Rookie of the Year
A still Gerald's Game shows a woman crying on the floor of a bedroom. The bedclothes are bloodied and she is handcuffed to the body of her dead husband.

Your Post-Halloween Horror Movie Questions Answered!

This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #157. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.

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A tongue-in-cheek but also painfully earnest look at pop culture and anything else that deserves to be ridiculed while at the same time regarded with the utmost respect. It is written by Matt Marrone and emailed to Stu Horvath and David Shimomura, who add any typos or factual errors that might appear within.

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Halloween 2022 has come and gone, but if you’re anything like me – God help you – you’ve spent a significant chunk of time in the wee hours of the morning the past few weeks streaming random horror movies in your living room.

One thing I’ve noticed: Streaming random horror movies, especially without checking Rotten Tomatoes before you start them, can lead to a lot of unanswered questions concerning plot holes or peculiar character motivations. And while these streaming horror films are generally rather cookie cutter, they often attempt to differentiate themselves in ways that can leave you scratching your head. 

But we like to stay positive here at the Rookie of the Year. So instead of calling out films by name and bashing them, we’re going to assume we are the idiots, and answer a few questions that have baffled us recently. Again: We’re not identifying the movies, and if we’re confused, it’s our fault – because the answers to the following questions couldn’t be simpler. 

Here we go:

Why did the architect decide to build a secret room – compete with hidden passageways – in the walls of her house for her lover? And why did he eventually go mad, kill the architect and her husband and, in the twist at the end, was the one stalking the new owners of the house all along?

They say there are no stupid questions. But this is a stupid question. If you’re crazy and you’re cheating on your husband and you’re an architect, it makes perfect sense that you would add crawlspaces for your secret lover inside the blueprint of the home you were building for you and your husband. Why spend the money to put up your secret lover up at a hotel, or, worse yet, let him lead an independent life where he works and pays for his own home (and, presumably, can afford gifts for you)? No. You want him in the damn walls, huddled in a little rathole, so you can have access to him whenever you desire. At some point, of course, it’s only natural he would grow so gaunt and pale and dirty he’s almost green, will completely lose his marbles, if he had any to begin with, and employ an elaborate video camera system in his nest to mess with the tenants that move in after he murders you and your husband. Duh. 

Why did the successful, very pregnant Chicago businesswoman stay in the house she bought in the country after learning it was a former brothel haunted by dead prostitutes who attack her and her unborn child after having seduced and murdered her husband, as well as killing her friend and sticking his dead (but still surreally animated) body into a hole in the wall?

C’mon now, dummies. Ultimately, this is the story of the triumph of feminism. The house was a test for her asshole, unfaithful, criminal husband. He failed. What her friend did to deserve his gruesome death might be completely unclear, but the theme of the film is crystal. Husband having been dispatched, she is free to be scared out of her wits by a cultish spirit-infested sex show and what appears to be sperm oozing out of the electrical sockets, nearly fall to her death while being chased through the house and bash in the heads of the ghosts turned flesh with a hammer. And then, three months later, whisper lullabies to her precious, defenseless daughter in her adorable, yet – surprise! – haunted nursery. A cheap fixer-upper Victorian – even with unholy black fluid gushing from the pipes in the walls – is not something you let go of easily.

When the trophy wife’s husband shoots himself in the head after handcuffing himself to her in their bed, why doesn’t she immediately cut off his hand or fingers instead of dragging his faceless bloody corpse down the stairs, all around the house and then outside the snowed-in property, much of the time while being chased by a deranged killer? And how is she able to evade said killer for as long as she does . . . while, like we said, her husband is handcuffed to her wrist?

First off, have you ever been handcuffed to your dead husband? If not, who the hell are you to judge? If so, and you immediately chapped his hand or fingers off, well whoop-de-doo for you. I’m assuming, however, that my reader has not had this experience. Another question: Have you ever been in a horror movie currently streaming on Netflix? Didn’t think so. But I digress. The answer here is twofold: 1. Winners don’t make excuses, and 2. The actress playing the role, as the cliche goes, couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag, let alone a pair of metal handcuffs. 

Oof. Got a little negative there. I guess I’m gonna need to do some penance, which I present in the form of this final, bonus question. 

When scrolling for more things to watch, how come I can’t tell which horror films I’ve seen even in the past 48 hours and which I haven’t?

Also easy. I work a lot of nights in October – which is for a baseball editor what tax season is for an accountant – and when it’s 4 a.m. and I’m wired after the games and can’t sleep, all streaming horror movies are great, even the horribly bad ones. Ultimately, binge-watching random horror movies make them meld together into a simple puzzle so relaxing to solve that before I know it, I’m snuggled in bed – having switched to a horror podcast via my AirPods, naturally – and tasting the sweet relief of sleep. 

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Matt Marrone is a senior MLB editor at ESPN.com. He has been Unwinnable’s reigning Rookie of the Year since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @thebigm.

 

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