#5: Classic Horror Triple Feature

My love-hate relationship with creepy movies has a simple cause: they work way too well on me. It’s one thing when the story’s good, but even the most embarrassing plot twist leaves me clutching at my chest. I appreciate the craft of creepiness. I’m always on the lookout for written horror or suspense. My favorite author of all time is Shirley Jackson, who wrote the short story “The Lottery”—you know, the oft-anthologized high school English staple where New England villagers gossip about the big event that will happen that afternoon (I won’t spoil the uninitiated, but there’s a link at the bottom of the post).

Movies are different. Without my imagination to mediate, I’m at the mercy of shrill string soundtracks and ghouls leaping suddenly onscreen. I can’t really hold my own, dignity-wise. As the wise friend I’ve deemed my official horror movie ambassador will attest, I make noises.

So putting a horror movie marathon on my list of possible adventures really was pushing my boundaries. That I ended up attending a classic movie triple feature—Frankenstein’s Monster (1931), Count Dracula (1931), and The Wolf Man (1941)—was less of a stretch, but really fun. It had already been a long day by the time I found out that it was going on. I tested the local interest, found a neighbor who was game for adventure, and we headed to the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge.  I’m glad that we went.

The movies would have been great from a sofa, but the wonderful energy in the room made them even more enjoyable. A lot of the time when I see a movie in theaters, the most I hope for is that the moviegoing public doesn’t heckle too loudly or flash cell phones directly in my face. This was different: energetic, reverent silence broken up by laughter at uncomfortably long reaction shots or as overwrought heroines fainted. I am proud to say that I made it without any overwrought fainting at all. I snagged a copy of the Brattle Theatre’s schedule on the way out, and definitely hope to head back soon.

The Brattle Theatre Events Calendar

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson (Full Text)