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Top Five Scary-But-Not-Scary Movies to Watch if, Like Me, You Didn't Get Invited to A Halloween Party

Oct 31, 2013

My best memories of summertime as a teenager are the ones when my sister, who is 10 years older than I am, would come home from work on a Friday and order me to grab my bikini and get in the car, 'cause we were goin' to the lake! This was fun for many obvious reasons, but mainly because:

A) I had a 10 p.m. curfew so I had resigned myself to another geeky Friday night of watching TGIF then calling 99X to request Radiohead and The Cranberries songs while I lay on my floor writing in my journal.

B) My sister would pretty much let me do whatever I wanted once we got there.

This is what I imagined. This never, ever happened.
My lake friend was Shelley, and we would get into all kinds of trouble together. And by trouble I mean French inhaling her dad's Parliaments and chugging stolen beers under a dock then complaining about how gross beer is.

One Saturday night we met some lake boys. This was the most fun because it was too dark to see what they looked like so we could pretend they were as hot as we wanted them to be. It wouldn't be until the following year that I would actually let one of them kiss me (only to find out the next day he had one and a half front teeth), but that year I went as far as to accept an invitation for a Nightmare on Elm Street marathon the next afternoon, where I let my guy stroke my arm.

This was super scandalous for me, y'all. Not even my mother knows about this!

Long story short, we watched four Nightmare on Elm Streets before I had to drive back home with my sister. That night, peering over my Laura Ashley comforter to the end of my bed, I swear to you I saw Freddy's nasty fedora creep up from the floor and those ghetto razor fingernails tap the yellow and lavender flowers, just shy of my toes.

So you'd think I'd stop watching horror movies after that, right? Wrong. Not until last year, when the Ex made me watch Paranormal Activity, did I finally quit. HOWEVER, there are a few that I will still watch, for various reasons explained below.

1. The Watcher in the Woods
Year: 1980
Plot: Family moves into a big house that's strangely priced below their budget. It's surrounded by woods and it's old. Obviously something scary is going to happen. *SPOILER ALERT* Bette Davis is watching from the woods, but she's not actually the scariest part of this movie. THE LITTLE BLINDFOLDED BLONDE GIRL STUCK IN THE MIRROR IS.
Why I Love It: We find out the trapped girl's name is Karen because somebody writes her name on a window and our heroine's kid sister, who is clearly dyslexic, thinks it's "Narek" instead of the logical word, "Karen," and names her cat Narek. The big sis heroine, who is also blonde (I know there's a connection to her and NarekKaren but I've never figured it out), investigates and finds the missing link is named...wait for it...MARY PIERCE. OMG Y'ALL SCARIEST SLEEPOVER EVER. And also doomed my teenage years as people were pretty sure I was cursed somehow. 


2. Frogs
Year: 1972
Plot: A bunch of pretty people end up on some island around South Carolina (I think) where they stay in a big, old house where a crotchety old man in a wheelchair lives. When frogs and some lizards start killing people, everyone tries to escape, but obviously they can't because frogs and lizards procreate at higher rates than humans, plus lizards can regenerate their tails if they need to. I mean, humans are really no match for frogs and lizards, if we're being honest. I'm not sure how we've survived this long. Anyway, the old man refuses to leave, much like other people refuse to leave their houses during a hurricane. *SPOILER ALERT* He dies. 
Why I Love It: This is the campiest horror flick of all time. The special effects are so awful. The plot is ridiculous. The acting is atrocious. The frogs are supposed to be evil but after a while you start finding them cute. The only convincing killer, an alligator, has tape over its mouth in the shot. Look for it. You'll find lots more mistakes while you're at it. 
Year: 1985
Plot: Teenage kid thinks his neighbor is a vampire and contacts a local TV celebrity, who claims to be a vampire hunter, to help him out. The celebrity obviously thinks the kid (Charlie) is cray cray, but when people end up missing, the local celeb humors him and becomes legit vampire hunter. *SPOILER ALERT* They succeed, and remain friends.
Why I Love It: It has that classic 80s vibe that all of us 80s kids miss so much. Prince Humperdink is the bad guy, again. The pencil through the hand and the vampire skin getting all sizzly is pretty cool too. And Charlie is a total underdog stud. He can do way better than his annoying girlfriend who wears suspenders all the time. Ugh, boys. 

Year: 2004
Plot: Poor Shaun, he's like the Bridget Jones of the zombie apocalypse. He can't get the girl, his brother is being a jerk, he really needs to work out but instead drinks away his problems, and everyone around him is trying to eat him! You just can't win, you know? *SPOILER ALERT* He gets the girl. And shoots his mom in the face.
Why I Love It: I feel like in real life, I would react similarly to Shaun upon finding a zombie girl in my backyard. Scratch that -- I would be hiding behind my couch wondering what the heck someone was doing in my backyard with my finger hovering over 9-1-1, but instead I'd end up calling my dad and my neighbor, in that order. But Shaun seems to have a reasonable reaction, until he and his buddy start throwing things at her because they think she's drunk. Why are boys so mean?!?!?! 


5. Zombieland
Year: 2009
Plot: Mark Zuckerberg Jesse Eisenberg is one of the few remaining humans since the zombie apocalypse (in America this time) because, just like me, he's full of rules. He points out early on that if you're fat, you're probably not going to outrun the zombies. That's right -- these zombies run! So he's very serious about his rules, from keeping up your cardio to not being a hero. Until he meets Emma Stone... awww.
Why I Love It: *SPOILER ALERT* Because Bill Murray is a human for a while and then a zombie. And it was filmed in Georgia, which is apparently where the zombie apocalypse will happen if it ever happens.

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