Right now you’re looking at the People Under The Stairs header above and wondering, “what the hell is he talking about? It’s ‘People Under The Stairs’ not f*cking ‘Martyrs’!”
While I’m sure PUTS has its fair share of startling moments, that’s not the kind of “scared” I’m talking about. No, I’m scared that if I saw the movie again I wouldn’t like it anymore. I can still remember the illicit thrill I felt when my friends and I were dropped off at the movie theater by our parents, bought tickets for some PG movie, and snuck into the latest Wes Craven film. I was in the 6th or 7th grade, and I emerged from the film thinking it was a masterpiece of horror. I’m sure it helped that it had a protagonist that was somewhat close to my age, and I imagine there’s an overstuffed quality to the film that kept my easily wandering mind engaged.
I don’t believe I’ve seen the whole thing since. Sure, I’ve seen bits and pieces. I may have even half watched a cable showing of it at some point (though certainly not in the past 10 years). I’ve caught wind of friends watching it via their twitter feeds, and those comments have run the gamut of positive to negative and everything in between. Now, I’m not assuming the film is objectively bad. I’m sure it has some strong points to combat what I’m fairly sure at this point would qualify as a painful approximation of urban dialogue.
But what’s the point of going back in this case? This is a movie whose poster still triggers a positive, almost thrilling, association in my brain. I’m not brushing up for the remake (which may never happen at this point), nor am I currently doing a retrospecitve of Craven’s career (though that may not be such a bad idea). So why run the potential risk of tainting the memory of one of my formative cinema going experiences? Even if it’s not bad – it’s certainly not going to be the movie that exists only in my mind.
There are several other films that hold this kind of designation for me. On the Craven front there’s Shocker (though I am perilously close to watching this soon due to Brian Collins’ allegiance to it). There are also movies like Dr. Giggles, where I don’t even want to tarnish the experience of my Blockbuster. I also remember liking Stigmata, which I think I went to see only because Billy Corgan did the soundtrack, but I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t enjoy going back there 15 years later.
What are some movies you love but are afraid to revisit?