Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a pretty big sissy when it comes to scary movies. Hell, I don’t even like scary events, like Great America’s “Halloween Haunt.” During the one and only time I went to the Haunt, my wife — who walks into each attraction like Buffy the Vampire Slayer – said this to me: “Are you really that scared.” Uh…yeah, the fear is real.
Incidentally, I worked at Great America for two seasons as a teen. From what I recall, the October season of fear was called “Fright Night,” but don’t quote me on that.
I find zero joy in being afraid. Just last week a friend of mine agreed; still, she didn’t mind jumping out of her seat during the film, A Quiet Place. When I watch a movie, I want to sit and laugh (or cry, but that’s rare). There is NO “jumping” involved unless I’m getting off the couch to stuff my face with more food, which, unfortunately, is happening a lot these days. Before anyone asks, yes, I’ve seen most of the scariest and suspenseful films of all time, like:
The Birds (1963)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The Exorcist (1973)
The Omen (1976)
The Shining (1980)
I’ve also seen the Halloweens, Nightmare on Elm Streets, and Friday the 13ths. But I’ll admit, when it comes to the last one, I stopped as soon as it got ridiculous. Also, I think we can all agree that these films are more comical than scary.
Just to give you a better idea as to just how much of a scaredy-cat I am, back in 1983, I couldn’t even watch Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video alone, and that short featured Ola Ray! When my dad and brother returned from a couple of early evening errands, I finally watched it.
And in 1999, during a screening of The Blair Witch Project, I had my peacoat over my head almost the entire time.
Once a blue moon I’ll watch a suspenseful movie at home, but I’ll need to hold the remote so as to have access to the mute button.
Because my dad’s job kept him so busy, I was often home alone. And he was rarely home early on weekends (who could blame him?), so I kind of got used to checking every closet, every room, and every bathroom before I sat down to watch TV. In fact, believe it or not, during the process of checking every room, I would barge in like the FBI, and even throw some air-punches or flying-kicks, just in case I encountered an intruder. Of course, no one was ever in our house. But if there was, at least I would go down punching and kicking…and probably screaming like Janet Leigh in Psycho.
One of the worst nights of my life occurred when I inadvertently watched Trilogy of Terror, starring Karen Black. As many of you know, the anthology includes the episode “Amelia,” which features an aggressive, crazy-looking, out-for-blood Zuni fetish doll with razor sharp teeth and this mantra: He Who Kills.
In case some of you haven’t seen this made-for-television trilogy, I won’t share the details; however, I will say that after watching this film, I was afraid to get off of my couch! When I finally summoned the courage, I high-stepped — à la Roger Craig — all the way up to my second-floor bedroom, fearing that the damn Zuni doll was going to jump out at any moment and stab me in the ankles.
Earlier today, a friend of mine posted a meme of Black and the doll that read: “Yeah, it’s a pain being shut in, but I bought a new toy to keep me occupied.”
It is a pain being shut in, but if you want company, the Zuni doll is available on Amazon for $311.by