got more popular once we had sound, was that you can really build suspense using sound in a way that you can't from glimpses of a monster? Isn't it scarier when you dread a monster, and then it's revealed later? Versus being like, "Oh no, a vampire!" Then having to deal with a vampire for the rest of the film?

Julia: Yeah. No, I think that's true. I think that the level of suspense increases when you don't know what you're being afraid of first. That's like one of the things were Jurassic Park does that really well. Jurassic Park, you don't see the dinosaurs until the moment where you see the whole dinosaur. Then you're like, "Oh shit, shit's about to go down." That only happens about halfway through the movie. You know what I mean?

Amanda: Yeah.

Julia: You don't see a full Velociraptor until 40 minutes into that film or something like that.

Amanda: Yeah. I really regret not taking a film class in college, but you know, that's why the YouTube is for.

Julia: Exactly. But with that rise, Amanda, the rise of the golden era of horror films, comes an inevitable fall. The genre kind of fell under scrutiny by the general public and the government, resulting in heavy censoring, especially after the premiere of Freaks in 1932, which was actually done by the same director is Dracula.

Amanda: What was it about?

Julia: So the original production of Freaks focuses on the members of the "freak show" at a traveling circus. Only for the real monsters to be the two "normal" members of the circus, who conspired to murder one of the performers in order to obtain a large inheritance that he came into.

Amanda: Huh. It's almost like a difference is only a problem, when those that don't have that difference think it is.

Julia: Yeah. Sounds about right. So the original version was 90 minutes long, but was considered too shocking to be released. Several scenes were cut by sensors and the original version no longer exists. So you like legitimately cannot find the original filmed version of it.

Amanda: Were a lot of those cuts just like the censoring of unruly bodies depicted on screen?

Julia: Potentially, they did use people who actually worked in the "freak shows" in order to lend some legitimacy to the film. I think a couple of things too was there was a rape scene in there, and there were some questionable content. Which wasn't just the non-normative people of the film, you know what I mean? There was some questionable content in there that is actually questionable, and would've been questionable today.

Amanda: Yeah. But I'm sure the depiction of bodies different to the societal standard didn't help .

Julia: Some people actually threatened to sue the studio after they claimed the film caused them physical illnesses, and reviews at the time were fairly poor to mixed. But the film now still manages to be considered a classic saying, "Time has been kind to this horror legend. Freaks manages to frighten, shock, and even touch viewers in ways that contemporary viewers missed."

Amanda: It sounds like it's ripe for a remake.

Julia: I mean, we are in the period of remakes as I'll tell you about later.

Amanda: The right kind of remake, by the folks that have themselves depicted and talked about onscreen.

Julia: So as the United States tapered off due to censorship in the late '30s, that was the rise of the British horror film age known as the atomic years.

Amanda: Ooh.

Julia: I know, isn't that a great view.

Amanda: Also very dark.

Julia: Yeah, well. The '40s and '50s in England saw a slew of remakes of the classics, Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy by the Hammer Horror Company, which put out many psychological thrillers. So this period also saw one of the most important horror directors of all time. You want to take a guess? Think birds.

Amanda: Hitchcock.

Julia: Yeah, Alfred Hitchcock.

Amanda: I know that because my mom took one elective in college and it was film, and she talked about Psycho and The Birds her whole life.

Julia: Good job. Alfred Hitchcock is the father of the modern slasher genre. As a side note, the first slasher film is usually claimed to be Maurice Tourneur's the lunatics in 1912. But the genre was heavily censored under the Hays Code in the United States, while it thrived in the late '50s and early '60s.

Amanda: By slasher do you just mean like a lot of bloody killing onscreen.

Julia: Yes, and usually it references the later slasher film as we know it now. I'll talk a little bit more about what creates a slasher film, and what's considered a slasher film once we get to the '70s and '80s.

Amanda: Ooh spooky. We weren't alive yet.

Julia: So shortly after, we see Francis Ford Coppola's debut with Dementia 13, which featured relatives commemorating a family death in an Irish castle being murdered one by one. Kind of like 12 little Indian style.

