Sunday, February 04, 2007

Life Lesson #23: "Scary" is Subjective

There's a little bit of history involved in this little lesson, so try and stay with me.

The Backstory:
I do not like horror movies. In fact, in the tiny, barely visible corner of the universe where I'm allowed to file My Likes and My Dislikes, horror movies are filed in the way far back of the My Dislikes drawer. And it's not like I don't want to watch them because "They're stupid!" or "They're a waste of time!" (even thought they are...); my overactive imagination takes anything that is realistically impossible and convinces me that the impossible is hiding in wait for me in my closet, behind my door, or underneath my car. However, show me anything that is completely possible or let me read the supernatural freaky things, and I'm just fine. That's why I can watch CSI, Criminal Minds, Secret Window, and LOST (dude, trust me, it's a lot freakier than you'd think) and I can read Bram Stoker, Neil Gaiman, and Frank Peretti, but I have nightmares from just seeing the trailers for Chucky, Freddy vs. Jason, and Saw 1/2/3. Maybe it's the visual aspect. I don't really know.

The Situation:
Kate and I regularly watch Criminal Minds, which (as you hopefully gather from the title) often delves into the darker side of the human mind, into the thoughts and motives of the most sinister, most psychotic, most frightening people. As you can imagine, when it shows the crimes as they are being committed, it can be rather frightening to see what human beings can do to each other. Now, since the TV-watching pattern is predictable, we sometimes get hallmates who come in and start watching with us, but they come in a little unprepared. Because of this, some of them get a little freaked out about the show. One girl got up from an episode declaring, in all seriousness, "You guys have fun, but this is too scary for me."

The Lesson:
What is defined as "scary" in TV or movies is dependant on the viewer. Why did it take me this long to figure this out? I don't know. It's also a bit amusing how I expect people to be sensitive to my inability to watch horror movies, but when someone finds something that I like "scary", I can't for the life of me figure out why.


I'm not sure if this teaches me to be aware of others' tastes and tolerances, or if I have a really weirdly-wired mind. I'm willing to believe that both are true, and to add that I'm a bit of a slow learner. ^^; But no matter, everyone else can have their horror movies as long as I can have my psychological thrillers.


Jobber said...


Elizabeth said...

Don't worry, mate; never have, never will.
I've almost got this horror movie avoidance thing down to an art -- you should see how fast I can move when a trailer comes on TV. *grins*

Jobber said...

"Run away!!"

Elizabeth said...

Ooh, cookies for the Monty Python reference. *gives Joben cookies* Or maybe I should give you a coupon for a small tupperware container of Anne's cookies. She has cocoa powder now, which can only mean one thing... CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE-CHIP COOKIES! Happy Spoon Dance! q^^p

Caroline said...

Oh, IT was creepy. Very creepy.
Usually things like that don't get to me as much as the real-world thrillers, which I enjoy ever so much more. Every now and then, though, all I want is to get scared, so horror is my crack genre of choice.
Heather and I watched 'The Sixth Sense' on Friday night. I was appropriately scared when fear was the emotion expected of the audience. And then I went to sleep. And it was fine.

Elizabeth said...

Wow, I envy you. Can you mail me some of your DNA?