Saturday, February 18, 2017


* This photo is posed. The rest are not

Horror is something relatively new to the family.

Well in book form, it isn’t. But in movie and TV form, it is.

There are plenty of horrific films in the media centre which we can watch on our weekend movie nights, but we haven’t managed to see a single one.

A few months ago, when I played The Babadook, an Aussie indie-ish film about a scary kid’s book and how the creature in it comes to life, I could literally see the chills creeping up the girls’ spines as the mother onscreen read aloud the story book and that was in the first few minutes of the film.

The cushions they clutched against their chests got higher and higher until all I could see was their little eyes. Then they ran out of the room and begged me to change a movie. The creature hadn’t even come to life.

Twilight Zone, the original black-and-white TV series from the 60s about the paranormal, has been more palatable (it's also brilliant and very thought-provoking, especially for Day who declares its one of the best things he's watched). Although a couple of episodes, like the one about a woman who kept seeing a mysterious twin everywhere, did give Lu nightmares.

These days, KK has latched on to a Japanese TV series featuring so-called real-life scary stories. They are terrific entertainment, for those watching (them) and those watching the watchers (me).

* Lu somewhere on Jo's right, even her feet have disappeared behind the orange cushion

Typically, what happens is:

KK laughs and laughs at all the scary parts. He finds it hilarious. He is always talking, preparing the kids, like: OK you all better get ready, the feller is going to sleep and something’s going to happen. He is also always the one to predict the story arc, like “Oh the thing is in her house!”

Day, on the occasion he joins in (when I’ve taken away his devices) is quiet and serious. But he also clutches a cushion and doesn’t want to sleep alone after.

Jo and Lu are screamers, runners, and cushion-clutchers. They have leapt up and raced into my room, screaming at the top of their lungs, because a wraith with long black hair emerged from a squatting toilet. So on and so forth. Between the two, Lu is the more sensitive, while Jo’s reaction is more of wide-eyed amazement, with a smile. She enjoys the thrill.

I watch the watchers because I cannot make it. These days, I can’t take horror. At all. So while they watch I’m at work on my computer. Or if I’m outside, I fold my laundry facing the back wall of the living room, and if something scary is about to happen I clap my hands over my ears and hum.

* Horror show expressions. Day and Jo are standing so they can make a quick getaway if need be

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