Dave and I were talking last night about scary movies. I used to love scary movies. When I was in grade school, my friend, Stephanie, and I watched all six of the "Children of the Corn" thrillers. Of course, they were late 80s or early 90s scary movies - can't really be compared to the gore of modern scary movies. My parents even went to see Blair Witch Project to see if I could see it. I saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre on opening night in college. And now I won't even watch the previews. So what changed? I used to love having the pants scared off me. Here's my theory.
Up through college life was very care free, I still had my parents to fall back on if I needed them. My biggest fear was getting a low GPA and failing a final. Post-college I got married and had something to lose. Moving away from my family, having my husband deploy, living in a completely foreign culture: all of this was much scarier than Children of the Corn or Blair Witch.
Life's a lot scarier when it's real. I don't need to be a thrill seeker or an adrenaline junkie and watch scary movies to get a buzz. Real life is much, much scarier than whatever Hollywood can make.
Horror films over-do the blood, guts, and gore to make it scary - to prove a point. But emotional films do the same thing. Think about any movie that makes you cry. Like the Notebook. Both the Notebook and Texas Chainsaw over-embellish to evoke emotion. They just evoke different types of emotion. I can't watch super emotional movies any more either. It used to be that my roommates and I would watch Legends of the Fall once a semester, to get the emotional catharsis that accompanies the viewing. Now I don't need to watch movies to feel something because once again life has proven to be much more emotionally draining than I could have anticipated in my care-free college days.