I went to a daycare when I was a kid where you could choose “Movie” as an activity and they had a room where they played an assortment of Disney-type movies. Things like the ORIGINAL Freaky Friday. However, they also showed The Watcher In The Woods and Something Wicked This Way Comes. I remember the later of the two scared me SO MUCH I would NEVER do the “Movie” activity again if they were showing that. The Watcher In The Woods scared the crap out of me, but I enjoyed the resolution of the story enough that I would watch it again. The scaring in the movie had a PURPOSE that in the end – gave everyone a happy ending. I was completely okay with that ONE scary movie. (Scary DISNEY movie. Because, you know, that’s how my bravery works.)
But still. Not a fan.
Then I got to the age where we were doing slumber parties and I believe the first real scary movie I saw at a slumber party was The Nightmare on Elm Street and must have fallen asleep or something. Because I didn’t get to actually see it and EVERYONE was talking about it the next morning so I made my Mom rent it on the weekend I visited her (my Dad didn’t have a VCR) and I couldn’t even make it about 20 minutes into the movie before I was so freaked out that I demanded we stop it. From there on out, when scary movies were on at Slumber parties? I found an excuse NOT to watch them. I would either encourage someone else to do another activity with me (hair braiding, nail painting, etc) or I’d just feign being asleep and cover my head so as to try NOT to watch it. The only one I think I ever made it through successfully (I think) was Poltergeist so that was what I would always say was the SCARIEST MOVIE I HAD EVER SEEN. Because it was the only one I had ever seen all the way through.
Once I got to high school I had no problem just proclaiming, “I don’t watch scary movies.” And that’s kinda where I’ve been since. I never watched ANY of the token horror flicks from the 80s. I never remember who is who in terms of Freddie or Michael. I don’t even know the guys name with the needles in his face/mask. Was that a horror thing? Either way – there’s huge chunks of pop culture references I don’t get because of my refusal to watch scary movies.
When E started watching them, they were rated R, and he had to have an adult present to see them at the theater. His friends’ parents would all take rotations as to who would be the official “chaperone”. They finally asked me on a not-so-scary, more-of-a-thriller movie and I still embarrassed them SO MUCH at screaming bloody murder at something SO INNOCENT that they never asked me again.
I just don’t like being scared. I don’t WANT to be scared. I don’t do haunted houses. I have no desire to jump out of an airplane. I don’t even do roller coasters anymore (I used to as a teenager). I just feel like that – as an adult – I get to choose how to spend my free time and I would much rather choose an activity that makes me smile (I love the swings at amusement parks!) than something that makes me pee in my pants.