Thing is I used to be quite a scared kid. I think it came from having such an overactive imagination. I was terrified of the dark, I still remember watching Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Nightmare on Elm Street, and this show on the ABC about the Burko Brothers. All if which I'm sure didn't help me sleep at night. Then came Twin Peaks, which sent me into night terrors territory and that was the end of any scary movies for a long time.
In my late teens (or even early 20s) I let my love of Sci-Fi movies lead me down the inevitable path towards scary movies and I realised that the more I watched the less scared I was. Most scary movies fall into a few simple categories and once you know what sort of film you're watching it becomes easier to recognise what's coming next.
Slasher - ie. Halloween, Scream.
Paranormal - ie. Poltergiest, The Ring
Torture - ie. Hellraiser, Saw
Sci-Fi - ie. Alien, Pitch Black
Monster - ie. Dawn of the Dead, The Thing.
(note: of course there are sub categories and categories like suspense thriller, which I don't include in the horror genre)
Once you have identified the type of horror you're watching it's much easier to not be scared. The truth is that within each category most of the story lines are very similar. Sure the jump moments change and the endings differ but mostly seen one slasher film and you've seen them all.
Anyway, Inge posed the question, what could possibly be entertaining about being scared out of your wits? and I just didn't have an answer. The truth is these films rarely scare me while I am watching them, but some, stay with me and leap out at unexpected moments.
1. Sometimes I still expect a little Japanese freaky girl from The Grudge to start meowing at me next to my bed.
2. When the washing is blowing on the line as I go out to the loo at night I have a 28 Days Later moment.
3. Any of the movies with creepy backwards talking, scary eyes, or that weird jittery movement (think the little girl from the ring) scare the bejeezus out of me for the rest of the night think Event Horizon
4. The dark corners of any room, when I'm feeling freaked out remind me of the B-Grade movie They.
5. When my stairs creak in the night and it sounds like someone walking up them even though there is no one in the house I'm in Paranormal Activity territory.
6. Step over the huge gutter in front of our house in the middle of the night speaks for itself really (and IT also explains why clowns kind of freak me out)
So why watch? Why enjoy the movie if it sticks like glue in my brain waiting for a weak moment to pop out and make me pull the bedcovers over my head? I don't know? Maybe because once I have conquered my fear for the night I feel stronger, less like a victim. Maybe because the more I learn to deal with these fears the less fearful I am of real life stuff. I mean when I home alone I rarely find myself feeling spooked out about axe murderers. Whereas even at the height of my Zombie fears, I can console myself with the idea that its all in my head.
And maybe, just maybe, I watch so that I know the rules to survive the zombie apocalypse, or the things that go bump in the night!
Watching - Halloween, Poltergeist, Angel Heart and about to really challenge myself with a japanese horror remake fest.
Reading - Just started a bit more of China Melvilles the City and the City
State of Mind - Sick of the rain, I want to finish painting already!!
Advent - Go to the pool (it raining), Have a picnic for dinner (its raining so we did it inside), Read Xmas stories at bedtime (couldn't find the book at the last minute so had to try and remember one).