Advertisements for horror movies used to promise to scare people to death. “Persons with heart problems will not be allowed in the theatre,” they’d announce, although we don’t remember anyone presenting a medical certificate to get into the screenings. These ads and trailers were generally scarier than the movies themselves.
However, there’s still nothing scarier than going home after watching a middling horror movie, then replaying the movie in your head in the dead of night. Your imagination is more terrifying than anything a filmmaker can show you. Two examples: Seven and Zodiac by David Fincher. He doesn’t show you the actual murders, you have to strain to see the figures on the dark screen, but your mind fills in the blanks and the result is horror.
We saw the trailer for the Sam Raimi-produced movie The Possession (originally The Dybbuk Box) when we went to see Hope Springs. Sold! We’re there on opening day!
Come to think of it, Hope Springs is our notion of horror: Being married for 31 years to someone you don’t have sex with and barely speak to anymore, who doesn’t even look at you and complains constantly of what things cost, whose idea of an anniversary present is a new water heater. Aaaiiiiiiiiiieeeeeee! Meryl Streep is wonderful, as always. Only she could make us watch this movie. Tommy Lee Jones is funny. Elizabeth Shue turns up for 90 seconds, Mimi Rogers for 30. The French movie the couple watch is Le Diner de Cons, which was remade as Dinner for Schmucks starring Steve Carell who plays the therapist in the movie.
Trivia. We know someone who, as a student at Georgetown, lived in the house where The Exorcist was shot. Tourists would sometimes knock on the door and request a tour.