My friend Solana left me a messege at 11:00pm Wednesday night:
“Hey, it’s late, and you’re one of the only people I know who stays up late, but you must be either sleeping right now, or watching Silence of the Lambs.”
I wasn’t, but I took it as a compliment. Interesting people do sit around and watch horror movies… don’t they? I do. My husband doesn’t understand why you would purposely put yourself in a position (or pay) to have the bejeezus scared out of you. I have a theory: when you think about it, life is so fucking scary. There’s disease, car accidents, ignoramuses in charge of stuff and tons of senselessness and dirtiness. And watching a maniac in a flesh mask with a chainsaw chasing a screaming hippie chick around in broad daylight somehow makes it all OK. It breaks up the fear of it all, like adding oil to water, which has the effect of coloring all the other real life crap a relatively lively shade of cheerful. Horror movies are happy-makers. Hope for a rosy future. They offer perspective. Think about it: what could be so bad? At least you haven’t been impregnated by the devil thanks to the weird neighbors.
Phobophobia is the fear of fear. I didn’t make that up. The anxiety and terror of this strange ride toward nothingness can be alleviated by exposure to the most extreme version of itself. Because every evil has its remedy… That’s why everyone tells me to jump out of a plane to get over my fear of flying. Which I can tell you will probably never happen—but I am willing to watch a movie about someone jumping out of an airplane.
It’s almost October. I figure out the 31 scariest movies ever. Then I watch. Then I write. I’ve always wanted to do this. It’s not my fault. My father showed me The Exorcist when I was like, 10 years old. I’m guessing this will help: