We are just two days from the United States election and I have adopted a very much Fingers In Ears, Na na na, Can’t Hear You kind of attitude towards it all. I have enjoyed, in the past, avidly following along with American politics, and I love to watch people like Seth Meyers and John Oliver tear into Trump. But I remember how sad I was when Hillary Clinton lost, and it’s not even my country, and I’m not sure I really want to go through that again in real time.
Plus, lately I find the democratic pundits that I prefer have gotten really sad, themselves. They are no longer lighthearted in their approach; and I get that, I really do, but there’s only so many times I can hear that Evil is on our Doorstep before I start to really spiral about how there’s nothing anyone can do about it, all is lost, etc.
Plus, this is probably the Canadian in me, but when people start talking in extremes like EVIL, even when it comes to Trump, I always feel like maybe there is more to the big picture. I mean, there MUST be more to the big picture, isn’t there?
In any case, I am on a severe politics diet for all this week, and I’m hoping it will turn things around, at least for me, because my whole house is sad at the moment.
I am guessing that most of the country, if not the world, is sad too, but this is the first time I have really begun to wonder how sad is Too Sad, and to google things like “symptoms of depression.” Because all of us have been so blah. It’s like we have an absence of personality. We all lack a sparkle, a bounce.
I am guessing that the root of the problem is that it is darker and colder and we are all feeling like we have very little to look forward to. No trips, no visits with family. We have ALL the streaming services (literally: ALL) plus endless video game machines and board games and sports equipment, and yet we are all so bored. Bored of each other, bored of life, with a long winter looming.
(Thought to myself: Perhaps it is time for a family re-reading of the Little House series, especially The Long Winter. Hm.)
It is because my poor children have been looking at me with sad, dead eyes that can no longer perk up even with the promise of Iced Capps, that I made a Super Big Deal out of Halloween. And it worked! At least for me, hopefully for the kids too.
It was a Saturday and everything else including Trick or Treating was cancelled so what we did was a) put on costumes and b) put out a massive spread of candy, along with other snacky type foods and c) watched scary movies until our eyeballs bled. I let the kids know in advance I was planning an all-day Halloween movie fest and attendance was not optional and they were surprisingly okay with that (or at least, did not have the energy to resist).
I dressed up as a yeti, which if you know me is funny, because I have a stuffed yeti and he is like my fourth child. I am seriously weird about the yeti. But is he is my boo.
Captain Jelly Belly had scoffed at other movies I consider “scary,” because I am a wimp, so I wanted to watch some seriously spooky stuff. But on the other hand, the girls, especially middle child Gal Smiley, get very nervous at scary movies so I had to walk a fine line.
The schedule was:
10 a.m. Beetlejuice. The kids had never seen it. It was a great way to start the day – very fun, dated effects but the story and the legendary Day-O scene still hold up. Scary rating: 2/10, entertainment rating 7/10.
12 noon. Happy Death Day. My sister FameThrowa, who LOVES scary movies, told me this one was “good but not scary” and she was right. But it was SO good! The girls and I just loved its twisty plot and its very satisfying ending. Although the main character dies over and over, only a few of them have the traditional “hunted by a killer” feel – some of them are actually pretty funny. Recommended. Scary rating: 4/10, entertainment rating 8/10.
2 p.m. Lights Out. This is my sister’s all-time favourite scary movie and she warned me it was pretty scary so we deliberately watched it in the middle of the afternoon to lessen its power. She was 100% correct. Although we all felt okay about it at the time – on top of it being daylight, we also ate dinner during this time frame and did a bunch of chatting, which made it a lot less scary – this is the one that kept both me and Gal Smiley from falling asleep. I had to sleep with a light on, in the end. SHUDDER. Especially good for watching with your teens as there’s almost no sexy stuff, and everyone you really really like lives, so that’s good. Scary rating: 9/10, entertainment rating: 8/10.
4:30 p.m. Unfortunately the Captain had to go to work for a while. I gave the girls the option of a “scare break” but they wanted to continue, so we watched The Cabin in the Woods. SO MUCH BLOOD. Also, brief boobies shot, which got a lot of discussion and caused some discomfort around here. But overall this movie is a balance between horror and humour which keeps it from getting too intense. Scary rating: 6/10, entertainment rating: 7/10.
6:30 p.m. The Conjuring. By now it was dark, and this movie scared the crap out of me. I am a pretty easy scare, though. The girls found it scary but were more scared by my random screaming than anything else. Like Lights Out, this was a great family choice because there’s no sexy stuff and, in fact, no one actually dies so there’s very little violence – it’s a lot of spooky atmosphere and scary ghosts and freaky jump scares. I’ll probably watch it again when my heart returns to a normal rate. Scary rating: 8/10, entertainment rating: 7/10.
And then I had to go pick up the Captain from work. We were going to watch one more when he got home – Don’t Breathe – because I really wanted him to have the true late night, scary-as-hell experience. But by the time he got home and showered and ate, it was pretty late, and the youngest kid and I were nodding off on the couch, so we called it a day.
But we’ve decided to make Scary Movie Night a semi-regular thing around here, so feel free to share your recommendations – it’ll give us something to look forward to, and something to feel, and something to distract us from the state of the world, and I feel like we all need a LOT more of that kind of thing, and stat.