Amanda: I was thinking of the James Joyce story, The Dead, where instead of just secrets coming out at a morose family dinner in a semi-castle, people get killed. It's great.

Julia: It's murder instead, yep.

Amanda: Murder!

Julia: So the '40s and '50s we're also heavily influenced by the horrors of World War Two, as you would imagine. The fear of radioactive mutation plays a key role in movies like Godzilla, or The Incredible Shrinking Man, or the fear of invasion in The War of the Worlds, and When Worlds Collide.

Amanda: Shout out to The Mysterious Adventures of Kavalier & Clay for an excellent postwar, superhero related, deeply human novel by Michael Chabon.

Julia: That is a great book. Meanwhile, in the '50s and '60s in the United States, it was all about the gimmick.

Amanda: Oh, tell me how.

Julia: This was the age of 3D glasses, buzzers installed in theater seats to give people a jolt up to the scare.

Amanda: Really? There were 3D glasses in the '50s?

Julia: Yeah dude. That's when they invented the 3D glasses.

Amanda: I really thought it was like late '80s situation.

Julia: No, no, no.

Amanda: Thinking about it, it is very like, "In your cereal box, you will find a 3D printer." Or whatever.

Julia: So buzzers installed in theater seats to give people a jolt up to the scare, or even paid actors in the seats in order to start a scream at the right moments.

Amanda: Oh my. That is some next level shit.

Julia: Because of the cost of the gimmick, this leads to extremely low budget film productions, like extremely low budget. We're talking about movies like Macabre in 1958, which offered $1,000 life insurance policies to audience members against the death by fright.

Amanda: That is so good.

Julia: Or a House on Haunted Hill in 1959, which had a flag skeleton that would swing out from above the screen and scared the audience.

Amanda: This reminds me of how everyone thought that like smell-o-vision would be the future in the '90s, and it makes me laugh.

Julia: Literally the next word that is in my outline, it says "Smell-o-vision, illusion-o, hypnomagic, psychorama." None of these films had very lasting effects on the genre, but they were a genre in their own right and reserved almost exclusively for horror.

Amanda: I mean even if they didn't catch on in a mainstream way, these kinds of engagements with the extrasensory went on to inspire artists and "mainstream art" in the future.

Julia: Absolutely, and I mean we still see things similar to that. I mean, how many of Disney and Universal's parks or fold with 3D rides, stuff that sprays in the face or jolts you to let you know, "Oh, this is what's happening now."

Amanda: And Scents.

Julia: Exactly. Man, all I can think about is the dung beetle from the inside the bug's life show inside at Animal Kingdom.

Amanda: Don't remind me. Me family loves telling the story of my one high profile meltdown, which was inside the bug's life, ride at Disney.

Julia: That does not shock me to be honest. But from out of the gimmick years, we saw the American appetite for gore and slasher films and studios took notice. They churned these gory slasher films out just to put butts in seats, but that didn't mean that all of them were stinkers, Amanda. In fact, from the end of this era emerged one of the most influential horror films of our time. George Romero's Night of the Living Dead in 1968.

Amanda: Oh, I haven't seen that yet, but I want to.

Julia: It's, really interesting. Interestingly, Romero's zombie film was made with just over $100,000.

Amanda: Even at the time that's a pretty modest budget.

Julia: Yeah, it's a still low budget film. Yeah, and despite all of that, the film was extremely innovative and made $30 million, which is ridiculous for that period. $30 million. We're going to move into the '70s, where, quite literally, all hell begins to break loose and slashers come to life. But first we're going to get a refill.

Amanda: I deeply need a refill.

Julia: I knew you would.

Amanda: So Jules, I've been doing full time podcasting for about three weeks now.

Julia: You've been doing a great job. We're all very proud of you.

Amanda: Thank you. It is very exciting. I have worn pants at least some of those days. It's amazing, but it also now is all my responsibility. Stuff like PelCare, and making money, and sending invoices, and the whole situation. So I will often fall asleep just thinking in a slightly panicked manner about all the emails that I may or may not have forgotten to send.

