With Halloween swiftly approaching, scary movies are slowly coming out of their crypts and forcing their acknowledgement upon moviegoers through trailers and previews. I’ve never been a fan of scary movies, and I think this had to do with a possibly traumatizing experience I had as a child.
The last scary movie I watched of my own accord was “Anaconda” when I was six. Although most wouldn’t classify it as horror or suspense, to my younger self it was the epitome of fear. Gigantic snakes, foreboding music and Ice Cube’s acting combined into a perfect storm, which haunted me for weeks with nightmares. After that experience, I have avoided scary movies like the plague. I don’t know what defines a traumatizing experience exactly, but if I had to guess, this would be it.
As time went on, the nightmares ended and I started to move past this event. Unfortunately, while growing up, most of my peers loved scary movies. On most occasion, I was able to find some excuse to not see them by walking my dog, watching “The Matrix” on TBS and so on. But there were a few times in high school when the girl I liked wanted to go see some variation of a “Saw” movie and I was forced to attend. I vividly remember sitting in the theater knowing how ludicrous it looked for the 6’3, 200 lbs. man to be cringing and crushing the popcorn container into a wad of greasy cardboard.
Post-high school, it has been much easier to avoid these films. With age comes maturity — also my friends are way too cheap to spend 10 bucks at the movie theater. The only exception for this is that I currently lead Young Life at a local high school. Sadly, this causes me to occasionally delve once again into the high school culture of scary movie fanaticism and therefore make a fool of myself once again. I don’t know if you have ever seen “The Woman in Black,” starring Daniel Radcliffe — or Harry Potter — but be warned that it caused me to yelp like a small schoolgirl in a full theater.
Even though I have been able to avoid scary movies more easily in recent years, in the world we live in it is hard to sit down and watch any television without ads for scary movies leaving me anxious and scared. Most recently, titles like “Sinister” and “Paranormal Activity 4” have left me curled up on the couch momentarily paralyzed with fear. It is truly amazing that in less than two minutes producers can develop an ad that convinces me there is a murderer next door and a monster in my living room.
As Halloween approaches and freaky flicks once again rear their ugly heads, a few decisions must be made. Are you going to buy a ticket for the next horror blockbuster? Are you going to unplug your TV until November? Whatever your decisions may be, make sure of two things: that none of these star Ice Cube and to always check your living room before you turn out the lights.