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Friday, October 30, 2009

Oh the Horror . . .

I have a terrible secret.

I am a wimp. A bonafide, honest to goodness, horror movie wimp.

I get scared of anything horror movie related. Name it. I even get scared from the commercials FOR horror movies (forget about actually seeing the movie itself). When The Ring came out in theatres, I think I slept with my light on for a week because I kept imagining some wacked out kid jumping out of my television and all I had seen was a twenty second trailer.

When I watch horror movies, I tentatively find the smallest corner of the couch where I can curl up into a ball and hold a pillow in front of my face - JUST IN CASE. I sit and watch the movie from behind the pillow the ENTIRE time. I'll move it a little left . . . a little right . . . and peek around it, but mainly I am holding it like a weapon, prepared to shield my eyes from what I know will keep me up at nights.

I see the way my husband looks at me and shakes his head.

"What?" I say. "I can't look. I can't look!" slightly shifting my pillow. BAD MOVE. "Oh god, is that her head?!" Pillow goes right back.

John just looks at me, shakes his head, and has another piece of popcorn. But no popcorn for me. I don't have enough hands and I don't want to get butter on the pillow.

So John, you can keep your popcorn, thank you very much. It gets stuck in my teeth anyway. Plus, its a choking hazard if I scream due to an inadvertent pillow slip.

Despite my efforts to block the movie with my pillow, (and serious neck and hand cramping from inadvertently strangling the pillow) I STILL get scared.

I can't even LISTEN sometimes, especially if something is being stabbed, slashed or axed. Just the pure sound of blade hitting skin causes me to break out in hives. I can't bear to listen to he girl shrieking as she gets chopped to pieces by Jason or Freddie using his talons to harm some unsuspecting co-ed. So I sit there, on the couch, in my corner with my eyes shut tight, the pillow balanced on my shaking knees and my fingers plugged tightly in my ears.

Please note that this ridiculous aversion to the sound of people getting hacked to pieces does not just extend to horror movies. I made it through the first three minutes of Braveheart before calling it quits. This makes mafia movies also very challenging to watch, much to the dismay of my husband who has to try and ignore his wife cowering on the couch every time some mobster got wacked on The Sopranos.


But I digress.

At night, I will not go into the basement by myself. What are you, crazy? Everybody knows the statistics - that's where AT LEAST 30 percent of all horror movie deaths occur. Nor will I chance an untimely demise in the garage. After 10 PM, that's it. I don't care if I am craving a Yuengling and the only one is in the garage frig. What am I, stupid? (You don't have to answer that).

As a mother, I know I'm going to have to start telling my two year old, Shaila, not to be scared of the dark, or the boogeyman, but that's going to sound pretty hollow to her when she realizes her mother is scared of her own shadow. You tell me, what am I going to do then?

This is really embarrassing - but I don't even like reading "Goodnight Moon" to my kid. I am the only person who probably finds this childhood classic oddly disturbing. Does nobody else think that freaky old rabbit lady in the rocking chair is scary?

Goodnight comb
Goodnight brush
Goodnight nobody
Goodnight mush . . .
Goodnight stars
Goodnight air
Goodnight noises everywhere

Goodnight nobody? A blank page with nothing on it? So what is that? A ghost? I don't even know what the heck that's supposed to mean. And goodnight noises everywhere? You mean, as in all those creepy, unexplained night noises that cause me to jump out of my skin if John is ever away on business? Those noises?

Shaila goes to bed, counting sheep in her pretty little head, while I go to sleep with visions of malevolent looking bunnies jumping me in the garage while I get a beer.

The fact that I can find even the most sacred of childhood tomes ominous leaves me to believe that the problem is not Goodnight Moon (or the freaky looking rabbit-people in it that nobody else seems to find the slightest bit off-putting).

I am REALLY just that much of a scaredy-cat.

So, in honor of Halloween, here are some of what I consider to be some of the scariest movie moments ever.

1) Poltergeist
Saw this when I was 7 with my older brother and sister and was scarred for life. Clowns that attack you from under the bed, televisions that hold portals for little girls to speak to the dead. Uggghh. I still think about the paranormal researcher whose face turned into maggots sometimes when I am eating steak.


2) Scream
Where most people will deem this movie a comedy more than a horror, I beg to differ. Seeing ET's best friend getting eviscerated by some heavy breathing, prank calling perv kept me up many a night.

3) My nanny telling me about The Strangers
Ok - I hardly even saw commercials for this one - but our nanny told me what the story was about and it freaked the living daylights out of me. For days, I was anxious anytime someone rang our doorbell, even if it was just the UPS guy. I don't know if the movie was all that scary or Kim just knows how to creep me out, but we won't make it a Blockbuster night with that one.

4) Pet Semetary
What the heck was up with that sister screaming "Rachel, Rachel!" in her creepy, weird voice? Add that to anything involving scary children being brought back from the dead and you have a recipe for me not sleeping for a large part of 1991, which is when the movie came out on VHS.

5) The Ring
I actually made it past the commercial and watched the movie (from behind a pillow of course).

Seven Days.

I slept with my light on for SEVEN DAYS.

6) The Omen.
One word. Damien.

7) Paranormal Activity.
My hairdresser told me about this today. Suffice to say, I will not see it. I will wet my pants vicariously through her, thank you very much.

8) The Shining.
The kid on his big wheel going down the hotel hallway and seeing the ghosts of the dead twin girls. (What the hell is wrong with you, Stephen King?)

9) Blair Witch
Yes - the movie made me dizzy and want to puke. It also made me cross off camping from our family "To-Do" list forever.

Sorry Shaila and Nico - I know you will be heartbroken. If it pains you that much, you can become an Eagle Scout or whatever they're called on your own time.

I won't go near a campsite, aka Wiccan playground.

10) Jaws
Even up until I was twelve, I wouldn't swim in our pool after dark.

Our pool was above ground.

I apologize if my list does not account for movies that are REALLY scary. You can look at my wimpy list and take pity in the fact that I am a horror movie coward - that's fine by me. Scoff if you will.

And boo to you too.

Happy Halloween!

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