To whom it may concern

These close encounters

I. Am. Officially. Exhaustified.

I understand that this photo is darn weird and sort of Jawa-esque, but this all has a purpose...

If today wasn’t enough to erase any remaining vestiges of the weekend from my mind, I don’t know what possibly could.

Stress was had, and I had all of it.

I would also probably argue that the dice (that were to determine this fate of mine) were loaded from the start – this fatigue did not stop and start with my workday, but much, much earlier.

You see, it began with a truly crap night sleep (especially when it definitely should have been an excellent, dead-to-the-world type repose what with how wonderfully busy, and chock-a-block full of whimsy and weirdness, the weekend turned out to be).

However, yesterday afternoon Mr. M and I made the sleep-altering choice to go see The Woman in Black.

Looking for a good five-word review of the movie?

DEAD VENGEFUL WOMEN ARE TERRIFYING.

Yeah, yeah, the film wasn’t the best that I’ve ever seen, and you can’t help but ask a million and one questions about X plot holes or Y character motivations – but gosh darn it – I spent the majority of the time either watching through my fingers or crammed into M’s elbow and, or armpit.

Question:

Why the flipping heck do old Victorian toys have to be so bloody scary? Who, in their right mind, would actually give their child a toy that looks positively possessed?

Repression must do terrible, terrible things…

Including, for one: scaring the ever living daylights out of me.

Ooof. Just walking around Metrotown after the end credits had rolled, I felt completely off kilter – as if the film had knocked something loose inside of me that I couldn’t quite put back into place.

There is something to be said about horror movies that explore psychological ills, or metaphysical (paranormal?) phenomenon, versus the old slasher, teen-virgin, never say “I’ll be right back BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW YOU WON’T!” trope.

Ghosts are simply scarier.

I think the most frightening movie I’ve ever seen is probably The Ring (or Ringu – it’s Japanese predecessor), with the Exorcist as a close second.

I was in grade eleven and two friends and I went to the Friday night midnight show; it was playing at the old Varsity movie theatre (a little freaky on its own, with or without the introduction of tormented, well-dwelling psychopathic spirits). I lived ten blocks down the street from the theatre and walking home at two thirty in the morning was probably one of the creepiest sojourns (or you know, ghost tour) I have ever taken, or hope to ever again undertake.

I actually do a pretty good "Ring-girl" impression. You should see me crawl out of a TV screen.

It probably took me an hour to finally make it to my front door because I was moving so slowly (also, I was walking smack dab in the middle of the street, for fear that if I strayed too close to the property line hedge growth, invisible hands would grab at my flesh, tear at my hair, and suck out my soul – imprisoning me until the sky burned red, and the seas ran dry.)

Or something equally as brutal (you get my drift, I’m sure.)

Zero winks were caught that night. ZERO.

Any time where you can think to yourself, “It might be true” is just a recipe for disaster for not only myself, but for the man for whom I’ve pledged my troth.

M can drive himself (and therefore, by proxy ME) completely bonkers, working himself into a frenzy, mulling over the one million maybes he and I attach to this genre of storytelling (or reality? That’s the problem, we can’t ever just tell ourselves its fake, and magically make it go away.)

The Japanese version of The Grudge is called Ju-On (very scary, not to be trifled with – watch only with all your lights on, in the daylight with a minimum of one other person, whom you can be sure will not leave your sight for the next twenty-four hours. What’s that you say? You’re a fully functioning human being who isn’t affected at all by this silly stuff? Carry on then. You lucky bastard.) and this word has actually become a permanent fixture in M’s and my vocabulary.

Something a little creepy happening? Unexplained phenomena making you paranoid?

That’s some crazy ju-on shit right there.

It has a two-fold effect. 1.) It’s a very accurate way of assessing and describing the situation, and 2.) It brings some much needed levity to the occasion, making it much harder to find a need to jump under the covers of your bed for the long-term foreseeable future.

Or something like that.

Cats are really good at warning you about evils spirits. And snuggling. They're good at that too.

So as you can see, last night (or should I say early this morning) I wasn’t channelling Rip Van Winkle, but instead refusing to look in the bathroom mirror as I re-filled my water glass for fear that alongside my reflection would be a pissed off widow, ready to banshee shriek my eardrums into nothingness.

Ugh, even just typing those words makes my heart pump a little faster.

So, the million dollar question is: why, if these movies make me feel as though my lifespan has been drastically altered (for the worse), do I watch them?

Why indeed?

I’ve always liked horror movies. Even though they scare the ever living daylights out of me, I’ve never shied away from watching them.

I suppose I like the adrenaline rush. I like to ask myself what I would have done in those circumstances, in comparison to the characters on screen. I like cramming myself into Mr. M’s arms one second, and then jerking away (or jumping under a blanket) at the very next.

It’s in its own way a sort of feat of endurance. Similar to a day at work, when you are stressed and under the gun, and the need to perform is palatable – all your senses, your brainpower, your problem solving capabilities are working in overdrive – you feel alive, you feel accomplished, you feel drained, and exhausted when it’s over.

You may even feel a little out of sorts.

And all you need to put yourself together again is a good night’s sleep.

I know I’m going to try again tonight.

But then again…it could be real.

5 thoughts on “These close encounters

  1. Okay, I couldn’t even finish watching the trailer so I think you’re a superwoman for making it through the movie. BF loves horror/thrillers too and I couldn’t quite understand it. Really makes sense when you say it gets your adrenaline pumping and makes you feel alive though – great way to describe it! I’ll still leave all of that to the brave souls like you and BF. I can’t do horror movies, they get into my head and stay there. Slashers make me ill since I can’t deal with blood. And the psychological thrillers, some just hit close to home, close to possible – like you said. Love your take on this. And hope you sleep a little better tonight!

    1. Superwoman, or just silly in the head (I can never get those two straight). Tell your man to check out this film, I think it may be right up his alley!

      Thanks for the sleep wishes – I’m definitely going to need them tonight. It’s either going to be a solid eight hours or I may not make it into work tomorrow…

  2. I’ve been meaning to see The Woman in Black! It looks like my kinda scary movie (ie psychological, not gory). Although to say there is such things as “my kind” of scary movie is pretty disengenuous, because I’ve hardly seen any at all-my heart/imagination/etc can’t take it. I watched The Ring at my friend’s house in high school, and the phone rang immediately after the film ended. I think that would definitely fall under “crazy ju-on shit”.

    My mum once told me that there’s a long tradition of ghost stories/horror movies in Japan because of the punishingly hot summers. The idea is to give each other/yourself the chills to combat the 38-degreeheat and 100% humidity.

    1. PS – I love the new layout. It looks clean, fresh, and modern.

      PPS – If you get a notification that I’m now subscribed to your blog or something, that’s because I accidentally clicked unfollow and then clicked follow again, blablabla

      1. 1.) Check it out – but watch it with Michael for emotional and/or limb-clutching support. (does he like horror movies?)
        2.) If the phone rang after watching that film I probably would have peed my pants. Do you remember who was on the other line? Are they still alive?
        3.) Man, that is pretty much the craziest method of cooling down ever. How popular is air conditioning over there!?
        4.) Thanks! I like it too :)
        5.) I’ll unsubscribe, and subscribe to yours just to complete the symmetry (okay I wont, but what I want to say is western financial group? Yep. Noooo worries. Or just- no worries.)

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