Wednesday, November 01, 2006

How to Watch a Scary Movie 101

I have patently refused to watch 'horror' movies for many years. I think they're sad and degrading to the human spirit. Jason, however, thinks that watching a human being be ruthlessly tortured before being systematically slaughtered is 'fun' and 'entertaining'. Those he watches alone.

But I haven't found a way to wiggle out of all scary movies yet, so instead, I've patented a scary movie survival technique that I am willing to share with all of you.

The first weapon in a scaredy-cat's arsenal is a blanket. It can be thick or thin, flannel or quilt, the point here is that size DOES matter. Your blanket must be big enough for you to hide behind.

The second thing you'll need is a form of distraction, preferably involving the hands. All too often, I resort to food. Grapes are a favourite for me, and popcorn works well for others. You may think that chips and dip are even better because the dipping action definitely takes you away from the gore on screen, but if you dare to try it, I can guarantee you this: somewhere between to the generous dipping and your mouth, something scary will happen, you'll jump, and the dip will land somewhere unpleasing. And believe me, once you've had dip in your hair, you'll never live it down. Non-edible options I've tried and enjoyed include correspondence, my colouring book (shut up. crayons are soothing), and painting my nails.

The third thing you need is to have someone braver than yourself in the room. This should be a person you're very comfortable with, because you will soon be squirming all over their body. It works best if they can sit behind you and then wrap their arms and legs around you. This position says "No worries, no one can sneak up on you from behind" which is a very reassuring position. It's also handy because when something particularly awful is happening, you can take their hands and place them over your eyes (never rely on your own hands for this). If it's something truly awful that you don't want to miss, you can slightly part their fingers and watch the movie through the cracks. Everything feels safer when viewed from behind someone's fingers.

Additionally, another way to help you get through the scary scenes, is to do the finger thing, and then partially obscure your vision with the blanket, and then get the person behind you to describe the scene in a calm, and monotonous voice. "He's going to the door. He's opening the door. He's going inside the room. The carpet is an awful shade of dusty rose" - see? It totally diffuses the situation and breaks it down into bits you can swallow.

The last thing you need is a song. I know it sounds weird, but it works. When I am all tensed up and ready to scream, I sing. The song's chorus goes like this:

"La, la, la, I am singing because nothing bad can happen when you're singing, so everything's all right and I'm not scared because nothing bad can happen when you're singing."

And then the rest of the lyrics are up to you. I like to keep them relevant, like:

"Won't somebody please get these poor kids a kleenex, du, du, du?"

"Oohhhh it sounds like that chain saw could use a little greeeease"

"Jack Nicholsooon, you don't scare me with your pretty little ax, falalalala"

It totally relieves all the tension in the room.
Of course, it may or may not ruin it for everyone else, but who cares? They're the ones that made you watch it in the first place, so the deserve it.

Go forth, and be scared no more.

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