By: Brianna Thorpe
As I mentioned on the first day of class, I’ve actually never “grooved” much on horror. Why am I in this class then? I kind of happened upon it last semester while searching for courses and decided to push my boundaries. But the point of this post isn’t why I’m in the class; it’s why I’ve never been a horror buff before.
Somewhat similar to Chainsaw’s experience, I was introduced to horror at a fairly young age. For me, however, this turned me away from horror, not toward it. When I was 7 or 8, my older brother (who was about 10 at the time) brought home a movie. I don’t remember where he got it, but I know my mom told him he wasn’t allowed to watch it. Being the rebellious child he was, he decided to wait until my parents weren’t home and watched it anyway, convincing me to join him. As we sat down and the movie started, I only remember the buzz of excitement that comes from doing something you know you shouldn’t. I wasn’t at all prepared for the intense feelings of terror that I was about to experience and that would follow me for the rest of my life.
I don’t remember much of The Ring, but TV static still gets my heart racing thinking a girl with weirdly long black hair is about to crawl into my living room. While static isn’t especially common with cable and satellites, my family always had one TV that we hooked our gaming systems up to. Since there were no broadcasting channels, the TV always had static before and after the game system was turned on or off. I grew up playing The Legend of Zelda rather frequently and I always had to turn the TV off as fast as possible and sprint up the stairs when I was done in order to avoid hearing the static.
I had a similar experience with It around the same time I saw The Ring. I was spending the night at a friend’s house and for some reason her mom decided It was a reasonable movie for three 8-year-olds to watch. Again, I don’t remember much of the movie, but I was scared to take a shower or walk down the street because a clown might pop out of my shower head or show up in a gutter drain.
As I’ve been thinking about why I’ve never liked horror this semester, I’ve come to the conclusion that it all boils down to these two experiences. At 8, I still had a good imagination, and I think that made it difficult for me to separate the movies from reality. These movies scared me so much at 8 that for the next 11 years I constantly told myself and everyone that asked that I didn’t like horror. The good news is, it’s starting to grow on me.