Skip to content

On Horror Fandom (Or Remembering I Can Be a Fan Without Fandom)

A few months ago, I was browsing Instagram and I realized I had followed a ton of horror influencers. Slowly, they’d made their way into my feed and like all influencers, it all felt so fake. The massive DVD set ups, the latest in masks, toys, and collectibles, and let’s not even start on the scantily clad girls. I’d spend each day scrolling and feeling like I wasn’t a good enough horror fan because I wasn’t killing myself to try and collect it all. I mean, who can realistically keep up with all of that? Who can keep up watching every new release each week? I have other interests than just horror movies so that would never be me.

I’ve dabbled with the horror fan community off and on over the years, having run a blog Brandon’s Horror for around five years now. But most of the time, the deeper I sank into the community, the more exiled I ended up feeling. While I could have a few good conversations here and there, I didn’t feel like I belonged because I wasn’t selling something. I was writing a horror book, Kickstarting a movie, or collecting physical media. I wasn’t trying to define myself by horror. I was just a fan of the genre and so, I’d pull away and distance myself, with my love of horror damaged an little each time.

The problem is that for me horror is a personal and isolating experience. My love of horror movies originates from renting VHS tapes, staying up late, and watching them alone. It was a personal connection between myself and the video I was about to watch. Even now, I enjoy horror the most when it’s just me. I prefer to go find some weird obscure movie on Tubi and maybe chat with my buddy Michael about it, rather than heading to the theater and joining in on the mass discussion of the latest big, budgeted release. I’ve always been attracted to the forgotten and neglected, and that is what fuels my love of horror, not collecting DVDs and toys. Not defining myself by my appreciation of the art.

Realizing this has been a freeing moment for me. Suddenly it all makes sense. I know my fandom is partially propped up from nostalgia, but realizing I can approach my hobby or interest, from a non-commercial/exploitative/discussion angle just feels right. It’s so much more fun to just enjoy a good/bad horror film, than to feel the need to share, discuss, or dissect. I want to get back to those personal connections where it was just me, the filmmaker, and the television. No distractions, no commentary, and no preconceived notions. Just “Let’s hope this doesn’t suck” and an open mind.

This sort of relationship with pop culture goes beyond horror movies. I think I need to reassess how I interact with all of my interests and see if it’s actually doing more harm than good.

Published inHorrorSelf-Reflection

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *