I haven’t been scared by a fictional book or movie in year. I’ve been lightly creeped out. I’ve been unnerved. I’ve been put slightly on edge. But I haven’t been out and out scared.
I have to work to even reach that level of fear. I have to set the mood. I lower the lights and make sure I’m alone. I focus everything on the movie and try not to shift my attention to anything else.
If I don’t do any of that, if I wander away from the movie to make a snack, if Emily is home with me, if it’s just too light out, then the fear never comes and I just watch the movie with a critical eye, quietly and calmly picking apart everything they’re doing wrong.
I have seen things, movies so terrible and wretched and graphic and disturbing that it has wrenched my ability to find your everyday horror flick frightening askew. I think, at this point, that there is nothing that I could see, cinematically, that could shock me. I have seen things, movies that should not have been made and should not have been released.
It has become a quest, a game. I go looking for something worse, hoping to be provoked and horrified, and, each time, I am rebuffed.
My one dream is that I will go to the horror convention this Sunday and find a vendor, tucked away in some back corner of the convention. He sells DVDs, obviously homemade copies, things he has burned himself. None of them have covers or titles. He will hand me a movie and it will be as the Lament Configuration is to Cotton and I will finally, finally, be scared by a movie again.