I refuse to watch scary films. They are too scary for me.
The 18 certificate is not enough. I will never be old enough. When I was a child, I assumed I would no longer be scared of things as a grown-up… but when you become a grown-up you realise there are WAY more things to be scared of in life that are actually real. Like nuclear war. Or the 20th-Anniversary Edition Crocs.
I used to have a deal with my husband that I would watch one scary film per year, on Halloween. We watched the Babadook, and I just about handled it, because it is psychologically interesting, and also because someone on the internet joked about the Babadook being a gay icon and the absurdity of it made me laugh rather than be scared.
But then last Halloween we watched Midsommar and it ruined my life for at least four months. Sweden is a nice place where they have good healthcare and tall people, and now I’m frightened of their forests and have PTSD when I see flower garlands. It was difficult planning a wedding. I almost ditched the bouquet and carried a taser. In case any cults were nearby.
Once an image is in my head, it’s very hard to get rid of it. I’m still occasionally haunted by the creepy glowing eyes of the bewitched dog from Goosebumps.
As someone with an overactive imagination and general daily anxiety, life is worrisome enough without turning puppies into potential threats. So, here are –
8 Pitches for Halloween Films that are scary enough for me:
1) A woman arrives at a restaurant and is told she can “choose which table she would like to sit at.” Roughly 90 mins, following her struggle to decide which table is the right table to choose. (Suspense thriller with anti-climactic ending).
2) A woman leaves a party a little early and spends the next week worrying someone might have been mad about it.
3) A Google calendar event is accidentally saved to the day it was entered rather than the day of the appointment. This doesn’t happen, but the idea it might have happened, at some point, that one day she will be meant to be somewhere and not show up for it, letting someone down, is the internal struggle the lead character faces for the entirety of the movie. Action is mostly her purchasing biscuits.
4) Young woman leaves house, forgets to bring lip balm.
5) Woman says “sherious” instead of “serious” whilst giving presentation. Doesn’t acknowledge. People notice. Short film following how she continues with her life etc.
6) Someone discovers a woman’s secret that every time she says ‘does that make sense?’ she knows full well it makes sense, but is worried people will hate her for knowing what she’s talking about.
7) Woman considers likelihood burglar will break into house and try to murder whole family, wonders if hair straighteners could be used as weapon, thinks what if mobile phone is charging downstairs so can’t call police? Assumes that’s why people had landlines. Should we get landline phones? Or a cross bow? Display in window? Might deter intruders but don’t want to scare postman.
Movie is just her thinking about all this whilst she’s brushing her teeth, then she goes to bed and lies awake for two hours staring into the darkness.
8) Woman goes for it with calling person ‘Penny,’ as she’s pretty sure person’s name is Penny. Turns out person’s name is Clare. (Suspense thriller with mortifying ending)