I finally found my Saturday night (or maybe afternoon) monster movie buddy, maybe.
I used to be my dad’s. He’d turn on those cornball Saturday afternoon movies with cheap monsters and aliens and bad dialog and we’d watch ‘em until he fell asleep on the couch. I got hooked on those movies doing that. Now werewolves, aliens, creatures from the depths of alternative dimensions and other such nonsense are a part of my chemistry. Every chance I get I look for those movies which will reach into my giblets and thrill me the way those oldies used to, to spark that imaginative little fire burning deep within. Of course they don’t anymore – I’m all grown up now and movies have lost their magic – but it’s still fun to try.
More than once my wife has asked me why. Why do I continue trying to find a monster movie to thrill and enthrall? All I do is sigh when it’s over and say “Well, that’s [insert number of hours spent watching the movie here] I’ll never get back. What a waste.” Every time. But I found when I had someone I could watch it with, when there was someone beside me to help it be more entertaining, things were more fun. A lot more fun.
So, Friday night we sit down to watch a movie. We only have so many in our repertoire and because of our situation, it’s those or nothing right now, so we went through the list. One of my all-time favorite movies (of any genre, by the bye), is Alien. I opt for that, and I was shocked when my wife seconded the notion.
We put it in. In a couple of minutes my eight year-old son is … facing away from the TV with his eyes closed, getting on my nerves as he determines not to watch the movie (but won’t leave the room for some reason). But right beside me is my four year-old daughter. The alien jumps out of an egg and hugs the face of its first victim. What does she do?
She asks me to rewind it so she can see it again.
You read that right. She asked to see it again. So I obliged.
She sat beside me for the entire movie. She and I chatted. I warned her about the starts and jumpy parts (she is only four) but needn’t have worried. She took them in stride and asked questions and made statements. She watched the whole thing with me, right next to me, and when it was over, she went about her business as if nothing happened. She didn’t have nightmares, she didn’t give static about bedtime and the dark … nothing. She went to sleep and awoke next day refreshed and ready to do it again.
Next up is An American Werewolf in London, another classic and all-time favorite. I think she’ll miss a lot of the grown-up humor but she might appreciate the (then) cutting-edge werewolf puppets and robots. We’ll see.
But I think I have my monster movie buddy.
How was your weekend? Did you have a happy Easter? I hope so.
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