Time is mankind’s greatest enemy and Horror understands our fragile relationship with time better than any other genre because time is an inescapable horror that encircles of every day of our lives. We fail at our New Years’ resolutions because they take too long. The hopes & dreams we have for the future never come because there isn’t enough time. We grow old and fade away because our time has simply run out. Like sand through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives. But if you’re kept awake worrying that time is short, keep in mind that you have an extra day this year to conquer those fears! Which is exactly why we’re crowning February 2020 the month of Leap Fear.
This month at Nightmare on Film Street we celebrate the powerful nature of time and the terror a simple ticking clock can bring. Is that tick-tock, tick-tock in the distance the innocent sound of seconds passing, or something sinister counting down your final moments? Perhaps the clock is tick-tocking it’s way back into the past, dooming us to relive the most horrible days of our lives over and over again. In the next 29 days, our writers aim to showcase Time in all its horrid forms. The terrors of time travel! The introspective lunacy of time loops! The recurring themes that petrify us time and time again! This February we invite you to join us as we brave our way through one fear-filled day after another.
Film is, in itself, a time capsule. Movies are many things to us but when we need them to be, they are a doorway into a perfectly preserved past that we can revisit when we feel homesick for a place we’ll never return to. And for some of us, the more tools and influence we have to shape our futures, the more frustrating it feels to know that the past is locked in time. Our ties to the past are so strong that we bring pieces of it with us wherever we go. We leave childhood toys on mantles next to photos of family, we document the highlights of our day on social media, and we inject familiarity into our moviemaking. Nostalgia has dominated the scene like never before and with a foot so firmly in the future and another cemented in the past, we may be the first generation to become unstuck in time.
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We are the first people to live our lives with nearly unlimited access to the past. A quick Google search can show you the building blocks of our greatest achievements but also unimaginable mistakes that could have been completely avoided. On the flip side, our lives have been so integrated with technology that connects the world together in realtime. When we watch international tragedy unfold on Facebook, or discuss our rainy day thoughts on Twitter with a Brit enjoying tomorrow’s sunshine you can almost see the future just ahead, fading into focus like a mirage dancing on the horizon.
Time is such a fundamental aspect of the human experience that when it is tinkered with, our entire world falls apart. If a character in a movie suddenly experiences a profound loss of time, we instinctively suspect that they are no longer of this world. When someone experiences an overpowering sense of deja vu, we know there are forces more powerful than us in control, treating our beloved characters like playthings. Our nightmares terrify us partly because they exist in a vacuum with no clear sense of time or place that we can anchor ourselves to. And it’s exactly those weaknesses that our favorite filmmakers and storytellers exploit to terrify us time after time.
Join us this February as we jump to the left step to the right, put our hands on our hips, and bend our knees in tight. Let’s do the Time Warp Again! And be sure to let us know how you’ll be celebrating Leap Fear month on Twitter, Reddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!