by Adam Riske and Alejandra Gonzalez
Never Have I Ever #1: Walked out of a movie (or turned off a movie) because you were too scared or upset.
Alejandra: I think I can honestly say I’ve never done this, but it’s a pride thing. Or maybe I have, but I just can’t remember. There are times I force myself to get through it but then am totally freaked and paranoid for hours after the movie closes. I got really close with The Ring, but I was with my cousins and didn’t want to look like a pansy. Samara is horrifying, though, so I’m not mad at myself for being spooked.
Adam: Samara has never scared me that much. I think part of it is that if she came out of my TV and I knew I was probably going to die, I would just accept it. I’d think “It was a good run. You can’t watch all the tapes. Might as well wrap it up here. It’s kind of a relief, actually.”
May at a Music Box Massacre and I walked out when Angela Bettis bit Jeremy Sisto’s lip and made it bleed. I was so disturbed that I walked out and asked someone for a cigarette even though I don’t smoke. I love May, but that scene always touches me in a weird way that makes me uncomfortable.
The second one is when I saw Three... Extremes and I wanted to walk out but couldn’t because my body went limp and I passed out before I could stand up. I have a really weak constitution for Asian horror usually, and I couldn’t handle the segment called “Dumplings.” The imagery, sound effects, the insinuation of what was happening...it all was too much. I got the sensation in my whole body like when your foot falls asleep and then the screen went from visible to just blackness like someone put a hood over my head. It was the weirdest moviegoing experience I’ve ever had.
Never Have I Ever #2: Had to sleep with the lights on after a scary movie.
Adam: I have never. I’m super brave. Plus I have a ton of courage blankets.
Alejandra: After the first Paranormal Activity, I had to sleep with the lights on. But I was 14, so I was bad ass and it was only the BATHROOM light I kept on! Actually, this is something I do a lot if I’ve seen a movie that effectively spooked me. That way I can say I still slept that night and I don’t have to tell anyone it was only because I kept the lights on.
Alejandra: Oh, this has happened PLENTY of times. It’s kind of funny because most people assume that since I love horror it means I don’t scare easily. I’m actually a HUGE wimp. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ll watch the movie all the way through, but then I’ll walk to the bathroom with a sharpened pencil in hand in case I need to stab anyone in the middle of the night. The last movie to shake me that way was Creep, and I’m constantly saying so. I had such a hard time sleeping because of that one fucking scene...the Peachfuzz one. I even left the lights on because I thought it would help! It didn’t. I just got goosebumps even thinking about it. NEXT.
Adam: Yeah, Creep is sneaky freaky. I let my guard down because it was Duplass and that ended up being a mistake.
I saw the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre for the first time shortly after the remake came out in theaters. I was in college and watched the Tobe Hooper classic on a little TV, alone, in my apartment bedroom. I have never been more unsettled watching a movie. It felt so personalized, being that it was just me watching it alone. I remember that I got in my car and drove to the campus Blockbuster to return the DVD very shortly after finishing the movie because I didn’t want it in my place. When I got back home, I just sat in my room, watching “light” TV, too disturbed to fall asleep until the next morning. It remains the scariest movie I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s terrific, but I’ve only rewatched it one time. It taps into a lot of things I’m afraid of, especially humiliation. That’s worse than the murders in that movie to me.
Never Have I Ever #4: Effectively dropped your concessions or screamed during a jump-scare at the movies.
Adam: I have never. I have sat with a friend who has, though. It was a jump scare during Book of Blood (which we saw at a great triple feature with Creepshow and Tales from the Darkside: The Movie). He was drinking a cup of wine and there was a jump scare and the wine flew out of his cup and landed directly behind him. I noticed, laughed, and said “Do you think you hit anyone?” Then a woman meekly replied “You did.” She was nice about it and my friend got her paper towels. The end.
Alejandra: This I have never done! It always happens in movies so I was curious. I did squeeze my soda so hard the lid came off during Blair Witch (2016), though.
Adam: I squeezed my lid during Blair Witch because I was so disappointed.
Never Have I Ever #5: Gotten into a heated argument with a friend/family member/significant other over a horror movie.
Adam: You’re not boring or a sad sack. I don’t object to what that guy said (everyone is entitled to their opinion unless it’s Alien, apparently, and everyone gets crazy sensitive) but his phrasing annoys me. I picture him as a giant turtleneck sweater.
I dated a girl who liked safe horror (e.g. The Ring), but when it came to the more hardcore stuff I had to hide it from her. So when Freddy vs. Jason came out, I went but told her I had to go to a doctor’s appointment. I got away with that one. The one I didn’t get away with was House of 1000 Corpses. I couldn’t have it out with my other DVDs (she knew my stock), so I hid it in basically a “Narnia drawer.” In that drawer was also a wee bit of non-horror related adult entertainment. I felt so guilty about hiding House of 1000 Corpses from her that I did that thing where I looked at the safe too many times because I didn’t want the robbers to find the safe and she got curious and opened the drawer. She wasn’t that mad about the adult movies, but boy did she let me have it about House of 1000 Corpses. She said she felt unsafe around me. I turned on the Riske charm, though, and was like “You don’t feel safe...in these loving arms?” Smooth. That’s how we do it.
