Fraidy-cat

March 18, 2008

I hate scary movies.

I’ve hated them my whole life.  If there ever was a boat to scarymovie-fun-town… I was hiding from it.

I’ve had the misfortune of befriending a series of individuals who are either fans of such films… or are completely unmoved by them.  Sure, they jump when the orchestra blurts a little stabby chord, and when the flesh-eating ghoul leaps out of the closet to ravage the standard large-breasted woman’s face… but once the credits roll… it’s all over for them.  They’re able to go on with their lives as though nothing has happened.  Nighttime brings not the terrors of the undead… or wailing spirits and twisted faces… it’s just nighttime.  Time for bed and books and dreamless sleep.

Me? 

I stop using closets for a month.  I hesitate by closed doors at night… I summon my courage and plow through them… leaping into the room like a flaming ninny and landing in a tragic karate pose, shouting a meek ki-yai.

I was one of those people who was terrified by The Ring the first time I saw it.  I admit this here, accepting my own lameness.  Intellectually, I was able to understand that the movie was stupid.  It’s about a haunted videotape… and within its spindles is the spirit of a little warbley-voiced white girl. This is a really exhausted trope – creepy girl as a harbinger of the willies… and I’m just as unmoved by that as everyone else.  Intellectually, that is.  But there’s this other side of me… the wuss-bag side… the mewling little girl in me who covers her eyes and plants her fingers in her ears whenever things start to take a turn for the spooky.  I moved my television out of my room the night after watching that movie.  I just couldn’t bear to have it near me.  I’m that much of a fraidy-cat.

I just have a terribly overactive imagination I think.  It gives me nightmares sometimes.  I have world-class nightmares – full of broken teeth and stretching hallways and screaming and voices from behind my back.  I once had a dream that I woke up with the need to pee.  I got out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom.  I turned on the light turned around to see my reflection in the mirror – only my reflection was screaming… it was terrified.  I just stood watching my reflection scream at me, tears pouring out of its eyes… and then I woke up.  And I had to pee.

This is what I do to myself.

So the question now is… why the fuck am I watching "The Descent" on television while I write this?

For those who don’t know… "The Descent" is a british horror movie about a handful of preposterously beautifully spelunkers who get lost in a cave and are devoured, one by one, by moist, echolocatory boogeymen.  It’s absurd.  It is replete with every exhausting old chestnut you’d expect from a blood-porn horror movie: breathtaking cast, jumpy monster scenes, spooky lighting, an awful script.  It’s just friggin awful.  So why am I watching it?

Because I’m afraid to.  I don’t like that it scares me… so I’m forcing myself to watch it.

I’m just doing it with the sound off.

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