Just Call Me Sally

So get this. My Dad was playing golf over the weekend in Southern New Jersey when he hit a poor tee shot out into the wood-line where the grass was knee-high. While searching for his Nike ball he felt a sharp pain on his ankle which he immediately brushed off as a bee sting. Jump 24 hours ahead and his ankle is swollen to the size of a baseball and with much convincing from Mom, he decides to go to the doctor. What did the doctor tell him? He told Dad that in fact he was not stung by a bee but rather a poisonous copperhead snake.  What?

So, the doctor gave him meds, pain management drugs and hopefully a tetanus shot for good measure. But this begs the question, who gets bit by a snake and brushes it off as an insect bite/sting and has to be coerced into going to see a doctor? Well, the toughest dude I know, my Dad.  Sadly I am not near the man as my, well, old man is. Case in point.

I walked home from a goodbye party for a dear friend of one of my best friends. Was that confusing? Well, they are great friends of mine too but it is a far bigger impact on her since she has known them from the first time they started grad school. Living in a college town, it is inevitable that people do graduate and leave the nest. So where was I….oh yeah! I walked home very late and the mood was perfectly set: lightning storm, no one around on what normally is a very busy street, blowing wind and a slightly tipsy dude whistling “Love Will Keep Us Together”. And then I stumbled upon this.

 

Now keep in mind it was 2am, I had a few drinks and the over all ambiance was a tad unsettling so when I saw this I did stop and stare for a solid minute. It wasn’t a parking meter because it was on the side-walk and it was standing under the bus stop. But I am rational. Of course it couldn’t be this…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right? Because at that moment my 33 years on this Earth full of rational thought, this is where my mind went. So I walked closer, still not seeing exactly what this 3 and a half-foot figure was, standing on the side-walk at 2am in a thunder and lightning storm across from a convenience store appropriately name the “Murder Mart”. I am not making that up at all.

Still not entirely convincing even after my loud coughs and throat clearing that this was just a thing and not a thing. Looking at the photos now that it is sunny and I am sober, one can see that this isn’t paranormal but rather just some statue or object wrapped in plastic. But last night I wasn’t completely sure and cautiously approached, gingerly stepped much like a cat staring down a laser pointer.

I remember when I was in a combat unit over seas and carried a belt-fed machine gun and live hand grenades. Good to know that guy is still around. *eye roll*

So…a chuckle ensued as I finally was close enough to see that this wasn’t a 3 foot devil or menacing midget from a black mass party. No. It was just a credit card pay-meter that are being installed all over Chapel Hill. I know I lost cool points for this but ask yourself this, looking at the first picture, can you perhaps see where I was coming from? Ok. I know.

I need to lay off the scary movies for a minute. Sheesh.

Scary? Meh. Creepy? You Betcha

Last night I finally pulled my head out of the books and reintroduced myself with the outside world. Not as scary as I built it up to be. Actually, seeing people going about doing their Friday night thing was a welcomed change to what sick people do any given night of the week. Man, hospitals are growing old . Anywho, I decided to go grab dinner and see a movie. But not just some random movie like the bullshit that was thrust on us this summer but a very much anticipated independently made film that has been on my “must see” list ever since it was introduced to a film fest in 2007. I know you have heard the hype about this too. Paranormal Activity.

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I don’t think I will go too far into the movie about how it came to be a nation wide blockbuster but I will say what I walked away with. This film finally accomplished what most horror movies fail to do; genuinely creep me out. I don’t believe I have had that happen to me in the theater in some time. I mean, horror directors like Zombie and Eli Roth do a great job of disturbing me through gore and violence, but they couldn’t even dream of creeping me out. They make movies for brain-dead teenagers. Paranormal Activity is a totally different bag of Swedish fish. There is thought, creativity, no CGI, brilliant acting, and a building tension that will literally have your muscles twitching  from squeezing the armrest.

As much as I loved this film it is not the scariest that I have seen. But probably the most creepy. Yes, it is a Blair Witch type genre movie and there are times when you actually believe this is not a mockumetory but the real home video. And that is the acting. If it was not for the two amazing actors, this film would fail. And in a world full of empty-headed movie viewers that have to see the monster rather that using imagination, it is a real risk to put the film in the hands of two people.

Speaking of creepy, I want to share scenes from movies that give me the creeps so you can judge where I am coming from.

The Ring:

I know that I am probably dumbing this blog down by claiming the movie The Ring to be one of the creepiest that I have seen but…I guess I am dumb. The movie as a whole was not very scary but this scene took me from expecting a “teen horror pop film” to a chill so deep I almost threw my VCR out that very night. I suppose it was because I knew nothing of it before I saw it in the theaters.

Jaws:

This is a scary movie. Quite possibly the scariest that I have ever seen and it hits all points of fear: scared of the unknown, being eaten alive, alien enviroment, dark places, and of course the helplessness. The particular scene that got me the worst was when Alex Kittner was attacked and everyone just stood there in a panic on the beach. The only view we had of the shark was the massive rollover of the dorsal and pectoral fin giving us a pretty good idea how large this fish was. Fucking enormous. I can still hear that poor kid coughing underwater as he was pulled down and devoured.

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The Haunted(1991):

This made for TV movie has a definite WE or Lifetime feel to it but when I saw it at 12 years old back in the nineties, I think my bedroom lights were on for the rest of the year. Now almost 20 years later I can still see why. It has a genuine creepiness through simple bumps and whispers. When you take a normal family in a suburb that experience unexplainable events that progress to evil acts in the safety of their own home, you just can’t help but think of that in bed at midnight.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose:

Again, not a very scary film but the creeps are all over this. I don’t know if she was possessed or not but the scene of her contorted on the floor staring at her boyfriend as he slept made my feet go cold. There is nothing more disturbing than having someone stare at you in your most vulnerable state.

Learn from my mistakes! The night I saw this with my ex-girlfriend we went to bed and she was pretty riled up from the film. A few hours later I woke up to use the restroom and came back to bed. For some reason it seemed like a good idea to “act out” the same scene when Emily was contorted and lying on the floor, staring right at her. I coughed a few times to wake her and when she came to and realized I wasn’t beside her she looked around the room and called for me. She sat up and looked right at me being a total asshole on the floor and holy shit! She freaked out. There was screaming and tears. I didn’t think it was that scary. Makes you wonder why we didn’t last, huh?

So to recap, go see Paranormal Activity. But remember, the fear doesn’t come in the theater quite like it does at 2am from the safety of your own bed. Man, now that is brilliant film making.