As part of 2019’s 13 Days of Halloween, we here at Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life thought it would be fun to see if some of the bands and artists we love had any interest in horror. It turns out quite a lot do so we turned it into an interview.
1. First things first…introduce yourself please!
Hey, I’m Matt Davidson. I live in the Lake District in the North West of England and I’m a Death Metal musician. My main project is Repulsive Vision but I also play bass in Swedish Death metallers Wombbath and guitar in the Death crust band, Henry Kane.
2. What are your top 3 favourite horror movies and why?
This was an incredibly tough choice so I picked the first three that jumped to mind:
The Return of the Living Dead – I’m a huge fan of horror comedies and to me, this is the best one. A great cast, a well written script and some amazing make up/practical effects, ROTLD is full of memorable moments and instant re-watchability. It’s obviously made by fans of the genre and as such, it pokes fun in a respectful and knowledgeable way, emphasising familiar tropes for comedic effect.
A Nightmare on Elm Street – Quite an obvious one but a genuine classic. Before he descended into ridiculousness with each subsequent sequel, Freddy was a very threatening character that gave horror a voice (in contrast to the lurching mute slasher villains of the time). Unique death scenes, a surreal concept and shocking visual effects for the time, its a timeless film that continues to chill me in parts (particular Tina’s body bag scene in the school)
Candyman – A thought provoking and unusual film by Clive Barker focused on an urban legend (a subject that fascinates me) that takes several strange turns and leads to an unexpected twist ending.
3. Do you remember your first experience with horror? Was it at a young age?
The first time I was truly affected by a film was when I watched an edited for TV version of Jaws one Xmas period at a young age. It really terrified me for years but still fascinated me enough to continue to rewatch over and over until it became my all time favourite film. Following this, I became obsessed with the Goosebumps books and TV show as well as Are You Afraid of the Dark? in the late 90s. Then finally, in the year 2001 (at the age of 12), I watched Scream at a friends house. It was graphic, paranoia inducing and it legitimately gave me nightmares for weeks. From then on, I started watching as many classic slashers as I could.
4. What era of horror is your favourite & why?
For me, it would have to be 80s and early 90s horror. The rise and fall of the slasher, the satirical evolution of the genre, the height of the video nasties scandal and the subsequent rise of the psychological thrillers in the early 90s. Before the scourge of CGI and the immediate death of physical effects. It was an era that exacerbated the gore and created some of the greatest horror icons.
5. What frightens or creeps you out in horror?
Realism is probably the most terrifying thing for me. The consideration that what is happening could literally happen in real life. A film like When A Stranger Calls or Last House on the Left, Funny Games or even Black Christmas will still give me chills and force me to make sure I locked my door at night. Ghosts, zombies and supernatural phenomenon don’t have as much of an effect on me and I tire of the constant false climaxes and jump scares. A concept sells creepiness far more than metaphorically shouting “BOO” in someone’s face.
6. Who is your horror inspiration? Be it a director/actor/author etc.
Without wanting to sound cliché, Id probably go for Wes Craven, Sam Raimi, Lucio Fulci or John Carpenter. Their attention to detail, their strong work ethic and their innovative ideas that quickly became genre defining traits. I particularly love Carpenter’s influence on the music of horror and his seminal film soundtracks of that era. They had a hands on DIY approach which can definitely be linked to the way I attempt to create personally.
7. Do you enjoy modern horror or do you look to the past for your fix?
Without wanting to sound like a snob, I’m very much into the pre-CGI era of horror. There are a few exceptions in recent times but they’re closer to the style of older films. Either horror comedy (Cabin in the Woods, Tucker and Dale vs Evil) or more indie horror like Hush or Cube that doesn’t require cheap looking graphics to get scares. I’ve found it to be very difficult to find modern horror that I enjoy for more than just some braindead viewing. That said, I cant help but be blown away by things like Black Mirror that use CGI sparingly and cleverly.
8. What horror movie is universally beloved that you just don’t like?
For some reason, I just cant understand the hype for The Omen. It seems like something I should be into as its a classic… but its such a boring film. It might be that I’m missing the context as it was released decades before I was born but it tends to fall into the same traps as The Exorcist. A lot of exposition and talking to fill out the movie until the shocking moments happen.
9. If you could shoot one horror cliché/trope into the sun to never be used again. What would it be?
Unnecessary remakes/clones. Probably quite a general term but the repetition in the genre is rife with copies made with varying quality. Do we really need another 100 obvious Texas Chainsaw Massacre rip offs? Homage is one thing but blatant copying is ridiculous.
10. Same question but about type/style. What type or style of horror would you happily never watch again?
I’m largely uninterested by ‘verite’ horror. Once you’ve seen one Paranormal Activity, you’ve seen them all. Over an hour of boredom followed by a cupboard door opening randomly or someone jumping at the screen all of a sudden. One notable exception would be Unfriended. A guilty pleasure but an absolutely unique and very intelligently made horror that I find myself watching every now and then.
11. What gets you excited when watching horror?
I think it largely depends on my mood. Sometimes I love the fun atmosphere and humour of a horror comedy like Evil Dead 2. Other times, I want to be challenged by a thought provoking or shocking programme like the X Files or Black Mirror… And other times, I like to watch utterly terrible schlock and badly made dross like Troll 2, Dead Sushi or The Toxic Avenger for my own amusement. Although I’ve complained about repetition in the genre previously in this interview, I love the versatility of horror.
12. Have you had any real life scary experiences? We’re talking supernatural or something that can’t be reasonably explained.
Thankfully no and I don;t intend to any time soon. I’ve always been quite a sceptic regarding supernatural stuff so I really hope I don’t get to meet a serial killer any time soon.
1. Favourite overall franchise (3 or more movies)?
The Evil Dead is the most consistent (especially if you consider the Ash vs Evil Dead series).
2. Most memorable character death?
The aforementioned deaths in Nightmare on Elm Street. Tina’s in particular in unreal.
3. Best horror twist?
I’m gonna have to go with Candyman as mentioned before.
4. Favourite Stephen King book?
The Shining. No questions asked.
5. Best remake of a horror movie?
It’s probably not my favourite but The Thing is probably the best remake.
6. Worst remake of a horror movie?
Halloween by Rob Zombie.
7. Favourite horror villain?
Freddy. I always felt that his potential was ruined by terrible sequels though.
8. It’s Halloween night…you settle down with some popcorn to watch…what?
Probably the original Twilight Zone series. Despite being a horror nut, I’ve always despised Halloween night so I tend to lock myself away and put on something that I enjoy.
We’d like to thank Matt of Repulsive Vision for taking the time to speak with us. You can find our more about the band by checking out their Facebook Page here.