I’ve had a hate-kind of like-loathe relationship with scary movies (and anything scary in general, really). And I’m pretty sure, for the rest of my life, it’s going to stay in the loathe category.
A quick timeline:
Eight-ish years old
Big Sister and Babysitter rented Scream, insisting I watch. With all the lights off in the basement. I made it through the scene where Drew Barrymore was gutted and hanged from a tree before retreating back upstairs and playing Amazon Trail on our computer until Daddy came home.
Scarred for life.
High school age
Lifelong friend Kelsey insisted (this is just a guess – I don’t really remember how we came to watch it) we watch horror movies, starting with Teaching Mrs. Tingle (um. The kid from Seventh Heaven? Hello?) and eating bowls of cookie dough (again in the basement). Which turned into Scream (I could handle it after awhile), Scream 3 (a joke, really), the I Know What You Did Last Summer-s and others. Don’t ask me to watch Scream 2 – that one’s still terrifying.
Later in high school
Expanded my reach to other horror flicks (Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Omen, The Ring, The Grudge, etc.) – hey, they made for good date movies.
Some other time before college
I read this email forward urban legend thing about this girl (who coincidentally was purported to live not too far from Palestine) whose parents were gone for the night but was luckily accompanied by her brave watchdog. As the story goes, the girl kept waking up in the middle of the night because of this dripping noise coming from the bathroom but was able to fall back asleep each time by being comforted by her dog licking the palm of her hand when she threw it over the side of the bed. The next morning, the chick wakes up, goes into the bathroom, the dog is strung up from the shower rod, the dripping noise was its blood and a message on the mirror reads something like, “Humans can lick, too.”
Scarred, again, for life.
I took this seminar class on ‘the psychology of horror movies’ (or something), where the entire semester was dedicated to watching and dissecting my least favorite genre (and I actually chose this course. Go figure.). There, I cultivated a pretty fantastic understanding of classics and recent films from Nosferatu and Invasion of the Body Snatchers to The Bad Seed and Psycho. And I actually really enjoyed it – and ended up writing a (pretty stellar, if you ask me) 25+ page research paper on why so many horror scenes are prevalent in the bathroom. (If you’re wondering, it’s mainly because that’s where we’re most vulnerable. Chew on that for a minute or two.)
As a dog owner (did you know I have a dog?), I really don’t care for the thought of my precious puppy Preston mutilated by a stranger who then pretends to be him by licking the palm of my hand in the middle of the night. (Also, that seems like a lot of work for a crazy guy. Wouldn’t you just leave or something? Or kill the girl?) And I also started taking notice of all the really, really sick stuff that already goes on in the world and realized I don’t need a movie to remind me. While scaring the shit out of me.
Being scared is seriously my least favorite emotion. I’ll take anger, jealousy, sadness, anything over being terrified. I just don’t find it enjoyable. I hate haunted houses, ghost stories and pretty much any movie they show around Halloween sans Hocus Pocus or that terrible Disney Original Movie Halloweentown. (FYI: Vampires don’t count. Give me True Blood and Vampire Diaries any day.) Which really kills Boyfriend’s spirit, because he, sigh, does indeed enjoy the scariest movies and houses and the season of scariness itself.
But really, I’d much rather prefer to drink my wine and watch Jeopardy instead. The only thing scary about Alex Trebek is his sense of humor (and his attempt at accenting foreign words and phrases. Face it, Alex. You’re American.)
UPDATE: Apparently Alex Trebek is Canadian. So, you know, the accent comment still kind of applies.