I figure my son will be 40 years old when he finally watches the end of the movie "Halloween". This is an admittedly unscientific and quick calculation based on how much more of the movie he watched this year than he did last year. About two minutes more than last year, for those keeping score.
I think Halloween is the epitome of suspense and tension in movies. Blood and gore, my son can handle. The occasional fright, no problem. But Halloween has beaten him, two years in a row now.
Last year, I was skeptical about having him watch the movie. But my eagerness to have him grow up, coupled with his persistance that he's old enough for it, won out. So, I had him and his friend Keaton watch the movie with me. We all had built the movie "up" in the days before we watched it. I kept telling them how it was going to scare the shit out of them. Not "like other movies" scared. But really scared. I had them anticipating and dreading the viewing. I told them we'd stop the movie at any point either of them wanted it stopped, and that there was no shame in being too scared to watch it. "whatever" was their opinion of that idea. "Just wait and see" I said. They were so primed to be scared.
We made it about 40 minutes into the film, I'm guessing. Just to the point where the girl goes to the laundry-room (who has a laundry room as a separate building, by the way?) to wash her buttered clothes. She gets stuck. Michael Myers is at the door! "Stop the movie!" they agreed. "Are you sure?" I asked, keeping the movie going. "Just wait a sec." I admired them for wanting to charge ahead, and sure enough, they got past that scene, and onto the next segment where the buttered girl takes her babysitting charge over to where Jamie Lee Curtis is sitting. As soon as the Halloween tinkling piano music started again, though, that was it. "Turn it off!" No going back. They were done.
So, that was my son's first foray into Halloween.
Over the course of the past year, I asked him a few times if he wanted to watch the rest of Halloween. "Not right now". "Maybe next Halloween" I allowed. "Okay".
So, this Halloween, after the trick-or-treating was done: "Do you want to watch Halloween?" "Sure" he said, emphatically. I think his willingness to watch it was partly based on the fact that watching it would mean he'd get to stay up past his bedtime. On a school night.
Movie starts. The first appearance of the creepy tinkling piano makes him moan slightly. A few more occurrances of the theme and he begins to say things like "I hate that music!" "I know, isn't it great" is the type of reply his mother or I would respond with.
As the movie begins to grow in suspense, he starts getting a bit agitated, in a "this is exciting, I'm getting kind of nervous and agitated at this movie again" kind of way. I offer "we can stop the moive any time you want. Just say so." "No, I want to see more of it than I watched last year." Okay.
So, we make it to the point where we stopped watching last year. "This is where we stopped last year" he says.
Next scene: Girl is going to drive to pick up her boyfriend. She is singing as she goes to the car. Door is locked. She goes to get the keys, singing all the way. No worries. She comes back to the car, opens the door... wait, it's unlocked now!! She doesn't realise it! How did the door get unlocked?!? Still singing, gets in the car. Singing. Notices condensation on the windows. "That's odd", she seems be thinking. THERE'S CONDENSATION ON THE WINDOWS!!! It dawns on her slowly, and she stops singing. She turns to look in the back seat. We see the white mask...
STOP THE MOVIE!!!! "Are you sure?" STOP THE MOVIE!!!
So, we stopped it. About two more minutes than last year. I'm guessing next year we watch the whole thing.