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Difficulty Deleting an Old Blog

Five and a half years ago, I launched a blog called Brandon’s Horror (then titled 90’s Horror Review). The blog was meant to serve as a platform to encourage me to revisit my favorite 90’s horror movies and see which ones would be worth watching again in the future.

The site was never all that successful except for a brief period of time when I utilized social media to promote it. I did not enjoy pandering, and after a month or two, I decided I’d rather have a site with no visitors than to spend another minute “creating content”. And so, my little review blog sat quietly in a dark corner of the web with no visitors.

I lost track of what I wanted to do with that blog early on. I decided to expand my reviews to cover all decades of horror (thus the renaming to Brandon’s Horror) and by doing so, I found myself feeling obligated to review all of the horror movies I watched. So, I’d sit down, churn out a bunch of reviews and then save them up so I could spread the posts out over time.

Around three years ago, I pretty much stopped writing any reviews. I had so many in my drafts folder, I knew I could coast for years off them. I still have around fifty that haven’t seen the light of day. But here’s the thing… I don’t really care for the reviews. I never have. In fact, I might argue that there are too many reviews online these days, and despite me taking a spoiler free/short sentence format, I was only adding to the noise.

Even though I found myself not enjoying my writing, I’ve struggled with ending this blog. In fact, I’ve moved it off of Blogger to WordPress, then back and forth again. I even began spreading out my reviews to my Middle-Aged Fat Kids site, just to keep it alive. Still, it stopped bringing me joy around the time I decided to make it something bigger than it was, but since it’s been up for five years and is my longest running blog, I’ve really struggled to pull the plug.

For the past month, I’ve gone back and forth with what to do with the site. I need to streamline my blogging and focus on what is important to me today. And I’ve actually written four different versions of this blog over the past month as I struggled with just moving on from *Brandon’s Horror*. The biggest question I kept asking myself is, “Why is this so hard? I’ve ended so many blogs over the years. Why is this one causing me anxiety?”

After meditating on it some, I’ve come to three conclusions.

A few years ago, I decided to put my name into my domain in an effort to prevent me from rebranding, thus Brandons Journal which became Brandon Writes. By labeling something with my own name, I took more ownership over it, and I think I may have given it more power than it deserved. I’ve somehow linked my identity and my interests into *Brandon’s Horror* and by deleting it, I feel like I’m deleting a bit of myself.

Secondly, my love for horror movies originated in the lonely aisles of the video store. As a teenager, I’d spend hours browsing titles before going home and having this isolated experience between my TV, and the filmmakers. It felt magical and special, because it wasn’t talked about much and I felt like I was the only person in the world watching that particular movie on any given night.

We’ve lost that experience in today’s streaming world, where everything is just a click away, and I’ve discovered that I don’t really care much for the horror fandom online. Like all fandom, it has its own toxicity (influencers, gatekeepers, and whatnot) and I’m just not really interested in those games. Also, for me horror truly is a personal experience. I prefer to watch horror movies alone and I don’t need to discuss it once they are over.

And finally… I was around twelve years old when I first watched Halloween and my interests in movies changed forever. Horror became my go-to rental. Scream came out when I was thirteen and I saw myself in this group of kids who spent all day referencing random horror movies and hanging out.

Horror became part of me, and it was something I defined myself by. I was the guy you went to for horror advice. I was the guy who bought VHS rips of Japanese laserdiscs of *Cannibal Holocaust* off of eBay in the 90’s, so I could see it and then shared it with my friends. I was always looking for the next great slasher film and while horror itself stopped being effective pretty much from the start (Oh, what I’d give to have a horror movie scare me today) I loved exploring the franchises and films and the oddballs who made them and loved them.

But the uncomfortable truth is… my love of horror isn’t what it used to be. I haven’t really loved a new horror movie in a few years now, and the more and more I revisit old films, I realize I have watched them too many times already or they aren’t nearly as good as I remember.

I’m struggling to hold onto something that seems to make up my very core existence. One of my major fandoms that still exists from childhood. I mean, I will always get excited when a new Halloween or Scream movie comes out, and I think I’ll always follow the genre, but I think I’m beginning to grieve the loss of this fandom. And that maybe I believe by keeping my blog up, I keep alive my fandom, but we all know that isn’t how it works.

I have a pretty strict rule when watching movies. I don’t touch my phone. I don’t want any distractions, I don’t like pausing the film, and I like to have my complete, uninterrupted attention on the film. I feel like the filmmakers put a lot of effort into creating a story, the least I can do is give it my undivided attention. But there are times when movies get slow and probably should be turned off, and those are the times when I do pick up my phone.

I’ve noticed lately, when I watch a lot of horror films, I’m reaching for my phone. I actually took a break writing this to read over a blog post I wrote last year about all the horror films I watched last summer. I recall picking up my phone 80-90 percent of the time while watching those movies and one movie I completely forgot I watched because I think I was on my phone the whole time. If I needed any evidence that my fandom was waning, I think I just found it.

I’ll always love movies and that includes horror movies. I love a great story and an entertaining premise, but the days of needing to be on top of everything horror are slowly coming to an end. I think it’s time for me to accept the fact that I’m a different person than I was even back in 2017, when I started Brandon’s Horror. My life, priorities, and interests have shifted, and by holding onto something that no longer serves me, I’m not giving myself the space to explore new things.

And with that being said, I’ve now deleted Brandon’s Horror.

Update June 16th, 2024
I’ve begun to merge the posts from Brandon’s Horror into this blog. 

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