I'm a scarredy cat.
And I'm thinking I should excise even remotely scary movies from my film-watching agendas. Is a great story worth the elevated blood pressure and the obligation to watch crappy sitcoms afterward to mitigate the heebie-jeebies?
Last week, I watched Road to Perdition. By myself. At night. Alone in a house with only a going-deaf, going-blind dog. Yes, this is hardly The Exorcist or what could be considered a "scary movie". Nonetheless, I was turning on extra lights and burrowing under blankets, as if layers of acrylic could keep from harm. (Acrylic keeps no one safe. No one.) I cursed myself for not renting a Busby Berkeley musical instead.
From watching Nightmare on Elm Street when I was ten, the image of Freddy Krueger disguised as a schoolgirl haunted me for YEARS. I yelped during Scream in the movie theater. I screamed at Cats, the musical. Yes, that's right. (To my credit, this cat with flashing eyes came out in the audience right in front of me.)
And basements at night? Hell, yeah, they still scare me. I admit to doing the whole "i have to run downstairs and get what I need by the count of ten and i'm safe" thing until I was WAY too old.
I think I could be happy just watching musicals and indie or foreign films in which no one is maimed/murdered/raped/chased (wow—that excludes a lot). But if I do that, I might as well buy only sensible shoes, take on another cat or two and call it a life.