We’re explorers in the further regions of horror experience and adjacent realms like disquiet and dread. Our love for Hellraiser (1987) is obvious. But we are no mere Hellraiser Cenobites. We are the Cinebites, and this is Cinebiter.
We seek out inventive, thought-provoking horror films and write about them intelligently. We’re not squeamish at all, and we like to push boundaries, but carnage and outrage by themselves aren’t enough. The best horror movies go beyond the simply visceral to challenge our conceptions and break new ground.
The movies that we feature here might not always be terrifying. They might be strange instead, or unsettling. But they all explore the same basic theme. They start out in the recognizable world, and then they introduce a hostile unknown for which there is no adequate rational explanation. It could be supernatural, but not necessarily. It could also be abnormal psychology or the abyss that Nietzsche warned us about, as long as its depths are unfathomable. This conception of horror gives us access to movies that often go by different genres, but we invite you to reconsider them from this alternate point of view.
Horror criticism or indictment?
Horror movies aren’t always easy to love. They’re typically bad on race and gender, and they operate on a system of morality that would feel right at home in the witch hunter’s bible.
The genre has always been this way. It reveals our shadow selves, the parts of us that we typically repress, so, from the outset, we’re on dangerous ground. Add to this its need to provoke, its willingness to go to transgressive extremes. It barges into the least welcome places and pokes a stick into every dark corner. The kinds of movies that scuttle out are, in essence, fairy tales and ultimately a form of myth, dressed to the nines in unconscious symbols, with characters who aren’t meant to be fully realized people but representations of roles or functions, which makes them susceptible to stereotype.
Every horror movie to some degree deals with the worst of our human tendencies for violence, cruelty, and subjugation. The movies with the least redemptive merit are awash in these qualities in their basest form. Better movies are more aware of their presence and make more of an effort to sublimate them. But all horror movies play with radioactive fire, which won’t be contained and can’t be controlled. Even the best horror filmmakers have been burned.
We shouldn’t be surprised, then, if we find our demons—personal, social, existential—lurking in the movies that would exorcise them. Our policy at Cinebiter is to drop the hammer on them whenever they appear to the degree that they manifest but not to blame the movies for putting them there.
Careful! We bite
But we want to hear from you anyway, so contact us.