I am always very excited to do a Friday the 13th article.
And then, it turns out… I don’t really have that much to say about Friday the 13th. I am not a freemason in the dark ages, it seems (Right? That’s where Friday the 13th as a relevant thing comes from, right? Something to do with freemasons and a murder conspiracy or something? Or am I just making this up? The more I think about it, the more uncertain I grow).
But here’s what we’re going to do, you and I. We’re going to power through this and see what I end up meandering on about and HOPEFULLY, it manages to be a working article. This shall be our pact.
My parents were probably not the best at child-rearing, as some of my earliest movie memories are of the Friday the 13th series. I distinctly recall watching just about all of these movies as a kid, in various specific locations. I definitely watched the 4th, 5th, and/or 6th movies in an apartment we lived in when I was, like, four or five? It’s a specific time window because we didn’t live there long. And I saw at least part of them alone at night, because I remember my parents going upstairs partway through one of them, and I didn’t even realize they had left. Like, suddenly, they were not on the couch behind me, and I was watching Mr. Vorhees destroy people all alone.
I had nightmares that night of Jason, like, George-of-the-Jungle swinging through one of our windows to get me.
I definitely recall seeing part 7 at a drive-in (side note: that drive-in has been a Wal-Mart for something like two decades now), with my stepdad trying to scare me by making “ch-ch-ch-ah-ah-ah” noises in the backseat. Considering that movie’s release date, I couldn’t have been eight yet when we saw that. And I remember going to a movie theater and being stoked to see Jason Takes Manhattan with my mom and her friends. Weird, vivid memories of Camp
BloodCrystal Lake from my youth.
So what effect does seeing all these gory horror movies have on impressionable minds? Well, let me answer that by telling you something I have told maybe one or two people in my entire life: TO THIS DAY, I regularly have dreams that Jason is coming to murder me. Not “regularly” as in “weekly” or anything, but maybe one or two a year, at least. It’s always Jason. To be fair, my parents were equal opportunity terrifiers, and I saw the Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween and Child’s Play movies, too, well before I was age-appropriate. But Friday the 13th was the series I saw the most of, and at the earliest age. So yeah, sometimes I get the Jason dreams. Now I’ll probably have one tonight. Damn it!
Well, that helps nothing.
Yeah, I probably saw as many horror flicks (and just bloody and inappropriate action movies, because I also have early memories of Conan The Barbarian) in my youth as I did kids’ movies. And you know why that’s weird? Because I barely care at all for horror flicks now. I have seen a bunch this year because the wife loves them and drags me to as many as she can, but I don’t dig them. It’s our agreement, however; I get all the comic movies, and she gets all the scary ones. Let’s take a minute to give a quick, one-to-two-sentence review of every 2018 horror/scary/thriller offering I have seen so far:
HEREDITARY: Excellent directing and acting in front of a garbage ass screenplay. It’s Paranormal Activity part 8 with a good director.
THE WINCHESTER: Scary haunted house and Helen Mirren just there for the paycheck. Nothing movie and NOT about the television show Supernatural.
THE STRANGERS – PREY AT NIGHT: If the key to making your “realistic” horror movie scary is that the good guys have to be barely-functioning morons, and your villains are borderline-magical… you are doing it wrong.
UNSANE: Yep, don’t remember this at all, and MOVIEPASS DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A PICTURE FOR IT. Something something insane asylum, something something stalker.
A QUIET PLACE: Nothing negative to say here; this movie was dynamite.
TRUTH OR DARE: Honestly? Not the worst concept in the world (fight me), but poorly done.
GET OUT: I worry any joke I try to make here will come across as racist, but my initial line was going to be “I’m sorry; I promise I’ll try to be less white in the future”.
This is what we do for love, kids. We see Hereditary and Unsane, I guess? She’s historically bad at picking movies and owns that, at least. Although lately she has been pretending she enjoyed Hereditary, but don’t believe that lie. She distinctly hated it after we saw it; I remember!
The best of that lot of was EASILY A Quiet Place. The worst was… some kind of toss-up between Unsane, Hereditary, and Strangers. Strangers was especially offensive; it was so poorly written that I was just stewing in anger in the cinema. Like… come on! Why do you have to handicap the protagonists just to create suspense? Read a book!
Yeah, you three! Read a book!
You’re uh… you’re still here, huh? Neat.
Have you ever thought about the Paranormal Activity series? It doesn’t really make a lot of sense if you think about any aspect of it. Here’s what we know about the demon:
*He has chicken feet (from the first one, where they leave the flour out and he walks through it)
*He wants to be called Tobey
*He is child-sized (from the one set in the 80’s when he walks up behind someone under a sheet)
*Except when he isn’t (Maybe the same flick? He picks a girl up by her hair and lifts her high).
But weirder than any of that, he spends days (sometimes WEEKS) at a time just harmlessly dicking with people. Like, think of it from his perspective. You are a mighty, invisible demon alone in the kitchen with a damsel. She turns her back, and you… gently nudge the chandelier so it starts swaying. And THAT’S IT FOR THE DAY, PUNCH THAT TIMECLOCK. You then apparently run off to tell your demon bros “GUYS, I TOTALLY LIGHTLY MOVED HER LIGHT FIXTURE. Tee-hee, I’m the best!” Step up your game, Tobias. It’s like you KNOW you have a two hour run time to fill.
Also, in the SECOND he movie, his entire plan is to kidnap a baby. He ultimately succeeds (what? You wanted a spoiler warning for a, like, eight year old Paranormal Activity movie? GTFO). But in the FOURTH movie, the demon-posseseed chick shows up with a child in tow to harass a family and their son… and it turns out (uh, spoiler warning, I guess. Baby) that the family’s son IS THE SAME KID HE KIDNAPPED YEARS AGO! And Tobias Q. Chickenfeet has come, suddenly with another child who has NO BACKSTORY as to where HE came from, to reclaim that first kid. WHY DID YOU LET HIM GO TO BEGIN WITH? What is your endgame here, Tobey? Get your head in the game; I feel like whatever demon plan you are following is needlessly complicated.
Ugh, seriously? She can’t… Tobey, she can’t even see that you are doing that. This trick is explicitly for an audience! What is the point of doing this to the people involved? Go back to Demon School.
So the only movie in my adulthood (that is, since I have been old enough to not be afraid of adults just going “Ch-ch-ch ah-ah-ah” in my backseat) that has scared me was The Ring. I saw that the night of my 22nd birthday with my roommate in college. Scared the heck out of me! When the little boy was all “You weren’t supposed to help her…” whatever sensibility I had left just Nope’d on out of there. We went home (we saw a LATE showing, so it was 2am by the time we strolled in) and played Madden all night because neither of us wanted to be left alone.
In the following TWO WEEKS, I had a crappy time trying to sleep because every single night, I would be all “That god damn girl is going to come out of my tv, I just know it”. Not helped at all by the fact that my tv had to default to a station that was all static to play Playstation games.
Do you know what fixed this?
One night, tired of being creeped out by that fakakta movie, I thought to myself, “If that girl crawls out of my tv, I will shoot her with my heat vision”. AND THEN I FEEL ASLEEP AND WAS NEVER BOTHERED BY IT AGAIN. Because I am a genius and created a neural pathway in my head of “There is every bit as much chance that a monster girl will crawl out of my tv as there is that I will spontaneously develop heat vision”. And ever since that night, I have never been afeared of a horror movie with a mystical antagonist.
Because heat vision.
So the point of this entry is: I don’t have heat vision. BUT! I also haven’t been killed by Jason! So you take your wins where you can.
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