Monday, March 1, 2010

Rule #15: Know your way out

I have been a fan of horror movies since I was a teenager. When I was a kid, my mother had serious rules about what I could and couldn't watch; rules which were just begging to be broken by a precocious child. I remember an older cousin letting me stay up late one night while he watched It. Scared the bejesus out of me and I realized in order to provoke fear in others the trick is to play on the ordinary and innocent. Children, toys, bathrooms. Twist what people come in contact with on a daily basis into something dangerous and unpredictable. Voila: fear. The sensation intrigues me; the way the heart pounds, instantaneous clammy hands and dry mouth, the heightened senses straining for every potential abnormality in the world around you. It is never the movie itself which scares me, it is the aftermath, the way my mind conjures bloodthirsty monsters in every shadow and under every bed. My own refuge of home becoming unsafe due to demons of my own creation. I wonder if someday I will become immune to these effects just as the movie itself no longer scares me. If one day my imagination will not be as vivid, dulled by cruel time and the ceaseless barrage of life. I hope not. We are no longer chased across an open plain by a roaring lion yet the world remains ethereally dangerous. Since we cannot pinpoint a precise threat much of the time, fear is entertainment. I am frequently bored with the mundane and I long to be entertained.

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