Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It was the bogeyman...wasn't it?

By Tamara Girardi

I love scary movies. Sort of. Occasionally.

One of my uncles lives for the gore, the blood, the guts, the creative kills. When I was a kid, I went to visit a lot, and I became a science experiment. He would sit me down in front of the television, pull all the blinds in the room, and turn on his latest horror flick.

Just as much as he watched the archetypal women running into danger and the archetypal serial killer wreaking havoc on the screen, he watched my reaction.

I wasn't the only subject. My sister and cousins were tortured as well. We watched Halloween (and my uncle insisted I looked a lot like the niece Michael Myers was trying to murder in movies 4 and 5), Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Puppetmaster, Hellraiser, Night of the Living Dead, and many, many others including...gulp...The Exorcist.

But I had a secret weapon.

Despite Freddie Krueger's best intentions, my escape from the experiment was to fall asleep. When the music in the films increased in volume and the characters started figuring out something bad was happening, I closed my eyes and my movie was over. Finished.

Years later, I revealed my secret plot to my uncle. He teased me of course, but I maintain utilizing my secret weapon was a good call. I guess I just have lots of endings to catch up on.

I guess I should invite my niece and nephew over to watch some movies...wink.

Just for fun, let's take a look at the classic...Halloween.

I hope you enjoyed it. What's your must-watch movie this time of year?


Joyce said...

I almost hate to admit I don't get into the Halloween hoopla. So, I don't have a must-watch movie this time of year!

It has nothing to do with Halloween, but on Sunday I watched Dirty Dancing while I was ironing. I forgot what a good movie that was!

Annette said...

I LOVED Dirty Dancing, Joyce!

I don't like horror flicks at all, but I do have a must-watch-annually Halloween movie: Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp. It's too bizarre to be scary.

Gina said...

I love horror, but ever since I was a zombie extra in the original Dawn of the Dead, I tend to look at bizarre appearances and creative dismemberment in terms of, "Gee, I wonder how those movie folks made it look like that?"

I can remember falling asleep watching Chiller Theater when I was a kid. [For those of you who aren't from Pittsburgh, Chiller Theater came on after the 11 o'clock news every Saturday night and showed two horror films. Mostly really, really bad horror films. Ed Wood quality horror films.] Not used to staying up so late, I would close my eyes on commercials and sometimes fall asleep, waking during a later commercial break. It was intensely confusing to close my eyes in Dracula's castle and wake up to see the 50 Foot Woman stomping cars in the desert, with no transition to explain how things had changed.

Jennie Bentley said...

I don't do scary movies, and as such, don't have a Halloween movie I have to see. Lots of Christmas movies when that time comes around, but nothing for Halloween. I remember watching that old Hocus Pocus movie with Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy, although if I remember correctly, it was considerably silly and not scary at all. Another fun one I remember was The Witches of Eastwick with Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon and Jack Nicholson as the devil. Again, funny. But we don't do scary in our house. Or if we do, hubby watches alone.

Tamara said...

My heart's a little broken! No scary movie lovers? My husband and I are thinking about spending Halloween weekend watching a few good ones. It's great to watch Halloween I and II in a row since the second picks up right where the first left off.

Gina - I forgot you were in that film. That's great. And what a great story to support the need for transitions! ;-)

Joyce. Annette. Dirty Dancing? Really? No, no. I love Dirty Dancing. I guess you can claim to be scared Johnny's never coming back after he gets fired...

Not even Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown?

Patg said...

What was the point of your uncle's experiment? What did your mother say about it?
I don't know why Halloween is now a time for what I call 'sick' films. Okay, if you understand film making, then how they do that is interesting, but otherwise what can you possible get out of all that gore?
Sleepy Hollow in all it's forms is really a Halloween special.

Gina said...

Yikes, I forgot to mention my favorite scary movie - The Haunting, 1963 version, with Julie Harris and Claire Bloom. Best line: "Whose hand was I holding?!?!?!?!?"
Anyone can make you jump with an unexpected "Boo!", but that film, based upon a book by Shirley Jackson, makes you fear an entire house.
Tamara - you may want to watch it right before you go to spend the night in some haunted location . . .

Tamara said...

My uncle's experiment probably consisted of him just wondering how much us kids could take. The way I see it the movies are fun in that same way. You find out how much you can take. I don't watch the really gory movies, but I find the scary movies that incorporate stories interesting. The characters who are evil incarnations have gotten to their actions via some path, and I think looking at that path is interesting.

A deep way of looking at the B-rated horror flick, huh?

Gina - love the recommendation. I will definitely watch it!

Rochelle Staab said...

I love Halloween. I'll see whatever scary movie is in the theater - anything to make the hairs on my arm stand up straight.
But if I'm home entertaining, I put on the original Bela Lugosi Dracula. Creeps me out every time and takes me back to Fright Night Fridays when I was a kid.