Leave me out of next horror movie marathon


I don’t do horror movies — at all.

The gruesome, gory scenes don’t suit me. When I do try to watch one, I spend more of my time with my hands over my face than actually watching the flick, and when all the bloodiness is finally over, I feel like I’ve wasted my time and I’m confused. I end up on the computer, looking for a full synopsis online so I can make at least a little bit of sense of the bits and pieces I managed to watch.

It amazes me that some people can be so flippant about horror movies. They can watch hours of scary movies and not even bat an eye. I realized early on that person is not me.

This came as a shock to my husband, Greg, since our first official date eight years ago was seeing the movie “Saw” just prior to Halloween.

I remember being curious about the movie — as I am with all horror movies — but I didn’t really know if I’d be able to sit through the movie in a darkened theater full of strangers. The only thing I had going for me was the fact that I was seeing it with this guy I was starting to like a lot.

So, I put on my best brave face and felt the adrenaline start as soon as we stepped into the darkened theater. Of course, with a horror movie, the previews are usually going to be for other horror movies, so the topsy-turvy feeling in the pit of my stomach started immediately.
Somehow, between clutching my sweater like it was going to melt off me and using my scarf to hide my eyes as little as possible, I made it through the film, and Greg was none the wiser about my aversion to all things scary.

But he learned quickly. As soon as I was comfortable in our relationship and realized that me being a total chicken wouldn’t dampen his feelings for me, I confessed that horror movies weren’t my thing, just in time for him to line up plans to see “Saw II” with someone else.
He’s tried again a few times to get me to watch a horror movie by explaining how they’re just movies and if you root for the bad guy, they’re not as scary. I have a glut of stories that demonstrate I cannot think that way.

First, there was my dad who lost a whole night of sleep after trying to make me watch “Pet Sematary” to explain “it was only a movie.” Then, when I was 14 and baby-sitting for two rambunctious 8-year-old boys, their parents had rented “Halloween” for them to watch. I spent the whole night checking in on them but mostly staying in the kitchen, washing dishes and cabinets out of boredom, while the boys watched that movie at least twice. And lastly, when I had finally given up biting my nails for a good month in high school, my best friend — who was ALWAYS harping on me to quit biting my nails — dragged me to see “Scream 3.” A month’s worth of nail growth was gone in the hour and 57 minutes it took to watch the movie. She lost her right to razz me about my nail biting for a long time.

Greg finally got the hint that my aversion to all things that go bump in the night was not going away and watched “Hostel” by himself, while I avoided the family room and gave our kitchen a good scrub down. (There’s something about cleaning kitchens that must entertain me.) He was interrupted periodically by my curious inquiries about the movie.

But you know what they say about curiosity, right? It kills the cat, and my sleep, because I happened to come down the stairs at just the right time to see someone’s eyeball being pulled from its socket. It was enough to give me nightmares for days.

I’ve given up on horror movies and I’m so thankful October is over. The scary movie marathons that seemed unavoidable for a month have been replaced with the corny holiday movie marathons I love.

And since sappiness seem to terrify him, it’s Greg’s turn to avoid the family room.


Deann Stumpe

In her weekly column that runs Mondays in the Hastings Tribune, Deann Stumpe gabs about relationships, movies and TV, and life with a baby. She is the Tribune’s special sections editor.

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