Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Frat Life 101: Care To Watch A Scary Movie Anyone?

It's that time of the year to think of scary things and a few nights ago at work somehow a few of us started talking about zombie movies which then led to further discussion on vampires and even werewolves. Although I do like a good zombie or vampire movie I've never really been a fan of horror movies per se. There is a distinction between the two. To me a horror movie is pretty much the same as a scary movie, the overall intended effect is to scare or terrify you. The same cannot be said of all zombie, vampire or werewolf movies though. Some can be funny, dramatic, intense, action packed or just so well made I don't mind if they're a little scary. Now if it's just a plain old slasher flick well, that's where I have to draw the line. I have seen some but really it's not my idea of a good time.

One of those times that I willingly watched a scary movie was in college. A favorite pastime in the fraternity was to gather in our run down, ramshackle house and watch, or should I say interact, with movies. We were doing Mystery Science Theater 3000 before we'd even heard of it. It was one our favorite activities, to sit around a room full of friends with all of the lights out bagging on whatever movie was on HBO that night. On one particular night the movie turned out to be A Nightmare On Elm Street. For it's time it was a very scary movie and right up to the end of it I thought I understood what it was about, it almost seemed to make sense in it's own way, until the very end that is. I was baffled and I will admit a bit scared.

Afterwards at around 2 a.m. a group of us were walking back to the dorms when I noticed something unusual. At that age men (or boys or whatever you wish to call us) have this macho attitude about not showing fear, especially to our friends. As we walked it became clear to me that as the group approached a corner almost everybody started to slow down just a little bit so that they were not the first one to come around the corner, myself included. Even in a large group (there were at least seven or eight of us) that little bit of fear that was preying on our individual minds manifested itself on the entire group, at least on a subconscious level. I would have laughed out loud if it weren't for the fact that I was busy concentrating on the shadows in an effort to make sure that nobody (or thing for that matter) was going to jump and kill all of us.

When something gets into your head like that it doesn't matter how hard you try to rationalize it, the truth doesn't matter. All you can do is wait for it do go away and for me that takes a lot of time which is why I don't like to watch movies like that in the first place. It's also why I have never and will never watch The Exorcist. The previews for it alone when I was young were so terrifying to me that to this day if I see it on a channel I will immediately close my eyes and change it to something, anything else. Well, we all reached our dorms and our rooms safely, with not a one of us lost in the effort and the next day we found ourselves at the house watching movies again, although I'm quite sure that most of us were more than happy to watch something different, like a nice safe comedy. Nobody ever got killed walking home from watching a comedy right?

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

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