I still haven't decided if I enjoy being scared. You'd think that people wouldn't like being scared ... ever, but some individuals enjoy the adrenaline rush. Scary movies, rollercoasters, haunted houses, etc. They exist for a reason: some people like them. They have the luxury of being scared while remaining safe. Go figure.
I just don't know if I am one of the people who like or hate it. But I do know I like watching my friends be scared when I know what's coming. Last week, visiting the corn maze at Thanksgiving Point, while I got a little tired of the constant screaming by the girls with me, I rather enjoyed seeing them scared as I was the one to lead them through. (although ... i didn't know what was coming that time. i was just not nearly as scared as they were.)
Last night, I watched Wait Until Dark with some friends next door, and being blessed with the advantage of having seen the movie before, I was looking forward to the especially suspenseful and frightening moments. Why was I looking forward to them? Because I knew they would all jump and scream. And when they did so last night, I laughed. How incredibly mean of me.
And then I think of watching Arachnophobia last Friday next door. I saw it long ago as a little kid (can't believe i watched it at the age of six or seven ... how did that slip past mom's radar?), but there were only a couple of snippets I remembered. Was I laughing then? Nope. Half the movie, I was using my blanket to shield my eyes from the screen. No question about my enjoyment, or more appropriately, the lack thereof, during the evening. And yet, the "spider" my roommates planted in my bed didn't disturb me a bit. I felt it, wondered what it was, and promptly fell asleep. I wasn't even afraid to lift up my covers in the morning and discover what was at the foot of my bed. Curious.
I suppose it depends on the manner of being frightened that changes my pleasure in being so affected. Haunted maze? Fun-scared. Wait Until Dark? Fun-scared with the additional sadistic glee of seeing everybody else jump. Arachnophobia? NOT fun-scared. Creepy crawlies that can leap across a room and kill you? You can keep those particular thrills, thank you.
"Wait here, Audrey. This is between me and the vegetable." -Rick Moranis, Little Shop of Horrors