Pop Culture

Erasing one’s features.

From the Daily Post writing prompt (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/cant-watch-this/): When was the last time you watched something so scary, cringe-worthy, or unbelievably tacky — in a movie, on TV, or in real life — you had to cover your eyes?

 

Absolute Confession: I love horror and all of its tropes…with the exception of one.

I have a theory about us horror fanatics — I think we’re all secret masochists, gluttons for punishment. We’re odd in that we enjoy being scared.

I’ve been a horror fan since I was nine or ten, I think. My interest solidified when I listened to campfire tales during the summer months in Georgia. My mother would send me away for a week’s worth of canoeing, s’mores, outhouses, and pinkeye. All in all, the experience wasn’t that bad, but the campfire stories the counselors liked to share gave me nightmares for weeks. One of the counselors told a particularly eerie tale about a gesichtslosgeist, quite literally a “faceless ghost,” that supposedly haunted a farmstead not far from where we were camping. I don’t remember the story whatsoever. Just the term, the concept of a spirit with no facial appearance, a soul lacking in identity. 

Since then, nothing makes me cringe so much as the idea of erasing…the elimination…of one’s facial features. I think it’s also the very idea of not having the eyes there, the “window to the soul.” It is the only horror trope I simply can’t stomach, and I ALWAYS cover my eyes.

The last time I quickly covered my eyes during this sort of thing was when I watched the pilot episode of FX’s new vampire series The Strain. (SPOILER WARNING!) In the scene in question, an airline inspector (?), played by marvelous character actor Andrew Divoff, is quickly dispatched when a supernatural entity crushes his head to jelly, thus, eliminating everything about what he once was, and not only did I cover my eyes (just not in the nick of time as I’m often slow about it), I’ll readily admit to being more than a little peeved that Divoff wasn’t about to get any further screen time on the show, ever. Between that scene and the notorious, tragic, astoundingly gory scene from season four of Game of Thrones (any fan will know that scene very well), I think I’ve had my face-elimination quota for the remainder of the year.

strain-teaser-fx

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One thought on “Erasing one’s features.

  1. Pingback: “Neglects…I’ve had a few…” | This, On Purpose

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