Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fascination With Screen Spooks

While not an ardent movie fan, I cannot resist spine-chillers, especially those dealing with ghostly apparitions, hauntings, demonic possessions and such.

Likewise, I only watch similarly-themed programmes on Astro, namely 'Ghost Hunter', 'Ghost Whisperer' and 'Hauntings', and the occasional spooky tales on HBO or Star Movies.

This is, of course, apart from my perennial favourites National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and AFC (Asian Food Channel).

Pak Abu and the kids can't understand why I like to scare myself silly. It is pathetic, I know, especially when I watch these eerie tales with a cushion at hand, ready to cover my face at the slightest creak or tweak.

I have been known to 'mute' the audio when the going gets too tough. My logic is that a silent scream is a better bet than turning myself away from the screen.

I honestly can't explain my fascination with the morbid. Guess here's one ideal candidate for psychoanalysis, considering that I also prefer true-life crime stories over other genres.

I love autobiographies but won't touch romance with a ten-foot pole. Humour I don't mind but fiction isn't my cup of tea at all, although I do pick a title or two occasionally, based on recommendations, book reviews and the bestsellers' list.

Somehow I find real-life murder mysteries very engrossing, especially because there is always a closure to each story. At the end of it all, I like happy endings.

Going to the cinemas is not an option because my movements would be restricted to my seat, and I prefer to stand up and walk away when I cannot stomach any particular scene.

In 1987 I went to a cinema in Petaling Jaya at the invitation of a colleague to watch 'Ruthless People", a comedy starring Bette Midler and Danny De Vito.

It took me 14 years before I stepped into a cinema again. In 2001 Pak Abu and I went to the cineplex in KLCC to watch 'Pearl Harbour'.

The most memorable moments of the movie were the ones when Pak Abu snored loudly (and had to be forcibly awakened) while the bombs were falling on Pearl Harbour.

If you did catch the movie, you would have known how noisy and lengthy the bombing scene was. How Pak Abu managed to sleep through it all still beats the hell out of me.

To my eternal delight, cinemas today are no longer cramped, there are less seats in each auditorium, and the seats are nicer and definitely more spacious and comfortable.

You can stretch your legs without kicking the butts of the person sitting in front. I was also surprised to note people didn't seem to eat kuaci (melon seeds) anymore in cinemas!

Anyway, for the last couple of nights Pak Abu and I have been getting cosy watching eerie tales 'The Reaping' and 'The Messengers'.

We have quite a few more to plough through before he returns the entire bunch of DVDs to his golfing buddy Amin.

Quiet and reserved in public but very much alive in Pak Abu's company, Amin seems to spend his days golfing and nights watching DVDs, considering the ultra-huge collection that he has.

Please excuse me, for I have another spooky tale to chill my blood with before I hit the pillow....

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