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[Note from Barb: Read on to find out why this year’s horror show makes these from a few years back seem like a day at Disneyland.]

Halloween and horror.

I’m a total wuss when it comes to horror anything, so I do my level best to avoid it. The shower scene from Psycho? Any movie involving a chain saw, doll that comes to life (to any sound effect other than Sugar Plum Fairy theme), clowns, sharks (swimming or tornadoed) or the word Halloween? Never watched a single one. Never will.

About the scariest I go for in Halloween viewing is the Midnight Margaritas scene from Practical Magic. Or the Republican National Convention.

But here it is October, and my family’s viewing choices naturally veer toward teen-puree. Well, okay. One does not, I told myself, necessarily need to see vast numbers of teens get turned into tomato soup in the creepy basement in order to form opinions on the genre.  [cracks knuckles, opens the blinds, turns on all the lights, does preventive check of both showers, puts on some holiday-themed Tchaikovsky, and makes sure we really don’t have a basement that I’ve just forgotten about. Ready.]

Teen Cast Members (après-basement)

When it comes to YA horror, there are a couple of essential tropes:

  1. How dark is dark? Even if it’s the middle of a bright sunny day outside, the kids will go into a pitch-dark boarded up haunted house/abandoned hospital/ cave. Their flashlights will get broken or lost, their candles will blow out, and that piece of wood that they managed to light as a torch using their last match will fall into the elevator shaft/pit of despair/ toilet. Somehow, despite the fact that not one of them has a match or lighter on them (apparently horror teens either don’t smoke or are into vaping), the structure they are in will catch fire. Oh, and there will be no signal for their phones because otherwise it would be a VERY short and boring story.

    BASEMENT: I’ll give you a dollar if you go first!
    [photo credit: Joshua Hoffine}

  2. We’ll find it/them/the exit faster if we split up. Yeah, cause that always ends well…horror teens
  3. Is that ketchup on my red shirt? These are the bleeders, characters listed in the credits under “blonde friend” or at most just a first name. If it was Star Trek, they would be the ones in the red uniform shirts who would be dead before the first commercial break. In a YA horror tale, they are probably the evil alpha bitch’s girl posse who—although they travel in a pack everywhere else on the planet—only have to set foot in the haunted house before separating so they can be picked off one by one.

    Redshirt characters=expendible.
    [image credit: Wikipedia]

  4. Mad dogs, evil dolls, and spiders and bats, oh my! In horror, they will get on your face. In supernatural horror, they will eat your brains and turn you into zombies or pod-teens or come bursting out of your chest in which they have been gestating and… you know, I think I’ll just stop here.

    [image credit: Janine Smith (c) 2019

  5. How bitchy are the beyotches? This brings us to the YA part of the program. It’s middle or high school, ruled by the cruelest, most evil creatures ever spawned: teenagers.

    [image credit: gurl.com]

  6. Um…sorry about your parents. Not. If any of these kids have managed to hang onto even one parent, that person will be an abusive/ alcoholic/ control freak or even a Republican.
  7. This school ain’t big enough for both of us. Ah, yes. What would a YA story be without the transfer student? From Twilight’s Bella to The Craft’s Sarah to Buffy’s um… Buffy, those transfer kids from the dysfunctional families are magnets for the creatures of evil—vampires, witches, psycho killers, mean girls with great hair and convertibles.
  8. Clowns. Oh way the hell no. Just… no.

scary clown

 Why horror movies don’t scare me any more.

The night before last, the Hub and I woke to a sound straight from the nightmares of any homeowner.

Drip. Drippity, drip.

For a minute, neither of us said anything, hoping we were still dreaming.

Drip, drippety, splash, pour…

Even for Scotland, there’s been a LOT of precipitation lately. I don’t want to cause panic, but I’ve heard people in kilts have been shoving pairs of animals out of boats loaded with emergency supplies (whisky) and lifesaving equipment (again, whisky).

“Is that rain?” the Hub asked hopefully. “On the outside of the house where it belongs?”

Splash, splashity, pour…

“You didn’t happen to move the bathtub into the next room and forget to mention it to me?”

Without looking at each other, we crept into the next room. Water streamed down the walls, pooled on the (new! sob!) wood floor, puddled in the remains of the fallen curtains and blinds.

O the horror! 

And that’s why I don’t mind horror movies anymore. (Unless there are clowns. Because…clowns.)