By: Sarah O'Connor
I’m the type of reader who gets sucked in by what is popular. Perhaps that makes me simple-minded, but that’s the reader I am. I don’t care if a book has gotten rave reviews or been widely reviled, I have to read it and make my own decision on it.
It did take me a while to pick up Gone Girl, though. The book was published and became popular in 2012, which was when I was starting university, so that’s where I’ll lay the blame for my late reading of the novel. It wasn’t actually until the first trailer for the film adaption came out in April 2014 that I became reacquainted with Gone Girl.
After being put on a mile-long waiting list for the book — every sane person wants to read the book before the movie — I finally got it before school started.
It sounds like a typical modern mystery: a husband comes home from work to find his house in disarray and his beautiful wife missing. The man’s hometown starts a search party for his wife, but when the husband starts acting suspicious, the town and readers begin asking if he is really as nice as he seems.
I’m a fan of mystery novels, so the clichéd description had me sighing and wondering if I was reading another dull, predictable book. But Gone Girl surprised me. Not only that, it chilled me.
The book is told in a he-said she-said kind of way; the chapters alternate between Nick, the worried husband who just wants to find his wife, and diary entries from his wife Amy, which reveal dark points in her five-year marriage that make her husband look much more suspicious than he appears.
Both Nick and Amy become unreliable narrators as the readers are exposed to two different accounts of events and people.
The mystery ends in a way that I can only say is unconventional for a novel of its genre, but it worked for me. Reviews are evenly split on Goodreads between those who enjoyed the ending and those who hated it. While I liked it, I definitely understand the hate for it. Debate has heated up once again as it has come to light that the author has rewritten the ending for the movie.
So what does this mean for the novel, for the readers, and for the story as a whole? I can’t say, but I know my mind is swimming with possibilities.
Gone Girl is a psychological roller coaster with so many twists and turns you’ll get whiplash. What begins as a predictable small-town mystery involving a young married couple becomes a dark, tangled web of deceit and second-guessing. You can take in in theatres starting Oct. 3.
From Feb. 10 – 14 the Student Health Education Centre ran its first ever SHEC Week, a week dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles for university students. SHEC is offering a wide variety of events for students to participate in and learn something new.
“It’s just a great way to promote our services and do things we’ve never done before,” Kelsey O’Neill, SHEC Coordinator, commented on SHEC Week. “This is the first time it’s been done in our history of being SHEC.”
O’Neill reveals that SHEC Week was SHEC Training Chair executive Tina Cody’s idea. Cody said SHEC Week drew inspiration from the annual Pride Week and thanked Jyssika Russell and the QSCC for their inspiration and dedication.
She hopes that SHEC Week will also work to tackle different stigmas and perspectives on health by providing students with what they believe are most valuable to students.
“What I really wanted to do with SHEC week was… tackle a variety of problems that students face in their daily lives through informative and fun activities,” Cody explained.
“I really want SHEC Week to educate McMaster students with how they can lead a healthy lifestyle through easy and manageable steps.”
Laura Jamieson, Internal Programming executive and next year’s coordinator hopes that SHEC Week will help students learn the importance of health and happiness in their lives.
“I hope that SHEC Week is going to be an opportunity for people to think about and talk about certain things in their own health and their own happiness as students and how to really make that a priority in their lives,” she said.
O’Neill, Cody, and Jamieson all agree that SHEC Week is a great opportunity for SHEC to showcase and make sure students are aware of the many different services SHEC has to offer, as well as recognizing that the events being offered during SHEC Week are valuable to students.
“I know that I would have benefited from these events so much during points in my life throughout university,” Cody admits, not having been an active member of SHEC until more recently.
“I think that… first year when it’s so difficult transitioning… students can attend these events and learn new things or what might be beneficial for them as an individual,” she continued.
SHEC Week is offering a number of ways for students to get involved having a variety of activities including meditation, a movie night, free candy, a relationships roundtable, as well as workshops on busy lives and body image. With the numerous events O’Neill, Cody, Jamieson and all of SHEC’s volunterrs hope for a successful SHEC Week and hope to add more events for next year.
“I think it will most likely be done next year because [Laura Jamieson] is coming back as coordinator, so I would imagine it would continue,” O’Neill said.
