Well, every year around October 15th or so I start watching horror movies. Not because its an annual tradition or anything, but because every website, house, and person I see tends to be in the Halloween spirit. Not that it inspires anything horror related directly, but all the crappy cotton cobwebs and jack-o-latern candy bowls I run into just make want to also get into the spirit in my own way.
Anyways, I have been slowly introducing my girlfriend to films that I wouldn't necessarily see as being "horror" films, although any case to say so is a valid one I feel. She always avoided horror movies and in particular effort gory ones. I'm not really into the gore fest type of horror movie either, but if its an element in a film I like, it doesn't bother me. When I asked, her response was simply "I'm afraid to watch them."
I try to introduce new films to her on a regular basis. She is from the Philippines and as a result only had access to the big budget US produced films, as that is what fills theatre's there and even then going to a movie was not really something she could afford to do on a regular basis. There is a fairly rich base of films there, mostly if you go back a decade or two, but I wont go into that. So, as an example she never saw films like The Matrix, or had even heard of David Fincher before The Social Network was released. And one of the rare cases to test out "How will someone react to Star Wars if they only saw it for the first time today?" Well we watched the whole trilogy, result more space and more Harrison Ford. So onto Blade Runner and off from there. Now she actively seeks out and consumes more films, mostly classics, than I do. She has put countless hours on my netflix account, but looking at what she has watched, not a single thriller, horror, or even crime drama to be seen no matter how high its rating is. She usually uses the ratings to sort movies and goes from there but actively skipping genres she has been afraid to watch.
After catching up on what I felt were films that defined my movie watching experiences and what others felt were important films, we moved onto more obscure films that I loved. Moving onto indie films I felt were genre defining going back a few decades, then onto foreign films. I am Japanese-American and as such was introduced to Japanese film at an early age, so a large chunk of those were in this category, but introduced her to french new wave and whatever else I could cough up out of my brain. She's probably seen more French films that I have now and has seen nearly every Woody Allen movie, but there were still genres I were avoiding, sci-fi-horror, physiological horror, thrillers, etc.
I eventually convinced her by just sitting her down and putting on Alien as I saw it was on netflix and just hit play before we even started to browse through streaming options. Result...more please. So of course we moved onto Aliens, by the "Avatar guy". So now we got the ball rolling, next The Thing, Robocop, last Halloween we went to see The Shining screen outdoors on a huge screen.
So its Halloween again and like every year I start getting the itch to watch some scary movies. But unlike when I was a teenager, I cant just hit play and expect things to be alright. With my girlfriend now watching these horror movies with me I still need to be considerate of here tolerance level. She still turns her head during the best parts of The Thing or puts a pillow over her face when Ripley is slowing walking down a wet corridor. She cant even watch a trailer without having to close her eyes with the fear of an imminent jump scare stinger approaching.
So what films would you introduce to someone who was always afraid of horror movies and has slowly begun to take a liking to elements of the genre?
When we're voting on what to watch I will often submit Se7en, god I hate typing that 7, and based on my description she pushes it away with fire. This is the genre she is most afraid to watch, because of the way it can affect you. She knows this and avoids the psychological thriller more than any other type of film. You'd think I would have shown here Park Chan Wook's films based on my username and avatar. I have and although Oldboy was difficult for her to handle, she loved Lady Vengeance, if you've seen it its not hard to see why a girl might like that one.
So my plan is to make a list of "scary" movies that we can watch this Halloween. Se7en will be on that list, but is because its just one fear she has to overcome.
Films that may have or might be too much for her.
Audition, Suspiria, Ju-on (lets just put Japanese Horror on this list), movies like Brood might be too much (cant remember if this was actually scary though), more but cant think of them.
So any suggestions? Keep in mind, low to moderate tolerance of "horror" and avoids psychological horror. I'm not really thinking "the classics" as I don't find most of them actually scary in modern context, but any suggestions would help. This is more of an effort to ease her further into a genre she has little knowledge about, not an attempt to have a scare marathon.