Confessions of a horror fan and hypocrite

I admit it: I hated Joss Whedon's movie Cabin in the Woods. Many people loved it, I know, but I want to scream anytime it is mentioned. The amount of suspension of disbelief required by that movie is ridiculous (you expect me to believe no one noticed that several people disappeared every year when they vacationed at that cabin?), and the ending is even worse.

After all of the obstacles the heroes overcome, they die in the end.

I cannot accurately describe how much it drives me nuts when writers do that in horror movies. But then, when I wrapped up one of my newest horror stories, I realized that I just did the exact same thing. I killed the main character in the end. So, now, I'm a hypocrite.

I guess when I watch or read horror, unless the story is based on a true story, I like to see the happy ending so that I can go about my day, thinking all is right with the world again. Life isn't like that, in reality, but in reality, there are no such things as werewolves, blood-sucking vampires, Cthulhu, acid-bleeding aliens, and the like (that we know of). So, why do I shift my position when I write horror?

The only explanation I can come up with is that reality automatically creeps into my brain, along with the awareness that in life there aren't always happy endings. I write how the story feels right, and apparently, that means an unhappy ending. To be fair, though, I tried really, really hard in my one story to figure out how to give the main character a happy ending. Unfortunately, every other ending just felt wrong.

So, I guess the next time I read or watch horror, I'm going to have to suck it up when there is no happy ending, and just give the writer a break. He or she is probably a lot like me - they tried for the happy ending, but it just felt wrong.

I'm still not going to like Cabin in the Woods, though. I mean, really, how does one go about rigging up an entire town for the purpose of killing people, without killing several of themselves in the process? I can imagine the insurance premiums for living in that town are astronomical. And then there's the tunnels housing all the monsters. Where is the budget for all of that coming from?

Sorry, Joss, you're not convincing me to believe any of that stuff. Not one little bit.

- A.M.