Lyda here. Enough whining. Let’s get straight to the serial killers.
Sunday I watched “Scream 2” on TV. It was okay, and sometimes pretty funny. I haven’t seen the original. The sequel starts at a movie theater – one of the original characters having written a book about the experiences shown in the first movie, which was then made into a movie. Following so far? The movie-within-a-movie gives the killer a chance to strike two people down in a theater full of teenagers wearing masks just like the killer’s and carrying fake knives. Which was actually funny in a sick and twisted kind of way. “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.”
I suspect that more than the language had been altered for TV. The original might be gorier, but this version wasn’t gory at all. I didn’t think it was scary either. Maybe because I was watching in the afternoon, with The Dread Cat Tommy guarding me – it counts as guarding when he’s curled up sleeping next to me on the couch, right? – and my sewing machine humming away. Or it may be that they had cut the scarier parts out – certainly there were fewer shots of the dead bodies than one would expect. Maybe it was just the stupid mask the killer wears – hard to be afraid of that.
Maybe it’s because this movie is very aware of itself as a movie. It’s a scary movie that’s a send-up of scary movies. And that makes it much less scary.
Or it may be that my zombie movie watching has toughened me up, made me less scared of stuff of the screen. Plus, I watch “Bones” and “CSI” and such now. Certainly, I am less freaked out by scary screen conventions – bodies, grotesque deaths, killers leaping out at their victims – than I used to be. Or maybe it’s just that real life seems scarier right now than any movie could be… but let’s not go there…
And so often the victims are hard to sympathize with. They do such dumb things – Have you noticed? Of course you have – that I just feel like smacking them.
“I’m alone, and there’s a weird noise coming from upstairs. Think I’ll go investigate.” If the character – who is always female – is wearing a see-through nightie and carrying a candle rather than a weapon, so much the better.
As for the male characters, as the body count rises, it just makes them want sex. “All of our friends are disappearing one by one. Let’s go skinny dipping in the lake.” Is it a life-affirming drive? “I know your best friend and your parents have just been horribly murdered. Let’s get it on. It will make you feel better. No, really it will, baby.”
I did see another movie this weekend – some stupid movie of the week, I don’t even know the name, it was pretty lame. Toward the end, the woman trips and falls with a hurt leg – the other major “woman in peril” cliche – but at least in this movie, it turns out – she’s faking. The killer leans over her and she stabs him really hard with a spiky garden tool and then runs away.
It was the best part of the movie, really, other than the actor who played her dad (of course the killer had taken out the dad early – my favorite character is always the first to die). Also, the killer kept seeing his wife (whom he had murdered before the movie started) and having conversations with her which was weird especially in my three-hours-of-sleep, zombie-like state. The conversations with the dead wife is what clues our heroine in that this new “perfect” man in her life is totally gonzo.
Wisdom from scary movies: If a guy seems way too perfect, he probably is. If someone seems crazy, they probably are.
In other words: Suspect everybody. Because any and all of them can be insane killers. Even if – especially if – the actor/actress is known for comedy sidekick roles.
And remember the Third Rule: Never, ever, under any circumstances assume that the killer is dead.
Really, I prefer zombies to serial killers.
For one thing, they can’t really pretend to be a friendly helpful neighbor. The walk gives them away. And the rotting flesh, that’s a hint too.
You always know who they are. The brain eating is another big clue.
And they never seduce their victims. Ewww.