Just call me Mr. Chicken
But I’m not good with scary movies. Now I should qualify that: I’m not good with a lot of horror films, particularly the gory and/or very intense ones. I wind up having nightmares. The kind of nightmares where I wake up other people in the house because I either wake up talking very loudly, or worse: I sleepwalk around the house, intentionally waking anyone I can find, and explaining very emphatically how we’re in danger and we have to do something to defend ourselves/thwart the monster, et cetera. The more intense the movie, the more likely I am to do this for several nights in a row.
There are exceptions. I do better when it’s a movie I’ve seen before. I also do better if I watch the movie on a TV or computer instead of going to see it in the theatre. Being able to look away at familiar surroundings whenever I want without the overwhelming presences of the enormous screen and THX sound seems to help a lot. Watching it with someone I know and trust helps. I have been known to physically cling to friends (not just people I am romantically involved with) at particularly scary parts of some films.
I own a lot of movies that I classify as Halloween/horror films. And every year, I select some to watch on Halloween (and sometimes nights leading up to it). But my collection isn’t full of things many people would think of as scary. Movies that appear in my Halloween fests a lot include:
- The Ghost and Mr Chicken
- Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
- The Addams Family
- Abbot and Costello Meet the Mummy
- Monster Squad
- Frankenstein (the 1931 version starring Boris Karloff)
- Bride of Frankenstein
- Dracula (the 1931 version starring Bela Lugosi)
- Young Frankenstein
- The Lost Boys
- Queen of the Damned
- Fright Night (the 1985 version with Roddy McDowell and Chris Sarandan)
- Haunted Honeymoon
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show
- Arsenic and Old Lace
- Teen Wolf (the original with Michael J. Fox)
- Hocus Pocus
- Edward Scissorshands
- Little Shop of Horrors
- The Man with Two Brains
- Forbidden Planet
I could go on. A friend posted a similar list on her blog yesterday. I’m glad to see I’m not the only person who likes this kind of less-than-nightmare-inducing spooky movie.
I have all of the “Abbot and Costello meet…” cross-overs with the Universal Monsters, as well as the Universal box sets of their classic horror franchises: Frankenstein, the Mummy, Dracula, the Wolf Man. And a bunch of the Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” episodes on disc. I only recently acquired Munster, Go Home on disc, and it was a candidate for this year’s Halloween fest.
Since my husband has spent so much time converting the rest of our (nearly a thousand) DVDs and Blurays into the media computer and database, I spent a while scrolling through the list looking for films that maybe we haven’t watched in a while because they were on a different shelf than the other Halloween movies. I noticed, while scrolling through the sci fi section, The Black Hole (the 1979 version with Maximilian Schell), which I haven’t watched in many years. When I said that, Michael said that he’s never seen it.
My husband has never seen it!
So I said, “Well, that’s one of the Halloween movies this year, definitely!”
Then he asked me if I could remember when I last watched the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie (with Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry, and Donald Sutherland), and I couldn’t remember, so we both said, “Guess that one’s on this year’s list, too!”
And, of course, the premiere of the new series starring Bruce Campbell, Ashe vs the Evil Dead is happening on Starz on Halloween. And Starz is a channel I have in our line-up, so I’d been planning all along to watch it that night.
I should mention that the Evil Dead movies are one of those cases where the gore is enough that normally I wouldn’t watch them, but I love work that Bruce Campbell does elsewhere (and was so, so, so happy when he was cast in the major supporting role in Burn Notice which went on for several seasons without getting canceled or jumping the shark before they ended it in a really good way). Plus, after being enthused at about it many, many times by our friend, Sky (who is one of those people who I know really well), in some ways I felt as if I had already seen them. So I finally watched The Army of Darkness and one of the earlier ones.
Sky was sitting on one side of me and my husband on the other. (I spent most of bloody-cabin-in-the-woods movie with my eyes covered, even then!).
I… will not be surprised if Campbell’s new series gives me nightmares. But I’ll probably watch the whole thing, regardless.
Because I love the mix of comedy and horror tropes! And did I mention that I love Halloween?