She continued, “We’d listen to student’s feedback and try getting an event that we haven’t had before, like the relationship counselor.”
Jamieson said she would like to have more events directed at first year students to make transitioning easier. “I hope to…reach out to first years, doing more outreach with them because they…can get cut off in their little demographic so I’d like to be trying to reach out to them more…the first years are important to me and I think that would be my number one for sure.”
SHEC is an MSU service best known on campus for providing a variety of contraceptive products and anonymous pregnancy testing. But what many Mac students don’t know is that SHEC offers many other resources, not solely related to sexual health. Services like confidential peer support, numerous health pamphlets, a lending library available to students and the community at large, and a huge knowledge of on and off campus referrals are some of the lesser-known support SHEC offers at McMaster.
Located on the second floor of the student centre, room 202, SHEC is open 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 4:30 p.m. on Friday. SHEC is run by the coordinator, a small group of executives and a few dozen volunteers, all of whom undergo a weekend of training each term, as well as additional monthly training.
Recently I’ve found myself in a rut. Maybe it’s just me, getting too relaxed during the Christmas break and now unable to find the thinking cap that university life requires. Maybe it’s because I recently turned 20 and am having a minor crisis of leaving my teenage years, one step closer to graduation, one step closer to pure adulthood.
Whatever it is, perhaps even a combination of several, I’ve worried about my writing recently and have had trouble writing in general. I’ve always loved writing. I’ve loved the relief and numbness I get after writing something emotional or personal and the excitement of an idea as it plots its way through my brain. But lately I’ve been letting deadlines creep up and the ideas that swirl around in my brain stay swirling, unable to land on a piece of notebook paper or a word document. Sure, I’ve typed a few meager lines out. But then I stop, read, and let the document lay forgotten in virtual dust.
That’s one of the main reasons I love writing for the Silhouette, it gives me a deadline, a due date, a goal for when I have to have something written by. There’s no time to worry and criticize it, I simply type, edit, send and wait for Thursday when it will be published. There is no alternative; I agreed to have an article in and it must be in or else I screw people over. But lately even this has been a struggle for me.
I started writing for the Silhouette in my first year in hopes I’d gain experience and improve my writing in different sections and forms. I wanted to grow and expand in my writing, but I’m wondering if maybe, like a flower, I’m already grown. I might already fit the pot perfectly; there is no need for transplant when I’m perfect where I am.
Whenever I submit an article I eagerly await for Thursday. As a weekly tradition for myself I always read the Silhouette when it hits newspapers stands where I can read my fellow writers’ pieces and see what the editors’ changes in mine. More often than not I see the beauty they add that I failed to create. And that isn’t a bad thing - that’s an editor’s job, what they’re supposed to do. Still every time I see the edits I see my failure. I see where I lack as a writer.
In these blah moments, I reflect on my goals as a writer for after I graduate. I’ve already succeeded and gone ahead by becoming a staff reporter for the Silhouette. But I can’t help wondering if there’s a point going after my other goals anymore. Perhaps I’ve found my calling, my purpose. Perhaps my voice is meant for the students of McMaster and that’s it. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing for the Silhouette and I’ve learned a lot from it, but I want more.
Despite my blah mood I’m not going to stop writing for the Silhouette. Maybe some of you are happy by this, maybe some of you aren’t. Whatever your wishes, I’m here to stay and will continue pushing my roots, continue trying to grow or at least see if there’s anything worth growing. I’ll keep with my weekly tradition and maybe I’ll jot down those ever swirling thoughts in my brain. Maybe.
Like many of Disney’s fairy-tale adaptations, Frozen is far from being an accurate retelling of one of Hans Christian Anderson’s most well known fairytales, The Snow Queen. Even the two main characters from the original story, Gerda and Kai, are reduced to servants in the film who add nothing to the story (I didn’t even know they existed until I read the credits).
But it’s pointless to mourn the original fairytale when watching the Disney version, instead accept it for what it is: something almost entirely new with faint inspirations from a traditional tale.
The film opens when protagonists Princesses Anna (Kristen Bell) and Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel) are children. They wake up one summer night with the desire to build a snowman. While this may seem a strange and impossible request, it is soon revealed that Anna’s older sister Elsa was born with the powers to create snow and ice. As the sisters play in the snow, things get out of hand when Elsa accidently hits Anna in the head with ice.
