This summer I was tricked into seeing a horror movie on the big-screen. I don’t mean that I pretended I didn’t want to see a movie just so people could tell me how much they wanted me to come. I was genuinely hoodwinked. After dinner, I got into a car and said, “Where are we going?” expecting a civil answer like “ice-cream” or “home.” Instead my friend said, “The Conjuring 2.”
I yelped in terror and my heart started to race. See the thing is: I do not watch scary movies. I realized my tolerance for horror movies was pretty low when my peers told me that they don’t even consider The Shining a horror movie; to them, it’s a thriller. The Shining has kept me up awake at night for the past three years. If that didn’t constitute “scary,” I realized that I was better off saying goodbye to the horror movie genre as a whole.
But, on this fateful night, there was no escaping. Unlike Danny in the maze, I found nowhere to run. So we got to the theatre. I was in that weird place where you don’t want to cry, so you laugh at everything. “Let’s get popcorn.” I giggled. “Do you want some water?” Hilarious!
We made our way into the still-lit theatre. There were four of us and a couple behind us. Only six people were foolish enough to brave The Conjuring 2 on a Thursday night. The lights went out. A trailer, about lights going out, began to play. I started crying silently. My friend looked over at me to ask for popcorn. “Are you crying?” she hissed. I shrugged.
Then the movie started. At first it was fine. There was a Clash song playing. The main girl was super cute. I relaxed. But then a nun came on-screen and I wanted to pass out. All around me my friends were whimpering with fear. “Fools!” I thought. I closed my eyes; I put my fingers in my ears. I concentrated on my feet in the dark. But nothing could make that nun go away. The couple behind us got up and left out of sheer fright.
The nun was gone, but now the possessed children were singing a nursery rhyme in their creepy children’s voices. Now that we were the only people in the theater, we started murmuring quietly to each other about how scared we were. I was not alone in my fear. One of my friends, who was sitting on the aisle, made me switch seats with him, so he could be in the middle. All at once, everyone began begging to leave. We waited until the next scare and then ran out of the room before the nun could come back with her spooky eyeless eyes.
I don’t think we even made it halfway through. But, when I think about it, the thing that seems the most haunting is the The Conjuring 2 playing to an empty, darkened room full of chairs.