A grand tradition of Halloween is being scared to death. Often through a movie. Now, I enjoy a good cinematic scare, of a certain type. I am not crazy about the movies that feature such stars as Chucky or Freddy Krueger. Blood and gore, even vampires and zombies, do not thrill me. I like a quieter scary, like the old Twilight Zone or Outer Limits television shows or movies like Misery or Poltergeist (the original). Okay, Aliens is good too.
I have not watched a scary movie yet this season. Maybe this weekend. But—in reality—there is enough in our world to be frightened of that I do not need to seek fright as entertainment.
Take your pick:
- Global Warming, whether politicians (I could not call them political leaders) recognize the problem or not.
- Terrorist Attacks even if “they” never perfect nuclear weapons.
- Escalating Societal Violence like shootings at schools, bombings of churches and senseless killings of anyone since every life matters.
- Senseless Slaughtering of elephants and rhinos and other animals for the sheer lunacy of making a buck through such things as the ivory trade.
Aren’t those enough to be scared to death?
Still, other fears plague me on a more personal immediate level:
- President Donald Trump. Just typing that made me cringe.
- The Full Scope of the Presidential Campaigns and all those blasted commercials and speeches that will come our way and go on and on and on and on.
- The Predicted 2016 El Nino. I live in California where the drought is in its fourth year. If the storm does not descend as expected, then will the state really run out of drinking water? If the storm does descend as expected, will the state survive the floods and mudslides that will be part of its natural force?
- The Commercialism of Christmas that has already started with the onslaught of catalogs already hawking so many things to buy to all the stores and all their continual sales and gimmicks to get our money.
- Watching People’s Court. I am a bit scared (maybe just worried) that somehow people will know that I do not only occasionally watch that show but actually know when it is on and look for it. Embarrassing but true, so ssshh! Don’t tell anyone.
- What if? What if Downton Abbey Season 6 never starts? What if I can no longer order such goodies as Kookaburra Licorice, Killer Pecans or any of the really good chocolates? What if good books stop being published? What? Who said fears have to be rational?
- Have a Good Day! Some days, depending on how I am feeling, someone outrageously demanding simply saying, “Have a good day!” can make me crazy. That’s close to being scared, right? Or maybe my reaction is what is scary. How dare they infringe on my rights like that!
- Feeling Old. Some students in my online classes do not know any of these people or characters: Bob Newhart, Mary Tyler Moore, The Monkees, the Fonz and Richie Cunningham, or even Pee Wee Herman or ALF. One did not even know Robin Williams ever played Mork from Ork. And then I grumble about “those kids these days”—now, that is really scary. I don’t feel old, so how can they be so young?
You cannot hear me, but right now I am screaming in fear. I think I will stop thinking about life and go find some nice little horror movie to watch, so I can calm down. Rocky Horror Picture show is on TV at midnight! Or maybe I will forgo the scary movies and watch The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown where the scariest outcome happens over and over to Charlie Brown: “I got a rock.”
How about you? What scares you? Makes your skin crawl? Freaks you out?
Now, for your viewing pleasure, here is an excerpt from the opening of the Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). Want to see something really scary?