Afraid for her sister’s life, Elsa wakes up her parents and the royal family goes into the forest to find a group of trolls who can heal Anna’s head. But a side effect of the trolls’ remedies is that Anna no longer remembers Elsa’s power to create snow and ice. The elder troll warns the family that Elsa’s power will only grow stronger. In an attempt to keep the younger sisters safe, they decide to lock the castle gates and keep Elsa away from Anna.
Years pass and the sister’s relationship becomes strained, with Elsa trying to hide her growing powers and Anna persistently trying to reconnect with her sister. After the sudden death of their parents, Elsa becomes Queen and Anna hopes to rekindle her bond with her sister, though the sisters still don’t see eye to eye.
Elsa’s snow powers are accidently revealed when she creates a blizzard that freezes the kingdom. Elsa runs away to the mountains to keep the kingdom safe from her powers (unaware of the blizzard to come) and Anna goes searching for her. Anna leaves her fiancé Prince Hans (Santino Fontana) in charge and seeks help from Kristoff (Jonathon Groff) and his reindeer pal Sven. Anna sets off to find her sister and end the winter she has accidentally created.
The singing was fantastic and Idina Menzel gave a chilling performance of Elsa’s “villain” song “Let It Go.” The animation was phenomenal; one of the best moments of the film was watching Elsa build her ice castle, a truly beautiful scene, which makes the audience feel as if they are actually inside the expanding structure
But Frozen isn’t without its faults. Though little, the flaws do make the story less convincing. For example, Anna somehow knows Kristoff’s name without ever being introduced. And while the story does explain that Elsa was born with her powers, there are no reasons given for these abilities. Why was Elsa born with the snow powers while no one else in her family has any powers at all?
Nonetheless, Frozen is one of Disney’s best animated films. The focus on familial love as opposed to romantic love is certainly a refreshing theme and I hope they continue to explore new ideas instead of the “true love’s kiss” motif. We’ve certainly had enough of that. Frozen suggests that at least in this respect, Disney is no longer frozen in time.
I have always been a lover of mythology; it is a small hobby that began when I was little, collecting and reading books about Greek and Roman mythology.
Since then my interest has grown, and along with Greek and Roman I have begun reading more on Celtic, Norse and Native American mythologies. A few years ago I purchased a book that contained Greek, Norse, Celtic, as well as Egypt and West Asian mythology.
Skimming through the section I recognized familiar names: Adam, Eve, Abraham. At that time I foolishly thought that perhaps in the past these Biblical characters would simply be stories to some people.
But then I learned about the God Graveyard.
The God Graveyard was set up first by students of the University of North Georgia Skeptics Society and then by the group Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at the University of Wisconsin. The second featured over 200 graves dedicated to once believed in gods who have since “died” and been forgotten. Such gods mentioned are Pluto, Anubis, Zhurong, Loki, as well as a number of others.
I wasn’t horrified by the God Graveyard like many people were. I was interested and I began to think about what linked mythology and Catholicism. I began to find many comparisons between the two in the stories they tell.
Both have creation stories: in Norse mythology the story is of when Odin and his brothers killed the first giant Ymir and constructed the world from his corpse. In the Bible there is the book of Genesis that explains how God created the world in seven days.
Both contain examples of divine intervention, especially with women, who give birth to children. A popular motif in many mythology stories, the best known is probably Greek mythology with Zeus and his many interactions with mortal women. Some of the children produced from these relationships were Hercules and Helen of Troy. In the Christian religion this is shown through Mary’s Immaculate Conception with Jesus Christ.
Both contain stories have significant animals: Celtic mythology have a number of symbolic animals that portray both good and bad such as the hound, deer/stag, boar and many other animals. Similarly the Bible has, to name a few, the dove, serpent, fish and lamb.
These three examples are only some of many comparisons that can be found between the two which leads to the question: how long can a religion survive? And what is it that kills a god?
Is it lack of follows or is it peer pressure? Or perhaps is it a combination of the two?
Christianity has been around for thousands of years and in the past and present has attempted to convert people away from their religion. My father has told me that growing up in the 60’s his teachers would tell students that if they did not convert one person to Christianity they would not get into Heaven.
