I just saw the excellent Swedish vampire movie Let the Right One In. I like this quote from John Ajvide Lindqvist. He’s the author of the novel on which the film was based, and also the screenwriter.
I think the most important thing with horror, where a lot of horror fails, or [the] horror doesn’t work, or that it dies for me is that I don’t care about the people that nasty things are happening to. I mean, you got like this little family, and then the genetically mutated grizzly comes along and he’s found a barrel of goo out in the forest so he’s become like really dangerous and he kills the boy and the mom, the dad lives. If I think they’re pretty unpleasant and I don’t believe at all from how they talk to each other that they would really care about one another, these people, and that they’re just walking around trying to look good in a movie — what the hell do I care what this bear does? While… it’s so, I mean… You can take a person that you don’t care about on film and just slowly cut him to pieces with a chainsaw and just [go]… “Oh well…” But if a person you’re really engaged in steps on a nail…
— from a long interview that you probably shouldn’t read if you haven’t seen the film
Sidebar Elderly Moment: the movie is set in 1982, and the protagonist, Oskar, is 12. All throughout, I never registered that it was a period piece…maybe because in 1982, I was 12. ETA: Simple Arithmetic Fail: Actually, I was 11.