I’m writing this as Close Encounters of the Third Kind is starting on TV. This is probably going to be a problem for me very shortly, as
a) I have a crazy imagination, which is super helpful when I’m writing, but not so much when I’m trying to sleep at night.
b) I get more scared by alien movies than by ghost movies. Most of the time I’m excited about the prospect of life on other planets, but not when I’m sitting alone in my house with my imagination.
On the plus side, it’s a movie full of late 70s/early 80s hair and fashion, which makes me nostalgic. Not so much because I remember 70s/80s fashion first hand, but because I grew up watching stuff like Star Wars and Star Trek feature films. And regardless of the time period they were supposed to take place in, 70s/80s fashion was always prevalent. Like some feathered-hair kind of gene asserting its dominance.
Yes, feathered hair makes me feel warm, nostalgic fuzzies. Stop judging me.
But the movie that completely scared the ever loving boogers out of me (yes, I just said boogers – it won out over goobers by a slight margin) was Signs, a movie about aliens who communicated via crop circles.
I watched it in the Tri Cities area. Where they have crop circles. A fact that I was thinking about in the movie theater while I was bruising my friend Becky’s arm every time something creepy happened. Which was about every five minutes.
Speaking of creepy, Close Encounters got creepy really fast. I just had to mute it (Everything’s less scary when you mute it – those darn Holllywood sound engineers. So freaking good at their jobs.).
The thing is, I have a tendency to gravitate toward scary movies when I see they’re on TV. Yesterday, I saw that Stephen King’s IT was on, so of course, I clicked over to it during one of the Tour de France’s twelve billion commercial breaks (actually, this year’s tour is more like a lot of commercials with brief interruptions by the race…grrr…but I’m getting off the subject). I landed on the channel just in time to see a photo album start flipping pages on its own, then bleed out a quart of blood. Came back to it later to see a scary clown reach its hand out of the album to try and strangle a bunch of kids. Thankfully, I found that more laughable than anything else…except I really do think clowns are kind of freaky. I’m not alone. Remember that episode of Bones where Booth shot an ice cream truck because it had a clown head that played music sitting on top of it?
Man, I was jealous.
Anyway, I guess my point is, why do we do this? As a society, why do we gravitate toward the scary, the mysterious, the unexplained? Even when we know it’s going to keep us awake for hours when we go to bed at night?
Do we love a mystery? Do we want there to be something beyond what the eye can see? Are we gluttons for punishment?
During the day, I love the idea of aliens because I don’t want the Earth to be alone in the universe. I’d like to think there’s more than planets and asteroids out there. During the night…that’s a different story.
Aaaand there’s a UFO flying over Richard Dreyfuss’s truck right now.
Gosh, hope I don’t have to sleep with the light on tonight.