Archive for November, 2011

When you get frightened, adrenaline is pumped into your blood stream as a reflex. So why the hell do I love finding movies that scare the bajeezus outta me? I’ma blame it on the a-a-adrenaline, I guess.

You know that feeling after you watch a super scary movie and you’re so scared you don’t want to even go to the bathroom cuz of the newly realized probability of ghosts lurking in the darkness outside the bathroom window? Ahhhh I miss that.

I haven’t been able to find a single movie in years that’s given me that feeling. I suspect this is another one on the Reasons Why Growing Up Is Such A Kakki list. A side effect of growing up I guess, for most people, is skepticism about things that aren’t tangible completely proven fact (eg. santa, ghosts, god etc.) and a consequent decrease in irrational fears, all inclusive of contemplating ghosts in the bathroomy darkness and the chance that the girl from The Exorcist will sneak up behind you as you look in the mirror. Scary movies just aren’t believable anymore when you grow up and learn that the boogyman’s existence is not, in fact, fact.

Why couldn’t my parents just let me believe ghosts are real the way some parents let their kids believe santa is real! Can somebody please say killjoy!

However, I must admit, that my relationship with reality – as part and parcel of being a creative writer – is not a very stable one, so sometimes, yes, I do get that feeling in the darkness that ‘oh shit there’s a spooky pedo demon hiding in that shady spot next to the closet.’ Of course it may or may not turn out to be the clothes rack when I switch the lights on but this is irrelevant.

So with my imagination’s feet in running shoes, there have been one or two movies that have managed to get me all-

and then all-

dilemma!

That mitten in front of my face is my hand by the way. And no I don’t actually wear mittens, I just suck at drawing fingers. My fingers always come out looking like squiggly little worms. The ones I draw I mean, not my real fingers, that would be weird.

But I digress.

Little boys are not scary. I don’t get these horror movies that feature small ghost boys. The Grudge for example, which was lame in Japanese and intolerable in English (though many people claimed LIED TO ME prior to watching it that it would be scary, including my brother who is a stupid little girl for thinking this), features a small boy (dead by tragic circumstances of course) with white skin and big eyes who makes this sound before he kills you (or something) which I thought sounded hilarious. If a kid turned up in my room making that noise, I’d just pull him by the collar and kick him out with a ‘don’t gargle your spit, it sounds disgusting and it’s very rude.’ I mean they’re short and they have babyfaces, how can this be scary even?

Haunted houses are not scary either. Neither are literal red-colour demons with tails and horns. Because these just aren’t credible – nobody can make that red-colour demon not look like a man in plastic covering, and the chandelier swaying and objects floating around just fail at being convincing (unless Nicole Kidman’s in the movie, a la The Others) because of the generally lousy actors made to act in haunted-house-movies, who just get all ‘Oh kevin! I can’t live in this house anymore! It’s tearing us apart!’ WELL BOO HOO, LADY.

Immobile people are scary. Like that one scene in Paranormal Activity where she just stands there for hours. Immobile people who are little girls or women in white dresses with long hair are scarier.

Exhibit A, The Ring or its Japanese original Ringu. The Ring 2 scared me somewhat, and one scene in the Ringu was pretty damn creepy. There’s something about damp long hair falling over the face of a dead girl you know?

Clowns are scary. They’re always laughing and they wear too much make up and big shoes. It’s just very suspicious. But for me, scary in real life and not so much in movies like It.

On the top of my list is The Exorcist – I watched it when I was only about 10. Satan possesses girl, girl’s voice is that of an angry black man, green vomit and swear words, based on true story – it’s got all the stuff of a classically successful horror movie. Needless to say, I slept in my parents’ room for a whole week afterwards.

The possessed face of the girl in the movie still freaks me out. I guess it was extra special scary for me because as someone who believes in a religion, I actually did believe in satan too, so it was that much more real. The countless records of so-called ‘demon possessions’ and ‘exorcisms’ across the world add to the effect.

REC 2, a Spanish movie (original of the english Quarantine–which sucks) was pretty scary in one main scene featuring a demon-possessed man. Mostly because he was laughing madly.

Possessed people laughing, man. That is the killer right there.

However today similar demon-possession movies like remakes of The Exorcist and this year’s The Rite just fail at giving audiences anything new (though I felt Anthony Hopkins in the latter channeled a bit of creepyass Hannibal Lecter). Horror-movie/scary-movie makers just aren’t trying hard enough at churning out fresh new plots and special effects. It’s all in the plot. Get a convincing plot and feature a cackling possessed person and you’ve got a box office success.

I’ll end this post with a story.

