I was at a screening recently, and I couldn't get past the sinking, neverending dread. The film was a simple family drama, with no big thrills, no edge-of-your-seat moments. Yet I kept waiting for them -- as if I was watching a scary movie, as if a dark, cloaked figure was hovering, eager to incite badness. The distraction was overwhelming. A child runs near something sharp, a phone rings, a person gets upset -- immediately, my mind waited for the worst possible result -- the child will get hurt, the phone is ringing with bad news, a person will get illogically upset and create drama. I was never right.
But the thing is, it had nothing to do with the film, and this is far from the first time it happened. I keep anticipating cinematic badness, even though my paranoia is accurate only a mere fraction of the time. No matter what the genre, no matter how good or bad a film is, my mind keeps expecting the worst outcome for the characters in every scene. But it wasn't always this way. I used to just take things as they come.