I wasn’t always this way. Once upon a time, I craved a good scary movie. The first one I remember watching as a kid was “Nightmare on Elm Street.” I lived on 13th, not Elm, but the thought of some half-burned man terrorizing my neighborhood with knives for fingers seemed like an interesting thought.
My sister and younger brothers loved a good horror flick which meant every weekend trip to Pick-a-Flick for some movies to keep us entertained included something bloody, gory, and/or frightening.
As a teenager, these types of movies were party favors at make-out parties. Yeah, those were a thing and yes, I was a fixture. We didn’t bat an eye at the content, but we were preoccupied.
In college, my fraternity brothers and I started a Sunday night movie tradition we called “Pike Night at the Movies.” After Executive Council, we would pile into several cars and head to Quail Springs Mall. More often than not, it was a good old scary movie that we were after and this is where it happened. I blame “Saw II.” Also “Hostel” and “Paranormal Activity.”
Now, there isn’t anything particularly scary about “Saw II” and “Hostel.” What I didn’t like about either movie was the way in which they seemed to fetishize torture. Case in point, as a person who hates needles, watching someone forced into a hole filled with hypodermic needles felt like hell on Earth. What really disturbed me about these movies was the way in which audiences reacted. They couldn’t get enough. They were finding joy in another person’s pain; something that makes my blood boil.
“Paranormal Activity” was the last straw. As a kid, I had an overactive imagination. I hated when my dad would ask me to take the trash out to the alley after the sun had already gone down. I despised walking through a dark house all alone. Churches with no lights on terrified me to no end. I would hear bumps, scratches, and noises that were not there. “Paranormal Activity” played off of that fear. It was tailor-made for people like me.
After it was over, we returned to our two-story house in Edmond. My roommate Matt and I were both scared to death. We decided to stay up until we couldn’t hold our eyes open any longer. Around 2 AM, we went our separate ways. His room was downstairs and mine was upstairs. I laid in bed and decided to continue watching television. I was bound and determined not to turn the lights out.
Somewhere around 4 AM, I decided I had enough. A movie wasn’t going to get the best of me. I turned the lights off, turned to face the wall, clutching my pillow tight, I attempted to fill my head with as many thoughts as possible. Then, it happened. My television wasn’t a flat screen. It was a giant tube TV and sometimes as it cooled down the plastic would make a loud popping sound. While facing the wall, it decided to make the loudest sound I had ever heard it make. Given all that I had been through, I nearly died from fear. Then and there I decided to never watch another scary movie again. After a decade or so, I have stuck to that promise.
Be good to each other,
Last month, 411 people read an article on Natetheworld.com. If you were one of them, please consider supporting this website with a monthly gift. Your support means everything and proves to the world that original content still matters.