Do You Like Scary Movies?

So, today is Friday the 13th. Can we officially name this day Scary Movie Marathon Day? I feel like that's a great idea.

Now I will be the first to admit that I love a good scary movie. I actually blame scary movies for why I was afraid of Mom and Dad's basement in the dark. For years I was convinced that the trolls from Ernest Scared Stupid lived under the basement stairs - but had the unique ability of disappearing when the lights came on and made everything appear normal.

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Just LOOK at this guy! How could this ugly mug NOT terrify any 8 year old with an overactive imagination. Jesus Murphy. Even now this still gives me the creeps.

It seems that when it comes to scary movies, especially on today - the holiest of holiday days for horror fans - we all run to Friday the 13th, which I guess you can't really blame us for I suppose. We're nothing if not faithful to our genre. But let's not forget that there have almost been some other really great movies out there that have added to perhaps the greatest movie genre of all time.

I don't remember when I went on a scary movie binge last, but I do remember the very first one. It was not the greatest decision of my life, but when you're at a sleepover and around ten or twelve years old you can't be the only one to wimp out. The fact that I barely slept is irrelevant. I was convinced that there was a being (whether human or otherwise) bent on killing me was hiding in said girlfriend's closet and was waiting for me to go to sleep before killing me. 

We had watched the first half of the original IT that night, Puppet Master 4, and one of the Child's Play movies - back when they were scary and Chucky hadn't become a money-making gimmick, so he still had enough clout to deal out a few scares. I say the first half of IT because once I realized that a giant spider was involved I was done. I tapped out. So, this trio of terror is the reason that to this day my feet gotta be covered when I go to bed, keep closet doors closed when I go to bed, and have a general feeling of being uncomfortable when I get caught suddenly in the dark. To say that I remember much of either movie is a bit of a stretch, but there are a few distinct things that stand out.
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I mean, can we talk about this guy for a second?!

There was nothing more terrifying to me during this entire movie then watching this guy crawl up the bed and drill into some poor sucker's skull. Seriously. When it was time to go to sleep finally that night, I kept looking at the foot of the bed expecting to see this little shit coming to get me. I don't know his name, how he fit into the whole plot and scheme of things. All I know is that he killed people by drilling into their heads. There was one guy while he was sleeping, and this other chick who was in the bathtub. And the sound that the drill made?! Fucking terrifying. I'd never been so scared in my life as I was then while watching this movie.

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And this guy - talk about a dynamic duo of death.

And this creepy little bastard!! Can we discuss this for a second?! True, he looks a bit like a first generation mock-up of V's mask, but I can promise you that his intentions are far less noble. I mean, just lookit this guy! He has a serious 'Don't fuck with me' attitude going on and he may or may not have gone toe to toe with a bitch ass gremlin with only a wicked sharp blade and won. Do you remember Gremlins? One little guy met his demise via the kitchen blender, and another got nuked in the microwave. Clearly this guy took notes. His methods may be basic but they goddamn worked. The props and artistic departments for this movie deserve some major cred okay. For realsies.

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Then, there was Stephen King's IT. When we watched it, it was on VHS (Google it, kids. It was a thing). It was of such a length that there were two tapes. It was a long movie - even by our standards in the early '90s. But, like I said before I only made it through the first half of the movie. Once the spider showed up ... done. So, naturally when the remake was released this year I was beyond excited to see. I won't say too much because we could down the rabbit hole of comparing Tim Curry and Bill Skarsgard and their Pennywise portrayals, we can explore the Stephen King universe, we can debate the role the turtle plays ... god, so many things. But really, this was a remake of a classic. It stays relatively true to the books. The characters are spot on and the casting was superb. It still scared the pants off me - from the opening sequence right to the end, you're fuelled by adrenaline. And if you watched the original, watching poor Georgie chase his little newspaper boat down the street is gut-wrenching 'cause that's when it all starts for poor Stuttering Bill. And the spider ... well, there's only a glimpse or two of it. Right at the end - that may have been the worst part for me. And it was the worst part as I watched the original release as well.

I mean, by and large spiders are some next level scary shit anyway. But put 'em in the hands of a Hollywood studio where they can do just about anything with and/or to any idea you give them and well ... the potential for scares is basically limitless. Just sitting there in my seat, waiting to see if we were gonna get the full reveal of what the monster looked like, my heart was pounding out of my chest, my face was half-hidden in my sweater, and my feet were propped up on the (empty) seat in front of me. It was a great time - no really, it was!

So, after that fateful night of the horror-filed sleepover, I think I took a break from scary movies for a while. Now, to be fair ... I didn't exactly watch a lot of movies or television anyway. What we were allowed to watch as kids was pretty limited (Family Matters, Home Improvement, The Wonder Years and a few others), so it's not like there was a lot of exposure in our house to anything that didn't promote wholesome family fun. So, faced with a sleepover where we could watch basically whatever we wanted, I may have agreed to a higher degree of scary than was necessary. At the time, I may have overestimated my ability and gone a little overboard and jumped into the thrill of it all head first (ha! if that ain't a metaphor for my life, I don't know what is).

Either way, I've since enjoyed some great horror movies. There was the original Scream. This guy was the original scary clown before it became a thing. That Halloween there were SO many of those face masks going around that I think it kept a lot of the younger kids in our small town on edge the entire night. Sadly, as the franchise went on and the studio came to realize that there were sitting on a money-making machine the movies got a little ... dumb. Which might be way it became a comedy spoof years later. 

Eventually, along came other really great movies like The Ring, 28 Days Later, Alien, The Blair Witch Project, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. 

To this day I haven't been able to rewatch that movie. I've tried. Several times. During the day. With all the lights on. I just can't do it. I might make it ten or fifteen minutes into it and I can't even. One day ... one day I'll watch it again. Maybe. 

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So in honor of today, I beseech you all to go and overindulge in all the scary movies you wish! I'm sure we can start a support group if necessary to cure the Horror Hangover. 


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