Scary Movies . . .

It is that time of year . . . time for lists and celebrations and debates over the scariest movies and campiest Halloween movies, etc. and I can honestly say it is all too much for me. I'm terrified of being scared (which is is an example of actual irony vs. the way Americans abuse the word).

I can't really say when or where or how it started but I hate, hate, hate being scared. The good news is - I'm not easily scared/afraid of many things. But one thing I do fear is scary movies. Especially the ones that get all the way under your (my?) skin. Here, without any real rational explanation, are the ten movies that have probably terrified me the most in my lifetime.

10) Frenzy (1972) - The only Hitchcock movie that got in my head that I didn't enjoy the visit from. This one is about a cool-as-a-cucumber rapist and his reign of terror. I once blogged about how much I didn't like the rape scenes (for the mental demand they put on you) in this one. The whole movie will stay with you.

9) M (1931) - A movie about a child killer in Berlin that was set/made at the time the Nazis were starting to collect themselves and start marching toward a run at world champion is unsettling. That there is no on-screen violence in this one is even more upsetting.

8) SIGNS (2002) - Forget that we all think M. Night Shymalan is a whack job now . . . in his prime we loved, loved, loved his movies and this one was one of the scariest. There are three or four moments where - even now - just thinking about them make me nervous. The movie was also beautiful and touching and endearing. Keep that in mind.

7) The Shining (1980) - NO love for this movie. It terrified me, frankly, the first and third and ninth time I tried to watch it. The casting alone is troubling and then it just gets so odd, so quickly. I can't say I'll ever watch it again - even though I'm tempted to revisit it (see below).

6) A&E Biography: Jeffrey Dahmer (1991) - I watched this TV program one night in the summer and seriously didn't sleep for like a week. Troubling stuff to say the least. Serial killers are never okay - this guy just got under my skin. No pun intended.

5) Cropsey (2009) - Urban legend and reality (or the perception of it) collide in this documentary looking at abandoned mental hospitals, missing children, and the fear that troubles everyone searching. It is like Blair Witch Project only - you know - real. Sorta.

4) Dead Again (1991) - I'm still scared of this movie, about past lives and love turned violent, as much because Emma and Kenneth were supposed to be FOREVER as it was for the notion of being killed by someone you love and who loves you. Odd movie that holds up well.

3) Raising Cain (1992) - This movie about a crazy family and/or man horrified me when it first came out 23 years ago. I can't really tell you why but it did. And I tried to brave it with SLF several months ago and found it anything but scary but - in my head - it was and that is bad enough.

2) Room 237 (2013) - Proving that reality (or the perception of it) can be as off-putting as illusion, this documentary about Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" was jolting for me. There are so many random questions and theories and proposals about the film and its real intent that, for me, were troubling. Yes. Another documentary freaked me out. I'm sorry.

1) The Grudge (2004) - I was still dating my now-ex-wife when this movie about a murdered wife and child and the house they linger in came out. She loved scary movies. I wanted to look cool and fun and agreeable. Then the movie started and I was so uncomfortable that I actually asked to leave. Several times.

Don't watch these movies. Or do. If that is your thing.