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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 18, 2018

It’s the thrill of the scare

By KARYN SPORY | Oct 30, 2015

Neither Bryce Kelly nor I would describe ourselves as fans of scary movies. But, that didn’t stop us from seeking some chills and thrills at the movie theater a couple of weekends ago.

We lugged our oversized sodas into the theater and wiggled ourselves into a cozy cocoon, ready to be scared, startled and thrilled as we watched the gothic romance horror, “Crimson Peak.”

Okay, I’ll be honest, it wasn’t really the chills that led us into that theater, it was the thrill of seeing thespian Tom Hiddleston, who may be best known as Thor’s dark-haired counterpart, Loki, in the Marvel film series.

I think I can speak for both of us when I say the movie wasn’t particularly scary. Now, without ruining the movie in case anyone reading this decides they need a little gothic romance from Tom Hiddleston this weekend, I can say the ghosts, albeit a little different and weird, were not scary. No, it wasn’t the ghosts or ghouls that made us jump in our seats, and jump we did, it was the suspense that director Guillermo del Toro built. And really, isn’t that the reason we drag ourselves into scary movies? To sit on the edge of our seats and wait for that moment someone swings a meat cleaver?

Bryce and I both called the plot, twists and all, fairly soon after the dimming of the lights. But we still cringed. We cringed for reasons I can’t say due to spoilers, but we also cringed for smaller moments in the movie. For Bryce, it was when some fingers were repeatedly slammed in a door. For me, it was the instance actress Jessica Chastain, who plays Hiddleston’s sister in the movie, slowly, sinisterly, scrapes a spoon across the top of a delicate teacup. The noise of the spoon grating against the cup was like nails on a chalkboard to me.

And that’s what scary movies do; they play into our senses that are overly sensitive. Just think about how the soundtrack to a movie, or even a TV show, set you up for how you should feel. In a suspenseful moment, the string instruments become more apparent, and the notes they hit are a little sharp, making our ears perk up and our spine straighten as we wait for that thing lurking in the corner to jump out at us. And even though we know it’s coming, we still jump.

The same was true for Bryce and I. We knew a ghost was going to appear on screen, but we still jumped. We leapt towards each other and, then later, away from one another. We clutched the armrests and each other’s arms.

But we also did something not intended to happen during a scary movie, we laughed. I laughed at us jumping. I laughed at the couple behind us laughing at us jumping.

So this Halloween weekend, take in a scare, but don’t just be ready to jump and scream, also be ready to laugh at yourself.

Happy Halloween, all!

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