All I got was a rock
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Why do people enjoy a good scare? I have to admit I’m one of those people. During the month of October, I start thinking about Halloween movies and have several that are my favorite, and a must to watch every year.
The very first horror movie I ever saw at the theatre, was with several friends. For some inexplicable reason, we chose Nightmare on Elm Street, released in November of 1984. It was billed as thee movie to see. I remember the anticipation and thrill as I constantly jumped, startled throughout the film. I remember thinking what a shame it was when I heard someone in the back of the theatre drop their candy.
The reason that sticks out to me so clearly, is the movie was at a crucial scene when Freddy Krueger was just grabbing someone’s leg. At that exact moment, something touched my foot, which made me scream shrilly, triggering a chain reaction from each of my friends, who screamed in turn, which set us off into gales of laughter.
Nothing is more difficult than trying to stifle giggles when you know you absolutely shouldn’t laugh. I found out after the show, the culprit who “grabbed” my ankle was nothing more than runaway Gobstoppers candy, that had gained momentum, rolling from the back section to where we were seated near the front.
I had a rough time closing my eyes to sleep after that viewing. I still inwardly cringe when I see someone wearing a red and green striped sweater. After a little Internet sleuthing into the background of Krueger’s notable choice of apparel, I discovered that director Wes Craven deliberately chose that color combination.
The reasoning was because of a magazine article he read in Scientific American, explaining that a red and green pairing is actually more difficult for humans to perceive. So, when Krueger is wearing his sweater, it’s actually creating a subconscious discomfort for the movie viewer. I’ll buy that. All these years, I just thought it was because he looked like a creeper.
A fun flick to watch that is Halloween-worthy, is Ghostbusters (1984). I love this movie. It’s full of entertaining
action and you can’t go wrong with any movie starring Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray and Rick Moranis. Hocus Pocus is light-hearted and will keep you laughing, and appeals to any age.
If your tastes run to something spookier, Gargoyles (1972) fits the bill. I remember watching that when I was in grade school, and, back then, it was considered an extremely scary movie. Watching it now, the special effects don’t seem nearly as impressive by today’s standards, but I still enjoy watching it every Halloween.
Another nail biter is The Fog (1980). To this day, I’m still extremely leery in dense fog. If I’m in the car driving, I lock all my doors, because, you know, that’s what they do in the movies, which never, ever keeps anything out.
I don’t understand why the characters insist on investigating any unusual noise or bizarre occurrence. The typical scenario: the fog is rolling underneath the door, the power is out, the victims are walking around using a weakly powered flashlight, it’s storming, the phone line is dead and, suddenly, there’s a scraping knock at the door.
Even though the audience is screaming, “Don’t open the door,” the elderly grandma toddles to the door and shakily asks, “Who’s there?” When there’s no answer, she opens the door anyway. Well, goodbye Grandma.
I still end the Halloween season watching the treasured classic, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. This beloved animated feature first aired in 1966. I don’t think I ever missed a single year watching it. Imagine my amazed delight when I first saw it in full color.
Even though I had watched it every year for the previous 10 years, it was like experiencing it for the first time, viewing it in glorious colorful splendor.
It’s just a feel-good movie that never disappoints, but leaves the enthralled viewer hoping that maybe, just maybe, this will be the year that Charlie Brown receives something other than a rock for Tricks-or-Treats.