The unexpected consequence of watching The Exorcist at age 13 (and being utterly terrified by it) was that the experience somehow inoculated me against future horror movie misery, at least in the various horror movies I’ve had occasion to watch since then. I don’t actively seek them out and haven’t watched many of the classics like Suspiria or even The Shining, but at least I’ve been able to weather lesser stuff like teen slasher flicks or Asian horror movies quite unflappably. My blood pressure still spiked when Sadako made her awful, ungainly stagger out of the television screen in Ringu, and I still jumped when the sloth victim in Se7en moved, but at least none of that stayed with me afterwards.
Mildly emboldened by this, I have usually indulged my occasional inclinations to scare myself whenever they arise, spending hours reading about the Zodiac killer after watching Zodiac, and reading various Scariest Movie Scenes lists for pointers as to which scary movie to watch the next time I feel like watching a scary movie. But then I got married and moved out of my family’s home to an apartment where things frequently go bump in the night due to wind and neighbours, and where I live alone every time Alec goes on a business trip.
Such factors coalesced into a perfect storm of goose-bumps when, after Alec had left for yet another business trip mere hours after we returned from Kyoto, I made the mistake of getting caught up online reading reviews and discussion of The Orphanage (which I’d watched and loved on the flight) in our empty dark home, and ended up terrified of our navy blue, child-height laundry basket which I had earlier placed carelessly at the end of a corridor.
The problem is that, unable to admit from this experience that I am obviously still a total pussy, I haven’t been able to stop this self-sabotage. I’m sorely tempted to finally watch The Shining and read Naomi’s Room and The Haunting of Hill House, and some say Exorcist 3 is hugely underrated and a worthy successor to the first film. But these are really all very bad ideas. I don’t even know why I’m writing this post other than to link back to in future, when I’m frantically typing my last ever blog post while Alec chops down the door with an axe.