Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Why I Can't Watch Horror Movies

Raquel Welch in THE LAST OF SHEILA. (Dusty Video Box)
My husband and sons love horror movies, and they plan to watch a whole bunch of them this month in anticipation of Halloween.

I will, as always, be in another room, reading or surfing the Net or watching a video more appropriate for me. I love wholesome oldies like The Sound of Music and That Darn Cat.  :)

To prove my low threshold for horror, I can share the movie that truly horrified me as a child: a campy 1973 production called THE LAST OF SHEILA. It starred James Coburn, Raquel Welch, Ian McShane, Dyan Cannon, James Mason, and Richard Benjamin. Truly an all-star cast for a cross between an Agatha Christie novel and a horror story.

In 1973 I was nine years old; I remember that my mom used to watch the afternoon movie (after she had spent the morning doing chores) and I would hang around watching it with her. She watched this one, and several of the scenes just scared the life out of me, particularly one gruesome one that took place in an old monastery. I had nightmares about it.

Decades later, I confided this in my horror-loving husband, who was eager to watch the movie for its horror elements. He watched it, laughing through most of it, and when we reached the scene that had made such a drastic impression on my young mind, he turned to me with a blank face. "That's it? That's not scary."

It was a little scary, but no, it wasn't the way I remembered it.

So I made it through a second showing of the movie, able as an adult to appreciate some of its finer points.

But it was a great reminder that people should not expose children to potentially frightening images until they are ready to handle them (as little Julia's experience demonstrates).

By the way, if you want to know more about TLOS, here's a blog that reviews it.

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