Julia: But you're doing an amazing job, and I hear that we have a sponsor that might be able to help you do this stuff even better.

Amanda: Exactly. HoneyBook is a business management platform for creative small businesses just like Multitude. That means that they provide tools like invoicing automation, so time saving stuff that I don't have to send 10 of the same emails all at once. They streamlined that whole client process, so from sending out emails to people that you may want to be your clients to following up with them, to sending a proposal to sending an invoice. Everything all in one, one dashboard at HoneyBook.com.

Julia: Oh, that sounds so easy.

Amanda: It definitely makes the business side of running this business a lot easier, which lets me spend my time doing stuff like making this podcast. Which is what we love and the thing that we want to focus on in the first place.

Julia: Yeah. That's why for a limited time Spirits listeners can get 50% off their first year at HoneyBook.com with the promo code SPIRITS.

Amanda: Exactly. That's at honeybook.com. And you use code SPIRITS for half off your very first year. So thank you. HoneyBook for supporting the show.

Julia: Yeah, Amanda. So it was my birthday last week. As a little present to myself, I booked my neck Stitch Fix fix to arrive right before my birthday.

Amanda: Hell yeah, the word "fix" is so correct. Like you see the package waiting on your doorstep and I feel like adrenaline and sweat, and I'm just so excited to open it.

Julia: Everything's correct now. Thank you. You did fix my life Stitch Fix. Thank you so much for that. I opened my box up. Amanda, the first thing I saw in that box, a beautiful black denim jacket with a hood.

Amanda: With a hood!

Julia: I was like, "Oh, I'm just going to wear this from now on. The rest of my life I'm going to spend in this jacket."

Amanda: I love that so much. One piece you're like, this is my staple piece. I can just accessorize all around it. I can do different shirts, different pants, whatever. This is my staple.

Julia: The best part is, Stitch Fix is getting so good at recognizing what I like. When I took the style quiz at the beginning it was great, my first box was dope. But then the notes that I sent back after that first box totally could tell that my stylist knew what I wanted for the next one. It's really, really great, because if you tell them your sizes, the styles you like, how much you want to spend, they really listened to what you have to say, because you're paired with your own personal stylist who's handpicking these items for you.

Amanda: Exactly. I don't like to wear the color brown, so I told my stylist that. My legs are freakishly long. I was able to tell my stylist that. And also to say, "Hey, I want to wear leggings and boots all winter, please send me all the tunics."

Julia: You don't have to keep everything that they send you in the box. If you don't like anything you can just send it back, and you only pay for the stuff you keep.

Amanda: Yeah. Which is great. Because I am an indecisive bitch, and I definitely don't want to commit to something I don't know that I like. So Stitch Fix is, man, it's where it's at. You can get started now at StitchFix.com/spirits to get an extra 25 percent off your box when you keep all five items that Stitch Fix sends you.

Julia: That is StitchFix.com/spirits to get started today. Trust me, you're going to want this box.

Amanda: Please send us photos when you get your fixes. We love seeing your beautiful patterned creepy cool goodness. Y'All have great taste. So thank you again to Stitch Fix and HoneyBook. And now let's get back to the show.

Julia: Amanda, welcome to hell.

Amanda: Why, thanks.

Julia: By hell, I mean the 1970s, which were obsessed with the devil, the antichrist and ultimate evil.

Amanda: You mean my minor in life?

Julia: Was it?

Amanda: Yes, it is.

Julia: All right. So I could talk for hours about why this was a trend at the time. I literally wrote a paper on this. Christianity in particular was becoming increasingly apocalyptic during the '70s. That peaks during the '80s as a result of increased cult activity in the country, as well as free love hippie movement, apparently going against family values.

Amanda: There is nothing better at making me roll my eyes and shut my ears than the phrase "family values".

Julia: So religious themes in a horror become increasingly prominent, and that's not a bad thing. We get to amazing milestones from those themes. The Exorcist in 1973 and The Omen in 1976. So The Exorcist is called one of the scariest horror films of all time by Martin Scorsese. It's based off of a book, which in turn was based off an actual exorcism done on anonymous teenage boy, they called in the papers "Rolling Dough" who went through a series of exorcisms in the late 1940s.

