Fright Night

Dear Anchored North, “next generation evangelists using media and evangelism to reach the lost with the gospel in a way that has never been done before”,

I have just stumbled across the latest of your horror movie film trailers to do the rounds on Facebook and I simply had to drop you line to let you know how blown away by it I am and how much it has made me want to watch the whole movie.

LoveisLoveText

Love is Love tells the story of a young lesbian who is preyed upon by a large, all-powerful being (possibly a monster, maybe an alien – we don’t know because we never see him) who communicates with the young lesbian in a scary old house through the pages of a scary old book with ripped pages, and who ends up possessing the girl and changing her from a lesbian to a straight person. A little derivative perhaps, but, still, gripping stuff.

The storyline is pure horror and you are to be congratulated for taking it on and reminding the world that we really ought to think twice about trusting unseen beings who inhabit scary old houses and communicate through scary books. You are to be congratulated too for ticking the diversity box. Gender fluidity and gay stuff are very current topics that other “next generation evangelists using media and evangelism to reach the lost with the gospel in a way that has never been done before” might shy away from for fear of looking outdated or homophobic or out to target vulnerable young gay people but you have taken the bull by the horns and tackled the issues head-on, so good for you.

I know I’m gushing a little but please allow me, if you will, to explain a few of the reasons why I think your horror movie trailer is so successful.

REASON ONEfalse sense of security. In classic horror movie style, you spend the first minute or so of the trailer convincing your audience that this is a normal, mainstream movie containing normal, mainstream views.

The innocent young lesbian talks about coming out and having partners and says normal, mainstream things  about homosexuality like “love is not necessarily between a man and a woman” and “if you were truly a Christian you [would be] on my side”. And then WHAM! The twist hits us at about minute 2 and we realise that there’s a dark force in this normal lesbian’s life that does not like the fact that she is normal and communicates scary things to her through the old book with ripped pages.

Battered Bible
The old book with ripped pages

REASON TWOscary horror movie shots. Everyone knows there are four key film-making features needed to make a movie trailer scary and you’ve got them all!

Extreme close-ups (preferably of a young lady looking concerned/scared):

Scared Closeup
Your movie
Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project

Shots of scary-looking foliage/trees:

Scary Trees
Your movie
Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow

Shots of broken things:

Broken
In your movie, bricks…and maybe some chairs?
Haunted House
In other movies, houses…
Haunted Wheelchair
And wheelchairs.

Shots of a lone female wandering around a scary-as-hell, dilapidated house containing numerous trip hazards and a distant lack of light that no-one in their right mind would ever dare go into:

Lone Female
Your movie
Scared Woman
Silent House

REASON THREE: scary ending. All good horror movies need a twist after the main twist to frighten the audience out of its seat just when they think things couldn’t get any worse, and your trailer makes it clear (in rather a big spoiler, if I may say so) that your movie has exactly this kind of double twist.

Not content with scaring us with the unseen being in his dilapidated house with his tatty book telling the lesbian that she is wrong and shouldn’t be who she is, you throw a real spanner in the works when, instead of running screaming from the scary house proclaiming that she has the right to be whoever she wants to be (as any sane person would do), the lesbian actually befriends the unseen being and learns that the real evil in her life is lesbianism and not the unseen being who preys on innocent young people in a scary old house and talks through books. That’s a Stockholm Syndrome-style twist worthy of any Z-list movie! You should be super proud of yourselves. I really don’t think the audience will see that coming and they’re certain to be terrified by it; often the most ridiculously unbelievable endings are the most scary.

And there we have it, my critique of your fabulous horror movie trailer. I guess to make it a real critique, however, I ought to give at least one piece of constructive criticism; it’s only fair. I wracked my brain for literally minutes to find something you could improve upon because your trailer is almost perfect and then finally it hit me: the title. I’m not entirely sure that Love is Love works. I’m not sure it captures the essence of the horror you’re trying to convey. I think something more suited to the content would be much better. Bigotry is Bigotry perhaps? Anyway, I’ll leave that with you. Feel free to take it or leave it. After all, it might just be me and my old-fashioned ways not wanting hate to be packaged as love!

Kind regards,

R

P.S. We all know that there are people who once identified as straight who now identify as gay. And people who once identified as gay who now identify as straight. And many people who identify somewhere in-between. And we all know that there is no horror to be found in any of these positions. There is horror to be found, however, in targeting vulnerable young gay people with films they should not see, films that tell them they are evil and were made wrongly. You might want to consider giving your films an adult-only rating in future. Thanks.