Horror Movies And Why I Adore them
A fairly familiar situation hovers into view. The 8x8 chessboard makes me feel safe and guarded. There’s just one problem - when I reach the end, it expands. When I reach the end again, it expands again. After all the frantic chaos trying to catch an escape route, I stand on an infinite floor of chess boards with me standing at the apex of it all. The more I hurry around, the larger the infiniteness I see. I try to find something - a door, a secret hatch, a ladder which will airlift me out of here; I find nothing. I return to the place I started from, lay down, and wait for the chaos to engulf me. That was a glimpse of my nightmares.
I hate horror movies. I cannot watch a horror movie without broad daylight and a blindfold just in case I need it. Actually, scratch that - I cannot watch a horror movie (The article title is making real sense right now, isn’t it?) Till date, I’ve never watched a horror movie from start to finish, only sporadic parts of them, but trust me, those sporadic parts were enough to scare the bejeezus out of me. So that’s me. My friends, on the other hand, have laughed at movies like Anabelle and Conjuring, so you get where my reluctance to watch a horror movie with them comes from.
Horror movies stimulate a part of one’s brain which is responsible for the ‘flight-or-fight’ response. People who like that emotion, in turn like horror movies as well.
Now that we’ve gotten that crucial scientific point of discussion out of the way, let me talk about horror movies and my nightmares. I watched Squid Game a while back, and this list wouldn’t be complete without the doll from ‘Red Light, Green Light’. All I remember from that nightmare was the doll 2 inches away from my face when I opened my eyes, and that was enough for me to not sleep that entire night.
One prerequisite of having nightmares I want to address here is that you have to be able to sleep first. And get REM sleep. That does explain why I haven’t seen quite as many nightmares in the past couple of years, but that is a problem for another day.
Another one of the frequent nightmares I have had is just a recurrent symbol of sharks. Just sharks generally swimming, swashing around me, while I lay in the focus of it all, paralysed. One incident I vividly remember - I am in a public pool; it’s fairly shallow, about 6ft in depth (shallow for me, I meant). And I’m doing whatever anyone does in a public pool (not pee). All of a sudden, the familiar ground beneath me is taken away, as a shark erupts from the surface, plunging its shiny, white teeth into my skin. I woke up covered in sweat.
There was this one nightmare I remember about hot air balloons. My family and I were on a trip to Coorg, where we were supposed to board a hot air balloon from the top of a cliff. Not sure if the travel manager suggested this, but we were supposed to climb onto the hot air balloon while it was in the air. My grandfather went first, and he jumped onto the platform pretty easily. Next was my grandmother, and she made it in as well. But slipped off the edge. I woke up with a start.
So, those were a couple of nightmares that come to my mind. Others are there too, but they drift off as instantly as they come. And most of the ones I forget come from cliched horror movies. To end, I just want to say one thing - to the people I am going to be spending Halloween with, this year and in the future, if you’re planning to watch a horror movie in the dark at 12 am, please let me know in advance so that I can schedule a conveniently-timed doctor’s appointment then. Anyways, happy trick-or-treating!
- Ananya and Shravan
Fantastic Fears and How To Fix Them
How are we in October already? It seemed like just yesterday when I took my maroon shirt and pasted three circles on it and NO ONE GOT THE REFERENCE (Understandably so; it was unlikely they would anyway, ‘The Office’ is apparently “overrated” or whatever). For context, here is how it looked -
Well, after the three hole punch version of Jim disaster, I decided to dress up as myself this year, because what's more scary than me at my essence? I will literally spontaneously combust with the amount of energy I have when I am the most myself. Why do I even want to dress up? You see, I want to wear something (as the kids say) cool and hip and swag for a day, an overly fancy outfit for this year in particular,, and to have fun and take pictures (to gain social clout!).
Halloween is a day that falls on the last day of the month of October. It is a day where children “trick or treat” which for all of you ‘living under a rock’ souls out there means that kids wear scary clothes and go door to door begging for chocolates. Yep, that’s literally the gist of it. This article, however, will not become more informative than that, because Halloween is supposed to be goofy and fun, and not boring and historical. I want to talk about why I like Halloween, and the tiny things that make it enjoyable to me as this magazine is basically my diary at this point, here I go.
