Come in and get comfortable on the couch. I hope you don’t mind if I turn out the lights. It’s better that way. Are you ready? Okay, let’s turn on the TV. Well of course I meant that we are watching TV. What did you think we were going to do? Now pass the popcorn, and no more talking. It’s time for The Vampire Diaries.
It’s true. I admit it. I am hooked on deep, dark, disturbing supernatural TV shows. It started with a goal to watch every single episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then it spread to the Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle on Hulu. And yes, okay, I was also quite a fan of Harry Potter, and far worse, Twilight. Witches and vampires and werewolves are like a bad drug…they make me shiver and give me bad dreams, but I can’t resist coming back for more.
Of course, this is not as bad as the slasher movie phase I went through as a teen, gorging myself on such quality films as the Nightmare on Elm Street saga, Maximum Overdrive, The Stuff, and Sleepaway Camp. Ohmygod, Sleepaway Camp was so baaaad. Ugh! Almost as awful as The Stuff. No wonder they call those horror movies. Oh, the horror!
Now I could turn this into an educational post by exploring why, in our culture, people are so into scary stories. You know…feeling empowered when the protagonist manages to overcome the antagonist, etc. But nah…I just watch them because sometimes, it is fun to feel scared, especially when you know that nothing bad will actually happen. Like riding a roller coaster, or playing a real-time strategy computer war game. (What’s that? My inner geek is showing? Oops…).
I’m pretty sure that my love for scary themes began in childhood. As I mentioned in a previous post, my innocent childhood was pretty much warped by early exposure to Stephen King, and other frightening horror movies. I’m pretty sure I was the only 7-yr. old in my school who had seen Poltergeist, The Omen, and Carrie. Those poor kids had no idea what an antichrist was until I happily educated them. At the moment, I am educating my own kids (ages 7, 10, and 12) about the joys of scary shows. I tried to start with the classics, showing them “Talking Tina,” one of my favorite all-time episodes of The Twilight Zone. I thought it was awesome. My daughter, however, henceforth refused to sleep in the same room as her American Girl Doll.
“It’s like she’s turning her head to look at me in the night,” my daughter complained.
Okay, fine. I guess my kids are a little too sheltered to appreciate the thrill of the supernatural. I guess that means I won’t be able to convince any of them to join me when the Hunger Games movie comes out next week. I know, right? Who wouldn’t love to see a film about a bunch of teens slaughtering each other in an arena in order to win food to feed their families? It’s kind of sweet, when you think about it. Anyway, my kids would have me take them to see The Lorax. Great. Now maybe that would sound interesting if the Lorax and the Bar-ba-loots waged war and chopped up the Once-Ler’s factory with his own Super-Axe-Hacker…(What’s that? My inner warped-personality-due-to-inappropriately-early-horror-film-exposure is showing? Oops…)