Sunday, January 06, 2008

I Am Letdown

I can hardly bear to watch scary movies. The special effects and 'cheap thrill' moments (picture the alarming shot of the dessicated dead girl curled up in a closet near the start of "The Ring") give me an adrenalin surge that is far from entertaining. Evidence presented in the May, 2005 edition of Nature Neuroscience suggests that I may be experiencing the effects of inheriting a short version of the serotonin transporter gene.*

Apparently, I'm genetically doomed to never finish a scary movie, unable to watch tragic films (e.g. "Requiem for a Dream"), or read through a tragic book (stopped "A Map of the World" abruptly on page 19 when the little girl disappears). On the other hand, a little excitement in an implausible sci-fi flick (say "Independence Day" or "The Day After Tomorrow") is one of my favorite pass-times, so I was eager to see "I Am Legend."

Alas, I am disappointed. Aside from the extraordinary computer animation of post-plague NYC as weed-choked wasteland where herds of gazelles hop through lines of abandoned cars with Will Smith in pursuit, the movie was ridiculous. Even the abrupt appearance of the lean and buff viral-ridden zombies did not raise my heart rate. These hairless dudes were clearly spending sunny days working out in subterranean health clubs to get in shape for evenings spent chasing Will and his canine companion.

And I'm sorry to report that the brand new Harkins Theaters at Northfield are already seedy and hard to access for the physically challenged. Should've stayed home and watched the original "Haunting of Hill House." Oh wait, those walls that breathe and halls that whisper ruin my sleep.
*For more information on short serotonin transporter genes, see Short-changed on serotonin transporter gene?.


Dr. Smak said...

Denver Doc,

You're not alone in your reaction to this stuff. I was unaware it was a genetic disorder, a teenager I lived for the stuff, and as an adult I can't stomach it. That or the roller coasters. Thought I was just getting old.

Anyway, thanks for the heads-up on I am Legend, I had been considering seeing it. You made a great decision Map of the World, it just got more and more troubling through the end.

Cilicious said...

I heard the same about I Am Legend.
I am in constant touch with my inner adolescent and usually can handle cartoonish violence like the machete scenes in Walk Hard, but steer clear of any *realistic* tragic stuff (I chickened out of seeing both Requiem as well as United 93.)

Mauigirl said...

I can't bear to watch or read anything sad about animals.

Horror movies, I'm OK with.

I found the Blair Witch Project to be extremely scary but that may have been partly because I saw it in the movie theater. A group setting is always more scary. Remember the scene in Jaws when the shark leaps out of the water and the whole audience screams?