If someone were to say they were followers of Zeus or Odin nowadays society would mock and shun them. But just because Greek, Norse and other religions have been term “mythologies” today does that make them any less valid than Christianity?
So what is the life span of a religion? Looking at the pictures of the many “dead” gods, I can’t help but wonder if one day soon the figures of Christianity will one day lay among Athena and Freya, a myth that we foolish people of the past believed in.
When I heard in April that Theatre Aquarius was going to be putting on Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, I could hardly hide my excitement. It was murder having to wait six months for the play to be performed. But it was well worth the buildup.
For those unfamiliar with Christie and her works, it should be known that she is considered the best-selling novelist of all time. She also created the memorable detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, who still have their own television shows and movies today. Her most famous play, The Mousetrap, premiered in 1952 and has played in England for 61 years, making it the world's longest running play.
The Mousetrap is a cozy mystery set after World War II in a newly renovated guesthouse, Monkswell Manor. The guesthouse is owned and run by young married couple Giles and Mollie Ralston (Aidan deSalaiz and Trish Lindström). On Monkswell Manor's first night open for the public, the manor is booked out to five guests: Christopher Wren (Alex McCooeye), an eccentric young architect who fancies nursery rhymes, Mrs. Boyle (Jo Skilton), a highly unlikable woman of high class, Major Metcalf (Terry Belleville), a retired army man who we know little about, Miss Casewell (Shannon Currie), an odd woman who came to England to finish certain unnamed business, and Mr. Paravicini (Tony DeSantis), a mysterious guest who ends up at Monkswell Manor after his car is overturned in a snowdrift.
After a sudden call from the police, Detective Sergeant Trotter (Simon Lee Phillips) arrives on the case, telling the already tense guests that they may all be in danger. After a woman, Mrs. Lyons, was murdered on Culver Street the previous day, Trotter believes that the murderer may be headed to Monkswell Manor. As the snow keeps the guests from leaving the manor, Sergeant Trotter tries to find out which of the guests are in danger, and which one is a murderer. Each guest turns upon the others, wondering how much is really known about the other person, who can be trusted. Can anybody?
This colourful cast of characters gives The Mousetrap the perfect balance of humour and suspense. The casting choices were perfect too. Each of the actors really understands whom they are playing, and it was nice to see some new faces at Theatre Aquarius. While I felt Trish Lindström was a bit over-the-top at times, she excelled in shrouding Mollie with kindness and mystery. But it was Alex McCooeye who really stole the show. His portrayal of Christopher Wren was incredible, creating the perfect balance of eccentricity and suspicion, causing the audience to wonder if this lovable goof ball could really be a murderer.
The set was gorgeous and really looked like it was taken straight out of the late 1940s. I especially loved the snow falling from the large windows of the Great Hall, which made Monkswell Manor feel even cozier. But what really makes The Mousetrap a masterpiece is the ending. Once you've seen The Mousetrap, you become part of The Mousetrap club, an old tradition where you must never reveal the ending to anyone who hasn't seen the play.
So who could it be? Could the murderer be our hosts Mr. and Mrs. Ralston, the unlikable Mrs. Boyle, the kind Major Metcalf, the eccentric Christopher Wren, the odd Miss Casewell, or the strange Mr. Paravicini? Sergeant Trotter is on the case. Join him, as well as our suspects, at Theatre Aquarius, and join The Mousetrap club for yourself.
Photo by Daniel Block
Whenever my sister and I reveal ourselves to be twins, most are shocked, some are disbelieving, and some look at us like an oddity, their eyes flickering from me to my sister trying to find some similarity to mark us as twins.
The first question is whether we’re identical or fraternal, which I always think is a silly question because my sister and I look nothing alike. My sister and I are fraternal twins, and yes - fraternal twins can be of the same gender, it isn’t just boy-girl twins who are fraternal. I look like our father, she like our mother; she has darker hair and eyes I have lighter; she loves theatre and I love writing. We look like sisters but we don’t look like twins, or rather we don’t look like how society views twins: identical. But even with our differences it doesn’t stop people from trying to find an ounce of similarity between us, some proof that we are in fact twins.
It’s after this question that things start to go downhill and my sister and I start to become an oddity. The questions of telepathy, dominance, which one of us is the good and evil twin, and fantasies start rising. We got the cruel prospect of death brought to us by the children we went to school with who told us that if one of us died the other would follow.
