Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark—The 5 Phases of Watching A Horror Movie

Ramón Morales (Michael Garza) and Stella Nicholls (Zoe Margaret Colletti) in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)

So, you’re feeling brave enough to go out and see Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark? Well, if you’re no stranger to the genre, you’ll know that seeing a scary movie does not begin and end with the movie itself: there are multiple mental and physical stages that one goes through when experiencing the turmoil of a true horror movie. Let us break them down for you: 

1. Overconfidence

So your friends have talked you into going to see the movie. That’s fine! You’re in good company. You’ve seen scary movies in the past. You’ve got nerves of steel! Let’s just sit back and laugh at all of these people who actually think this movie will be scary. No hokey ghost or monster can shake your confidence or break you down into a crumpled pile of weeping hysteria. You’ve got this! 


2. Realization

Ok, so it’s about 10 minutes into the movie and you’ve jumped a few times, but that’s just part of the fun! That pit in your stomach is probably just excitement, maybe gas, or it could be the fact that you just saw someone being dragged under their bed by an invisible entity, and that’s secretly your deepest fear. Just loosen the grip on your friend’s arm and eat some popcorn. You’ll be alright . . . everything’s fin— WHAT WAS THAT?!!


3. Sheer Terror

OK! This movie is shaping up to be a lot more terrifying than you thought it would be! Your heart is pounding, you’ve taken to some weird, feet-up-on-the-seat, fetal position, and you’ve already sworn off of going anywhere alone for the rest of your life. Why would anyone put themselves through this?! Just make it through the remaining 60 minutes and try not to embarrass yourself too much. 


4. False Relief

It’s finally over. The climax has passed, the movie has had its resolve, and you’ve successfully warded off 5 minor strokes. The credits roll but you keep your guard up just in case. Relief only sets in as the theatre lights fade on and you turn to your friend and share a chuckle as if to say “that wasn’t so bad.” You’ve made it— or so you think.


5. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A week has gone past, and you’ve watched every Disney movie ever made and have left every light on in your house. Any effort you’ve made to erase the trauma brought on by that movie is quickly overpowered and you begin to question why you even went to the movie in the first place. You’re not alone in this: many of us are out there pacing our homes, swinging open shower curtains, and jumping at every and any noise— this will pass. In the meantime, get used to sleeping with the light on! 


Feeling confident? Test your nerves with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, now playing at Regal!

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