Meanwhile, the omen focuses on the son of an American ambassador, who turns out to be the antichrist. We talked a little bit about the omen during our Hollywood episode that we did a while back. But it said that the production was cursed, and honestly it features one of the best decapitation effects to this day.

Amanda: I have not seen it and I don't want to.

Julia: I'm going to send you a video of the decapitation right now. Hold on-

Amanda: We did this two weeks ago. No. Why do we see it roll so many times from so many angles.

Julia: Just because we could, and they really wanted to make a point of he's got super decapitated.

Amanda: Then we see his head nicely positioned on some straw, so we can make sure we know how bloody the neck is.

Julia: Oh yeah. I was gonna say, I think my one disappointment is there is not enough blood for this decapitation. There would be way more blood.

Amanda: They would definitely be a like ... what was that lawn game called? Crazy sunflower, when we were growing up? Like the sprinkler-

Julia: Oh shit. Yeah. That was-

Amanda: ... Crazy Sunflower of blood going on.

Julia: I love that. That's great. Anyway-

Amanda: ... Amanda.

Julia: As you might recall from the Hollywood episode, the guy who created that affect got into a car accident and his girlfriend at the time was actually decapitated in a very similar fashion.

Amanda: Yeah, it's V fucked up.

Julia: Yeah. Super fucked up. So the '70s also saw the appearance of what we consider now the modern day slasher with Halloween. Now Amanda, we made you watch Halloween, last Halloween.

Amanda: You did.

Julia: Do you remember anything about it?

Amanda: Yes. So, wait, this is the one where-

Julia: Jamie Lee Curtis.

Amanda: Yes, yes, yes, yes. They're walking home from school and all the houses are very pretty.

Julia: Yes.

Amanda: I was distracting myself with that, and then I try to block it all out.

Julia: That's fair. I understand. We're going to have to make you re-watch it though at some point.

Amanda: Yeah, probably.

Julia: Just for fun. Now the slasher film had its golden age according to most historians between 1978 and 1984. That's not to say that we didn't get good slasher films before 1978. We had stuff like the Texas chainsaw massacre or the hills have eyes, but Halloween was the film that was emulated heavily by other directors and producers later on. It also begins to set up the "rules of horror" that we see mimicked, and also played with by later directors and creators. Here are the horror film rules according to West Craven scream franchise, which kind of plays with the meta of horror films in general.

Amanda: Can I get some?

Julia: Go for it. There's three.

Amanda: If you have sexy di.

Julia: Correct.

Amanda: Therefore versions live, right? But like, okay.

Julia: We'll talk about that a little bit more. Don't worry.

Amanda: Okay. The murderer will be a social reject of some kind?

Julia: No. Okay You're getting colder as you go. You were dead on with the, if you have sex, you will die before the film ends. If you drink or do drugs, you will die before the film ends.

Amanda: Okay, yes. Because the bacchanalian pleasures, blah, blah, blah.

Julia: If you say, "I'll be right back," "Hello, who's there?" or any variation of that, you will die before the fill beds.

Amanda: No salutations. None, no greetings.

Julia: Or, if you sense that something is wrong and you go to investigate it, you will die.

Amanda: Oh yeah. This I know. And whenever we watch horror movies, I always yell at the character, and you're like doing Mr. Burns fingers. Like going to lead to some murders. But I'm like, "Don't go in there, lock the door, don't go to the basement, don't answer the phone. The child's creepy."

Julia: Yes, correct.

Amanda: I try to save them from their fates.

Julia: Yes, correct. It's because you subliminally know the rules of horror, as established by the slasher films.

Amanda: It's true.

Julia: And as you mentioned, we also see the creation of the final girl trope in this period. The final girl trope is a reference to the last girl or woman alive who confronts the killer, and is the only one left to tell the tale.

Amanda: Right. Someone has to be in a recovery blanket, looking up at the horizon at the end of the film.