I don’t blame people for asking; it’s what pop culture promises. Twins are people who dress alike, talk alike, think alike, finish one another’s sentences and are alike in every way. Pop culture promises a variety of stereotypes from the nice twins, the creepy twins, the long lost twin, the troublesome twins but in all these varieties theses twins are the same person. Twins aren’t supposed to have an identity out of being a twin.And it’s easier for my sister and I because we are fraternal. We look different, dress differently; we talk differently and think differently. Our names are not anagrams of one another’s; our name’s don’t rhyme or alliterate. Our parents, while proud to have twins, wanted to raise us as individuals, as two separate people.
I can’t imagine how hard it must be for identical twins to break the twin stereotype. With people so obsessed with the similarities they ignore the differences. Being different and unique is celebrated for every person unless you are a twin.
Being a twin is just having a sibling, in this case you’ve had your sibling since before birth. And just like any normal older or younger sibling you have your similarities and differences. You are two different people who like some of the same things and some different things and it’s the same with being a twin.
I am a twin. My sister and I are not the same in every way, we cannot read each other’s minds, we do not dress identically, and we are not a sexual fantasy (that’s just gross). We are siblings and like all other siblings we get along but sometimes we fight. But it doesn’t stop us from loving and protecting one another like families should.
And if you care, by popular opinion I am the evil twin.
When I saw the "Stop You've Paid Enough" posters being put up around campus during Welcome Week I couldn't help but feel excited. Finally McMaster was going to do something about our ever-rising tuition rates, finally we were going to take a note from our Quebecois friends and protest for a freeze in our tuition, to stop the cost from rising at least for a few years. But upon looking on the McMaster Students Union website, I became disappointed.
Apparently we haven't paid enough for tuition, save for certain instances. The "Stop You've Paid Enough" page on the McMaster Students Union website is not a plan for protest or a plan of action to stop the rising tuition costs, it is a page for students to report unfair fees they may have inappropriately been charged with for a course.
The "Stop You've Paid Enough" campaign is a good thing. I imagine there are a good number of students at McMaster who have been charged inappropriately for certain courseware, textbooks, supplies and field-trip costs. I hope these students are successful in getting some kind of return, though I imagine it will be difficult for a fourth year student to prove that they were charged with one of these unfair fees in their first year.
I understand why the McMaster Students Union advertised this way; it works in getting the attention of fools like me who actually expected some sort of change in tuition rates. If anything I now know that the rising cost of tuition is the furthest thing from the MSU's mind, making banners that allude to change only to call out a certain percentage of students who have been charged with unfair fees. There is no talk of freezing tuition rates, no mention of how much your tuition rose, there is no talk of change.
During the 2013/2014 academic year Ontario undergraduate students paid the highest average fee of $7,259 with Saskatchewan close behind while Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador undergraduate students continue to have the lowest average fees in Canada.
I wonder why Ontario undergraduates don't listen to the Quebec undergraduates and protest for a tuition freeze. What is it that makes us so different? What makes student unions in Quebec different than student unions in Ontario? That one union can protest and win while the other accepts the forever growing debt we will be stuck with at the end of our academic life.
So yes, having the McMaster Student's Union ready to help students who have been given unfair fees in previous or current classes is a good thing. But don't advertise like a dramatic change is being made, don't make us believe that you might actually be doing something about our tuition rate.
We, the students of McMaster, have paid enough for tuition, but not in the eyes of our union. And I don't know how long it will take before they realize that we really have paid enough.
From Harry Potter to Twilight, it’s a very common thing to see your favourite book become a movie. It can be exciting and terrifying, waiting and dreading that movie - wondering if Hollywood will do the book justice or ruin it like so many other movie adaptions you’ve seen.
It’s difficult to know for sure which was the first book to become a movie, but is generally thought to be either The Passion of Christ, Dracula, Frankenstein or A Christmas Carol. This trend of turning popular books into movies has always been a huge economic opportunity for movie-makers, and while remakes of popular books continues to this day (e.g. the recent Anna Karenina starring Keira Knightley), it’s also surprising to see the number of unknown books being adapted into movies.
