...on movies. My apologies for my blogging starting to get spotty, but I promise that I'll try and do better. There have been quite a few things going on, and I'll talk about some of those next week. Probably.
But, first things first, we have a Musing on Movies to answer.
**Fear Factor **
Caller: "What's your favorite scary movie?"Halloween is fast approaching. Let's try another genre question. What are your favorite horror and/or suspense films? What horror/suspense films do you think are terrible? Do you tend to watch a lot of them, or do you avoid them completely? Do they give you nightmares and/or continue to "creep you out" for days, or are they gone as soon as you leave the theater?
Randy: "Showgirls. Absolutely frightening."
Scary movies... Oh boy, do I love scary movies - and the cheesier the better. Oh yes, I am a B movie horror fan. That's not to say that I don't enjoy some of the more realistic ones too. Before I continue... 'Blair Witch Project'? So not the horror film. Not even a B movie roll either. It was good for what it was - an experimental student film. It was good for psychological mind tricks, but honestly the phenomenon that it became? Totally does not compute.
Ok... I started out with 'The Howling' as my first real horror movie. I can't remember what it was that my parents loaded all of us into the car for at the drive in, but in the sideview mirror I could see 'The Howling' playing. And I shivered, and I whimpered silently with my blanket in the back of the car. And I was hooked. After that came things like the 'Friday the 13th' movies (sorta cheesy) and 'Nightmare on Elm Street' (cheesy, but good for the psychological torture and occasional startle factor, which is always good in a movie). Every once in a while I'd branch into something else. I've watched a couple of the 'Child's Play' movies (Chucky, anyone?) and 'Hellraiser' (Pinhead), but they really didn't do anything for me. They're mostly slasher movies without a real plot.
Yes, you could say the same about Nightmare and Friday the 13th, but there was some sort of ongoing soap opera quality with them - a story of revenge, continual psychological torture, a damaged soul... They made for decent storylines when you boil them down and get past the gore. I'm one of those people too that finds out how they do those sorts of things in the movies, so the ick factor is reduced greatly when you can tell whether the blood is made from ketchup or if they did it right with cornstarch, two kinds of food coloring and water.... ketchup, however, does look very good on black and white film.
Then there are the classics... things like 'Psycho' (the original please and thank you), 'Attack of the Killer Tomatoes', 'The Blob' (also the original), 'The Fly' - oh yes, sci-fi movies can definitely cross into the horror category for me depending on what happens during them. And I consider 'The Fly' to be one of the more successful crossovers in that respect.
I've not watched a lot of the new horror movies, like 'Saw' or '28 Days Later', but I'm intrigued. The problem is finding a time when I can watch them. I prefer watching them while there are people in the house and it's not quite dark, but gets dark while I'm watching. Problem with this - DH won't watch horror movies with me, and the kids would want to watch them with me (and DH isn't keen on that, and neither am I at this point). And I don't want to watch them while I'm alone in the house - trust me, I may not have nightmares from these sorts of things, but I will unnerve myself if I'm alone.
That brings me to the lasting effects, no, I don't think I suffer from any other than a warped mind. I don't tend to have nightmares right after watching a horror movie - it usually takes a couple of days as the movie percolates in my subconscious. And then something terribly obtuse shows up in my dreams and I can usually laugh it off. I don't tend to wake up in cold sweats about anything, unless it's something that involves my kids and prompts me to run into their room and make sure they are either still there or still breathing. The classic parental nightmare is about all that bothers me. Again, I said - lasting effect = warped mind. But if I'm alone in the house and watching something like that, I will be listening for every little sound. I would be bringing the dog into the house (if she were still alive, and I used to bring her into the house when I would dare watch something like that while I was alone). I would be keeping the phone right next to me. But I go to bed and have no issues falling asleep, no issues with dreaming. Strange, eh?
Would I be any different if I'd not seen 'The Howling' in the sideview mirror at the drive in when I was... 9, I think it was? Probably not. It would have been *something* at some point that pointed me towards horror films and I would have enjoyed them nonetheless. Especially since my father's favorite franchise was 'Friday the 13th' - I would have managed to see one *somehow* in my youth. As for my kids - they've been well schooled that violence we see in things like 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Spiderman' and 'X-Men' is all pretend. That the actors get paid for things like that. And the special effects and makeup guys make it that much more real. They'll be well prepared for their first real horror film when it's time to watch one.
The oldest is 9 (almost 10), and I don't think she's ready. The youngest is 8 and she's definitely not ready. Maybe I'll start them with something classic like 'Attack of the Killer Tomatoes' - something so cheesy that it's laughable, but still a great classic horror movie...
... I just hope that they don't become afraid of the tomato plants in the backyard.