All month long, Robin Hood and I have been watching scary movies. Older ones, newer ones; obscure ones, classics. Some have turned out to be goofy; others have turned out to be terrifying.
I have a low fear threshold when it comes to movies. I’ve banned myself from watching scary movies in a theatre for two reasons:
1) I have a tendency to scream precisely when the director wants me to scream. Loudly. Robin Hood claims that I make movies twice as scary for him to watch because of my vocals. Thus, to prevent public embarrassment and to avoid accidently giving some innocent stranger a heart attack, I think it best to keep to my own living room.
2) In an effort to avoid the screaming, sometimes I’ll just look away from the screen or close my eyes when I know something awful is about to jump out. While watching the most recent version of Evil Dead, I had my eyes closed for approximately the entire second half. My point is that I’m not going to pay movie theatre prices if I’m not technically even watching the movie.
The situation is not helped by the fact that Robin Hood has been out of town a lot recently — earlier this week he was in Amarillo for work, and this weekend he’s out hunting (hopefully not running into any zombie elk or possessed bears). Needless to say, I’ve been a little more…uh…careful at night when he’s gone. Leaving a couple of extra lights on and keeping a knife in the bedroom is perfectly normal, right??
Why then, you ask, do I watch the scary movies? Why do I seek them out and cram my senses and imagination full of them? Why do I want what I fear?
The most obvious reason is that it’s a festive thing to do this time of year. And yes…I admit that seeing my boyfriend jump a mile when I shriek is a tiny bit funny. But honestly?
It’s to prove to myself that I can. I can approach something that freaks me out, face it (or, okay, at least listen to it), and stick it out till the end.
Maybe this is also why I’m okay with Robin Hood being away. Maybe I need to get comfortable with being alone in a house at night. Being alone in a house is different than being alone in an apartment. It just is. Shadows and noises that play tricks on the brain are good reminders to breathe, summon up some rational thoughts no matter how difficult that is, and know that everything’s going to be fine.
And maybe it sounds goofy, but I like to think that if I make time once a year to actively seek that which I avoid the rest of the year, it will make me a stronger person. I can watch The Shining and Paranormal Activity and manage to sleep like the dead (heh heh) afterwards? Shoot, I can do anything!
To everyone who hates scary movies: Try a couple. They’re not so bad, really.
To everyone else: Try something that freaks you out a little. I guarantee you’ll feel stronger afterwards. And if, while you wait for that feeling to kick in, you turn a few extra lights on, I won’t judge.