So tonight is Halloween. Definitely my favourite time of year. Candy packaged into little bite-sized pieces. Costume parties. Pumpkin-carving. And scary movies. In the days leading up to Halloween, there's always tons of horror movies on TV. And I used to really enjoy them, but I gotta say, I think I'm losing my tolerance for them.
When I was a kid, my parents were pretty lenient when it came to what movies or TV I watched, but I still wasn't allowed to watch horror movies until I was about 12. In fact, for one of my birthday parties, my friends and I snuck out and rented The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, watched it after my parents went to bed, and secretly returned it the next day. I'm not really sure it was worth it, because the fear of what would happen if we got caught was way worse than anything the movie dished out. In fact, those types of movies, the ones with psychotic killers in silly masks jumping out from behind doors wielding chainsaws and knives, just weren't ever that scary to me. For one of my later sleepovers, we rented Clownhouse, and while my friends were shaking in their boots, I thought it was just the dumbest thing I'd ever seen. Three escaped mental patients happen across some circus clowns, kill them, steal their costumes, and then proceed to torment three young brothers who happen to be home alone, one of whom happens to have a phobia of clowns. Really? Uh huh.
Now the movies that I really enjoy and that also really get to me are the ones that have supernatural elements in them. I'm not sure why this is, because whether you're being chased by a murderous psychopath or a murderous ghost, it all amounts to the same thing, doesn't it? But maybe it's because, with a psychopath, you can take some precautions. Lock the door. Don't answer the phone. Don't go down to the creepy dark basement by yourself with a dim flashlight as your only weapon YOU FUCKING IDIOT! (Ho ho, I bet that gets me an R rating.) But with ghosts, there's nothing you can do. They can go through walls and doors, they can get into your mind, and they can't be killed (although it seems like some of the psychopaths are impossible to kill as well *cough*Michael Myers*cough*).
Which brings me to the current state of affairs. I'm not sure I can handle creepy ghostly horror movies anymore. They FREAK ME OUT. The last couple of horror movies I watched were really bad experiences. The first of these incidences was the night my sister and I went and saw The Ring. I'm not sure why that night was so bad, but maybe it's because we really didn't know what we were getting into. Neither of us had seen the previews, although I admit that we at least knew that it was supposed to be some sort of horror movie.
Well. It was good, really good, but scary, really scary. Those images that were in the movie (the movie within the movie I mean, the movie that's supposed to kill you), the imagery was just really disturbing. And the girl with the black hair combed over her face crawling out of the well. I still get shivers thinking about it. You know that scene when Naomi Watts has just finished watching the movie and her mouth is open and there's this stunned look of horror on her face? That's pretty much how K and I looked at the end of the movie. Completely shell-shocked. On shaking legs we went out to the car, promptly drove to the nearest video store where we rented a whole bunch of cartoons. We then went back to my apartment and stayed up to watch all of those cartoons in an effort to erase the terrifying images that had been imprinted on our brains. It did not work. K spent the night at my apartment with me. We kept all the lights on, and I still did not sleep a wink. I, in fact, did not sleep well for a week.
That experience cured me of wanting to go and see any horror movies for quite some time. Then, a couple of years later, K was in E-Town visiting with me, and we got it into our heads that we should go and see The Amityville Horror. We just don't learn, do we? We payed almost twenty dollars each to get in. Then the movie started, and we immediately realized we'd made a mistake. We were alternately covering our ears, covering our eyes, or grabbing each other in terror. You know that scene where the babysitter is locked in the closet with the dead girl and she sticks her finger in the bullet hole in the girl's forehead? I just about died. Halfway through the movie we decided that we should probably remove ourselves from the theatre before we injured ourselves or someone else. I imagine the entire audience breathed a collective sigh of relief as we exited. We felt kind of silly afterwards, because it was just a movie, and we'd basically wasted fourty bucks. But obviously, K and I just can't handle scary movies.
Having said that, there are some scary movies that I've enjoyed like The Others (that one was really fun as one of the girls I was sitting with threw her popcorn into the air at one of the scary parts and it went everywhere), or The Sixth Sense. But these aren't really scary, just a slightly creepy. And no really disturbing imagery. In fact, I'd say that it's the gory details that get to me, except that I think The Shining has some pretty graphic details in it, what with the blood gushing everywhere and the dead woman in the bathtub, but that's another horror movie I don't mind watching. In fact, the only connecting factor I can come up with between horror movies I enjoy and horror movies that terrify me is... my sister.
I don't know what it is. Maybe we feed off each other's fear creating some sort of energy of terror that engulfs us both. Whatever the reason, I know who I will NOT be watching my next horror film with. Ya hear that K?