Should I Apologize For Not Watching Scary Movies?

Pedro Hoffmeister
4 min readFeb 17, 2021

Men are supposed to be brave, right?

Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash

When I was 15, I went over to a friend’s house where a group of us were gathering to watch a scary movie on his big-screen TV. It was a large group of people, all teenagers I knew. There was a lot of junk food in the house as well. We’d have fun, watch something slightly horrifying, maybe even cuddle with someone we had a crush on?

It was gonna be a great night.

The only problem was the movie: The Silence Of The Lambs. It SHOULD have been a great movie. Everyone said it was a great movie. People even said it might win an Oscar. But to be honest, I hated it. And to be completely honest, I didn’t finish it.

Halfway through the movie — when I was scared out of my mind — I took a break and went into the kitchen. I ate a few chips out of a bowl. Then I ate some Red Vines. Then I walked to the bathroom and washed my face. After that, I stared into the mirror for about five minutes. Then I slid back into the kitchen and quietly snuck out the back door of the house, down the driveway, and walked all the way home.

I didn’t tell anyone I was leaving and I didn’t call my parents for a ride. I needed some fresh air and some alone time. I needed to NOT watch a scary-as-hell movie filled with people and ideas that I didn’t want to visualize ever again.

So I walked home, went out onto my back deck and lay there, staring at the sky. The stars calmed me down after an hour or so, and I felt a little bit better about the world. Then I was able to go to sleep…sort of…with nightmares all night long.

And the thing is, I didn’t learn to like scary movies later. In fact, I’ve never learned to like them, and I probably never will.

To add insult to injury, everyone always tells me that “The Silence Of The Lambs” isn’t even a horror movie. They always say, “Dude, that’s a thriller. That’s not a horror movie. Have you ever watched an actual horror movie?”

But to me, “The Silence Of The Lambs” was horrifying. Therefore that movie counts as ‘horror’ in my book.

So I’ve never watched an actual horror movie. Never watched something technically categorized as ‘horror’ (by peopled who like to categorize such…

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Pedro Hoffmeister

Author with Random House. TBI survivor who struggles. Poet. Climber. Former Writer-In-Residence of Joshua Tree National Park. Podcast: “Boring Is A Swear Word”