Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Things That Scare My Husband

My husband has many admirable qualities; he’s intelligent and well versed in a myriad of interesting subjects, he’s well read, he’s hysterically funny, he’s thoughtful and kind and loving and tells me I’m beautiful countless times each day even when I’m quite patently not, like first thing in the morning, or when I’m full of cold or when I’m yelling furiously out the window at whatever has annoyed me at any given time. He’s also a diehard horror fan and zombie expert and you’d want him on your team come the zombocalyse. These are all, indeed, admirable qualities. However, he is also inclined to a certain skittishness that, while endearing, is still slightly less than entirely admirable. My husband is easily startled by certain things, rather like a small bunny on a motorway. In fact, in certain circumstances, I’m essentially married to Shaggy from Scooby Doo.


So, because I’m an awesome and supportive wife, let’s have a look at some of the things that scare my husband.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)



The Blair Witch Project’s simple brilliance took the horror world by storm way back in 1999. It took my husband by storm a little later than that, probably somewhere around 2001. It has been sporadically terrifying him ever since. His fear on the Blair Witch front can largely be seen as twofold – scary ghost witches and nature. The truth is we’re not country people, hiking, camping, even gardening, are things that happen to other people, other people who are clearly mad. We are definitely soft city folk, we like comfort and convenience and indoor plumbing. Immersing oneself in sundry flora and fauna is stuff best left to David Bellamy, or that pigtailed kid from Little House on the Prairie, it’s not for the likes of us. Needless to say the very premise of The Blair Witch Project is immediately the stuff of pure, primal horror in our house. For my husband, The Blair Witch is a nightmare from the outset in terms of location but beyond that, once the fledging filmmakers get lost and the spooky noises and flickering shadows start kicking off, he generally dissolves into the couch displaying all the spinal fortitude of a particularly cowardly mollusc. The enduring problem for him with The Blair Witch Project is the corner-staring screamy ending, it leaves him bereft and bewildered searching for answers that just aren’t there, like a small child who’s just been punched by Santa.



I always want The Blair Witch Project to end like an episode of Scooby Doo where we get to find out that the Blair Witch is really Mr. Jenkins the disgruntled owner of the local mill, I think this ending would help my husband to have the kind of closure he needs.

Paranormal Activity (2007)



I never liked Paranormal Activity. It sold itself to me as the scariest movie ever ever EVER and then was decidedly lacking. I wasn’t scared, I was annoyed, partly I was annoyed for not being scared, but mainly I was annoyed because even I, and I’m quite frankly lovely, like Anne Diamond, not only didn’t care if hideous things happened to the ghastly lead characters, but was actually actively encouraging of horrible things happening to them. My husband on the other hand was scared. While I was feeling downright let down by the whole cinematic event he was balancing on a razor edge of fear. Even early in the film, as Katie and the bafflingly named Micah are barely even entertaining the possibility that their home has a demonic squatter, my husband was already braced to the point of pulling several muscles for the night vision terrors that lay ahead. Paranormal Activity clearly plays on our most basic fears, the childlike certainty that monsters lurk in the shadows of our rooms and that every nocturnal sound is something evil closing in on us. I myself am a big fan of sleeping so even I can understand the unsettling building dread of having the sanctity of your sleepy time bower destroyed. My husband, on the other hand, finds the whole thing to be an exercise primordial terror; the expectation, the jump scares, the sinister sounds, demons, just generally, and thee eternal standing and staring. The last one there may be a little bit my fault, I do have a tendency for apparently creepy eyes open sleeping and sometimes, more alarmingly, singing - this has probably damaged him immeasurably.


Personally I found the scariest thing about Paranormal Activity to be the ghastly lead couple and their ghastly relationship, my husband would beg to differ, when he comes out from behind the couch.

Exorcist III (1990)


I think The Exorcist III is highly underrated, I think it suffers partly from the enormity and awesomeness of The Exorcist, but also from the fact that it has the number 3 attached to it. In most cases when the number 3 is attached to something it’s usually a bit rubbish – the obvious exception to this rule being Shark Attack 3 Megalodon, but for my money The Exorcist III is pretty snazzy; it has some great character actors, some brilliant dialogue and is, quite frankly more than a little bit scary.

Now while the whole concept makes my husband a little uneasy, it is that one bit that truly terrifies him. We all know ‘the bit’. ‘That bit’ makes him squeal like a small child. ‘That bit’ it is often used as a measuring scale in our little family to determine how scary something actually is. In testament to how enduringly terrifying ‘that bit’ is to him, we had never actually watched it together until just a few months ago, we hadn’t particularly not watched it because he was scared of it, but rather because he was frightened that ‘that bit’ would let him down and not be nearly as scary as his childhood self remembered it. Turns out he needn’t have worried, girlish shrieks still rang about our house at the moment in question and there was a moment after where he did momentarily debate having be accompany him to the bathroom, just in case.




I’d like to point out that this post was entirely my husband’s idea and that I’m really not pointing and laughing at him behind his back. Honestly. I do all my pointing and laughing to his face.


Hiding behind a small cat. Probably watching some scary ghosts

Other things that scare my husband include:

Clowns

Spiders

Escalators

Mushrooms

More from my husband’s grab-bag of miscellaneous fears later.