Julia: So she gets the "privilege" of living to the end, because she's usually implied to be morally superior to her friends and cohorts, and follows the aforementioned rules.

Amanda: This just reminds me how much I love the movie It Follows, which is a contemporary horror movie that is not full of jump scares. It's not particularly adherence to these horror movie tropes. It's beautiful. The score is incredibly good, and I highly recommend it even to people who don't think they like horror like myself.

Julia: It is very good. With these established tropes, Amanda, we move onto the '80s where you see things like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, An American Werewolf in London. And Poltergeist.

Amanda: Is American Werewolf in London actually scary?

Julia: Yeah, Dude. The effects are insane.

Amanda: I think I've only ever seen like music videos inspired by it, potentially.

Julia: We will have to sit down and watch it at some point. Jake had to be watched it a couple of years ago for the first time. I absolutely loved it. It was great.

Amanda: Live show pitch. We sit on stage in arm chairs and yell at a screening of a horror movie with people in the audience.

Julia: Why did we not pitch that for Brooklyn Horror fest?

Amanda: That would have been great. I mean, I guess that people who love horror would be in the audience. We'd be like, "Fuck you."

Julia: Okay. So many of the films from this period are so memorable, and received long running franchises that probably had too many sequels. Let's be honest here.

Amanda: ... the Halloween's?

Julia: Yeah. Any of them, honestly, Friday the 13th, The Nightmare on Elm Street, all had just way, way too many sequels. But despite their best efforts and the money funneled into these franchises, the horror film genre was starting to die down by the end of the '80s. By the time the '90s rolled in, we weren't really seeing much innovation. In fact, what we saw is almost like we were falling back into the '60s. We started seeing horrible CGI monster films like Anaconda and that kind of shit.

Amanda: Don't even know that one. Probably shouldn't.

Julia: It's a giant snake that kills people. It's fine. It's whatever.

Amanda: No thank you. No, thanks.

Julia: But at the same time, there were some glimmers of hope from this period. Such as West Craven's Scream, which we talked about, is a slasher parody that is innovative in the way it calls out other horror films. Or Jurassic Park, which actually used CGI well by putting it together with practical effects. We even saw a couple of horror films get Academy Awards and nominations during this period. Kathy Bates and Misery, Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, and Silence of the Lambs. But all of these films, the ones that actually got nominations and stuff, they had reliance on literary routes in order to help them out. Again, they weren't doing anything particularly innovative. Just the performances were really great.\

Amanda: For sure.

Julia: There are some rare examples of innovation in this period. For example, The Blair Witch Project, which is one of the first American films to play with the found footage angle, and the majority of the script was actually improvised, which is really interesting. Then we have The Sixth Sense, which is well known for putting M. Night Shyamalan on the map with his signature twist endings.

Amanda: All I know about M. Night Shyamalan, literally, is that there are twists. That's it. That's all I know.

Julia: Correct. I mean, you just kind of have to go into every movie being like, "Well this is interesting, but you're going to reveal in the last 10 minutes of the film that everything we've heard so far is wrong."

Amanda: Listen, I watched Lost between 2004 and I know what I'm about.

Julia: Okay, so we slowly move into the 2000s, where we see the Zombie sub-genre inexplicably rising from the dead, get it?

Amanda: He-he-he. That's fun.

Julia: So we see stuff like 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead. I Am Legend. Zombieland. They're all from this decade. We also see the rise of torture porn films like Saw and Hostile, which both focus on people being trapped and tortured, and in both situations eventually killed. Side note, I am not a fan of torture porn films. Not, not my genre.

Amanda: Me Neither.

Julia: I will also say that this period saw some really, really great non-US films. Asian particularly, movies were coming out of Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Thailand that were so influential that they made splashes here in the West. So for example, you remember The Grudge Amanda?

Amanda: Oh sure as shit do.

Julia: Because we definitely watched it together as teens. Or The Ring, for example.

Amanda: We were like 15, 16 when those hit, which was the perfect age to be scared shitless.

