Arts & Entertainment

Watch this, not that (V-day edition)

Last Halloween I sat down on my bed, pulled out my laptop and began my own horror film festival. Since I’m not one to go out in 20-degree weather in a Red Riding Hood costume and consume large amounts of adult beverages, Halloween is the day I get to celebrate my favorite horror films.

My second favorite day of the year to hold my horror film festival on is Valentine’s Day. The chill of winter has set in and pierced through the hearts of all us single ladies. After buckets of tears and thousands of empty candy wrappers, I have finally found the perfect solution to beating the Valentine’s Day blues: horror movies.

TV stations continually feature romantic comedies, and the movie box office always has some big new release to attract all of the couples looking for something to do. The movies also seem to attract all the single women who’ll buy three boxes of candy and cry into their popcorn through the whole film (I’d fit in that second category).

For all of us lonely people, why put up with Valentine’s Day torture? Why not just watch actual torture? Horror movies will take your mind off of the fact you are alone and just ordered a whole pizza for yourself. So instead of hitting up the video store to buy classic rom-coms, get your hands on all the horror movies you can.

Watch Carrie (1976), not  A Walk to Remember (2002).

It’s always a tear-jerker when a social outcast rises above the bullies. A Walk to Remember is one of the many romantic novels written by Nicholas Sparks that has been turned into a movie. The movie had better ratings than some of the other films (The Lucky One, Safe Haven — the list goes on for a while) and was easier to watch than a pouty-lipped Miley Cyrus in The Last Song.

But it’s still not worth your time on Valentine’s Day. While it’s all fine and dandy that the lead male character, Landon (Shane West), realizes there’s more to life than having a bad attitude, the end is guaranteed to make you cry and wonder why you’ve never found a love so special.

Love in Nicholas Sparks’ novels is like Bigfoot — it doesn’t exist. So save yourself the trouble and watch Carrie. This social outcast overcomes her bullies with telekinesis while covered in pig’s blood. Just make sure you watch the 1976 version, because the 2013 version with Chloe Moretz is too painful to watch (can we please start hiring teenage actors who know what they’re doing?).

Watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), not He’s Just Not That Into You (2009).

Halloween and Valentine’s Day are the two scariest holidays. You’re either being chased by a masked serial killer with power tools or you’re chasing down anyone who will cuddle with you … and probably also threatening them with power tools.

This Valentine’s Day, set down your power tools and start realizing that he’s just not that into you. Instead, watch the gory thriller The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Although it’s very loosely based on a true story of murderer Ed Gein, the movie is enough to frighten the wits out of you. You’ll be too busy worrying about good ol’ Leatherface (the murderer wore his victims’ skin) to remember that you are completely alone in life.

Watch Silence of the Lambs (1991), not Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961).

So you’re in the mood for a classic romantic comedy. It’s hard to resist Ms. Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) and her morning habit of eating breakfast at the Tiffany’s store. But instead of wallowing in self-pity because your life isn’t as fabulous as the run-of-the-mill New York socialite, you should put down breakfast and take up cannibalism.

Actor Anthony Hopkins’ depiction of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs is full of thrills and chills (who can’t cringe when he bites off that cop’s ear?). The movie will probably keep you up at night, but at least you’ll be awake because you’re freaked out and not because you realize there is no one to share your bed with.

Watch The Cabin in the Woods (2012), not Brokeback Mountain (2005).

A couple of lovebirds dashing off into the wilderness? Classic. It’s classic for just about any group of teens who decide to go on vacation to be terrorized by zombies, gremlins, ghosts, etc. That’s way more entertaining than two lovers on a getaway weekend…or whatever it is you call two guys herding cattle in the wild while gazing into each others eyes.

The Cabin in the Woods offers not only the classic “getaway” storyline, but it also infuses horror and comedy. The movie pokes fun at all the horror movies with a group of teens getting out of town and then being terrorized. These stereotypical movies feature unnecessary nudity and bad decisions (half of which are related to the unnecessary nudity).

While The Cabin in the Woods offers all the cliches of bad horror films, the plot offers much more horror and backwards comedy to keep you entertained. So if you’re going to watch an “exotic getaway” movie, you might as well watch a movie that actually makes fun of “getaway” movies.

Watch Halloween (1978), not Valentine’s Day (2010).

End your night with a bang. In 2010, the star-filled film Valentine’s Day came out and was obviously the go-to film for all movie-going canoodlers — but don’t conform. Stick your bird up high in the air on the 14th and re-celebrate the best holiday: Halloween. And what’s better than commemorating that by watching the 1978 classic film about the serial killer Michael Myers?

So you’re alone on Valentine’s Day.  Well, you’re alone the other 364 days of the year too. Don’t let the world make you feel bad that you’re buying the heart-shaped candy box for yourself and not for someone else. Don’t get anxiety when the 14th rolls around. Don’t pretend your cat isn’t the only one who loves you.

Overcome your Valentine’s Day woes with horror movies. You might as well watch someone get their heart ripped out rather than get your own heart broken.

P.S. If you couldn’t tell, I’m single and ready to mingle.  

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