Here are some favourite Halloween traditions:
The Outfits - Imagine this: it’s a week before the 31st, and you are running around thinking of costumes and characters to dress up as with your friends. My costume ideas have ranged from renting them (because you didn’t want to waste money buying them), spending 3 days cutting foam, gluing and spray painting to make a viking costume with my friends. Previously, it has even involved wearing an eyepatch and calling myself a pirate, using my friend’s old costumes, to even coming back from a MUN, being too lazy to change and calling myself James Bond (having not watched a single one of the films). And of course I dressed up as minecraft Steve that one year.
The Planning - The day before halloween is when stuff gets real. The place we live in is divided into two places, with the centre of the colony being the clubhouse. So every Halloween, we decide which side we would go first: would it be up (towards the main gate) or down (towards the dead end of the layout)? Judging by our previous years’ Halloween experiences, my friends and I decide which direction to go towards and judging the time people usually go out to trick or treat; we aim to leave half an hour earlier to ensure we can visit all the houses in layout (efficient begging) before others take all the good chocolates (Hershey’s supremacy). Diabolical, I know.
The fake reality we create for ourselves - When we are in our costumes, walking down the lanes, going door to door asking for candy, that’s when imagination takes over. Dialogues like “Move move move! The house 3 lanes ahead on the left is where the good loot is at, let's get a move on guys, keep your weapons out!” accompany us screaming and shouting with the several other groups of people around us, showing off the loot we got. Truly the real Ocean's 11 movie.
The People - Talking to everyone, carrying your bag filled with chocolates around, trying to recognise people through their costumes is just irreplaceable. As one of my good friends says, ‘the vibes are immaculate’. Late at night, holding fake weapons, feeling warm in costumes together, talking endlessly as we go door to door (like salesmen, but we ask for chocolates for free, instead of selling products).
The Interactions - I could write an entire book about the highs and lows of halloween to be honest, but that sounds very gimmicky, and I would rather pick out a few instances where my Halloween was exceptionally memorable. Imagine walking up to a house with all the lights off on Halloween, in full costume. Would you ring the bell, thinking they turned off the lights on purpose to make it scary? Or would you assume they are asleep and move to the nest house? This question troubles us every year, when my friends and I trick or treat. There was this one time we decided to ring the bell and ask for chocolates and this family walked out of their house and were extremely confused as to why a group of kids in costume were at their door at 10pm in the night. What is the course of action then? What did we do? We said “We just came to say Happy Diwali” and smiled and walked away as the family told their child “See be like them, look how sweet they are”. We were so cunning and diabolical, and honestly, we were built different.
The Experience - Halloween is a time where you can walk up to someone's house and just ring their bell and ask them for chocolates and exchange pleasantries. What other day can you say “Hello! Good evening! Have a great day.” to over 100 people individually? It is a nightmare for introverts, but it brings me joy to smile at so many people and talk to them. It’s a time where people can be so nice that they say “I will go buy chocolates for you guys, sorry I forgot today, please come collect it tomorrow” and actually give it to us the next day. It’s also so much better when aunties never fail to tell you “Tomorrow is Kannada Rajyotsava, you better come for the flag hoisting ceremony”.
The candy class system - There is and has been and always will be a hierarchy in the halloween experiences. Of course, the lowest is “I don't know what halloween is, please leave.” to “I don't know what it is here take some biscuits and an apple” to “I don't know what Halloween is but here have some money you can all share". To the candy that is Eclairs and Mango Bites and Kismis which are the common chocolates. Then we have Coffee bite, Gold Eclairs, and Kopico (I have a bias towards coffee related chocolates). We then have the highest of the highest, chocolates for which people would fight each other for and even travel to different communities to get them. I am of course talking about the 5-stars, Dairy Milks, Zour Bombs, gummy bears, Milky Ways, Galaxys, snickers, jolly ranchers and finally the epitome of fancy chocolates HERSHEYS (not sponsored I promise). These chocolates were rare but always extremely valuable and you could often hear “Bro! That house has Hersheys” on the streets while you walk around looking for which houses to loot next. Who knew hierarchy would prevail during Halloween too, eh?
So, those are some of my anecdotes from my halloween experiences. I hope you could enjoy them vicariously and relate to some of them at least! This Halloween, no one is going to be begging for chocolates and instead I'm just going to have fun talking to my friends and watch ‘The Office’ with them so that next time they get the goddamn reference.
‘Tis the season to be spooky.
Halloween is a festival that celebrates, above all else, fear (and at times, Kaccha Mango Bites). While these fears may range from trivial matters like belly buttons, to more pressing issues like noses, the most extreme cases are given a special name - “phobias”.
