This week’s Ten on Tuesday theme is Favorite Horror Movies. Well, I don’t think I’ve even seen 10 horror movies. Let’s count…
1. The Birds. This was my first horror movie and it was a doozy, setting the tone for those that followed (very few) and for my reaction. Scary, suspense, and thriller are all different than horror, but sometimes the line is thin – and sometimes it’s a matter of timing and circumstance. I saw The Birds when I was 11 or 12. It was a Saturday* night, I was babysitting – Mom & Dad’s bowling night (a different kind of horror show) – and I had strict instructions NOT to watch The Birds. So, of course, I watched it, and let my charges watch it, too. I don’t think any of them remember, but I was very tuned in and interested. And scared! I can tell you that the horror part, for me, was irrevocably driven home -- seared into my brain -- in a scene during which a man is shown for an instant, dead, sitting in a corner with his eyes pecked out. There was a corner in our upstairs hallway that, for whatever reason, made me think of that scene and creep me out, and so, for the longest time, I would leap, breathless, from the top step to my bedroom door -- where I’d be safe -- but only for a moment, because surely there was something/someone lurking under the bed – maybe with their eyes poked out -- and if not there, then certainly in the closet -- so then I'd have to leap again, from the doorway to my bed and curl up under the covers! My hair is standing on end right now!!!
Whew. Okay. So then...
2. Psycho. I don’t remember when I first watched this movie. I think the first few viewings were bits and pieces and it was a long time before I actually saw the entire movie in one sitting. And then, because I'd already had it in small, manageable doses, it wasn't so scary and I could handle it.
3. The Pit and The Pendulum. It’s hard to resist a movie that’s a) “diabolical” and b) stars Vincent Price -- at least when I was a teenager. I watched a lot of movies of this nature/genre when I was in high school on the Late Late Late Show. (Aside: My love for old musicals -- which some may consider horror -- was nurtured on the Late Late Show.) We had a crappy black and white portable TV – stuff just wasn’t scary on that show – except maybe for The Galloping Gourmet.
4. The Exorcist. I saw this movie with my friend Patsy when we were in high school. We drove to Superior just to see this movie and then back home – 30+ miles in the dark, thank goodness we were together – scared out of our minds. Then I slept over at Patsy’s house and I had to sleep on the floor – my feelings about things under the bed have already been documented in #1. That was a terrible night. Actually, I don’t think I slept for a week after that move, which seems ridiculous now – if not then.
5. The Silence of The Lambs. I have not watched this entire movie. I found it on commercial TV a few of years ago – tuning in somewhere in the middle – and recall pulling my legs in and under and up and hugging them close, getting all curled up in to a tense ball as I watched until a commercial came on. I’d relax and unfurl during the commercial and then slowly curl up again while watching… over and over to the end.
That's pretty much it!
*My usual Saturday night TV fare, after the kids went to bed, was MANNIX! I felt so mature.