Horror films leave me ambivalent. I just don't get into most of them, with the exception of good ghost, vampire or werewolf movies. My friends assume I studiously avoid monsters and zombies because I'm squeamish about gore, or am easily scared -- but I'm neither. I'll watch them if they are on television, or part of a film festival, but I don't go out of my way to seek them out. (On the other hand, I'd give anything to see Trick'r Treat. That looks like my kind of horror film.) But there are movies that have left me sleepless, frantically turning on every single light on the way to the bathroom, waking up in a cold sweat because they pervade my dreams. Some of these were films that terrified everyone, like PoltergeistorIT. And then there are ones that, to this day, I don't really understand why they affected me so deeply. One of these wasSigns. Yes, you have permission to laugh. Go on, I'll wait.

Got it out of your system now? Good. I'll explain. Aliens have always freaked me out more than zombies or slashers, despite that homicidal maniacs with machetes are far more likely to kill me in real life. And Signs tapped into my deepest fears -- which would be, it seems, being trapped in a house with nothing but my family and my dogs, while an invading force bangs on my windows and runs on my roof. In the theater, I was curled into a terrified ball in my seat, afraid an alien claw would grab my ankles. Once I got home, I didn't sleep for two weeks -- every time I turned off the light, I saw an alien standing on my neighbor's roof, looking at me. You couldn't convince me that was their swamp cooler. It was an alien, coming to eat my family.
categories Cinematical