Julia: Exactly. This is our present day. We, we see lots of-

Amanda: Hold on!

Julia: What?

Amanda: How about Paranormal Activity and Found Footage?

Julia: I mean, we talked about Found Footage. Found Footage was established earlier on during the '90s and it saw a revitalization during the 2000s, but not like particularly well or innovative in my opinion.

Amanda: Okay. I guess as a child that was making youtube videos, the idea of a fixed camera in someone's room leading to a horror movie, it was very influential. Also. I think we saw it together after a show one day. Is that true?

Julia: I've never seen her Paranormal Activity, so ...

Amanda: Oh really?

Julia: No.

Amanda: Well. Must have been some schmuck that I was with that wasn't Julia.

Julia: Oh Damn. So, I mean, we do see a lot of remakes, reboots, sequels, not as much innovation as you would say, have seen earlier on. We do see some really artistic creations and subversion of the horror genre in particular. So stuff like Cabin in the Woods, The Babadook, Get Out, It Follows. Those are all doing something new and innovative, and they're absolutely going to have a lasting impact on the industry. So we're taking our inspiration from the past, and we're creating new twists. But at the end of the day, horror in general is always going to be something that we can use in order to face our fears, without having to physically face our fears.

Amanda: Hot take, horror films are modern mythology. They are one of-

Julia: Literally, literally, the next slide I have is, "Is modern now is the horror movie an example of modern mythology." You're amazing.

Amanda: Fuck yeah, it is modern mythmaking. Thanks Babe. Also, we spent so much time talking that I think we have melded. It is the place that we look into our deepest fears. We look into the darkest darkness, we look into the void. We reckon with what we might find there. In my mind it's a way of preparing. It's a way of being less anxious. It's a way of saying, "Hey, if we can make stories and witness people living through an encounter with the worst, then maybe I could live through something like that."

Julia: Absolutely. So, what I kind of outlined here is, ancient legends in mythology were designed in order to act as cautionary tales or explain societal contracts. It's a way of controlling society, telling them if they don't act a certain way, they're going to potentially face consequences. So horror, especially modern horror, does something similar. So, look at those rules that we talked about that were outlined in Scream. If you live a virtuous life, you are more likely to survive. Or the idea that Hannibal Lecter only tends to eat the rude. But horror films are experienced so widely because how a film is distributed and the internet, that it's likely that film and its values are instilled within our cultural experience.

When Get Out came out, we were all talking about Get Out. In many ways film, and to take it a step forward, horror film is acting as this new mythology. Telling us how to act, and what's right and what's wrong.

Amanda: Yeah, it's one of the most democratic mediums available to us, and it's not coming from a state sanctioned source. You know, it's not like the homily that was approved for that week, or the reading of this Bible passage that someone is going to be telling you. It's an individual person's reckoning with darkness, and they can choose to instantiate darkness however they wish. But it's ... I don't know. It's a really good opportunity for us to experience terror, and horror, and mortal fear in a controlled setting.

Julia: I think it's interesting too, because if you look at horror, it really tells us what society is afraid of in that moment. So look at the atomic age where you have mutation and invasion being the main fears that are kind of explored in there. I think as we're looking at our modern horror nowadays, and we're thinking of like the horror films that are coming out, what topics are we seeing that are reflected in the art that we're appreciating.

Amanda: Yeah. It's things like racial inequity and persecution. It's things like STIs, and the haunting of the Internet, every single mistake you've done in the past and it follows.

Julia: Yeah. Or The Babadook and mental illness, and being a single mother. Those are intense things.

Amanda: Those are really real. I think just how I like true crime, because it is not just the story of a bad thing happening, but the story of people solving that bad thing. I think a lot of horror films let us feel a sense of control, because we see how someone survives, or makes mistakes that are dumber than the ones we would make and doesn't survive. It gives us some amount of, again, not just reckoning with but a sense of control or preparation for ... we're not going to have a Zombie apocalypse, but there may be situations where you feel like you need to stock up or defend yourself. Or all kinds of darkness that I don't want to particularly get into right now. It's real, and it's a real place space and imaginative exercise, that is genuinely really valuable.

