Thursday, November 4, 2010

A conundrum

I DVR'ed the Walking Dead via AMC on Sunday night. Why did I do that? Well, let me tell you about me and scary things. I dont like scary things. A definition of scary things is required here, however, as I feel there are categories of scary things that fall into "scary but tolerable" like dreams about getting eaten by a shark or walking through a low ceilinged room with dangling spiders overhead (insert TERRIFYING here) that you forget as soon as you wake up and then there's "scary that sticks with me for weeks and makes me jumpy at the slightest apartment creak or slammed car door and leave the light on when I go to bed" sort of scary. These types of scary things fall easily into the realm of Horror movies. Horror movies about ghosts and spirits and the DEVIL (hate those ones most) and manic-flesh-slashing-deranged-hooked-chainsaw-weilding serial killers. Yep. Can't handle it. Won't handle it. Pass 100 times and throw in some Mary Poppins. There's also the term suspenseful. I can handle suspense such as Inception (I just got a thrill chill!), or even Thriller/Suspensefuls like JAWS or Predator or even some "murderer" shows like that one with Shea LeBeof where his neighbor is a serial killer. What is that? Anyway... those I can handle. I hope you can see a pattern, albeit a line of sorts, of where I can cross into the realm of handleable "thrills" and where I most certainly not venture (i.e. Paranormal Activity, The Ring, The Grudge, Exorcist, Poltergist... sick... etc).

So back to the Walking Dead. There are two things that don't ever really scare me - Aliens (pro-X-files!) and sometimes Zombies. I think the Aliens don't bother me because they seem truly fantastical and even cartoonish in most cases and Zombies because they're generally dumb. As in not smart. As in walking grotesque bodies that you only have to avoid or ping in the head or flame throw to be rid of them. Also - I sorta believe in Aliens to an extent but not in a "take over the planet minions!" way and I don't believe in Zombies. I believe in ghosts and the devil. Shudder. Do I ever.

The Zombies in Walking Dead, based on the preview, seemed gruesome (i.e. COOL!) but dumb. Also, the show seemed unique, suspenseful, and maybe something worth actually watching on TV which one is hard put to find these days, right? However, I also questioned if it was too scary for me to be able to turn it off and sleep soundly an hour later. Pros and Cons were thought through... and in the end... I set the DVR just to have it on hand if I should decide I could handle it. Sunday night it recorded, and Monday night, after finishing some homework and browsing some Monday night TV (booooorrrring) I consulted the DVR. And there awaited the Walking Dead. Hm. In my apartment alone - con. Not generally scared of Zombies - pro. Blessed/cursed with a vivid imagination - con. Heard it's more suspenseful than scary - pro. ... ... ...

I dove in. Promising myself if I felt too scared I'd turn it off and never look back. I mean, I saw 5 seconds of a Paranormal Activity 2 preview once when I was running on a treadmill and my nights were ruined for a week! This is the type of wuss puss you're dealing with.

Back to the diving in. (I have not put the scariest pictures on here because I know that some of you would have nightmares like me... except the last one... the last one is pretty freaky!)

I saw some of this:

And that:

and more of this:

Behind YOU!!! Scared ya ;)

Truly - I covered my eyes once when dude had to shoot the little girl Zombie in the head because there IS one thing I can't stand (other than spiders and the devil) and that's possessed kids. I think the idea of having a being so innocent as a child be so incandescently evil freaks the freakys out of me. Sometimes I can't stomach a lot of bloody violence either - BUT - because it was Zombie heads being blown to smithereens... it was different. Think of Orcs in Lord of the Rings losing their heads or being pounced on with swords and spears. Meh... not too big of a deal. The Zombies had become de-humanized and that made the literal watching of head explosions a little more tolerable. These things... I stomached. And I made it through Episode 1.

Afterwards, I did a little self-assessment. How do I feel? Well, I feel okay. Am I scared? Hmmmm... no I don't feel scared. How's the blood pressure? Normal, normal. How do we feel about going to bed in 30 minutes? Feel pretty good.

