I have been on a mad tear (strange idiom, that) lately to watch nothing but horror films. What sparked this is going to see “The Woman in Black” last Friday. My wife and daughter wanted to see “Journey to Discovery Island,” or whatever it’s called, you know, the new Rock film, um…excuse me, Dwayne Johnson. As I had no interest in it, I figured I’d see something else. The only other two movies playing at that time were the latest Underworld flick, and WiB. I was very tempted to see the Underworld movie, as I have had a major crush on Kate Beckinsale ever since I saw the first one. Watching her wheeling around dealing death in that tight, black leather outfit, damn, I must say that does something to me. But as I hadn’t seen a scary movie since my wife and I watched “The Ring,” back before our daughter was born, about eight or so years ago, I figured it was time for another one. Plus, one of my employees said he saw it, and had trouble going to sleep that night.
The Ring, by the way, scared the bejeezus out of both of us, especially my wife. To this day, all I need to do is simulate the girl crawling along the ground, and I can expect a rather vicious punch in return.
As a kid, I was especially sensitive to scary movies. The combination of having a very active imagination, and being able to lose myself in a film (same for a book, as I would often forget I was reading and became sucked into the narrative—that is, if the writer had done his part) didn’t bode well if the movie were at all frightening. This resulted in my aversion to horror films, as a rule.
What turned this around was a particular math teacher I had in high school, Mrs. Culberson. She loved watching scary movies, and said instead of getting scared, she found them extremely funny. I asked her how in the world could anyone find something that scary, funny? She said she thought it was amusing, all the things the director, actors, etc… did to try and scare you. “You realize, they’re just make-believe, right?” she asked. Well, of course I knew they weren’t real, but that didn’t mean that such things couldn’t happen. But still, she gave me a new perspective , and they didn’t bother me as much after that.
Now that I’m a full-growed man, I ain’t skeered a nuttin. Okay, well, like I said, The Ring scared the crap out of me; although it really shouldn’t have, because I don’t have the background structure anymore that would support that. As I might’ve mentioned in a previous post, I lost my faith sometime after going to college, and am now pretty much an atheist. I do have my moments of weakness, mind you, when I will slip into an agnostic, mode, but for the most part, I'm godless. So, I believe when you die, you die. You cease to exist. There is no spirit world, ghosts do not and cannot exist. And you sure as hell can’t drag your undead ass through a 32” Magnavox.
But maybe, just maybe, there’s enough belief left over from my Catholic brainwashing (you know, it’s almost impossible to erase all of that programming, cause hell, they get you when you’re young, and it’s practically hardwired into you) to leave the door open just a crack, just enough to allow a really well-made horror film to scare the tuna salad out of me.
But that movie wasn’t The Woman in Black. It had no effect on me whatsoever. I had even worked myself up beforehand into a veritable tizzy, thinking it would. So now I’m wondering if I am finally, completely immune to the effects of even a really well-made horror film. I just checked out The Ring from the library again, to see how it will affect me this time, so we’ll see. Of course, I’m on my own, as my wife adamantly refused to watch it again. She’s not even sure she wants the DVD in the house.
My daughter, in her innocent way, said, “I’ll watch it with you, daddy!” Bless her heart. Yeah, not gonna let that happen, though. That could almost be grounds for child abuse.
So, I’m wondering, does anyone have any recommendations they could send my way? What was the scariest movie you ever watched?