It’s Just a Show, I Should Really Just Relax

I don’t scare easily. I can get as startled as the next guy, and the typical realms of death and gore usually manage to shake me, but getting a good honest scare out of me through a movie is tough. It may be because I didn’t really grow up with any of the classics – I saw The Blair Witch Project as a youngster and was frightened for a whole week afterwards, but I didn’t see Halloween, The Exorcist, Nightmare on Elm Street or any of the other classics until high school, when I started looking at them with a

Not in the Face

I’ve been knock-kneed certain that I was about to die on exactly two occasions. The first time, I was on my back, in full football gear, ready for the Oklahoma Drill to start. The drill has many variants, but all of them involve hitting. Two players line up opposite one another, perhaps five yards apart – enough to start a charge but not enough for even the fastest players to really get up to speed. Our version of the drill had the coach holding a football at about stomach level in between the two players. At his whistle, we’d scramble

A Fear of Toys

Ever since I could remember sleeping in my own bed, I can remember how hard it was to go to sleep. I was always up tossing and turning, trying desperately to pass out for the night. After awhile, I got a TV in the room, and it eventually helped me with this problem. It took quite some time, but it did work and normally I was able to fall asleep around 3 am throughout middle school. At this point, I didn’t care what I was watching. I had nearly memorized the Ron Popeil infomercials (and yes, I am still convinced

The Night Fear Came Home

I’ve been a fan of the Halloween movie franchise for a long time. The first flick in the series that I saw was Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. I was at a friend’s house for a birthday party sometime in the fall of 1989. We watched the last half of the movie before my parents picked me up. See, I wasn’t allowed to watch most R-Rated movies until I was 11 (unless they were on broadcast TV). So I got my fill of gory ’80s horror while visiting friends’ houses or sneaking peaks at Fangoria at 7-Eleven.

A Good Thing

“Why bats, Sir?” I was fifteen when Batman Begins came out in the summer of 2005. I remember leaning forward in my seat when Michael Caine’s Alfred asked Bruce Wayne this question. Yes, why bats? Growing up in the pop culture shadow of the Dark Knight, I’d never questioned his choice in costume. Batman was all about bats because his name was Batman. Right? On the screen, Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne lifted his eyes from the batarang he was soldering. “Bats frighten me,” he replies. The words sent a shiver through me. Batman was afraid of bats. Batman was afraid.

The Staying Power of Fear

Most people, I believe, secretly love their fear. They get caught up in the goose bumps and the quick inhalation of breath and the rush of adrenaline that pervades the body when being scared. Why do most people laugh immediately after a good scare? I think the body loves it. To this effect, I love horror movies. Many nights, my wife and I spend an inordinate amount of time scrolling through Netflix’s often dismal offerings, debating on which movie to watch. Usually, though, we settle for a movie from our own collection, a movie with a proven track record of

Fear Of The Known

The blood-curdling screams can be heard and remembered from your first moment of awareness. It’s in your face constantly, but can easily be ignored. Then one day you realize it’s taken you over like the alien(s) in The Thing or Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The creature’s neon claws are constantly digging deeper and deeper into your guts, and that awful feeling of fear is deep. It’s the horrifying truth of facing the stages of life. It’s been a weird year for me. As much as I’ve tried to stay on one path it’s time to take a turn on

Lord Knows I’m a Voodoo Child

I’ve spent my life trying to work out if being born on Halloween into a religious family is anywhere near as interesting as I have at times perceived it to be. There’s a clichéd iconoclasm to it, and for as long as I can recall I’ve deployed the information as if it were the punch line to a highly-condensed, low-budget Rosemary’s Baby rip-off. It’s entirely reasonable, sensible even, to assume that’s all that the paradox amounts to – something to break the ice at parties.