This year I signed up for a special topics class in literature and culture at Purdue University Calumet. Before taking this class I was made well aware that the “topic” would be determined by the assigned professor, and much to my chagrin, his selection was horror… how “special”.
While I appreciate the impact that the horror genre has had on our culture, I would rather not investigate how it impacts me. Procrastinating even watching a clip from the mildest of fright films, it wasn’t until just last weekend that I braved The Mothman Prophecies (said mildest film).
I’m pretty sure this elusion to scary movies originated during my middle school years. Back in the day when LAN parties were still cool, and Halo 2 was still new, my reputation as a hardcore gamer got me invited to a high school Halo tournament. Spending the night at the tournament host’s crib to help set up the next day, my adolescent self couldn’t have felt more awesome as the only fourteen year-old amongst five kids who had driver’s licenses.
When one of the “bros” suggested we go out to Blockbuster to snag a movie, the first title that was unanimously voted on was The Grudge. Never having heard of the movie, I only assumed it would be the best darn action film only a testosterone packed overnighter could provide. I was wrong…
Forced to watch undead, mutilated corpses maliciously stalk their victims in the “sanctuary” of my host’s dark basement, this first experience with a horror film wasn’t the best. If that wasn’t enough, when it came time to crash, my sleeping bag was strategically placed at the foot of the stairs with the light of the moon eerily crawling down the steps. Paralyzed in fear the duration of the night, it wasn’t until the sun rose that I cried tears of joy having survived till morning.
Now, ten years later, I was about to do it again…
Biking to the Griffith Public Library just off North Broad street, I took in all the sun, warmth, blue skies, generally anything happy before I ruined it after having to watch The Ring. The Griffith Branch had always been my designated library as far back as I could remember. However, all of that’s going to change once they move to their new location on 45th Street sometime in November. Not that I’m too sentimental towards the old branch, it’s just going to be weird biking a different route so soon.
When I arrived at the Griffith Branch, I idly rummaged the video shelves, praying that The Ring would be checked out. Apparently, I wasn’t praying hard enough. Grabbing the movie and heading out, I dreaded every pedal drawing me closer to home.
Making sure I still had an ample amount of daylight left, I popped in the DVD and turned on the lights. I don’t know if any of you have ever watched The Ring completely alone with nothing but a border collie to keep you company, but it is not something I would recommend.
Jumping and twitching every time a car passed by, gasping with every phone call and gripping my dog so tight that I had a hand full of black and white fur, I felt my suppressed middle school self emerge from his tomb with vengeance. Once the movie had finally finished, I immediately ejected the disc and looked outside as the sun started set.
Boy, was this going to be a long night.