Have you ever screamed really loudly in a movie theater and then realized you're the only one screaming?
It happened to me last night, while we were watching The Conjuring 2. There's a scene where this little girl is home alone from school because she had a fever in the morning. She's sitting on her couch watching TV, when all of a sudden the channel changes to some British parlimentary thing. Annoyed, she changes it back to the dumb British comedy she was watching. A few seconds later, it changes back. She turns it back. It moves back. She goes to hit the TV, it goes all fizzy and in the screen she can clearly see the reflection of--
Oh shit. Was that me? Damn, that was pretty loud.
I hear nervous laughter. The couple in front of me turns around to look at me. Ashes hides her head in her arms, mortified.
And that's the moment I realize that I'm not just watching the show. I AM the show.
So I spend the next half hour acutely aware I screamed when no one else had, and now I'm living my life in fear that I'm now known as the screaming guy. There he is, the screaming guy! Can't wait for him to scream next. Will it be loud? Will it be inappropriate? Oh, I can't wait, loud and inappropriate! More, more! Kids, get over here, let's listen to the screaming guy!
I blame it on the play. For months I've been so trained to react to respond to clap loudly to scream (Corb hates it when I scream. He thinks I sound like Howard Dean running for President) to lose all inhibition and support that I've forgotten how you are supposed to behave under normal conditions. You should see me in front of my TV at night.
It's not easy to move back into the normal world. But for that next half an hour, I'm on my very best behavior. I try not to do all the things I typically do. No screaming. No squirming in my seat. No hiding my eyes. No contorting into a ball. I'm going to try and be normal, dammit!
Then something scary happens and I go, "Oh fuck it, it's more fun reacting."
On another note, it was a good movie to scream with. There were some dumb moments, but for the most part, it kept your attention and was really creepy. Kind of had to keep a light on for a while when I say down to watch Doctor Who (Terror of the Zygon special features...Tom Baker and Liz Sladen reminiscing about his time on the show) later that night.
But there was one part that still kills me. It kind of strained disbelief. I'm not giving anything away, I swear. The guy who plays Ed Warren knows that the kids in the haunted hovel he came to visit come from a broken home. The dad left with all of the (I am not making this up) Elvis records, and the mom is ever so sad about it. So, to comfort them at Christmas, Ed takes the dad's guitar (which dad happened to thoughtfully leave behind. That's right, he took the Elvis records but left his guitar. Gotta have our priorities here.) and starts to croon "I can't help falling in love with you." The kids sit around the couch with Brady Bunch smiles on their face, all bedecked in mid-seventies pajamas (boy do I miss wearing mid-seventies pajamas). Then Ed gets to the final chorus and asks the kids to join in.
What I wouldn't give. WHAT I WOULDN'T GIVE... Well, I would have given my left nut if the little English girl who was possessed had started singing along in her evil demon voice. It would have been wonderful. There's this classic little seventies English family, all moppy hair and bad teeth, sitting around the living room singing along to Elvis. What did that scene need to make it utterly perfect? Of course, this week's special demon guest star Valak, who stops riding his two headed dragon and commanding 30 legions of demons so he can dress up like a nun and join in on a classic Elvis ditty in Enfield. The singing demon nun. SWEET!
I actually urge you to try this, if you go to see this movie. Just start belting out the end of the song in your best Linda-Blair-possessed-by-a-demon voice. It will add a wonderful Rocky Horror feel to the evening. Who knows, maybe everyone else will sing along, too.
And this, my friends, is why I don't direct movies.
That, and the screaming.