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The Worst Time I Went to the Movies

January 11, 2013

I have this friend who is a very fancy film  journalist.

Seriously, he is PAID to watch movies and review them, and talk to celebrities like JOSS FREAKING WHEDON. (Actually, the story of my friend calling me in the middle of the day when I was at—I kid you not—the 9/11 Memorial with some friends who were in town, and telling me he had ten minutes to sit down with Whedon is pretty hilarious. Mostly because I acted like a complete lunatic at a very somber place. My friends were ashamed and acted like they didn’t know me.) And he gets to fly all over the world and go watch movies and interview celebrities and stay in hotel rooms that are comped*.

For real.

He’s a very good friend to have, even if I do die from jealousy at least once a week. (And also, for the record, I would be friends with him even if he weren’t a very fancy film journalist.)

This is because he sometimes takes me to film screenings with him. (And also because he’s great.)

Back in early October he invited me to one such screening. It was for this horror film I hadn’t really heard of, but I was free that night and he told me Ethan Hawk stars in it and that it would be a good time.

So I said yes, of course I’ll go to a free movie with you.

This movie ended up being the film Sinister, which I will not link to for any reason because it scared the shit out of me. It scared me so much that I took my glasses off and refused to look at the screen after twenty minutes.

I’m not even kidding.

The plot of the movie is actually really dumb—true crime writer hasn’t written anything good in about a decade, he’s obsessed with his former fame in a way that is truly pathetic, and so he moves his family into the home of a family that was MURDERED IN THEIR BACKYARD in hopes of being inspired to solve their murder by living there. Then he finds this box of film footage and a projector in the attic and he watches it and it’s gruesome and horrible and OMG I CAN’T GET THE IMAGES OUT OF MY HEAD of all of these families being murdered in violent, awful, very realistic ways. BOXES  OF THAT KIND OF SHIT. And then it turns out that there’s a pagan god involved in all of this and he’s actually controlling a little kid in each of these families and it’s the kid who is doing the killing. Sorry (I’m not sorry) if I spoiled it for you.

So, that’s the plot but there are some other quirks to it too, and they are things that actually link to some serious plot holes. BUT, at the time of watching the film I wasn’t thinking about that. I was thinking I JUST WANT IT TO BE OVER. MAKE IT STOP.

It didn’t help that the critic sitting next to me (I think he was from the Village Voice) had this backpack with him, and about halfway through he moved it on his lap and kept his hands near the top of the bag, where the zippers met in the middle, and so I was convinced he was going to pull out a knife and stab me.

I realize I’m ridiculous.

So, I’m traumatized by sitting in this theater, not-watching this movie. And my friend keeps jumping and gasping at points in the movie where there is no sound—oh yeah, that’s another thing about this evil movie: they utilize sound in a really creative way so that the sounds of Ethan Hawk putting film into the old school film projector will TERRIFY YOU FOR LIFE and then when there is absolute silence, you know there’s something creepy going down—and it just wasn’t a good night for me.

I won’t tell you what happens in the end, but I did watch it—which I shouldn’t have—and it’s actually pretty ballsy for a genre film.

So! We finally finally finally get out of the theater and go to Duane Reade so he can buy, like, a toothbrush or something, and then we go down to the subway and part ways. I was fine on the subway, and then I got on Metro-North to get to my home that is barely in the ‘burbs. While I’m riding, I realize that I have to walk home. At this point, it’s way after dark, and while this wouldn’t bother me any other night, I was just not okay with it because the walk involves going past a playground, which is something I wasn’t about to do after being terrified for a while. So I text my roomies and ask if one of them can pick me up at the train station. They oblige.

I get home, I tell my roomies how terrified I am, we all laugh about how big of a girl I can be (I live with two guys, one of whom LOVES scary movies), and then we all go to our separate rooms to sleep because we don’t sleep in a cuddle puddle in the living room. So I’m in my room, which I normally love, but on this particular night I’m terrified all by myself and keep looking at my closet, waiting for some pagan god to come out and claim me even though I’m not a child. To calm myself down, I ended up watching a princess movie on Netflix and sleeping with my light on.

The next night was way, way worse.

I get home from work and I’m home alone, which is a little strange because my roommates are both teachers and are normally home from running their after-work errands by the time I get home. But it was totally empty. And quiet.

I proceed to turn on every single light in the apartment and instead of sitting on the couch like a normal person to watch TV, I sit on the floor, in front of the coffee table, covered up in a blanket. Like I was in shock or something.

So I sit there, unmoving for two hours still totally alone and with all the lights on. I’m watching sitcoms, trying not to be scared, and doing a really poor job of it.

AND THEN A TRAILER FOR THE MOVIE COMES ON AND I HAVE A FULL-ON CONNIPTION.

I fumble with the remote trying to mute the damn TV, but our mute button is weird and it wasn’t working, so I literally closed my eyes and started yelling “LALALALALALALA” over and over again until I think it’s safe.

I know.

FINALLY, one of my roommates gets home and I yelled, “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME HERE ALONE OMG I’M SO GLAD TO SEE YOU, YOU HAVE NO IDEA.”

He had been on a date. It’s a good thing he didn’t bring her over.

Anyway. This could just keep going because I’m only JUST NOW to the point of being okay with a) being alone in the apartment and b) sleeping without a light on.

I still can’t watch trailers for horror movies.

WHICH REMINDS ME. About a week after watching that movie I went to Comic-Con with friends. We camped seats in the room where the Walking Dead and Firefly reunion panels were going to be held later in the day and ended up having to sit through THREE horror movie panels, complete with terrifying clips.

I took my glasses off for those too.

To add on to all of this, it definitely didn’t help that not long after seeing that fucking movie, I read Libba Bray’s The Diviners, which is GREAT, but doesn’t help with the sleeping at night in the dark if you’re already ridiculously scared of everything.

I’m seriously considering buying a nightlight.

*I don’t know if they’re technically comped, but he doesn’t pay for it with his own money, which in my mind means comped.

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