When I was a kid, Christmas was my favorite holiday. But as an adult, it seems like there is so much pressure to have the perfect Martha Stewart-like Christmas that if your family isn’t in a meticulously decorated cabin with snow gently falling outside, singing Silent Night in German around an antique piano, perfectly color coordinated while drinking homemade mulled wine, eating the greatest sugar cookies known to mankind and can’t stop smiling from the sheer overwhelming joy and togetherness, then you think you’ve failed. Christmas has such a mandatory feel about it. You have to see those relatives you hate because it’s Christmas. Halloween has none of that pressure. Everything about it is optional!
If you’ve been reading here for any length of time you know that I am scared of everything. I guess it’s a little weird that my favorite holiday would be the one where the whole point is to be scared. But then again, it’s like a celebration of my natural state of being. I should start demanding gifts. Anyway, maybe since I am like this Amazonian Minnie Mouse on a daily basis (*side story: I was going to buy this skirt until I realized I would wear it with a black top and actually LOOK like a giant Minnie Mouse, too), Halloween is my chance to indulge in being a little dark instead of a giggly mess. Although, my being “a little dark” is probably about as terrifying as Casper.
It seems like every channel has some kind of paranormal show now, but I prefer a good classic scary movie. Not the Jason slasher type, but a good creepy movie that seeps into your system and messes you up for life. These are my three favorite scary movies in no particular order. Oh and there will be spoilers, but, come one, the newest movie is 30 years old.
First, Rosemary’s Baby. Devil worshipping old people living in the Dakota conspire to make Mia Farrow have a devil baby. This is one of those movies that doesn’t seem scary at the time, but then you wake up at 2 AM to go to the bathroom, you find yourself weighing the pros and cons of wetting the bed instead of walking into the dark hallway where Rosemary’s devil baby can get you. Every time I watch this movie, I find some new subtle element that I haven’t noticed before (forget for a minute that I am about as observant as a rock). The scariest part is when Rosemary screams, “His eyes! What have you done to his eyes?!?” They never actually show his eyes and your imagination fills in something more horrifying then any movie could possibly come up with.
Next is Carrie. This one is so scary, because we all went to school with a Carrie White. Someone who just didn’t fit in, had a horrible home life, and was always somehow the butt of the joke. That seems to be the scariest part of the best Stephen King books and movies- they make a slight left turn from reality and show us what could be if things were just a teeny bit different. I had a friend in school, Brandy, who looked so much like Sissy Spacek and even had the long long hair parted in the middle. She and I would laugh so hard in the library (one time I laughed so hard I started choking on a Lifesaver and the teacher yelled at me because she thought I was faking. Yeah, that turning bright red, wheezing, and no oxygen to the brain gag gets them every time) we eventually weren’t allowed to sit together anymore. I’d beg her, “Do the Carrie face!” Then she’d bug out her eyes and look like she was going to set the gym on fire. I’d say, “Okay, stop. That’s really freaking me out.” Then I’d ask her to do it again. We were weird kids.
Finally, Poltergeist. Because he’s the master, Steven Spielberg managed to get everything your scared of into one movie and not make it corny. Ghosts, clowns, Indian burial ground, creepy little girls, bugs, ripping off your face, closet monsters. This movie is best when it’s not hitting you over the head with the special effects (which seem charmingly old-timey by today’s standards), but uses those things we all seem to be afraid of like a monster under the bed or a tree banging on the window to scare us.
It’s scary because we all know clowns are the devil’s minions.
Hopefully these movies will not scar you for life like they did me. Have a great week and happy Halloween!