I'll just say it right out front: I am a complete and total clucking molting chicken when it comes to scary movies. So much so that I've rarely watched any all the way through. I saw The Sixth Sense and may or may not have almost peed myself and flipped the couch over when I tried to climb over the back because I got so scared. And The Sixth Sense wasn't even the scariest movie I've ever seen. No, that honor belongs to a movie called (da da daaaaa) The Watcher In the Woods.
When my sister Umulu and I were little kids (maybe 8 and 6, or 9 and 7 years old, something like that) we got invited to our next door neighbor's overnight slumber party birthday party. Oooh, thrills! It was an evening of high excitement - pizza! cake! ice cream! games! pop corn! MOVIES!! That night as we 15 little girls snuggled down in our sleeping bags, our friend's mom put on The Watcher in the Woods, and Umulu and I have borne the scars ever since. We completely wigged out. A watcher in the woods? Oh my God, WE HAVE WOOOOOOOODS!! Eventually our friend's mother called our mother to come and get us, cause we were evidently raising quite a ruckus in our panic, crying and shrieking.
For years, The Watcher in the Woods has been the high-water mark for both of us in sheer terror. In high school Umulu, in a bold show of bravado, managed to sit through a movie called The Children of the Corn, which I had heard on good authority was the scariest movie ever made. Afterward, she was telling me all about its horrors in somewhat gory detail, and I asked her. "Was it as scary as The Watcher in the Woods?" She paused and considered. "No, not even close," she assured me.
We also used Watcher as a litmus test for bad parenting. So-and-so has a horrible mom, we would hear. She beats her kids! Or what's-his-face leaves his kids home alone with piles of cocaine on the kitchen table. Yeah, we'd scoff. But answer me this: do they make their kids watch The Watcher in the Woods? Cause that's baaaaaaad.
Well guess what Umulu and I did this week. [Oh, God, I can't even say it. It's too, too horrible and scary for words!! Pull yourself together Cheasty - this attitude is completely unbecoming an adult. Oh, sniffle, hiccup, sob. Ok. I can do this.] We, um.... we, [gulp]... we rented... The Watcher in the Woods. Aaiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!
To be fair, we'd googled it previously. Turns out, it's a Disney movie. And only rated PG! Ha, we'd marveled. Who knew?! I bet it's not really that scary, huh huh. So I Neflixed it, and this Monday Ums brought over a pizza and we popped it in the DVD player and cued it up. "Should I press play?" I asked. "Um, well..." Umulu replied. "Yeah," I said, and started to laugh. "I'm completely terrified to watch this." "Me too!" cried Umulu, and we gave in to a good fit of nervous giggles. Finally we agreed that if it got scary, we'd just turn it off. No use scaring ourselves silly, right?
You want to know how long we lasted? Eight minutes and 14 seconds.