Just kidding. She was super pissed.
Alejandra: She was not looking to get frisky with Riske.
Adam: She hung in there for another year before leaving me for a serf at Medieval Times. It’s a long story.
Never Have I Ever #6: Skipped on seeing a movie because the previews were too scary.
Adam: I don’t know if it’s because it’s too scary, but I have skipped movies where I know I would have problems with them being too gross for me. For example, once I saw the trailer for Raw, I knew I could never watch it because it had too many personal triggers (e.g. eating people).
Alejandra: I know you’ll give me some side-eye for this one, but I didn’t watch Unfriended for a WHILE after it came out because I thought the previews were terrifying. I know I’m probably ruining my reputation by exposing what a real pussy I actually am, but IT’S TRUE. I also did this with The Conjuring, but it wasn’t the trailer. It was the hype from people saying it was the scariest movie they had seen. Turns out it became one of my favorite horror movies, period.
Never Have I Ever #7: Been lectured by a parent (or other adult) when you were a kid about a horror movie you’re watching being inappropriate.
Alejandra: My parents have always been strict, but rarely ever about the things I watch. Might have something to do with the raunchy and bizarre hispanic novellas that are normal in latin households, but I can only really think of one time my mom was spooked and upset about a movie I was watching. It was The Exorcist. She thought I was inviting demons into the house by simply hitting play. She made me shut it off, so I had to sneak watch it later. Almost like porn!
Adam: I can think of two times this has happened. In my teens, I brought over The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 to a friend’s house and his mom yelled at us when she walked into the basement and saw what we were watching. She told us that she didn’t want that in her house. I also remember I was watching Pet Sematary 2 on cable when I was 11 or so and my mom said “Oh, Adam. What is this?” when she walked in at the part where Clancy Brown was talking about how he wanted to fuck Edward Furlong’s dead mom. I had to cover and be like “Yeah, can you believe what they put in movies today?” I felt bad. I will give my mom props, though, because her and my dad are always cool with my horror fandom. They never make me feel bad about it.
Never Have I Ever #8: Thought a movie was scary through someone else’s summary of it until you actually saw it.
Adam: I can think of a few. I was really scared of the Nightmare on Elm Street series because even in kindergarten kids were talking about “pizza face” (which is what we called Freddy). Another one was Cannibal Holocaust, which I only caved and saw because it was playing at the Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival and I was already there for the day. That was a weird day (CH kicked the day off and it ended with The Green Inferno...at least Turbo Kid was in between to keep me from oblivion). Cannibal Holocaust is obviously notorious and I found the experience watching it not as bad and also worse than I expected. It’s hard to explain. The last one is Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Weirdly, I did ok with that one for a while but then that scene happens (you know the one) and I really sunk into despair. It also doesn’t help that the movie is so unclean in its photography as well as subject matter.
Alejandra: As I mentioned before, this happened with The Conjuring. My best friend had seen it before me and said it was the scariest movie she had ever seen. She was summarizing it for me (I usually don’t mind spoilers) and I completely made up my mind about not watching it. She made the hand clapping scene sound like it would keep me up for months. Not sure what convinced me to watch it after all, but when I did I not only wasn’t terrified, but I fell completely and utterly in love with the movie. It was a pleasant surprise, really, and it was the perfect amount of spooky.
Never Have I Ever #9: Tried to scare your friends using a horror movie as inspiration.
Alejandra: I feel like by the end of this, everyone will think I’m a huge The Ring enthusiast because of how many times I’ve mentioned it, but yes, I did prank call my cousin once and it was inspired HUGELY by The Ring. The day after having seen it (which was when landlines were still a thing) I called up my cousins and put on my best “seven days” voice. It sounded exactly the way you would anticipate a 10-year old trying to scare her older cousins would sound like, so it wasn’t effective at all. In fact, I think I scared myself more than anyone.
Adam: I have. I went to see The Blair Witch Project with my neighbor a couple of weeks after it came out. I had seen it already and he had not. After the movie was over, we were walking to my car and instead of going through the door to the parking lot I walked into the corner and stood there with my back turned to him. I stood there for about literally two or three minutes and ignored everything he said to me. I turned around and apologized after he told me that he was scared and sounded like he was about to cry. Then we drove home. I’m still Facebook friends with him. He’s never brought it up since and neither have I.
Alejandra: I would have thrown something at you for sure.
Never Have I Ever #10: Tricked someone into watching a movie you knew would terrify them.
Adam: It isn’t horror, but I have a few friends who didn’t want to watch The Raid or The Raid 2 because of how violent they are and I told at least one of them it wasn’t that gory. I screwed it up, though, because I started smirking while I was telling them this. You?
Bone Tomahawk with me because I told him it was a good western, which he usually loves. Needless to say, if you’ve seen it you know which scene made him not talk to me for a few days. We laugh about it now.
Adam: I told a relative they didn’t have a soul for not crying at the end of Phenomenon when we saw it in theaters. Tough love is needed sometimes.