Confused Views: my middle-aged Halloween

Matt’s Halloween was disappointingly uneventful, despite his horror cinema-inspired attempts to liven things up a bit...

Halloween is a special time for horror nerds. It’s a time to ignore the constantly ringing doorbell and watch the exact same films we always watch, but on a specific date. That’s why, when the missus told me she’d made non-Halloween related plans on October 31st, I sulked like a teenager who can’t work out how to remove the parental block from their Internet browser.

Still, just because I was being boring and middle-aged doesn’t mean I couldn’t have the grim horror-themed Halloween I was hoping for. I would just have to put a bit of work in and hope for the best.

I started out by holding a one man séance before we left. Then I cracked out the Ouija board and the Hellraiser puzzle box (a real one which, would you believe, I got in a charity shop for £1.50). All of it, to no avail. I attempted to coax, goad and summon any evil spirit I could muster, but, it seems, my local ghosts are a bunch of pussies and were all too afraid to come out to play.

Honestly, these guys make Casper look like an undead Jean Claude Van Damme, such pansies are they. Figuratively, I mean. Obviously an undead Jean Claude Van Damme would look nothing like Casper the friendly ghost. An undead Jean Claude Van Damme would look exactly like the current Jean Claude Van Damme, but less… no, pretty much exactly the same.

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So, we left for a restaurant and had a perfectly pleasant meal with friends, which was a huge disappointment. It was entirely without harrowing violent incident. I heard a cook shouting at one point, and conjured in my mind the most beautiful and vivid scenario. Losing his temper with his heated work conditions and incompetent coworkers, he goes on a knife rampage, hacking up the wait-staff and serving their hollowed out heads to dismayed diners before smashing his way through the front window to continue the carnage. Behind him he leaves mutilated bodies, screaming customers and a fridge with a human head in it, as in Lamberto Bava’s The Macabre.

It turns out that it was just that someone’s meal was ready. It was a pasta dish and it looked a little dry. It was the smallest of horrors, but it was the best the evening had offered yet. “Ha,” I thought to myself, “enjoy your slightly dry pasta meal.”

Pudding wasn’t much better. Well, the chocolate cake was delicious, but from a horror point of view the whole thing was a write off. I verbally abused everyone else at the table into ordering a fruit salad, expecting that they’d end up getting tricked with razorblades buried in the fruit. However, rather than rivers of blood spilling from their mouths, it was just more friendly chatter. I was hoping for a tip to A&E, like in Halloween 2, but ended up with plans to go to B&Q at the weekend. I mean, it’s handy because I’ve got shelves to put up, but it’s not Halloween, is it?

Being a big fan of horror franchises like Friday The 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street, I knew all the behaviours that usually trigger a horror massacre. So, throughout the meal I said and did all the right things. Frequent trips to the men’s room were announced with an “I’ll be right back”. I smoked drugs, drank heavily, got ‘handsy’ with the waitress and had sex with a trampy girl who was being snarky to the protagonist, but no one appeared. Well, the police did, and they struck me repeatedly with batons, but I’d say that hardly counts.

Things went from bad to worse on the journey home, where we weren’t chased by a faceless truck-driving lunatic obsessed with running us off the road, like in Duel. We didn’t even get close. I did try to run down a cyclist, but that had nothing to do with Halloween. I just didn’t like the look of him.

Having recently watched Road Kill, I had a CB radio on the go, too, and I took to it like a troll to a comments section (for details, see the Internet). However, thirty solid minutes of anonymously abusing truck drivers got me no response at all.

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Still, when we got home I practically skipped to the front door, so excited was I to see what kind of a mess some demented serial killer had made of the babysitter. The babysitter never comes off well in horror movies. Hell, even in the fairly mild Paranormal Activity 3 the babysitter gets tormented.

Once again, though, real life proved to be considerably more crap than my horror-fuelled fantasies. Not only had she not been dismembered, but she’d basically cleaned out my fridge, too. I had a bit of brie in there that I was saving. The whole thing felt particularly wasteful as I don’t have any children – she was only hired to up the bodycount. Selling her on the job without revealing that I assumed she would get turned into my evening’s horrortainment had been near impossible, and it was all in aid of farting £25 out into the ether.

Finally, I de-rigged the traps I’d laid for the trick or treaters, and found only a DHL delivery man stuck in the nets. None of the spikes had impaled him and, asides from the mess he’d made being caught up there for three hours, he was in the same state he’d arrived in. I let him out and gave him a few sweets to smooth things over.

As the day drew to a close, I felt so hurt and disappointed that I couldn’t bring myself to throw on a video nasty to see out the day. I felt betrayed by horror. Instead, I fell asleep watching my favourite black comedy (the one where Robin Williams dresses up as a clown and goes around playing pranks on terminally ill children).

For fuck’s sake, Halloween. How about next year you pull your finger out? If it wasn’t for my daytime murder rampage, it would hardly have been a Halloween at all.

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