Julia: Yeah, I totally agree. You know what? I'm going to get Jake real quick, and we're going to ask him a couple of questions about why horror is important to him, and why it is important to society. Give me one second.

Amanda: Let's do it.

Julia: Okay. So I got Jake. Jake, tell us for one, why horror is important to you, and then your thoughts on why it is important to society.

Jake: For one, horror as a genre is important to me really because I'm an artist in my mind in a certain number of ways. Horror films get to stroke that part of my brain, if you will, a bit. We get to se different create creative characters being made, and settings, and in different parts of the world being just recreated to tell a story in a certain way. That certain way is to wreak havoc on towns, and it's the characters that really interest me. It's the redevelopment of the settings around maybe towns that we know, and really getting to know horror characters in general, what types of characters, and what drives them. How they see that they're fulfilling their wants and needs as a person, or a creature, or a lost soul-

Julia: The murderers you mean?

Jake: Yeah, that's always fascinated me. I always like to follow like one particular character in general, and you could see, they make so many movies and they play it out. You get to see a progression of one particular character. I'll use Michael Myers as an example from Halloween. That's probably my all time favorite horror movie character.

Julia: How do you feel when you walk out of a horror movie?

Jake: I feel excited. I feel scared. I feel nervous. I feel happy. That's really one of the strangest things that's always happened to me personally in watching horror movies, and sort of getting into the mindset of the directors who go through having to write and direct a story told in that way. You could be on both ends of the spectrum here in terms of your emotions. You could be scared, you can be happy at the same time. You can be nervous as hell, and you can be excited and you want more. I mean, that's just the really crazy thing about it.

Still to this day, I get that at the same time. When I'm watching horror movies and when I walk out, when I'm finished, it's like you want more but you're scared at the same time. You're like, "Oh man, maybe I should take a break. Maybe I should find something a little more wholesome at this time." But then there's something in there that wants you to go back and watch the next movie.

Julia: It's addictive.

Jake: It is, it's interesting like that. Yeah, very addicting.

Amanda: So do you think that's an important thing for society, for us to have as an outlet or a release?

Jake: To some people, I guess that's really what it is. It's a release maybe. I mean, to quote a Jack Nicholson's Joker, "I feel like everyone may want to dance with the devil in the Pale Moon light," every now and once again. It's definitely an escapism. It's definitely a release, especially for people who I guess are more prone to the creative mindset that the horror genre can offer, you know?

Amanda: Yeah.

Jake: It's definitely interesting. That's more along the lines of what I was saying is, horror can be very important to society just because it's an escapism. It's a type of escapism. It's a type of release. There's lots of different things to appreciate in the horror genre. Like I was saying before, the character work. It's the different settings that are made and constructed based around one particular character, and how they might haunt or terrorize people. It's immense creativity, and then you have the special effects that seem to always make their way into the horror genre-

Julia: Amazing.

Jake: ... which I personally appreciate as having that artists mindset. I mean, the special effects that can come out of some of these movies are mind blowing, and are you a feat in itself. I mean, if, if the horror movie sucks, but you have really great effects ... and when I say the horror movie sucks, I mean maybe the character isn't told in a very understanding way, or there is no story. But the effects are really, really good and are capturing moments that ... the effects are telling the stories. I mean, that's something that can be taken away from these movies just by itself. That's one of the things I always look for, is good effects, and tasteful use of effects.

Julia: If you ever made a horror movie who's story would you tell? What would it be about?

Jake: It's really dark. But I think if I made a horror movie, it would be about somebody who was misunderstood, was going through life and maybe had their best intentions with going from situation to situation, maybe to job, to job. Meeting people, in and out of relationships, but they never quite got it, and the world never quite got it. I would tell a story to show somebody a descent into madness. It would end up being a full fledged, man just, I don't want to say massacre because, you know what? I don't think I would tell like a gory story.

