JD Nealy on Medium.com recently issued this all-things Horror “This or That” Challenge and I’m here for it. I’ve done This or That Challenge before but to be honest, most of them are boring or nerve-wracking. This one though is a lot of fun, although when I discussed it with my friends there was some confusion over whether or not some things meant being killed by or fighting with something, so our answers were somewhat inconsistent. That’s okay though because hey! it’s Horror.
Slasher or Supernatural
Im going to have to choose Slasher because theoretically a Slasher can be killed, appeased, or sometimes even escaped, depending on what type of slasher we’re talking about. A regular human slasher cannot generally walk through walls or just suddenly appear behind you in your bathroom or in front of your car.
There is something to be said for supernatural slashers and none of it is good. Supernatural slashers are just cheating, really. That said, I would prefer to star in a supernatural thriller like It Follows, where there are some concrete rules rather than any Nightmare on Elm Street movie, where there don’t seem to be any.
Zombies or Cannibals
I’m gonna go with fighting zombies. I at least know all the rules of fighting those having watched multiple films in the genre. Cannibals on the other hand have no rules and are liable to do anything at any time, including prolonging your death for their own enjoyment (see Hannibal Lecter.) At least getting eaten by zombies, while painful, is still relatively quick. So is killing them.
I would choose to star in Dawn of the Dead over The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or The Hills Have Eyes.
Vampires or Werewolves
This was one of the questions we found the most confusing. Would we rather fight these creatures, or be killed by them? In either case, I’m gonna go with vampires who have a set of weaknesses that can be easily taken advantage of. There are pros and cons for each choice though, and I’m definitely going to overthink this later, but I’m going with vampires on this one. Also, vampires are just sexier to be fighting. If I had a choice about the type of vampire movie it would probably be the first Blade movie since I’d get to hang out with Blade, and those vampires can definitely be killed since they’re not especially bright ones.
If I had to choose between being a vampire or a werewolf, I wouldn’t exactly like it, but I’d choose to be a vampire. There are all kinds of workarounds to being a vampire. There don’t seem to be any for being a werewolf although the movie What We Do In The Shadows make both options seem like fun.
Humans or Aliens
My friends and I were not sure what this question meant. I chose humans though because once again humans are at least a category of monster that’s understood. There are set rules for dealing with human beings who are “acting a fool”, and no rules for dealing with aliens, unless we’re talking about the ones from Alien or Predator, in which case I still choose to deal with people. Nobody wants that alien smoke. When all is said and done I’d still rather deal with the humans from The Fifth Element than anything from an Alien film. Predators, on the other hand, can probably be reasoned with and you can at least team up with them to fight the Alien.
Witches or Warlocks
My friend’s first question was what’s the difference, and since we’re librarians we had to do some research to find out. It turns out that there’s no difference between the two, because according to Scottish folklore, a warlock is simply a male witch, and both male and female witches are malevolent. Personally, I’d rather have nothing to do with either, but maybe some people would choose witches because women who have decided to become witches can be reasoned with and at the very least are justified in joining the hellish crusade of the powers of darkness. Any men who do this are probably wholly irrational, and also sexual predators, and I have standards. I’d rather deal with the witches from The Witch than the idiot warlocks of Jennifer’s Body.
Jason Or Freddie
I chose Jason for this one because at least in some of the earlier films Jason can be outrun. Freddie on the other hand, cannot. Jason can at least be killed even if only temporarily. I have a soft spot for Jason that I don’t have for Freddie though. Jason is at least a sympathetic villain, and I have standards. Freddie is an aggrieved child molester, and that’s just icky. Also, I prize getting a night of good sleep and Freddie isn’t conducive to that. Jason could conceivably kill me in my sleep and it would be relatively quick. Jason generally doesn’t try to draw out your anguish for his enjoyment.
Summer Camp or Suburb
I’m going with the suburbs here because there is at least the idea that other people are around. It’s true, they’re not very helpful, but you can at least break into their homes and your killer can be distracted for a few minutes by dispatching these unhelpful monsters. There are potentially police, ambulances, weapons of some kind, and streetlights in the suburbs. I do not want something chasing me around in the woods in complete darkness. That’s just silly. I’m basically picking any Halloween movie over Friday the 13th, because I know I’d make better decisions than any of the fools in Halloween.
Low-Budget or Blockbuster
I’m gonna have to go with Blockbuster for this one. The people in a blockbuster are prettier and more well-spoken. It’s not that there are no good low-budget Horror movies out there, but your death is likely to be prolonged and agonizing or happen entirely offscreen, which is also no good. I want my death to be memorable, but not last the entire movie. I also want it to be a surprise which is something a lot more likely in a Blockbuster than in one of those movies where you can see death coming thirty minutes in, and you spend the rest of the movie running to no avail. In fact, the louder and more bombastic the blockbuster, the better.
Fight or Flee
Like Baymax, I am not fast! In fact, I’m probably one of the slowest-walking people on the planet. No matter how fast I move my legs, I just don’t seem to get anywhere, so it’s gonna have to be fighting. Of course, this is something that depends entirely on the circumstances, but considering how I handle my quite boring and everyday problems, (by simply tackling them head-on), I’m definitely a fighter. If there’s a mystery to solve to get the monster off my back, then that’s the movie for me. The exception to this is any J-Horror ghost movie. Japanese ghosts, such as Amara from The Ring, can never be appeased by anything you could do for them and will torment and kill you anyway.