In 2012, adaptations of particularly popular books included The Hobbit, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Life of Pi and The Hunger Games. But a surprising number of movies were released that were based on far lesser known books. Such movies include Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, Cosmopolis by Don Delillo, and Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. I ignorantly felt certain that they were original, unique stories written by a screenwriter in Hollywood, especially Silver Linings Playbook, since it was nominated for an Oscar.
There is a long list of books to become movies for 2013. Some well-known ones will be The Host by Stephenie Meyer, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and a remake of Carrie by Stephen King. Some of the lesser known books-to-movies of 2013 include Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, Serena by Ron Rash and World War Z by Max Brooks. It would seem that Hollywood has lost its spark, and relies on novels to adapt into movies instead of releasing something entirely new and creative.
Don’t get me wrong - it isn’t uninteresting or totally uncreative to adapt books to movies. I love a well-adapted book to movie as much as the next person. But a dangerous thing can happen when books become movies. Sometimes, the movies are remembered and the books forgotten. If you think this is a silly statement here is a list of movies that I was surprised to find were books: Jaws by Peter Benchley, Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers, The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, and Friday Night Lights: a Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger.
Worse than a book being forgotten is an author who is disgusted or even goes so far as to wish they hadn’t written their novel. While watching Disney’s Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers cried (from unhappiness) during the screening, Roald Dahl hated the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and refused to let Charlie in the Glass Elevator be turned into a movie, and Anthony Burgess wished he never wrote A Clockwork Orange. My favourite is J.D. Salinger, who was so mortified when his short story Uncle Wiggly in Conneticut (renamed My Foolish Heart in its film adaption) was adapted into film that he swore his books would never again be turned into film, and to this day they haven’t.
It seems that Hollywood doesn’t want to make movies that accurately depict the inspiring book. Hollywood takes for granted the money it will make from readers who want to see the movie because they already love the book, but Hollywood can make even more money by making the movie for the movie-going public. The result is popular actors and actresses in starring roles, poorly written scripts and completely random plot twists that catch the excitement of the movie-going public but disgust the readers.
This trend of books being adapted into movies will continue, and it should. It is a chance for the author to gain more readership and help publishing sales. But it would be nice if Hollywood had some unique ideas of their own - something original. But I guess that’s too much to ask.
The year of my brother’s twelfth birthday was the year that stole my horror movie virginity. I was ten years old, and very eager to watch whatever family-friendly film our mother had taken us to the theatres to see. Plot twist number one:a it was sold out. Plot twist number two: my brother was pretty content to see The Grudge as a backup.
If you’ve seen The Grudge, you know that it is arguably one of the worst horror movies to watch if you’re trying to ease a fragile ten-year-old mind into the genre. Minimal plot, maximum jump-out scenes, and this awful tendency to totally deprive the characters of safety (that creepy little girl would show up in the shower, the bedroom, the attic, the stairwell).
Needless to say, I was horrified. I had scratches along my hairline from watching the entire movie through cupped hands. The worst part is that it didn’t start until 10 p.m., so we came home to a pitch-black and empty house. I remember staying up for another hour reading Garfield comics with the lights on. Here’s to my brother for probably taking a year or two off my life.
When I was in grade 3 my friend Jennifer invited me over to watch a scary movie. My mum tried to warn me. “Are you certain that you’re ready?” she said.
Sure, I still closed my eyes when Itchy and Scratchy came on the Simpsons; sure, I still couldn’t watch the part of Pinocchio where he goes inside the whale; okay, I still got afraid of sharks when I went swimming ever since watching Jaws. But I was definitely ready.
I arrived at Jennifer’s house and out came a VHS of The Mummy, starring Brendan Fraser. Almost right away a scarab beetle crawled under a man’s skin and started eating his flesh. I felt a little uncomfortable, but I could deal, at least for the moment. I huddled with one of Jennifer’s six cats (which is too many cats; what was up with that?).
The rest was a blur. There were sand storms, insects flying out of mouths, and ancient pharaohs with skin missing. I don’t remember everything, but I was legitimately terrified.
I tried to play it cool when I got home, but when my dog brushed my leg I jumped three feet in the air, which may have given me away.
“I told you …” said my mum. Thanks, mum.
It won’t be that scary, they said.
