Guest columnist Michaela Bayas walks us through the horror films that made her fall in love with the genre!
The first movie I remember being so scary it kept me up at night was Signs. I know that’s not, according to the world, a scary movie. But to be fair, I was only eight when that it came out, and I already had problems sleeping at night because I was (am) weird. After graduating high school, finishing Navy boot camp and A-school, and moving out of the country, I decided I was ready to take on horror movies. Little did I know, it would be a dive into my now favorite genre.
So there I was, living in Navy barracks in Rota, Spain. A nOOb to life and the Navy. I saw a story about Ed and Lorraine Warren and one of the many hauntings they investigated. This, oh man, this was right up my alley. You see, my mom got me big into ghost hunting shows in high school. In fact, we watched one, Paranormal State, in which Lorraine appeared many times. You can say what you want about demons and the Warren stories, but I like that shit. Anyway, it was time! One of their stories is now a two-hour movie, and I must see it!
I can’t remember the exact date I saw the movie, but I do remember that I went by myself. So quick recap, eight-year-old girl afraid of Signs grows up and moves to a new country, decides watching scary movies by herself is the way to live. Yep! I sat down in the theater, stood for the national anthem (military base thing), and buckled in for the movie.
My. Mind. Was. Blown.
I was hooked on The Conjuring. Not only was I hooked on The Conjuring, I was ready to check out this whole genre I was missing out on.
Shortly after The Conjuring, on recommendation from a coworker, I watched Sleepaway Camp. This is by far one of the best cult B-horror films. At this point I knew there was a whole world of movies I needed to open myself up to. Don’t get me wrong, I still had issues sleeping after some of these movies, but there was something about the fun of the stress I was putting myself under. It’s like skydiving: There’s this fear that your parachute is going to malfunction, but the adrenalin of that free fall is what you were looking for.
It’s not just the fear and stress that attract me, though. There’s something about these fictional worlds that I want to be a part of. I plan out how I would react to ghosts and demons like people plan for the zombie apocalypse. With The Conjuring universe, since demons something that I truly believe can exist, I plan out my escape from them. If it’s something with a Ouija board, I plan out how I will never, ever participate or be in the same room as one of those. That stuff is not safe and if I’m ever participating, call a priest because I’m probably possessed. I put myself into these movies and make fun of the characters when they make stupid decisions because obviously I know what to do when the demons come out to play.
For those of you that still aren’t digging the horror genre, that’s cool. I’ll battle the demons and ghosts for you. But, if you’ve stayed away from horror because of a scary movie from childhood, I’d recommend testing the waters again. I did, and now I have countless plans for battling the paranormal and an addiction to last a lifetime.
Michaela Bayas is a Navy veteran, a world traveler, and now, a college student. She’s a badass chick married to an awesome dude and raising a great dog. She thinks she’s a stand-up comedian, but she’s just got above-average wit and enjoys making herself, and sometimes others, laugh.