Saturday, October 9, 2010

Why Don't I Enjoy Horror Movies Like I Used To?

In the 80's I couldn't get enough of of the horror movie genre. Of course it was all new to me back then. Many things were new to me in the 80's. Obviously there are a lot of firsts when you're growing up. The very first horror movie that I can remember seeing (sort of) was a movie called 'Tourist Trap'. The problem was that it was so scrambled on our satellite dish that you couldn't make out what was happening all of the time. I remember getting a bit creeped out by the craziness that was going on. I couldn't get the full effect of it thanks to the signal being scrambled. I knew I liked the feeling I was getting though. I was a bit scared. This was 1981. That makes me a 9 year old boy with an imagination. I found that when I went to bed that night my imagination was worse than anything that movie could have showed me. It definitely helped to kick start my imagination though. In the same year that I saw this scrambled mess of a movie my elementary friends were talking about a movie that premiered entitled "The Exorcist". I don't remember any of the details they talked about, but I remember the look of genuine fear on their faces. These are second graders we're talking about here...maybe third graders. Now that I think about it I think who in the hell would let a kid that young watch this movie? My mom didn't. I remember her making me go to bed when it came on. It would be another 3 years before she would let me watch it. I wasn't even ready then.

It wasn't until 1984 that I was in full on horror movie mode. My Dad had just passed away in February of that year. My Mom basically did all she could to get my mind off of his death. If I wanted to watch horror movies or teen sex romp movies like "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" that was fine with her. My Dad never would have allowed it. I hadn't even seen a rated R movie until after he died. Months later my Mom met a guy who is still my step-father. Around this time all kinds of mom and pop video rental stores were popping up all over town. I would always wander over to the horror section and stare at all of cool VHS covers. We'd rent a couple and bring them home. At first these movies seemed so cool. After a while you discovered that it was the same old slasher flick over and over. This was cool the first 10 times, but then it just got old. What I needed was something that would stand out above the rest. I needed ghosts and demonic possession! Yeah, that's what I needed! I needed THE EXORCIST! After pleading with my mom that I could handle it she let me rent it. She warned that it would scare the shit out of me. I told her over and over that it couldn't be that bad. Oh, how very wrong I was!

Nothing could have prepared me for just how freaked out I would be after seeing THE EXORCIST. I remember not even wanting to walk down the dark hallway to the bathroom after it was over. My mom had to walk down the hall with me. Yeah, I was that scared. I slept with the light on that night. After that I plugged in a nightlight and slept under the covers for at least the next five nights. Talk about being scared. This movie still freaks me out today, and I'm 38 years old. You couldn't pay me enough to watch THE EXORCIST in my basement in the dark. I wouldn't do it. I told this to a friend of mine a while ago and he laughed at me. Call me a pussy, but at least I'm being honest. The only other movie that has scared me as much as THE EXORCIST was THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. That one also did a number on me. The thought of a family like that existing just fucked with my mind. These two movies for me are the most notable in terms of having a lasting effect. There have been moments here and there in other horror films, but nothing touches those.

Now all of these years later I generally dread bothering to watch a new horror movie. I feel like I'll just never be scared by a movie again. I'll admit that the very end of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT had an affect on me. I just found that last scene very disturbing and unsettling. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY had an affect on me as well. I thought what they did with that film was done well. To me it was creepy. I hyped myself up a bit before seeing it at midnight in the theater as well. Of course I'm also freaked out by paranormal things like ghosts and demonic possessions, so that may have helped. We're dealing with things in our apartment that can't be explained right now, but that's a story for another day.

I guess I'm just older and desensitized now. There are just so many "horror" movies being made that make me question why anyone would waste the time, effort, and money to make them. If anyone has any suggestions for movies that might actually freak me out I'm all ears. Until then I'll just have to watch THE EXORCIST alone in my basement on blu ray.

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Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
I'm 38. I'm addicted to Xbox 360 gaming and Dallas Stars hockey. I make a decent living at a boring job where I run two autoclaves and do various other tasks. My escape from this boring as hell life is video games, hockey, and music. I generally listen to Metal music, but I also love 80's tunes as well as 70's tunes. I have an unusual love for the band Overkill. They do it for me for some reason. Blitz is GOD!

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