Of Ghosts and Ghouls

Bleak, rainy Sunday afternoons—the perfect weather for indulging in horror movie marathons. The supernatural sub-genre is my absolute favourite. I’m not much into blood and gore unless a ghost or demon is the culprit. I’m not a fan of the guy with the chainsaw. Most people are perplexed by my excitement and I’ve met so few like minded folk with whom I can discuss horror films. I’m trying to think of at least one person who shares my enthusiasm and…nothing…

I’m fascinated by the timeless battle of good over evil particularly when the evil is of the spirit variety, and I’ve been obsessed with ghost stories since childhood. I can recall many tales, told by old hunters who frequented the hills, about children being lured into remote forests by evil spirits.

My father loved the rainforest and spent much of his time at work and play there. He had so many stories. He often heard the voices of groups of people chatting with each other but he could never understand what they were saying because they spoke in a language all their own. They sounded happy and they never bothered him. Sadly, I wasn’t so lucky to experience this phenomenon when I visited.

A horror film truly surpasses my expectations when I jump out of my seat unexpectedly (I’m hard to scare) or when I absolutely didn’t see the end coming (…and even harder to fool).

 

I swear, there's a ghost peering out of this creepy window.

I swear, there’s a ghost peering out of this creepy window. [Image via Pixabay]

As the rain poured, I hopped onto Netflix to get my horror movie fix. I attempted to watch four films described as horrors and only made it to the end of one because I repeatedly skipped ahead. There was no ghost, merely an insane asylum escapee who hid under the kitchen sink from whence she emerged to kill a couple people. I dozed off on another about half hour in. It seemed to hold such promise. Turns out the opening sequence was the most intriguing scene. I found myself laughing at the ridiculousness of another. Had to remind myself that I wasn’t looking at a comedy. With the last one, I only remembered that I was watching a movie when somebody screamed into my headphones. I was more interested in Pinterest, and I had unconsciously relegated the movie to background noise.

I’m really getting tired of seeing variations of the “Hello? Is anybody there?” scene in every so-called horror I watch. It’s not only boring, it’s annoyingly predictable.

Woman at home alone. She secures her windows and doors and heads up to her master bath for a shower. As she succumbs to the warm water, an uninvited person is roaming downstairs. She hears a noise. She puts on a flimsy robe and proceeds to investigate the disturbance by meekly saying “hello?” into the darkness. She is ambushed and her shrieks go silent.

Who does this in real life? If I’m at home alone and I hear a strange noise I grab a machete because I don’t own a gun.

Why is the horror movie formula so difficult to get right? I’m starting to think I should write my own screenplay!

Inevitably, I find myself re-watching these gems over and over again:

  1. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
  2. Carrie (1976)
  3. The Possession (2012)
  4. Insidious (2011)
  5. Woman in Black (2012)
  6. The Others (2001)
  7. Sixth Sense (1999)
  8. The Amityville Horror (2005)
  9. 1408 (2007)
  10. Ghost Ship (2002)
  11. Poltergeist (1982)
  12. Mama (2013)
  13. The Rite (2011)

What a coinkydink! I listed thirteen movies. I’m patiently waiting for my Netflix to add The Conjuring and Crimson Peak.

In the meantime, I think I’ll go back to my other rainy day pastime—reading.

Follow:

6 Comments

  1. 25th May 2017 / 12:45 pm

    I can see where you’re coming from with this. I don’t really like gore, not because it upsets me but I just find it all a bit silly. I have seen a few of your recommendations, but not many. Carrie was a sleepover must-watch as a teenager, I love it! I like a few of the Stephen King adaptations actually, especially The Shining, It and Misery. I’m not very adventurous, am I?

    • 25th May 2017 / 2:14 pm

      You’ve gotten a lot further than some folks I know! LOL. I’ve seen all of those too and read the books. I was in Form 3 when Misery came out (if ye ole brains remember correctly). It caused quite the stir!

  2. 25th May 2017 / 10:44 am

    Crimson Peak was really good, and bonus-Tom Hiddleston! I watched it on HBOGo, I think. Do you have access to that?

    • 25th May 2017 / 11:53 am

      Oh, I’m all caught up on Crimson Peak and The Conjuring. I’m working on a little post about that. Tom’s bum was THE bonus of the movie. Ha!

  3. Candy
    3rd June 2016 / 8:48 pm

    I recall you put me onto a horror site that I read on lunch hours that used to scare the bejesus out of me. I only read it when we shared offices, after that I was too scared lol

    • Melissa
      3rd June 2016 / 11:45 pm

      Lol! I’m trying to remember the name of the site…I looked for it a couple years ago and couldn’t find it. I used to read those ghost stories every day! Good times.

I would love to "hear" your thoughts! Please leave a comment.