Scary movies scare me and I am not here for it.
I don’t enjoy them in movie theaters, I don’t enjoy them in my dorm room, and I don’t enjoy them in my friend’s living room. I don’t enjoy them in a car or on a plane or upside down or with a clown … you get the idea.
I don’t like the way they make me feel. When I was little, I got nightmares from the commercials alone. I didn’t need to see the movie — I could get the whole experience when the football game went to a commercial break. For the next week I wouldn’t sleep. When I did, I’d have nightmares. Years later, I honestly find that level of fear hilarious. But that doesn’t mean I now enjoy the content of those trailers — 18-year-old me just has a little more spine than eight-year-old me. Horror movies scared me as a little kid, and they scare me now.
Being scared stresses me out. I’m a college student. I have labs and problem sets and an exam that is worth half my grade and a 10-page research paper due at midnight, not to mention my extracurricular commitments (like this article). I’m already stressed enough. But after a horror movie, I can’t sleep, because every time I turn the lights off, I get worried that some kook with a hockey mask is going to jump in through the third-floor window next to my bed.
Yes, it’s unreasonable. I don’t actually think that I will be assaulted by the undead in my dorm room, but that doesn’t stop my subconscious from cataloguing every possible entrance for potential threats. Maybe I’m uniquely affected, but after scary movies, my imagination just won’t settle down. For the next few days, I subconsciously tense up for the next jump scare. I have better things to freak out over than fictional monsters.
I can’t even appreciate horror flicks from a film critic’s perspective, because for the most part, there’s nothing to praise. Sure, “Carrie” has a lot to say about bullying and mental health, but “The Rage: Carrie 2” was critically panned for being essentially the same movie but worse. Even if the first and second “Friday the 13th” movies are wonderful discussions about bullying or parenting or the Gregorian calendar, I don’t believe the next 10 movies in the franchise have anything original or productive to say. Endless cash-grab carbon copies that lack creativity and meaning do not add much to our society.
I understand if you like horror movies — more power to you if you do. You’re made of sterner stuff than I. Everyone has personal preferences, and that’s okay. You might think they are fun because you aren’t scared, or because you like being scared. Maybe you think they really do have a lot to say about life and society. That’s okay. But the closest I will get to screening a horror movie this Halloween is watching “Boo! A Medea Halloween.”