14 comments:

  1. Wow. Your husband and I have so much in common, but not enough that you might confuse us for one another.

    I AM a camper/outdoors person, which is why "Blair Witch" totally scared the hell out of me. Whether the events are at the hands of terrible person or a vengeful ghost, the thought of being lost and terrorized in the woods at night is horrifying. However, like you, I found "Paranormal Activity" completely unscary and boring, with characters I hated. And while I love "Exorcist III," it doesn't really scare me (it takes a lot for a movie to actually scare me - like "Insidious"). Finally, since I am dangerously allergic, I am also afraid of mushrooms.

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  2. Do you have to sit by him, rub his arm soothingly, and remind him that it's only a movie?

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  3. Bahahaha! This post made my day :D

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  4. Though nothing in a film actually scares me in the sense of freaks me out and stays with me afterwards, I have to agree that 'that bit' in Exorcist 3 is a doozy. I'd probably nominate as the best constructed and directed scare in any movie I've seen. (Closely followed by the bit where the boy turns into the man in Bava's Shock, and the bit where Barbra Streisand starts singing As Time Goes By in What's Up Doc?)
    Haven't seen any of the Exos for years, but I always thought Exo 3 was the best by a mile, only let down by the bits with Brad Dourif ranting in his cell.
    Blair Witch didn't scare me at all, and I was really willing it to, but it just didn't get to me. I think a first time with Texas Chainsaw always delivers the goods, and Deep Red too.
    Mushrooms, now. In so far as they taste of dust - and I've always imagined that the sensation of eating a really fat moth would be similar too - I have a fear of consuming the little blighters. Is this the nature and extent of your chap's fear? Or is he actually scared when he sees one? In which case, hats off to the man.

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  5. Totally agree about Exorcist III! Highly underrated and some definitely scary parts. The part you mentioned gives me a jump every time, but for my money, it's the old lady crawling around on the ceiling. *shudder* And my husband is also afraid of clowns and mushrooms. Great idea for a post!!

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  6. Haha, I love this post idea! You two seem really awesome, a lot like me and my other half. Except he's afraid of sharks and airplanes. Shhhh! Don't tell him I told you! ;)

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  7. Nice post! quite a few of those scares, especially BWP and PA, are high on my list, but I would add Open Water, and Shutter--the original. Though if my wife did the list, she would put paying the bills, walking the dogs, unloading the dishwasher, a made bed, those other things that 'scare' me

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  8. Neat post!! My boyfriend is freaked out by Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity too, so of course I had to show him your post. :)

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  9. Awesome post, Jinxy! Clowns and spiders are pretty common, but escalators? I could see it. Sam is afraid of horses. Can't stand them. They freak him out to no end. Some deep seeded childhood trauma.

    Also, thanks for the link. I'm honored and humbled to be a heroine :)

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  10. I'm so glad you all liked this.
    Prospero, you do have a lot in common! And my eyesight is quite bad so I could easily confuse, especially at distance. Insidious terrified him too.

    Allen, yes, I do. Bless him.

    Hey, Jenny! So glad you liked it.

    Matthew, my dear! As always you speak wise words. The mushroom thing is mainly eating them, but he does cringe and shiver a bit whenever he sees one. Given the choice he'd rather not have to see or touch them, but I love them and he does the vast majority of the cooking so he's had to learn to deal with it. This makes me sound rubbish. I do always get rid of spiders though, that's my main function in our marriage.

    Hi there, Tab! Oooh, yeah, that's a great bit. Nice to know our chaps are rocking the same fears. They should start a support group.

    Oh, Lissa, thanks so much. Yay, sharks, I love the sharks. But, in fairness, at least they are sensible fears. Oooh, you should show him the bit in Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus where the sharks eats the plane mid flight. Or maybe not. Don't worry, his secret is safe with me.

    Ha ha, Keith, your wife's list would be my fear list too. Nothing breaks me out in cold sweat like bills and dishes. I haven't seen Open Water, but as a none swimmer and a shark obssessive the premise terrifies me.

    Hi, Sarah, lovely to see you. Glad you enjoyed my post. Seems to be a bit of theme with the chaps - scary ghosties. Bless their little cotton socks.

    Jenn, my darlin'! You are a punk rock goddess of supreme awesomeness and should be everyone's heroine. When I was writing this post I was thinking about Sam and his horse fear. It's also just reminded me that I once fell off a horse that wasn't even moving. Not sure how that happened. Fundamental stupidity probably. Clearly wasn't born for country life.

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  11. This post (awesome BTW) gets me thinking. Are horror fans, by and large, fundamentally wussies? Seriously, what's the appeal of horror films if they don't scare you? I sometimes hear from jaded horror fans who say nothing scares them, but much more often they have a list of fears a mile long.

    And, if my theory's correct, what's wrong with all of us? Sane people want to feel secure, not scared, right? But then again, anyone who could feel secure in this world probably couldn't be sane.

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  12. DUDE. Escalators are serious business. Aside from needles, they might be my biggest fear. No, I can't explain why. But they terrify.

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  13. The Blair Witch totally spooked me man. No shame there. But I think I could brave anything in the company of my cat. Aren't felines awesome little critters?

    Nice list, much in common. Except escalators. I surf em!

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  14. Exorcist III is actually the "Real" sequel to the Original Story....the author of the novel was greatly disappointed in the Exorcist II the Heretic ... so he wrote his own follow-up story entitled Legion.... this is the storyline for Exorcist III ...check out the book for a great read...

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