31 Days of Halloween: Let’s Slay Together

31 Days of Halloween: Let’s Slay Together

I’m a pretty solitary person. I don’t have any horror buddies, and my spouse isn’t a horror fan, so whenever I watch horror movies nowadays I usually do it on my own. But when I think back on my most memorable horror-watching experiences, most of them happened when I was with another horror fan.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not betraying my fellow loners. I have posts planned for a couple of movies that I watched all by my lonesome that completely changed my life (namely The Haunting and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre). But I can’t deny that some of the most fun I’ve had watching horror came from enjoying it with other people. So, I’d like to share some of those memories with you, and I invite you to share some of your favorite horror-watching memories with me in the comments.


Suspiria

Suspiria-Dario-Argento-horror

One day my sister and I turned on the TV and caught the last minute or two of the final credits of this film on the Sci-Fi Channel (many years before it became SyFy). We saw the pouring rain and the burning Art Deco building, heard the hideous screams and the crazy music, and said to each other in rapturous wonder, “What the hell is this?!” Dear reader, I was hooked. My sister is not the horror fan that I am, but she recognized quality cinema, and when we discovered that Sci-Fi had the good sense to air the movie back-to-back, we settled in for as wild a ride as Standards & Practices would allow. I hunted down a decent copy of the movie as soon as I could to watch it in its full glory, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.

John Carpenter’s The Thing

The-Thing-John-Carpenter-horror

The Internet had been around for quite a while by the time I watched this movie, but it wasn’t like it is now, with spoilers being released as soon as (or even before) the footage is shot. Still, the Internet existed. By all rights I should have had all the goriest parts of this movie memorized long before I ever saw it. HOWEVER. By some stroke of luck, through some spell cast by an ancestral witch who was looking out for her horror fiend great-great-great-great-grandniece, I had managed not to see a single frame of The Thing before I sat down and actually watched it. The person who showed it to me knew this and was, in hindsight, far too chill about it. I think he was scared of breaking the spell, because he knew how special and rare it was to find someone who knew nothing about this movie. He simply put in the disc, pressed play, and waited. And oh…my God…when I watched it? That movie BLEW MY FUCKING MIND.

After the movie ended, the next 30-45 minutes went something like this:

Me: “IT’S SO GOOD!”
Him: “I KNOW!”
Me: “THE EFFECTS!”
Him: “I KNOW!”
Me: “THE CINEMATOGRAPHY!”
Him: “I KNOW!”
Me: “THE MUSIC!”
Him: “I KNOW!”
Me: “IT’S A MASTERPIECE!”
Him: “I KNOW!”
Me: “IT’S SO DAMN GOOD!”
Him: “I KNOW!”

Sleepaway Camp

Sleepaway-Camp-slasher-movie-horror

This is another movie on which I had stayed miraculously unspoiled. I knew that it was a classic and that it had a kick-ass poster, and that was about it. I watched it with another unspoiled horror fan, and when we got to the famous twist we could not stop screaming. At each other, the screen, the universe…just an endless, elated chorus of “What the hell?!” It was glorious.

The Burning

The-Burning-slasher-movie-horror

I was watching this in my bedroom with my dog while my husband watched something far less interesting in the living room. I had just gotten to the gnarly raft scene when he opened the bedroom door and (unintentionally) scared the hell out of me I screamed, so my dog decided to protect me. She stood between us and growled at my husband until he backed slooooowly out of the room to let us finish our movie. I’m not gonna lie…it was pretty awesome. And it proves that you don’t have to hang out with other people to have a communal horror experience; you can have just as good a time with your dog.

Re-Animator

Re-Animator-Jeffrey-Combs-Stuart-Gordon-Lovecraft-horror

This is a notable exception to the dog rule. I went to a horror convention (my first!) and saw this movie with Stuart Gordon and Jeffrey Combs in attendance. Yes, the first time I saw Re-Animator, it was in the theatre with the real Dr. Herbert West. They both spoke a bit before the screening, and then I had my mind blown by one of the best horror movies I have ever seen. (Incidentally, the only horror special effect moment that has ever made me gasp louder than Rob Bottin’s genius work on The Thing was Dr. Hill’s, erm, cunning linguist moment in Re-Animator.)


There you have it. Those are some of my favorite horror-watching moments. Let’s hear some of yours! Please tell me all about them in the comments!

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