Truth: there was some tossing and turning that night - but I don't think (because I can't give you a 100% assurdity) it was because of the Zombies. They're dumb Zombies. Smart Zombies? Now, that may be another story. And on Tuesday night, when coming back from my night class around 10pm, I turned the corner to my parking structure and swear on all that is flame-throwing and head blasting that the dude I saw about 40 yards in front of me walking towards the building had a distinctive Zombie "gait". Ya know what I mean? One shoulder higher than the other and a lead weight strapped to his foot; dragging it in tow. Sent a thrill up my SPINE! Pheeeew. Luckily he was just out for a little nigth smoke. Sure glad he wasn't a Zombie.

So here I am, feeling rather proud I made it through the first episode of 6, but also still a little weary. Shore I'd made it okay through the first, alone, in my apt... but what of the next? Surely it will get more gruesome, more frightening (more frightening than a decomposed crawling Zombie torso? Yish! You see the dilemma), and more head explodey... We're BOUND to witness someone bitten and slowly turned into a raving (though dumb) hungry for human flesh Zombie. Can I stay on board? Can I push through? I don't know! And I'm still unsure if I should find out...

A conundrum of the most epic proportions I'd say. I think gathering a group of the same sort of weary and/or Zombie show watching folks may help soften the proverbial "scary things" blow. Or maybe we'll all just end up spending the night on my floor together - baseball bats clutched to our breasts. 


Just ME the MOM said...

Hee :D This was a post I can really relate too - we have very similar thoughts about what constitutes a scary movie.

I may have to give that one a try next Halloween :)


Craig Barlow B. said...

Andrea, I think this is worth pushing through. The best way to beat a fear is to face it. That's why I spend so much time in tight, clausterphobic spaces covered with snakes. Likewise, you need to watch this television show.

I like scary movies. I draw the line, however, at the manic-flesh-slashing-deranged-hooked-chainsaw-weilding serial killers. Not because I'm too scared (obviously I'm too brave to be scared), but because I think those movies are usually pretty stupid. If there is going to be that much blood/dismembered body parts in a movie, I assume it's usually to distract me from how badly the movie has failed. Like this: "That movie was terr... !!! ... Look at those dismembered body parts!"

jaime said...

I'm a lot like you with you scary movies, though I still watch them all cause I have to know that things end OK...even though I'll be wrecked for months afterwards with scary visions. At night when I'm walking to my car in the dark I can't help but look over my shoulders for zombies and I always go over my plan of's weird I know, but I believe in being prepared. It's funny how much zombies freak me out cause I love zombie movies & have to watch them all!! The fast ones just freak me right out! That being said, I totally would come over and watch this show with you. I still need to watch the first episode, but I believe Scott recorded it for me. Also, the discovery channel did a show on how zombies could really happen. It's kinda like a form of rabies! Just an FYI..don't let your guard down!

Andrea Jolene said...

Jaime! Join the "WE Will Face the Zombies!" group! You can watch episode one at my house also. In fact, we could watch one AND two in sequence (brilliant!) Wednesday nights? Anyone? Join us.I'm also going to ignore your comment about the possibility of real Zombies and then follow it up with justifying your making plans for escape because I do the very same thing in many scenarios, "If that spider were to suddenly become giant, how would I flee without first passing out?" Things like that.

Craig, sir, I shall push through. You're an inspriation! Now, back to your snake covered hidey-hole.

jaime said...

Wednesday works for me! Are we going to watch the first 2 or should I come prepared already having watched the first episode?? Text me if this is a go and give me your address!

Jessica said...

I'm the same way- I still regret watching The Ring when it came out, oh, about 7 years ago. Maybe it still deprives me of sleep sometimes. Ridiculous.

I wanted to watch The Walking Dead though because a) zombies are kind of alright in my book, and b) AMC has an awesome reputation of late with TV drama.

So I gave it a try, and it definitely pulled me in. To be honest, I still think the most gruesome sight was the crawling zombie half-body in the first episode. Except maybe for a disembodied tooth-gnashing zombie head in the third.

Maybe I just love seeing my nearby shopping mecca of Atlanta overrun by zombies. It's kind of fun to drive around those same spots and think of bloodthirsty zombies. During daylight at least.