My best friend since freshman year of college, Whitney, is a precious human being. I say that with the utmost respect. She’s kind, a great listener and has this cute little fluffy ponytail on top of her head like a rabbit’s tail. But most of the time, she drives me nuts.
Once or twice a month, Whitney asks me to go to the movies with her. Not just any movies either. Always horror movies. I beg and plead with her to see something else, anything else. This time, Whitney wanted to see “It”, the newest and most hyped horror movie of the year.
Like always, I told her no. She told me she even got a T-shirt for the movie, with a little red balloon in the center. I responded that she’s crazy.
The first scary movie I ever saw was in the fifth grade. My friends and I huddled together on the couch, watching a B-rated horror film. It was awful, graphic and terrifying. I’ve hated scary movies ever since.
Horror films have always been a big genre for moviegoers. Last weekend, the record-breaking debut of “It” pulled in $123 million in its domestic opening (adding another $66 million overseas) to notch the biggest opening weekend ever for any movie in the horror genre and the largest September opening of all time, according to Fortune.
As a person who doesn’t like horror movies, this number doesn’t change the feelings I have for scary movies.
The “Annabelle” trailer spooked me to the point of not being able to going to sleep for hours. I couldn’t get past the third episode of “Criminal Minds” because I kept getting the feeling someone was coming to get me.
This business of fearing things that may not be scary to others isn’t anything new to me. But what happens when scaring people goes too far? What happens when the movie industry creates a fantasy that people aren’t afraid to bring to life?
Last year, clowns took over. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about the clowns. At first, it was only something on the internet. Then, it was quickly spreading across the country. We heard of clown sightings around Toledo.
To me, I avoid being scared because I don’t want to be scared. There is a large portion of the world that genuinely hates terrifying things (me included), and that is okay.
Actually, it’s more than okay. We have a right not to want to be frightened in our day-to-day lives, and that includes walking in public.
This year, with the release of “It”, the clowns came back. Red balloons floated over sewer grates. Clowns flocked to clown-only screenings of the movies.
I’m sick of being scared. You can say, “Oh, she’s a millennial snowflake, go find a safe space.” I don’t like being terrified while I trying to enjoy a television show. I avoid watching scary movies because I don’t want to see them.
So, please stop dressing up as clowns, stop frightening others and stop causing real problems. This isn’t “The Purge” because “The Purge” isn’t a real thing. It’s a movie and that is where it should stay: in a fictional universe.