I Haven’t Seen It

People are talking about the horror film, It. I haven’t seen It. I’ve heard that It’s scary. I read a review/debate by two Christian reviewers, one was for seeing It, and the other was against It. I enjoyed reading the review/debate.

Mainly, I like to analyze what I watch at the theater or on TV. When my kids were younger it kind of turned into a fun game. Everyone in our family became a reviewer, giving their take on the movie or TV series, and analyzing the underlying message. Our sons got really good at it, pulling out nuances that my husband and I missed.

Have you ever watched any of the Mystery Science Theater movies? The premise of the series is that the host of the show is a captive of evil scientists who force him to watch “B” movies. The host keeps himself sane by offering witty commentary during the movie.

Our family has watched a few Mystery Science Theater episodes over the years. It has inspired us and has been quite helpful on several occasions when we find ourselves renting a movie that doesn’t live up to its hype. We then slip into Mystery Science Theater mode and offer our own witty commentary, thus transforming a “meh” movie into a riotous comedy. The only downside to this is when my husband accidentally slips into this mode during a good movie and becomes a distraction to the rest of us. We have to shush him when that happens. Then, it hurts his feelings, and there goes the enjoyment factor of the whole movie night!

Getting back to It. Since I haven’t seen It, I will refrain from commentary. Instead, I will comment on a couple of horror films I have seen. I’m not a horror film buff, but occasionally I watch a few.

How about The Lost Boys from way back in 1987, the year after I graduated from high school. I didn’t watch it in the theater. It was at least a couple of years later that I did watch it for the first time. That was back in the days when I didn’t watch horror films. I was afraid of them; I guess I thought I’d do some sort of irreversible psychological damage to myself if I watched them. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the “churches” I’d been attending with my parents for most of my life, those of the extreme charismatic (there’s a demon hiding behind every bush, couch, microwave oven, etc.) variety, had already psychologically damaged me. No wonder I wouldn’t watch horror films; my spiritual life at the time was a horror film.

My college roommate talked me (Come on, don’t be such a scaredy cat!) into watching the Lost Boys with her one evening. Basically, it was peer pressure, and I caved. She’d seen it after it first came out. I reluctantly watched it with her, and I loved it. Thinking back on the message of the movie now; I think the message was: Don’t cave in to peer pressure.

Oh, the irony of life.

One of the most frightening horror films I’ve ever seen was The Grudge (2004), the American version, not the original Japanese one. I tried to tell myself it was just going to be your typical, stupid horror film, nothing to get scared about. My pep talk to myself didn’t work. Now, years later, I think I have an analysis for that one, too. It’s really not that frightening when you boil it down to its basic message: Home ownership is a little scary. You pay a monthly mortgage that seems to have a longer life expectancy than you. There are the inevitable repairs that you alone are responsible for fixing. Especially when you buy a house that is old. An old house has also had many previous occupants. You live in a small town, and you hear the stories of some of its previous occupants. Yes, some of them were a little shady. You hope, as you lie in bed listening to the creaks and groans of your old house in the middle of the night, that the previous occupants haven’t left some remnants of an evil taint on your beloved fixer-upper, should you in the foreseeable future try to sell your home.

See, it’s not that scary at all. Or, is it?

At any rate, if I watch It, I’ll get back to you on It’s message. It probably won’t be that scary either. Really.


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