Last night J and I cuddled up to watch "Red Dragon," which is the prequel to "Silence of the Lambs," but is actually pretty much the same movie as "Silence of the Lambs," and I eased into my favorite scary movie pastime, which just so happens to be talking throughout the film, especially making funny but not that funny comments because, you see, this helps me to feel less scared. One time my brother looked on in awe as I chattered away nonstop through the first fifteen minutes or so of "The Exorcist." He, unlike J it turns out, found it funny. He found it amusing, I think, that I displayed my weakness and fear so easily in the form of incessant yammering and even encouraged the habit through repeatedly exposing me to images of horror in even not-very-good movies. "The Exorcist," now, that's a work of art despite the fact that the possessed victim projective vomits and stabs herself with a cross while muttering really dirty things, and you, the audience, is sitting there hoping to God that your mother isn't anywhere near the television because that would be kind of an awkward moment, even if you're all grown up. Kind of like the time two friends and I sat in the living room at my parents' house with this woman my mom went to college with and watched in horror as comedian Margaret Cho made crude jokes about "fisting" on the Comedy Channel.
As for movies that aren't even good, but also are scary, the one that comes to mind most readily is "Event Horizon." Vinnie told me, because I hadn't heard of it, that it was a good picture about outer space or something and I LOVE outer space so I tuned in enthusiastically and then, what do you know, all of a sudden we've got actor Sam Neill with charred skin uttering horrifying phrases in Latin. In Latin. Also, did I mention its the worst movie ever? If you are going to be forced to deal with the charred skin and a dead language and references to the devil than at least the story should be interesting or moving, or in some rare cases romantic.
As for "Red Dragon" I was talking up a storm the minute the rating (R) flashed on the screen with mention of "grisly images." J had to stop the DVD about four times during the first three minutes ("Oh my God!" "Hannibal Lecter!" "I like Anthony Hopkins in the movie "'The Edge.'" "What's that she's eating?" "Where does this story take place?" "Let's get a blanket.") before I finally submitted and said, "Ok, I'll shut up." Luckily, that's about the time Edward Norton showed up and since I'm movie-star-in-love with him (which is allowable) I calmed down considerably.