When my aunt was about 9 years old, she came home to my grandma’s house and sat next to her while my grandma kindled some soup on the fire. ‘What’s for lunch, umma?’ she asked my grandmother in Tamil. Her mother replied, ‘What do you want for lunch?’ without looking away from the stove. Then she heard her 9 year old daughter babble nonsense words to herself. She turned around to tell her off – when she saw her daughter, my aunt, sitting on the floor, her eyes rolling back into their sockets, and her voice deepened into baritone like an adult man’s as she said ‘enakku pachcha erachchi vaynum, umma!’ (I want raw meat). My grandmother was fixed to the spot in horror. Her daughter then started scraping the floor with her nails, and then started scraping her own face, hard, making marks on her skin, repeating ‘pachcha erachchi thaa!’ (give me raw meat!) the masculine voice getting louder and angrier. My grandmother — instead of getting the hell out of that kitchen like I would have done — picked up her child and ran outside, yelling for help; her daughter scratched and clawed and screamed and twisted, as the people in their village carried her off to the local mosque. The priest there recited over her as she lashed out and yelled and swore and spoke unfamiliar words, and allegedly she was exorcised. When she woke up the next morning in her house, scratch marks on her body healing, she couldn’t remember a thing about the previous day.

True story, I shit you not. Ask my grandma.
Oh and the best part, when I tell this story in person, is this – everyone says that I’m a splitting image of my aunt (at this point in the story in real life, I cackle maniacally and such).

LOOK BEHIND YOU IT’S A CLOWN

lol jk. He’s hiding in the bathroom behind the door.

If you’ve watched any scary movies that you think are a must-watch, recommend here please!

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Leaving The Online Shebang

Posted: November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

I am a social butterfly. Online.

In real life I surround myself with people too, and I look like an extrovert, but secretly I’m an introvert. Yes I am a secret ninja introvert. And our kind, I think, has benefited most from social networking. Facebook and Twitter and thoseotheronesthatpaleincomparison are alternate avenues of socializing, which do not require dressing up and putting yourself out there especially at the risk of having to rub shoulders with people you don’t even like (I mean, can I have a Block and Delete option in real life please?).

What with unlimited WiFi (both back home and here), I used to spend so much time online. I’d log onto Facebook, Twitter and Gmail, by default, and open a Google tab on the side to browse other random things, such as Bradley Cooper’s face and ridiculously cool words like ‘schism.’ Twitter, to me still felt pointless, basically for a little chatting and saying things that you’re almost completely sure nobody gives a rat’s ass about, but I thought I’d join after leaving to Indyaar in a bid to spy on my homies; Facebook, though, I love. There is something so addictive about the illusion of walking into a place constantly inhabited by all your friends. Every status and picture I put up was for this ardent audience of friends, wallposts with the people I know were always a fun chat, and not to mention the albums and notes made of some of my best creative output. It is the haven of the narcissists, and the idle lazybutts – and if you’re a narcissistic idle lazybutt, oh you’ve got it bad. Farmville, however, I never understood. Why would you want a virtual farm on the internet? Why would you want to plant virtual carrots? Why would anyone want to do anything with planting carrots online or off?

Anyway, all in all, idle times would have me switching on my beloved laptop (who is my best friend now, in an apartment where everyone is constantly chattering in Hindi), and somehow, end up spending hours on it. Doing not much else than ‘networking’ (stalking the updates on my newsfeed) and Googling Bradley Cooper’s face. Okay maybe the latter is an exaggeration, but seriously just look at that face. Needless to say, productivity was not my strongest suit.

Some time around last week, I deactivated my accounts, just to see if it would make much of a difference on how I spend my day. Especially since my semester exams are coming up. I got a barrage of emails and sms’s asking me if I was alright (by barrage I mean four). I am alright, people, disappearing from Facebook and Twitter does not mean I died. Anyway, good god, it really, really made a difference. Now when I’m bored and have nothing in particular on my agenda, all that’s on my laptop are movies and Gmail. I’m never in the mood to watch a movie in the middle of the day, so I find myself taking a walk around the block with my earphones on, reading a good book, and even studying. I’m almost all done with revision for my exams, and am currently simultaneously reading Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Siri Gunasinghe’s Hevanälla and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake.

I feel much better about myself now when I go to sleep at night. Not to diss those of you who treat ordinary social networking as a hobby or anything. But with all its epic advantages, I feel like there’s still something really fluffy-nothing about it.. like the accomplishmentfail at the end of walking for five blocks on the embossed edge of a pavement, which is still all fun (this is a bad metaphor because as far as I know I’m probably the only one who enjoys doing this). To zone out a la stuff that doesn’t require thinking, instead of going online I watch something, and if you ask me, some pretty awesome literature comes in the form of some movies and series. Some of the nice ones I’ve watched of late are Catch Me If You Can, Devdas, Vanity Fair, Frida, and the series Pan Am.

I’ll probably return for a dose of incessant and fruitless networking during the vacation. For I do miss the *like*s and the *poke*s and the *RT*s (ok maybe not so much the pokes, I just got pokes from creepy muslim boys who weren’t even on my list) not to mention everyone on Facebook and Twitter; in a way it was my only portal to the world back home. If you guys are reading this, HI. If I was there now my status would be, I’ll be back home in two weeks! Nangila mallila sellankaranna lasthivenna!