Thursday, October 9, 2008

Actual Terror in the Aisles

1. The Silence of the Lambs

I saw this when it was on its first run in the year 1991 at the Miller Hill Mall Theater in Duluth. My cousin Heidi was 19, I was 14, and she took me. She had a look about her that was very much like Julia Roberts at the time, complete with a perfect spiral perm. My hair was mousy and hacked. That she was even hanging out with me made it the best day of my life, but going to what was rumored to be the scariest film ever made. . . it was the coolest.

I remember getting to the theater late, right as the girls (Clarice and Ardelia) were doing their jogging and already being wonderfully nervous. Imagine my delight and surprise when it DID turn out to be the scariest film I'd ever seen. . . between Benjamin Raspael, multiple Miggs, the skin suits, THE TWO COPS IN LECTOR'S PRIVATE CELL. . . holy Christ I didn't know what hit me. I was literally trembling in my seat for pretty much the entire thing. Something that happened then and each subsequent time I saw this was that severely uncomfortable feeling of claustrophobia when she's shut in that basement at the end when you know he's lurking around but she can't see anything. . . .it's just something that has always seemed so TOO realistic for me.

I do enjoy seeing the FBI sheet cake being cut at the end during Clarice's graduation. Incorporating food is a sure fire way to win me over every time.

2. Se7en

Cut to five years later, same mall, for the next film rumored to be the scariest thing ever made. This time I actually had to keep looking around me to make sure some damned JOHN DOE wasn't sitting right next to me with his gritty dark gray David Fincher creepiness. I walked out of there CERTAIN that Fincher was the most genius man alive and that HOT DAMN would he please make more and more films like this. Everyone else in the group (St. Scholastica nurses, mostly) hated it. I loved it. Still do.