I started October with a plan: I would watch as many scary movies as I could before Halloween. From the beginning, I knew it wasn’t realistic for me to watch 31 (one a day), but I thought I could manage 15-20 scary movies easily.
I asked among my friends if they knew of any good suggestions available on Netflix. A few of them responded with their picks, but most of them responded with comments like: “Why would you put yourself through that?” “You’re so brave for doing that!” “I don’t have any to suggest because I don’t watch scary movies”
These responses caught me by surprise. Not so much their attitude toward scary movies, because I’m very well aware some people do not enjoy them, but rather the amount of responses that were against watching these particular genre. It made me think of a conversation I had recently with a friend: We were talking about Stranger Things Season 3, and how surprisingly scary it had been when she responded “I don’t watch it because I don’t like watching things that stress me out, scare me, or leave me feeling uncomfortable. I prefer watching shows that keep me in a happy, calming state of mind.” I found her answer to be admirable. She knew what she liked and why she liked it and she stuck to it.
However, for me, watching scary movies was such a normal thing. I remember being very young and watching these movie genre with my parents. In particular, I remember one spring break, when we had a movie night each night and they would introduce us to different classic scary movies: Arachnophobia, The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock and, my personal favorite, Wait Until Dark with Audrey Hepburn. We turned off all the lights in the TV room, served us some popcorn, and curled up on the couch together ready to enjoy the movies. We loved them so much, I’m sure we did this more than once.
During this same period of my life, I remember my cousins visiting us from out of town each summer. We would spend all day at our grandparents’ house playing games. But, at night, we loved to watch and re-watch two movies we rented out from Blockbuster: Witches and IT. I’m sure we weren’t old enough to watch IT, and I have no clue how we even knew it existed, but we thought it was fabulous and watched it a million times.
As I grew older, I stopped watching scary movies. My husband isn’t a fan and you wouldn’t want to go watch any of these alone at a movie theatre. However, with some recent releases my curiosity for this movie genre resurged.
With Netflix’s premiere last year of the series The Haunting of Hill House, and IT’s remake, my thirst for scary movies awakened. I enjoyed both of these so much, especially The Haunting of Hill House. It was the perfect dose of mystery, suspense and a few unexpected surprises. Feeling those nerves and that rush of adrenaline reminded me how much I enjoyed these movies. That’s why, this year, I decided to challenge myself and watch at least 15 scary movies during the month of October.
My challenge was a failure.
I started out pretty good. I watched 2 movies during the first week of the month: Rebirth and The Babadook (both available on Netflix). I thought Rebirth was pretty good seeing that it stressed me out and made me feel like there was no way out of a crazy situation. On the other hand, The Babadook, although totally fictitious, was much scarier than the first. It stressed me out so much I could not muster the will to watch another one. I started getting frustrated with myself because I saw how the days passed on by and I still wasn’t able to get past 2 movies.
And then I remembered all those responses I got on social media: Why would you want to suffer through that? Why watch things that will add more stress to your day? Why not watch happy movies or things that will make you feel better?
They were right. I decided I needed to stop the challenge. I needed to accept that it hadn’t been that great of an idea. I wasn’t ready or willing to cope with such stress every other day. I decided this would have to be a group activity. I would stick to watching scary movies only with my family or a group of friends.
How do you feel about scary movies?
PS. This post is dedicated to my friends and followers who weren’t afraid to admit they did not watch scary movies. Thanks to you, I slept peacefully this October. 🙂