Since I get especially excited about horror movies in the fall, I’ve had a lot of people ask me lately about their appeal. For me, that’s an easy one. Watching horror films is a great way to bring me back, for better or worse, to my childhood. I have a lot of great memories associated with horror films, whether it’s seeing double features at the drive-in (good ole Lovetts RIP), or cowering under a blanket in front of the TV (I still do this). I guess horror has always been a great escape from a lot of nasty real stuff going on in my life. Good horror movies can be life affirming and inspiring, at least for me. I’ve lost a lot over the years in terms of friends and family, but horror movies are still there to comfort me. Freaking weird to be soothed by such grim stuff, I know.
My first great horror memory took place in the fall when I was probably like 4 years old. I distinctly remember hiding out under a blanket watching John Carpenter’s Halloween on cable. My family lived in an apartment complex, and my mom had been travelling back and forth all evening to an outside laundry room that served the residents. I swear, every time she left, I thought for sure Michael Myers had snatched her and stuck her with a big kitchen knife. I mean, there’s that freaking scene with Annie in the exact same situation, doing laundry with a horrible presence lurking about. I pictured things going down about the same way, except my mom is playing the part of Annie which is weird because I developed a huge crush on Nancy Loomis shortly after (Who didn’t?!). I only had NORMAL feelings for my mom, so shut up!
One time, me and my friend Dave attempted to camp out in a field after watching several disturbing movies through the day like I Spit on Your Grave, Nail Gun Massacre, and Luther: The Geek. It was one of those early fall days just after school started, and a thick fog would develop in the evening, covering the field and making it very hard to walk around without bumping into things. Pretty good atmosphere for hide and seek and for GETTING THE SHIT SCARED OUT OF US. Anyway, we ended up sheltering inside because we got freaked out by a light in the nearby woods. The next day we found out an escaped mental patient had been caught very close by in the parking lot of our apartment complex. That was quite a holy shit moment, but I think we tried to camp out again that night. Made it even more exciting since we’d had (in our minds) a near death experience. The patient was probably harmless, but to us he was definitely a serial killing cannibal.
So now, the big kid that I am is looking forward to the plentiful midnight horror movie screenings at our area theaters, and also the huge horror marathons that take place on Halloween night. There’s something about walking around in that crisp night time mist after a horror marathon that makes me feel so alive and happy. The only thing I need is someone to hold my hand when I get jumpy from all those creepy little sounds that only seem to get bigger and louder late at night. Happy Fall!