I would tell a much more cerebral madness, and there's definitely going to be effects. But I would do it tastefully. Maybe there doesn't have to be so much gore, and blood, and massacre. Much like how Halloween, John Carpenter's Halloween One and Two, where it's not really based on blood and guts. It's how the movie is shot. It's how the ideas are conveyed. It's very tasteful. It leaves a lot to the imagination.

Julia: Which is the most horrifying of all.

Jake: If you can do that correctly, then you're really onto something. If you can get the people who are watching your movie to creep themselves out because of their own imagination, they're filling in the gaps here. I think that's key. And that's the kind of story I would want to tell.

Julia: I love that. I mean, isolation really is the most horrifying thing of all in a lot of ways. I think it's a really good argument for connection, and for sharing your passions with people. Even if you seem kind of creeped out by them or you think there are weird. Someone else loves horror movies, too. Someone else loves slasher films, too. There's someone out there to make you feel really validated and heard.

Jake: For sure. Validated and heard, a lot of times and ends up being one of the driving forces of these horror movie characters, and people don't even realize it. But they're just expressing their presence in the world in a very particular way, a very interesting way. It's almost comical sometimes. I mean, they do make, they call them what? Black comedies, right? The death comedies or something like that? Black comedies where they based comedy around the death, and it's weird when they can actually pull it off. But sometimes they can.

Julia: Yeah, we just watched a couple. We watched Happy Death Day and The Tragedy Girls, which I highly recommend both of those. There are a lot of fun.

Jake: But yeah. Yeah, it's definitely an interesting take, black comedies.

Amanda: Jake, if you had to recommend a one or two films for people who've never tried horror or think that they don't like it, what would they be?

Jake: I would definitely go with three, and I think it's a good well rounded taste of the horror genre. One would be my favorite, Halloween, John Carpenter's Halloween. Very short bit about that is, it's just a mad mental patient who escaped his asylum and stalks babysitters, teenage babysitters on Halloween night. Next would be also John Carpenter's remake of The Thing, which is my favorite example of how horror movie special effects can be just outrageously crazy and outrageously great. Most of the effects in that movie is 100% practical, and it's amazing to see. The story is about an alien in, I think they're in Antarctica right or ... yeah. There's just a lot of interesting forms that are morphed, and skin textures, and different kinds of bodily fluids that are shown in certain ways. It's a weird way that he showed the special effects, but he did it crazily. I mean, I don't want to give too much away. That's why I'm being a little vague with it, but that's definitely an interesting take on special effects.

The third would be the epitome of the new American slasher, but you know what, I would have to say Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You can watch pretty much any one of them, the old or the new and they'll do the same thing. But that's just a horror movie because it's a horror movie. There's a psycho guy who wields a weapon of some sort.

Julia: It happened to you.

Jake: Exactly. It's a weird guy that wields a weapon that he's just going to chop you up. He's just going to chop you up and do crazy things to people. It's like a have fun but very scary type of horror movie, remakes or whatever. The three of those is a very good, well rounded base for horror movies. They have different themes and different effects brought to the table. Different types of storytelling brought to the table. But those are definitely, if I was to sit down and watch horror movies just for the sake of having an enjoyment of watching horror movies one night, it would be that. John Carpenter's The Thing, John Carpenter's Halloween, and probably the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I think that was in 2002 or 2003 with Jessica Biel.

Julia: Thank you jake for sharing your passion with us. It's something I've known about you for a long time, but I'm so glad that you get to share this at the Spirits audience as well.

Jake: Oh yeah, me too. I love horror. I've always loved horror. But, thank you. Thank you very much for allowing me to express myself a little bit here. Hope you guys enjoy.

Amanda: Remember listeners, just a creepy.

Julia: Stay cool.

Jake: Don't drink, don't go up a flight of stairs, don't go anywhere alone, don't do drugs, and don't have sex. That's how to stay alive in a horror movie.

Julia: Thank you again to our sponsors, Stitch Fix and HoneyBook you can get 25% off when you keep all five items in your Stitch Fix box at StitchFix.com/spirits. And at HoneyBook you can get 50% off your first year of small business services at HoneyBook.com with the code SPIRITS.