To be completely honest, I'm a very faint hearted person; it doesn't take much to scare me or to make me jump out of my skin. I'm afraid of clowns; I have a paralyzing fear of snakes (so much so that I feel my blood freeze and my heart skips beats when I see one in the pet store.. hence the pet store is on the list of places to avoid); I've always been unnerved when I'm in the dark, alone or otherwise; I picture the scariest things possible in my mind and convince myself that they're in my room when I'm trying to fall asleep or they're around the corner when I'm forced to make the perilous journey to my bedroom after hours.
I think one of the things I'm most terrified of in this world, even though fictitious, is the idea of an exorcism.
I've never seen The Exorcist in it's entirety, and I have no plans to. However, I know almost everything about the plot and the disturbing events of the movie - it's something I do, read up on movie plots and trivia; I know, that sounds like a loser thing to do, but I'm so into movies that I just read about everything, know about every upcoming film, and clearly my seemingly neverending knowledge on movies (even those I've never seen) is no doubt in part to my constant surfing of IMDB.com. Anyways, I digress, point being that I know the sequence of events of The Exorcist that I can practically say I've seen it. I'm perfectly content never hearing the demon's voice.
However.. the face. I'd never have imagined I would have become so emotionally distraught by just an IMAGE. With my luck I stumble upon a picture of Linda Blair almost daily (the dangers of the internet), in her bloody and devilish glory. (in fact, it's never my fault - there was a picture of the bitch on KISS92.5'S WEBSITE. The fuck.) Writing this, I'm picturing her face, and it's literally giving me chills, and I can guarantee myself I'll have nightmares about it tonight. The truth is the image has even gone so far as to give me night terrors, where I wake up in such an utter state of fear that the darkness surrounding me causes me to take an even longer time to calm myself down.
(By the way, if one was to ever link me to a picture of the girl from The Exorcist.. I honestly don't think I'd be able to forgive them. That's just proof of the EXTENT of the damage this image has put on my mind. coughSteph)
Even the spoof at the beginning of Scary Movie 2 scares me pretty bad. Again, it's the cut up face and the vacant eyes. Kudos to the make-up department.
Now that being said, I've seen movies like Exorcism of Emily Rose. To be honest I laughed during it. Yes, the idea of demonic possession was still quite unnerving to me - I didn't like the idea, I didn't like the horror prying on beliefs, so I guess in that aspect the movie did its job. It just didn't have the same weight as The Exorcist, and I know I might be "unqualified" to make that assumption having never seen The Exorcist, but again, my well of movie knowledge is good enough to say that I can. I think another big factor is maybe the fact that Emily Rose is Deb on Dexter, and I love Deb, or maybe the fact that her face wasn't cut up.
I'm usually able to suppress thoughts about the idea for good amounts of time, provided I don't see the image online. The commercials for The Last Exorcism lately haven't been doing me much good. Again, no cut up face, but I think this time I'm being most affected by the grittiness of the movie, the realism they've cemented. Maybe another factor is the fact that she's loose, unlike my good friend Regan, who spends the majority of her possession tied to her bed. Good thinking, priests.
Now, I know what you're thinking: Grow the fuck up, Matt. You're probably even thinking that I'm very pathetic, talking about how just a .jpg has caused me to become a bigger scaredy-cat that Shaggy or Scooby Doo. And I say, go ahead. I don't care. This is me, this is real, and that's that.
What say you: would watching The Exorcist cure my irrational fear, or would it make matters worse? I tend to think it might be the same philosophy as, say, driving. Driving a car terrified me, and therefore I stayed away from it, only increasing the fear in my mind whenever I could. Now I'm completely fine with it, and even enjoy it (not saying that I'll enjoy the movie after I watch it.. fat chance). Or would watching the movie damage me even further? I'm not entirely sure. I just know today's not the day.