Is There a Less Frightening Way to Watch Scary Movies?

The upcoming movie It is receiving rave reviews. I love coming-of-age movies, especially when they’re steeped in ’80s nostalgia, and that appears to be a big part of It. The trailers also make it look gorgeous.

As curious as I am, I won’t be watching It. I can’t. I just don’t have the constitution for scary movies.

A brief history of my experience with scary movies:

  • I watched Arachnophobia at a sleepover when I was 12, and I was scared of spiders for years afterwards. (Fine, I still am!)
  • I’m still haunted by a brief moment in Signs when, as shown in shaky camcorder footage, an alien walks directly in front of the camera.
  • I tried to watch The Ring in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon, but after 2 minutes I ejected the DVD.
  • I saw The Cabin in the Woods in the theater and loved it. After that I figured I didn’t have to watch scary movies anymore, because it explains all of them.

I like tension in movies, but I genuinely don’t enjoy being scared. While it’s thrilling for many people, it doesn’t feel good for me. Also, I don’t want a movie to impact my sleep or (like Arachnophobia) my everyday life.

That brings us back to It. I’d love to be able to watch this movie, but I know I can’t watch it in its current form.

However, what if there was a less scary version I could watch? A “mild cut”? Like, what if I could watch It without jump-scare sound effects? I plugged my ears during certain parts of 10 Cloverfield Ln last year, and it really helped.

That leaves some terrifying, haunting images, though. I feel guilty and disrespectful to the director for even suggesting this, but what if the “mild cut” of the movie gave viewers a warning about upcoming images or if they were skipped over entirely, focusing more on a character’s reactions?

As silly as this sounds, those two changes would open up a world of excellent films to me.

Do you like scary movies? If not, what would your “mild cut” require?