What movie actually scares me? Well it’s funny because I don’t watch movies to be scared anymore. What scares me now makes me sick to my stomach with worry. Things like my family being hurt or kids going missing or being killed. I try to avoid avoid Horror featuring kids unless they’re the killers and there’s plenty of camp. I also try to avoid home invasion Horror. Movies like The Strangers really eat me up. I loved it, but damn did it leave this negative, paranoia inducing impression on me. It’s not pleasant. I watch Horror to have fun. I like the gross out and the entertainment with a few jump scares and a great story (or stories). Now I adore the Mist, but the ending of that movie drove me nuts and made me hug my kids for hours. It was terrifying in a way, but only because of the end. REC was a great jump scare flick for me and one of my favorites, but I don’t know if I truly find it scare so much as I get startled by it.
A movie that actually scared me or that I find scary requires me to go back. Way back. Tourist Trap still haunts me. When I was about four years old, my sister and I watched a movie on network TV one afternoon. We didn’t know the title and it took forever for us to figure out what it was. All we remembered was the basement, the strange plaster substance being smeared on a girl’s face and a creeeeepy voice. The voice stuck with me for years and actually was adopted by my mortal enemy, the Brush aka Brushy. That was my imaginary arch enemy that terrified me for all too long.
Years later my brother in law actually figured out that the movie was Tourist Trap which made it an immediate pick up. That score from Pino Donnagio is perfectly off-putting. The opening sequence reminded me of something like Boogeyman meets Poltergeist meets Evil Dead 2. Creepy and fun and the sound is the epitome of chaos. Once we meet Davy and Mr. Slauson and the band of mannequins all the memories come back. Sure I can laugh a little at it now, but I still love Chuck Connors performance and the Davy’s strange, almost comic evil voice. I imitate it when I want to freak people out. I’m getting pretty good at it. The ending is perfect cheese, but before we actually get to laugh at ourselves for being so scared there’s a scene in an attic that gets under my skin with the realization that there is NO escape from the Tourist Trap.
Having finally gotten to see it on the big screen courtesy of Hudson Horror Show was a dream come true. I noticed folks laughing, and sometimes I do, but sometimes… I don’t.