It happened to me two years ago. I can feel it happening to me now. I want to read Calvin and Hobbes instead of Locke and Key. I have to watch clips of Whose Line Is It Anyway? on YouTube after I binge on American Horror Story. The gore. The imagery. The atmosphere. I need kittens and rainbows and happy endings instead of minotaurs and thunderstorms and triumphant monsters who eat you AND your house.
It’s Horror Burnout. It’s happening to me. IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU.
Only this year, I think I’m burned out by the pressure of trying to say smart-person things about scary stuff, not just reading so much scary stuff all at once. Though I’m definitely exhibiting some symptoms of Book Overload as well. On top of that, writing blog posts takes a while, and often they go through several drafts. It’s hard to keep up.
Sigh. Where DOES the time go, Skeleton?
If I was lazy, there’d be no problem. If I was lazy, I’d do a post about the scary movie I watched last night. I’d say, “Hey readers, last night I watched a scary movie.”
The story is about a woman who is convinced a supernatural entity that lives inside an old mirror is responsible for the death of her parents, and many others. She’s all set to prove it with the reluctant aid of her brother, who has just been released from a mental institution. From there we bounce back and forth in time never sure where we are or what’s going on, and then it’s the end and you’re looking through the DVD special features in case there’s a helpful featurette entitled: “What In Blazes Just Happened There?”
“You see what it wants you to see” says the poster. Which, incidentally, isn’t much if you’re short-sighted with bad image quality on your TV screen. Seriously, it was so dark I had no clue what was happening and had to rewind to see scary things. And then, predictably, the scary things scared me.
You know, I might give my husband a lot of grief for spoiling the mood of my scary movies, but sometimes I’m glad he does. I’m not very tough. I like horror because I like the feeling of being scared and wrong-footed. But sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. Or watch more monsters than I can handle. Or see too many spooky ghosts. And then I have bad dreams.
My husband knows this. And he kindly helps me out by puncturing the mood whenever I’m watching a scary movie. Like last night, when I was watching Oculus. Husband acted as my own personal peanut gallery, as is his wont.
“How are the ghosts?” he’d ask on his way through the living room. I’ve noticed he has to make a lot more trips than normal through the living room whenever I happen to be watching a movie. “Are they spooky?”
“I don’t think it’s ghosts,” I’d reply. “It’s a possessed mirror. I think. They’re not explaining it very well.”
The next time he came in he had another question. “Is the mirror ghost still spooky?”
“It’s not a ghost! I told you, it’s a demon. Or something. Like I said, it’s not clear.”
He watched the screen for a little bit.
“Is that the ghost?” he asked.
“No, that’s the crazy sister. Who might or might not be crazy.”
“Is she a crazy ghost?”
“There aren’t any ghosts!”
“Well, don’t get too spooked by your mirror ghosts!” And he left again.
The man is convinced all media I consume has spooky ghosts. The reality is that only most of it does. And they’re a heck of a lot less spooky when someone you love makes jokes at their expense.
Anyway, Oculus. It’s scary if you’re freaked out by imagery like I am. These folks really are great at setting a scary scene and showing you the freaky stuff at just the right time. And the plot is intricate and a bit mind-bending, which is fun. Keep your peanut gallery right handy by, though, especially if you watch this movie in the dark. Or near a mirror.