July 30, 2005


I’m not good when it comes to watching horror films.

The copious bloodletting and unexpected shocks are dismaying enough; but mostly I struggle with the concept of watching people die as a form of entertainment.

My main difficulty stems from having a very vivid imagination. There is nothing that the film makers can portray that can’t be made worse through my mind’s eye. Tell me a scary plot and I am helpless to reign in my imagination as it explores all the gory possibilities to their darkest recesses.

I am so bad that at the age of 26, my youngest sister had to hold my hand through “Halloween H20”. So what if she is 9 years younger than me?
And now I am living with two guys whose video collection houses discs with photo covers that make me reluctant to touch them – even in broad daylight.

Art thinks mine and Auburn’s aversion to horror films is comical. He just doesn’t get it because he loves them.

We’ve been having special flatmate nights in where we gather around the settee, order in some take away menu or other and watch videos. We take it in turns to choose the film of the night and I have been sorely trialled and tribulated by some of Art’s selections.

The House on Haunted Hill cover
Take “The House on Haunted Hill” for example. After the first 20 minutes, we had to stop the tape. This may seem like an exaggeration, but I checked with Auburn and she agrees it couldn’t have been more than 20 minutes into the film. She knows this because after about 10 minutes, she stopped looking at the screen and gauged her watching ability by looking at the expressions on my face.

I’d gotten to the stage of being so freaked out by what was going on on-screen and its matching highly aggravated version in my head, that I’d begun to speak my terror out loud.

You know the score: “Don’t go down there” [Look pleadingly round at the other people in the room in the hope of receiving confirmation that I am mistaken in my interpretations] … “No don’t! (Insert name of baddie here) is down there” … [Grab a cushion and press it to the lower part of my face whilst unconsciously drawing closer to whoever is nearest on the sofa] … “What’s happening now?” [Practically swallowing the cushion I have pressed to my face to reduce the vividness of the bad dreams I shall be having at bedtime] … “It’s OK to look now” [Actually, this voice is coming from OUTSIDE my head. It’s the point where other people try to be helpful; only for me to look up at the screen in time to witness a gory snapshot of mutilated flesh before I can dive back behind the sanctuary of my cushion-companion] … and the classic “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God” [At which point I have stuck my thumbs in my ears to mute the sound; am using the remaining fingers to cover my eyes and am trying to squeeze myself into the non-existence space between the back of the person seated next to me and the sofa!].

That film left me gagging on a lump of bile that refused to budge and in desperate need of comforting – and there I am, sitting on the other side of the world from my extensive collection of Disney videos. It goes without saying that I slept badly that night. The blood shots just kept recurring no matter the soothing words that I whispered to myself.

The Ring cover
But the worst of it was when we watched “The Ring” – it was Chris and Art’s turn to choose the entertainment for the flatmate night in (that will learn me).

I had to finish watching it just to get some closure. There was NO WAY I was going to bed and letting my imagination come up with possible endings for that one.

Oh. My. Lord. What a film. Just as you think the nightmare is over, up pops another macabre reel full of too much blood, agonising death and lots and lots of fear (usually mine).

The image of the scary-looking blue child with the long dark hair crawling across the floor at frenzied and excessive speed vividly haunted me in both my sleeping and waking states. So much so that when my bladder woke me to attend to nature’s call that night, I switched on all the lights between the bedroom and the bathroom – and peed with the door held open. No way was I gonna be caught unawares en flangré!

Funny thing: when I told this to Auburn the next morning, she admitted that in her case, she’d wedged the door firmly shut with her foot to stop the image bursting through.

Two days later, and I still couldn’t shake off this film. One time, I turned from pulling something out of the kitchen cupboard only to be confronted with an image of the child-thing so lucid, that my pelvic muscles just keeled over without consultation and left me feeling utterly incontinent.

I’m sorry, but I just can’t understand how people can watch these types of films and be entertained. I always come away from them with feelings of nausea, distress and needing to hear a loud and soothing rendition of “A Whole New World”. Now that’s what I call entertainment!
SO TELL ME: Are you a fan of horror films or no?

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AUTHOR: I am might war. I have a love of music, the written word, travel, Anime, polar bears, people and “sticking and colouring”.

5 thoughts on “Insomnia

  1. Hi Mightwar

    Well personally I too hate all types of horror film. They either make me laugh because they are so ridiculous and boring and predictable or they make me angry that anyone should put so much effort in to frighten people… haven’t they got anything better they can do with their skills? They make me wonder about the disturbed state of other peoples’ minds, those that make them and those that enjoy them. But finally, and I think most significantly, I find real life far more terrifying. So the only things that actually really scare me are real or almost real – projections of things that really might happen, have happened, could happen, be it to me as an individual, to others or the the world. That crap scares the shit out of me!!!

    Surely the only reason people like films like this is because their lives are just too easy and their imaginations are just too paltry to realise the worst things that happen, really happen.

    And as for who got killed, where, when, why and how, frankly I DON’T GIVE A SHIT. And I have ABSOLUTELY no desire to watch people suffer and in pain.

    I think that covers it!!!

  2. I quite like horror movies although I do find myself feeling a bit odd enjoying them, especially when I watch them by myself or if there is no plot and its just blood bucket after blood bucket. Consequently I have distanced myself from them recently only really picking one up if it looks quite intelligent. I think it takes a little getting used to once you have sat through one and told yourself its not real you have conquered all of them. Maybe start off with some aimed at younger audiences to build up your immunity 😛

  3. Oh good God I hate horror films! I think I may have watched a mere handful in my life. I watched Blair Witch Project under duress and was so determined not to be scared by it that by the time the credits rolled I was still waiting for the scary part. Unfortunately, though, not all horror movies are like that as, yes, they do encompass copious amounts of death and torture. I watched Saw, but only because someone told me what happens right in the end. It was freaky and scary but a bit like a train wreck. I couldn’t look, but I couldn’t look away either. I think, however, by Saw 5 they were taking the piss. (for the record, I only ever saw the original…)

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