Alana George, Campus Carrier copy editor
I love a good movie night. Popping popcorn, making warm drinks, gathering with friends and bonding over a great film is a wonderful way to spend a Friday evening. I am really bad at making decisions, so I will typically leave the film choice up to whoever I am with at the time, with one stipulation: if you watch a movie with me, it will not be a horror movie.
I hear you, horror fanatics. I have read the articles and watched the documentaries discussing why horror movies are great pieces of cinema. I have heard you all debate with each other over which “Halloween” movie is the best, or which Stephen King adaptation is the truest to the book. I will sit there politely and listen to these debates amongst my friends, but in all honesty, most of it is tuned out. I’ve got a vast repertoire of Vines and Disney songs to scroll through in my head until the conversation topic changes.
I of course recognize that there are different categories of horror movies and acknowledge the fact that there are some that I can tolerate. Since “Stranger Things” is my favorite Netflix original show, I am unable to sit here and say that I hate all horror and not be a hypocrite. The main types of scares featured in “Stranger Things” are suspense, jump scares and creepy monsters, and I am perfectly capable of handling all of those, so I am fine with any horror movie that solely features those kinds of scares, like “A Quiet Place,” which I have watched recently and did not dislike.
I think the main reason why I do not like other categories of horror movies, whether slasher films, supernatural or otherwise, is because many capitalize on things that could actually happen in real life. I could get murdered by a guy in a hockey mask. I could be possessed by a demon, or my house could be haunted (if you don’t think either of those things are real, you’re kidding yourself). I’m the kind of crazy person that needs a good night’s sleep every night, so why would I watch a movie about a dark, scary haunted house and then try to sleep in my own dark house? Why would I watch movies about serial killers snatching unsuspecting women into dark alleys and then walk anywhere by myself at night? And killer clowns were actually a thing back in 2016, in case you forgot. I just don’t have time for that kind of worry on top of everything else I have to worry about in my life.
I also have to acknowledge my personal love of true crime documentaries. Netflix makes incredible ones, including “Evil Genius,” “The Staircase” and “Don’t F*ck With Cats.” Many would call me a hypocrite at this realization, saying that true crime documentaries are scarier than any horror movie, but hear me out. The vast majority of true crime documentaries end with the killer receiving punishment in some way, going to prison or being executed or both for the crimes they committed. That is the best part of the entire series, seeing the criminal punished and the victims’ suffering rectified in that small way for the sake of their families. With many horror movies, the force of evil prevails at the end of the movie; the serial killer escapes, the demon goes on to inhabit someone else or an innocent victim is not saved. This is not the kind of story that I need in my life; justice is sweet, and when it is not present in a movie my watching experience is noticeably more bitter.
So please don’t come for my neck when I say that I do not enjoy horror movies; they just do not satisfy my expectations as a movie consumer. There are plenty of other movies I enjoy watching around Halloween, including “Hocus Pocus” and all four “Halloweentown” films, so do not think I am lacking for spooky vibes during that time of year. Without the constant presence of horror movie scenes in my consciousness, I can devote that space in my brain to other things, and yes, I do sleep better at night.