A phobia can be defined as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. And while that may be “scientifically accurate” and “rigorously proven”, we’re choosing to go another route. So, for the remainder of this Halloween special, we’ll be defining a phobia as a sussy little distaste towards something, someone, or even everything (see: panphobia) that one can relentlessly ridicule. Given that the two of us also possess a distaste for certain “sussy” things (like each other), we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do exactly what our definition states and make fun of each other’s phobias:
Ananya’s 1st Phobia: Mark Zuckerberg’s bowl cut
We're starting off with what is arguably one of the scariest things, possibly ever - Mark Zuckerberg's haircut. That, with all due respect, is one face I would not want in my book. When Ananya told me about this fear of hers, I tried to determine why exactly his hair was in this condition. Was his hair, like much of Facebook's revenue, lost to Twitter? Was he inspired by the countless minion memes on his website? We'll never know.
As much as I'd like to make fun of it, Zuckerbergbowlcutphobia is an incredibly understandable phenomenon. To Ananya, and all of you who share this fear, I'd like to give you one piece of advice - just imagine he’s Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. And remember: this too shall pass.
Ananya’s 2nd Phobia: Crushing debt
Secondly, the fear of crushing debt, or "debtphobia", as it's called by one source that really wants me to believe it's a real thing. I'd readily note the fact that the British will always, always (according to Shashi Tharoor, at least) owe more debt than you. I’d also readily make fun of the fact that Ananya could always seek out a job as a Timotheé Chalamet subreddit moderator if she was running out of cash, but instead, I’ve decided to offer up some advice.
It's okay to be in debt. It may be emotionally overwhelming, and it may seem like a lot, but if you're careful, you can get through it. Most importantly, remember that working with a reputable debt consolidation provider who can counsel you on how to avoid bankruptcy or debt settlement is fiscally feasible and may just be the advantageous. Above all, remember that this too shall pass.
Shravan’s 1st Phobia: Mayonnaise
While nothing on this planet would give me more unadulterated joy than to simply say that this fear was (verbatim) ‘a little sus’, Shravan’s true horror, aptly called ‘mayophobia’, is one that I deem very valid after my extensive research.
Scientifically speaking, psychology states that humans dislike ‘slimy’ or ‘sticky’ food, such as mayonnaise and its likes, because it reminds them of rotten things that made them ill. However, I have a theory that everyone who has ever disliked this certain condiment was probably fed a poorly-made McDonald’s burger that became soggy due to an excess of odd-tasting mayonnaise at one point in their lives; the sacrilege that was caused to such a wondrous invention, all those years ago, had been burned into their brains, and they unfortunately never recovered.
Although I have no real way of relieving these people (including my co-columnist) of all the trauma they had undergone at the hands of multinational fast food corporations, I would like to remind them that they will probably never be force-fed mayonnaise filled burgers by their parents ever again. And if they are not able to ‘digest’ this information (pun fully intended), they must simply tell themselves this: that this too shall pass.
Shravan’s 2nd Phobia: Disappointing those around him
While I did understand where Shravan was coming from, there were some questions that still persisted. First, let’s take a look at the fear - ‘Disappointingpeoplephobia’ is a relatively usual fear among kids our age. Granted, we suffered a more chronic version of it, there were also a few advantages of this fear. For example, if someone were to ever gift us a bottle of mayonnaise on any customary occasion, we would be able to accept it gracefully, so as to come off as ‘polite’ (although, in hindsight, this seems like it would not be quite a pleasant ordeal for Shravan. Oh well).
And while I could also shed light on the irony of this fear, given that disappointing people is all he’s ever done by choosing to be a Devi and Paxton shipper, I would rather try to be of help and give all of you a piece of valuable advice - simply do not disappoint people. If you do, it’s hard to say they’ll ever forgive you, and if it’ll truly pass, but for the sake of uniformity in this article, let’s say it will.
As obvious as it may seem, fears are scary. Sometimes, they scare us. But every once in a while, it’s probably a good idea to laugh at yourself and your fears, and ask your dearest friends (or in our case, your most detested adversaries) to take a jab at the things that haunt you at night. It can help you deal with your phobias, and simultaneously help you form meaningful connections with others who share those phobias. Because, at the end of the day, there’s one common fear that unites us all:
The fear of a disappointed Mark Zuckerberg starting a rival mayonnaise business, leaving you in crushing debt (also known as “capitalism”).
https://phobia.wikia.org/wiki/Phobia_wiki - Phobia Wiki, a tool we used extensively in the creation of this article