October is a time of year where people look for any opportunity to watch a good ol’ scary movie. I, on the other hand, go to great lengths to avoid such movies. You see, I’m not the biggest fan of scary movies. In fact, I hate them.
Let me take you on a trip to my aunt’s house back in 2001 where my sister and my cousin thought it was a good idea to watch the movie It with me. I was six. As you can imagine, six-year-olds and Stephen King storylines don’t go very well together. If you don’t know, the movie is about a crazed clown named Pennywise (I know, even its name is scary) who transforms into the fear of its victims. Long story short, I was extremely spooked and I have not seen a single scary movie since that day (does Scary Movie 3 with the Wayans Bros. count?).
So now you know why I’m not the biggest fan of scary movies, but if you like them then great! Just know that I’ll be here, still changing the channel every time a commercial for Paranormal Activity comes on. Happy Halloween!
Scary Movie 3
My scary movie experience may seem pathetic to you, and perhaps in many ways it is. But I will stand by my belief that I had a totally legitimate reason to be afraid of this movie. It was late at night and I was sitting in my cousin’s cottage when we watched it. They laughed and joked at the characters flickering on the screen while I watched in mute fear. And what is this horrific movie?
Scary Movie 3.
Yes I can hear you laughing. But I was terrified! I mean, they parody The Ring. I haven’t even seen The Ring; I’d probably die of fright if I did! I don’t care if Scary Movie 3 is a comedy, any creepy girl crawling out of a T.V. is horrifying.
Everyone has a memory of the first movie that made them feel shit-your-pants scared and that every other horror film was a joke (or at least not nearly as frightening). Oddly enough, the first movie that brought me to that level of terror was the original Ghostbusters. This requires a little back-story.
As a three-year old I was really terrified of the boogieman. I thought that he lived at the end of a long, dark hallway in a terrifying laundry room in the basement. My dad had the bright idea to watch Ghostbusters with me in the basement, and he ran upstairs right before the opening scene where the ghostly librarian scares the crap out of the Ghostbusters. She scared the crap out of me too, and I ran as fast as I could up the stairs only to be stopped by a stupid child-proof door block. Fuck those things. That was the worst. I didn’t sleep for days.
When I tell people that the movie that scared me msot as a child is 101 Dalmatians, I usually get either laughed at or a wedgie (though, come to think of it, I tend to get those even when I don’t mention that fact...). However, with another Halloween rolling around, it is time to own up. I was about three or four years old when there I was, watching 101 Dalmatians, and the nightmarish face of the evil Cruella De Vil appeared on screen, and I lost it. Glenn Close has never looked scarier (except maybe when she isn’t wearing makeup). Crying as though the NHL was in lockout (oh wait) I proceeded to flounder about the floor, shrieking and pleading for the TV to be turned off. A few days later, I was walking through a Wal-Mart with my dad when the unthinkable happened: I saw Glenn Close! And she looked back at me! In full Cruella De Vil gear! From the cover of a 101 Dalmatians DVD! Transfixed, I stared at it until my dad, realizing I was paralyzed with fear, told me to punch the box. This, he reasoned, would eliminate my fear of the vile witch character and release me from her Medusian clutches. Digging deep, I pulled my arm back, clenched my fist, and slammed it right into Cruella De Vil’s face. Ever since then, I have found her laughable rather than pants-pissable.
So remember, kids: punch stuff! It helps!
I can barely watch as the film reel tells its story. In a pin-droppingly silent movie theatre, I sit clutching my chest in anticipation of something popping out at me. Wedged between two of my older cousins, it is of utmost importance to prove that I’m not scared of the room on the 13th floor. John Cusack isn’t afraid and he’s in the damn room, so why should I be? I decide to get up and feign going to the washroom to avoid any potential embarrassment. The eeriness of the music rises, and I quicken my pace down the stairs of the theatre. I turn the corner while looking back at the screen to ensure nothing is about to startle me. Without looking, I stick out my hand to push the door open. Instead of being met with the cold, hard metal of the door my fingertips feel the flesh of someone’s arm. I instinctively jump and yell. The sound of my voice fills the silent movie theatre, and I hear what feels like a million people laugh. My scream startled a poor girl opening the door and caused her to drop her popcorn. Speeding out of the theatre, I apologize profusely to her in absolute embarrassment. I haven’t seen a scary movie in theatres since.