Cemetary or Swamp
I don’t like bugs, and I for sure don’t like bugs in warm water. And while I’m sure that there are cemeteries that contain both, I will happily avoid those too. Cemeteries generally don’t have giant man-eating reptiles, although they might contain ghosts or zombies, which I can deal with. What I imagine could be much worse is the cemetery that’s located in a swamp. How’s that for places to avoid?
Shrunken Heads or Skulls
My friends and I were not quite sure what this meant so we decided it meant how we would decorate our homes. I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the two really. The shrunken head still has some skin on it while the skull is baring its full loveliness. I’m gonna have to go with skulls as decorative objects, and even for myself if it came to that. After all, if you’re using my skull, I’ve long been deceased and so have no idea what you’ve gotten up to with my remains. Nor will I care.
Also, Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) from that Birds of Prey movie has an apartment decorated with shrunken heads, and nobody wants to be like that guy. Besides skulls are Shakespearean and way sexier than shrunken heads.
Machete or Chainsaw
Quite frankly, I would prefer to avoid being killed by either one of these, but as a weapon, I’d pick the machete, which is relatively easy to use for anyone who is not used to edged weapons, and doesn’t require gas or electricity to wield. As for being murdered by either, I’m gonna have to go with the chainsaw, which is large and unwieldy and will likely run out of gas, at some point. There are only so many people one can kill with a chainsaw at a given time.
Hospital or Home Depot
I’m a pretty inventive person (so is my brother). I’d consider it a dream come true to be locked down in a Home Depot. The possibilities are almost endless if you have any imagination about how to use found objects. Hell with the right skills and materials, you could probably build an entire fortified city inside a Home Depot. Not that I would be lost in a hospital but there’s a lot less material to work with it in one of those. The Home Depot seems more fun.
Apocalypse or No Apocalypse
Yeah, I don’t know what the alternative here means. It’s apocalypses all the way down. That said, I don’t want the whole world destroyed. I want people to still enjoy life after I’m gone. I want there to still be music concerts, pastry cafes, and bad tv shows. Just because I’m not here to enjoy those things doesn’t mean I want the rest of the world to suffer. Also, there is no such thing as a fun apocalypse, even if you get to stay in a Home Depot.
Nightmare or Reality
A nightmare isn’t real and one could potentially wake up from it. I’ve had my share of nightmares. I was always glad to wake up and find out that whatever it was was not real. So I guess I’m choosing the nightmare scenario as long as there are no supernatural creatures involved. Supernatural creatures mess up your ability for lucid dreaming, something I’ve been practicing for a few years now.
Dungeon or Maze
Yeah, I’m really not seeing the big difference between these two. One of them is indoors and underground, and the other is outside most of the time, either one could be full of monsters. I just saw the movie Dungeons and Dragons, and there’s a maze and a dungeon in the movie, both of which seemed equally dangerous in my opinion. In fact, it’s possible that the dungeon might actually be a maze, in which case it makes no difference! But if I absolutely had to choose I’d rather be outside and upstairs, so I’m going with the maze on this one.
Radiation or Disease
This one was easy. Everyone has had at least some experience with disease. Few of us have had any experience with radiation poisoning, which has all of the worst symptoms of a disease, but without any possibility of a cure. I’m not a fan of disease but a person can recover depending on what disease it is. I’ll take the common cold, or hell, even shingles, over radiation sickness.
Spells or Rituals
I’m not particularly worried about either of these. Neither of these is especially frightening because I’ve watched enough Horror movies to know that a ritual can be disrupted, and a spell can be blocked. All you have to do to stop a ritual is make sure it can’t be completed. Stopping a spell is a little bit trickier as it involves having a certain amount of skill. If i had to choose, I’m picking a ritual. And depending on what kind of ritual disruption we’re talking about, it could bring on the apocalypse, in which case nothing matters, or one could end up summoning a tiny, ineffectual demon.
Skeletons or Ghosts
I’m gonna have to go with ghosts on this one. Ghosts are incorporeal, meaning they can’t actually affect anything in the real world. Sure, they’re creepy and can give you a chill, but they can also potentially be ignored. Skeletons however tend to be attention seekers. They’re pretty loud and can actually hurt you, although that may just be me, haunted by recurring images of those sword-wielding skeletons from the 1963 movie Jason and the Argonauts.
Series or Standalone
At least when a standalone movie is over it’s over (except for those damn franchise films.) I do not want to go through whatever I’m going through for 22 hours, which is the average length of a network TV series. I don’t even wanna go through it for 8 which is the average length of a cable series. When a standalone is done, I don’t have to keep revisiting it if I don’t want to unless my name is Laurie or Sidney, and it isn’t so I’m good.
Theater or Netflix
Netflix all the way. I don’t care how many people slag off Netflix for having bad movies, it still is good for the price I’m paying. I’ve never been the kind of person who was enamored of theatergoing. I don’t go to the movies for the ambiance. I go for the STORY! And I can get good stories in the comfort of my home, with a cleaner bathroom, and a lot less talking. When i get scared or disinterested, I can turn it off, and I won’t lose money doing it.
Netflix costs less, and I’m still getting entertained, so it works for me.