One of my missions this summer is to make myself immune to scary movies. My thesis will be on Horror Films as social commentary, so I have to get through most of the fear that I have around movies that are designed to make you afraid. Before I started college, I had seen exactly zero horror films. When I was a kid, I would sneak into my parents' bed if I had caught part of something scary on TV, so my mom made them off-limits. And when I started making my own decisions, I realized I really didn't like being scared, so I stayed away.
Since starting college, I've watched about 5. To choose Horror Films for part of my senior thesis seems a little contradictory based on my not liking to be scared, but I decided it was something that would challenge me in a lot of ways. So to prepare, I've been watching films fairly regularly with the family I live with.
Two of the recent films we watched were Dark Skies and Mama. Both of them had plenty of jump-out-at-you moments, but something that continually irks me about horror in all the films I've seen is that NOBODY will talk to one another.
I can understand this if you, as a victim of something strange or supernatural and almost unbelievable, wouldn't want to talk to someone on the outside who could take your children away from you, or lock you up, or some other thing. But if you and your family or friends are all experiencing the same thing at different times, I think a lot more could be solved if the characters would talk to one another.
Take Mama, for example. The storyline follows two young girls who were abandoned at a young age and lived in the woods, "alone," for about 5 years. When they're found, they're practically feral, and undergo therapy and observation to coax them back into the world. The chief psychologist wants to keep them under observation, so he gives the girls, their uncle, and the uncle's girlfriend a house to live in so they can stay together.
Through his scenes, you understand that the psychologist knows a LOT more than he's letting on. After the uncle ends up in the hospital (thanks to the motherly spirit who was taking care of the girls but is incredibly possessive and jealous of anyone else who comes near them), you'd think the good doctor would say something to the girlfriend like "Oh, hey, I know I said they were just feral, but there's actually an evil spirit hanging around that I'm gonna go investigate." But no! He wanders off into the woods (ALONE! AT NIGHT!) and (spoilers) is killed.
The two adults in Dark Skies (which is about an alien abduction) lie to each other left and right, and don't tell their kids what's going on for a long while. Again, a lot of the problems that are revealed at the very end of the film could have been solved if the people just TALKED to each other.
I think that's something that will keep me grounded and less afraid as I continue to watch these films and do research. If something crazy and paranormal started happening to me and someone I care about, I would sit down with them and have a conversation straight away about the symptoms, things I was noticing, etc. Maybe it's just the Shimerian in me.