I have had a dark inclination in my entertainment choices for as long as I can remember. My choices had a dark bent because my life was dark. My family was amazingly dysfunctional. I used movies and books to their fullest, as a means to escape from my reality. I loved watching movies, though my access was very limited. We never had cable and only got a VCR when I was in 10th grade, around ’89 or ’90.
When I was really young, the only option I had for movies was the ‘Afternoon Movie’ and the ‘Late Movie’ on one of our two local stations. You have to be a certain age to remember 4 o’clock movies, they stopped in my early childhood. But it provided the classics. From them I discovered Godzilla, Gamera (who was my personal favorite), and many other non-horror classics. When I got to be around 9 or 10, and started staying up late during the summers, I got to discover the slightly grittier edge of movies. I saw It’s Alive, KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, and countless exploitation films. It was around this time I discovered that I liked being scared by my entertainment. Looking back on it now, I think I thought it just beat being scared by my life.
Around 6th or 7th grade I started being allowed to go to my best friend’s house for Halloween. Her home was an amazing respite, and her family was a godsend. They had 6 kids and, of course, since it was Halloween we would pull out the scary fare. A recent friend recently attributed my love of Halloween and all things spooky partially to these visits, and I don’t think he’s all together wrong, Memories at their house are some of the happiest of my childhood.
Somehow, whenever I got to choose the movie, I chose horror. I loved scary stories, I loved scary movies, I loved the rush and titillation that came with them. Though I don’t think I spent all my time talking about it, it was always fairly well known. My senior year of high school I was taking a college preparatory class and the teacher was speaking on some darker themed topic, he started talking of the minds that held such fodder; he asked “let’s be honest here, let’s talk about someone that writes things of this macabre nature, say Stephen King. Who would want to know someone like this?” As I sat waving my hand in the air he barely paused, “Not you Jennifer, I mean really the rest of you, would you really want to get into that kind of brain?” I took it as point of pride.
I was different. I was not like the other kids. I liked the dark things, and I loved them in a demented, delighted and joyful way that just seemed all mine. Where I was limited was exploring this with others. I had friends and partners that were willing to watch the occasional horror movie with me. But mostly it was just me, watching them by myself, sometimes in the dark sometimes not, until now. Recently I started a weekly horror movie night. I discovered the world of podcasts, and the internet provided me with the means to reach other like-minded people, which has been wonderful. Also, I am currently days before my 40th birthday and my goals of living my life as fully as possible are rearing up. I want to relish in the things that I love. Make myself dissect them, to really think about what I enjoy and why. I just want to actively enjoy what I love and this is how I am choosing to do it.
So welcome to my place to rant and laugh, from my corner of the internet, about what I love and hate about the movies I watch. I think it’s going to be a good time.