The Master of Body Horror

I devour information about the study of phobias. My personal favourite, but not an actual fear of mine, is Trypophobia: the fear of holes. I’ll also gladly dive, five minutes down a Youtube hole about anything relating to mysophobia (the fear of germs), or carcinophobia (the fear of cancer). There’s an elemental factor at the base of each of them, but the real fun part is developing your own theories about its psychological/evolutionary root. I’m the exact same way when it comes to a really good horror flick.

Horror movies jab at our fears and anxieties of unknown malevolent forces or aspects of mechanisation and technology. There’s another genre of horror centered on the human body. Body horror shows the graphic depiction of destruction and degeneration of the human form.

Since the 1970’s no one has done body horror better than Canadian filmmaker, David Cronenberg. He’s considered one of the architects of the body horror genre, and if you’ve ever watched The Fly you’d be amazed at how effective it is, considering it was made in the eighties.

The reason that The Fly and Shivers still hold their own in modern horror cinema, is Cronenberg’s skill at manipulating our most basic fears. His movies blended aspects of the unknown, with famine and plague, and bits of humour.

Horror is my favourite film genre. I’ll watch a cheesy low budget horror movie over a high budget rom-com any day. It makes me happy that everytime I want a low fuss, nostalgia laden horror movie, I can turn on something from a Canadian Master.

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