Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nightmare on Schliemannstrasse

Last night The Love went to Dr Pong and I came home and it was deathly quiet in the Wu-Tang pad so I tried to creep myself out like I usually do when I’m home alone at night, but I couldn’t. Halloween’s coming up and I thought about the movie and I thought about Michael Myers and I looked at the windows and tried to imagine Michael out there, clambering across the panes with his hands and mask.

And I couldn’t.

And I realised why.

Because Europe isn’t Horror.   It’s simply not.  Well European cities anyway.   Have you ever heard of a Parisian horror film?  Of a mass murderer lurking on the rooftops of Berlin?  Nightmare on Schliemannstrasse.   It just sounds cute.  Of course there’s Jack the Ripper.   And I guess there’s vampires – Let the Right One In and that.  But that was beautiful and didn’t give me nightmares.   I don’t know Dario Argento, but I know he’s scary.  There’s Transylvania…

But I mean horror; the ones that make you leave the lights on for two weeks, waiting for the tapping.  The ones that make you look for the figure in the hallway with the long hair when you get up in the night.  The ones that even now make you jump onto your bed so that the man under there can’t grab at your ankles.  The really awful ones that even make you scared in daylight that the bad man’s going to get you.  Don't fall asleep!  Three, four, better lock your door… 

It’s cities.  Cities aren’t scary.  Especially big ones like Berlin.  Everyone lives in apartments.  So people can’t come and look in your window.  They can’t get in your shower really, or hide in your cupboard.  You feel safe in a city.  Because there are so many people around you.   And you’re high up.  Unless you’re on the rez-de-chaussée in Paris and those apartments cost less. Because of horror.   But I still don’t think I could creep myself out on a rez-de-chaussée.  Because it would be Paris and the city never really gets dark and besides, the concierge would be just across from you.  Unless of course, she’s been hacked to pieces.

Here in the Wu-Dojo we’re four flights up so I’m not scared at all.  You’d have to be a lizard-man to climb up here.  And even if you did, it still wouldn’t be Horror.   If Michael climbed up here I would just kick him down again.

No, the key to good horror is houses.  It’s got to be houses.  Houses in suburbia.   In America, preferably.  Maybe a good country house.  Outback Australia can work.  You need space.  You need to be able to see the face from a distance and then have lots of doors to run and try to lock.  Windows are crucial.  When I saw Michael at Universal Studios he ruined it by bursting into the house.  When he was outside running his hands along the windows or darting through the clothesline it was far more terrifying.  Seeing him close up broke the spell for me.  If he ever got that close you’d be dead anyway, so it wouldn’t matter.

I hear they celebrate Halloween here in Berlin and I’m quite excited.  I’ve always wanted to do it properly - we were never allowed to do it at home, being told ‘It’s a silly American tradition.”  There was fear of paedophiles.  Dratted paedophiles.  I want to play dress-ups and get lollies and egg stuff.  I’m going to do it.  I’ve already decided my costume: Knocked-up Prostitute.

But maybe just in my own apartment. Four flights up.


  1. I particularly like the two walnut whips on this guys head. You would need to really want a choclatey gooey surprise to yank one off but I reckon they look damn tastey.

  2. i bet they are georgina. he thinks he's scary, but actually he just looks appetising doesn't he? like White Christmas. or a good soft serve ice-cream with two choc-dips on top.