family, movie

Why I Should Maybe Stop Watching Horror

And also movies where you have”suspenses”. 

Last Saturday, VJ let us engage in the Conversations about Cinema, and it was super fun. Everybody had stories to tell, but I forgot so many of my own. And that class brought back so much of them. 

I have often been scolded by my friends for spoiling the suspense, which I manage to guess. And there’s this thing I have for animation movies – because I feel they’re like dreams. Anything and everything can happen. 

I don’t remember when exactly I had first seen my horror movie. But then maybe, it doesn’t start with a movie at all? 

The earliest memory I have of anything ‘horror-ish’ is perhaps this weird serial I used to watch with my grandpa and cousins. This is something that happened only at my mom’s house. The room would be dark, lights off and all those trees would be peeking in through those old fashioned grilled windows. I don’t remember the name or the story at all; it has a couple and a yakshi I think. I don’t even remember how old I was – seven or eight? My grandpa used to watch, and we used to sit with him. Somehow, the idea of getting scared didn’t scare us, instead it might as well as have excited us. But one of my cousins was a little hesitant to look at the TV; she had the habit of peeking through the gaps in between the fingers of her hand – which covered her face – so that she would be terrified, but still not miss any part of it at the same time. The same cousin would, years later, sit with me to watch Paiyaa, fast forwarding through all the songs and the fight scenes – it’s a Tamil movie. 

Years later, my grandfather had passed away. The four of us were together in that house after years, for the rituals. And one night, we were in his bedroom discussing the movie ‘Mirrors‘. Well not really discussing, since we hadn’t watched the movie. I had just seen that one scene where the hero’s sister dies, and decided I’ll watch the movie in leisure – from the beginning- the next time. The eldest one, S, then continued to narrate the story. And I helped her scare the other two. And after this, I don’t remember why exactly  – we (S and I) had to step out of the room. It was dark out there, since our mothers were at some other corner of the house. We had to go to S’s room – she lived with her mother and grandpa – to take something. She was searching in the dark, so was I. But then she turned on the lights (on purpose) , and I was standing right in front of the dressing mirror. I had an exciting heart attack, after which we started giggling. We went back to the room and terrified the other two, reminding them that reflections were enough. 
I have perhaps become used to watching horror movies, and writing horror was a much later addition. I had watched Conjuring 2 in theatre, and that was the first horror movie I saw in a theatre. I had planned to go with my two BBFs – Bangalore Best Friends, S and P. 

The movie was, in many ways funny. And there were so many people commenting aloud – even us perhaps. But my classmates had perhaps praised it so much, that I had placed the movie high in expectations. So much that, no matter how scary the movie was, it would still not be scary enough for me. It was maybe unfair of me to do so. But then, it was a beautiful movie -mind blowing I would say. 
I have already written about how to write horror stories. Or rather how I write themI’ve always wondered what somebody expects from a horror movie. Many a times, almost half of the horror effect is lost when you’re watching it on TV. But you can still recreate it to an extent – lights off at midnight that leaves just you and the movie. Shefali says horror films bore her; and I sort of agree with her. It doesn’t bore me, but if you’ve already watched the movie, then you lose the advantage of the ‘surprise’ element. And also, there are movies with a lot of blood shed – killing people or butchering them, piranhas or sharks eating you. All these would never fall into my idea of horror. A little bit is perhaps inevitable, but usually such movies disgust me. 

I guess I’ve always been interested in the stories they tell, even if most of the time it is incomplete. And at times barely there. And this is not just for horror movies. We all keep watching a movie again and again and again. For instance, I don’t remember when exactly I had first seen Manichithrathazhu, but I know that every time after that I haven’t changed the channel if they’re playing the movie. My parents don’t let me see the movie in peace (or in pieces) as they start reciting dialogues as if the Bhoot has got them. And then, I join them. 


Amelie and the stalker


IMG_20160318_063858_editEx- boyfriends stalking you is ultra-freaky and infinitely creepy. And if the guy has a recorder with him, that is the cherry on top.
Joseph, is very obsessed, but knows well to keep it low. He stalks his ex girlfriend, watches over her. He is, in my expert opinion, better than a CCTV camera. He is the character that quite irritated me. He made me ask questions like doesn’t he have anything better to do, than watching over somebody who no longer loves him? It is, in a way, an excellent strategy to ruin your ex’s life. But then, there is the bigger question as to what he does for a living ? How can he not be bothered about his job – if at all he has one – and sit there all day. Almost as if that was his job.
To Amelie, an introvert who decides to be a regular do-gooder , he is the problem she solves for her colleague Gina ( whom he is stalking) , by setting him up with Georgette, another one of her colleagues. Georgette is quite sick and lonely in life, and by setting her up with Joseph, Amelie intends to make her life better too. Her plan is successful, and they do fall in love. But only for a while. He is perhaps Amelie’s only plan that failed. He ends up stalking both Georgette and Gina. And Georgette becomes more ill, and very much disturbed.  But Amelie herself was disturbed and so she just goes home.
Joseph is very irritating, and a psycho, but he is very subtle. They can easily throw him out, but since he does no actual harm, they have made it a habit to ignore him. In some sense, he has become a part of that place.
In the end, I think perhaps I admire him, his patience to sit there all day, and just watch.


Koto Tamo Peva

koto tamo peva

We were on our way to Belgrade. There was a newlywed couple, a jobless singer boasting about his abilities, two gypsies, a German, a hunter who could not control his own rifle, a man with cough, a priest, and an ex-army man. The owner of the bus, Kristic (my son) was issuing tickets, and my grandson Misko was at the wheel.  I was at the back of the bus, and had a pretty good view of everybody.

The newlyweds looked like they were fleeing, and had no control over themselves. The bride was obviously older than the groom, and she was talking about going to the sea. Kristic had to demand a marriage certificate, and behave themselves in the bus. The German wrinkles his nose at them, and suggests that perhaps they have no marriage certificate at all. Nevertheless, he doesn’t take his eyes off them, keeps staring at them in an eerie manner. The hunter runs behind the bus a good 200 m as he asked by my son to wait at a bus stop if he expects to catch the bus, and that bus shall not stop in the middle of the road for anybody. The ex-army man fights with Kristic for five tickets, just to prove that he can afford not just one but five tickets. The singer eyes the bride from the moment she boards the bus, and flirts with her – but groom doesn’t seemed to be bothered about it. He keeps boasting that he is a singer, and that he is going for an audition where they will ‘definitely take him in once they listen to him’. He starts practicing inside the bus, but thankfully my son shuts him up. The man suffering from the cough, was very nice to everybody, even though they were all so rude to him. He didn’t look like he was going to last long. The gypsies sat at the end corner of the bus, minding their own business.

My grandson Misko, always had this emotional attachment to animals, but I’ve never been able to pin point where exactly it lies. Maybe he prefers to eat them, than keeping them. Nevertheless, the animals always seemed frightened in playing with him. And the father and son were planning to visit the zoo – poor animals. Kristic boasted that Misko could drive up to 2 kms blindfolded. The singer was foolish enough to object, and argue that it was not possible to do so.  Of course, he could – he’d been driving through that route for so long that it was by heart to him. Angry that the singer implied that he was lying, Kristic blindfolded Misko. Things went well, till Misko hit a roadblock, and an army man came running. The road was closed. We’d have to divert.

I wondered if we would ever make it to Belgrade.