There’s no doubt, I’ve always been a big chicken. But I’m one of those chickens that loves to scare the crap out of myself. I purposely endure scary things just because I live for the thrill. I push myself to the extreme at times to overcome my fear and while my efforts don’t always work, they do weaken the effects scary things have on me, or at least the longevity of such things scaring me.
When I was a child I couldn’t even watch a scary movie without it haunting me for nights on end. I’d sleep with my light on and make my sister go to the bathroom with me, sometimes I’d even make my mom or sister sleep with me. But even as a kid knowing all of this would happen, I still wanted to watch scary movies, especially in October when I could also go to haunted houses (the ultimate scare factor back then).
As an adult, I still live for this ritual. Every October I devote the month to scary things and testing my fear. This year is the first time I’ve included reading “scary” books to my routine, but like every year before I’ve spent a great deal of time watching horror flicks (new and old) and seeing what the effects of such acts have on me.
In truth, I still act like the child I once was with some scary things. Like, when I get in bed (no matter how hot I am) I cover my head or at least my ear as if the covers somehow protect me from the unknown while I sleep. I prefer to not watch scary movies at night because there’s always that idea that ‘nothing bad can happen in daylight,’ and sometimes I have to make Heath come to bed with me because I just can’t do it alone. In truth, I’m still as big of a chicken as I’ve always been, but the fear doesn’t last nearly as long as it once did. And instead of letting the fear linger, I can appreciate the quality of creating such films now to get past the fear they cause.
Most of my favorite horror movies have been remade in my adulthood, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Nightmare on Elm Street, or Halloween. While I love the originals I have been overly pleased with the remakes, but then again we live in a time where technology and special effects are so realistic it seems impossible to not appreciate the remakes. Another thing I love about the remakes though is the additions to the old stories, the history that’s often revealed in the remake that wasn’t part of the original story.
For instance, in Rob Zombie’s Halloween I almost felt sorry for Michael. The poor kid was mentally abused and ignored and despite his built up evil intentions he still loved his baby sister, he just wanted revenge on all those who did him wrong. Now sure, he’s still a creepy f’ed up dude, but I liked seeing both sides of the killer.
Another great example of this extra history was the latest Nightmare on Elm Street. While I wasn’t pleased with the new Freddy (old Freddy was far scarier), I really enjoyed the kids figuring out the past, and how Freddy came to be the nightmare murderer that he is. Does it make his actions understandable? No. But do I like seeing how a twisted guy could go from crazy to murderer? Heck yeah! It was really well done and even managed to leave me with nightmares later that night, despite knowing the movie and having seen the original a million times.
For the most part there isn’t a scary movie I won’t watch, even if it’s not for the quality of the film or the story and just to see how badly it scares me. But there is one that I will absolutely never watch again.
– The Exorcism of Emily Rose –
The first exorcist didn’t scare me (much). The film quality compared to that of today made it seem less real and therefore wasn’t as hard for me to swallow (even if it was supposedly based on true events). But exorcism movies in general affect me differently than your average unbelievable scary character flicks because I believe in demons and so the idea that someone could be possessed (that I could possibly be possessed) scares the living daylights out of me. And Emily Rose’s exorcism was so horrific I could barely even watch the screen, even just listening to it terrified me. I can’t even watch a trailer for the movie it’s so bothersome to me. And now they’ve got some new exorcism movie out called The Last Exorcism. This is not a film I will test myself with. It’s just not something I want to attempt. The Exorcism of Emily Rose scared me so much I couldn’t sleep for almost a week. While I might be able to say from a film aspect that it was done really well, it was actually done too well and imprinted fear in me unlike any film before it and probably any film after it.
So LJ friends, what scares you? What exactly is it about Halloween that makes you enjoy it (if you do)?
Peace – Sarah