I know I can’t be the only one…
Summer is upon us, and once again my Facebook feed is filled with posts about who would be brave enough to watch Jaws on the big screen, while floating on a lake. These screenings pop up all over the place, the most famous of which being the Alamo Drafthouse in Texas.
And while many horror fans yearn to find one close to them, it got me thinking about how watching the film on actual water enhances the experience. It was then I realized, just how often I do things like this, without even thinking about it.
Seasonal Horror Fan
The most simple way this manifests itself is in which horror films I choose to watch at different times of year. It started years ago as a Halloween tradition that I had to watch 2007’s Trick R’ Treat on Halloween night. It just felt like the perfect mood setter for my favorite holiday. But it grew to the point that I could only watch Halloween-themed films during the month of October. While not that uncommon among fans, I took it quite seriously.
But it didn’t stop there. Eventually, I reached a point where the date or time of year dictated which horror films I would be watching. Christmas themed horror could only be watched in December, the Spring was the realm of school based terrors (like Prom Night), and during the summer I enjoy things like Jaws, Uncle Sam, Return of the Living Dead, and any camp-based slasher (so basically the entire Sleepaway Camp and Friday the 13th franchises). It now almost feels wrong to watch something like The Burning during the winter or Gremlins during the summer.
This led to what I call, full immersion. Upon watching Lights Out for the first time, I was alone, and turned out all the lights at night to get in the right mood for it. It made the experience all the more creepy, and that was the idea. In the same vein, any time it’s snowing, my go to films are The Thing and The Shining. It makes it almost feel like I’m participating in the film itself.
Which brings us back to Jaws on the water. The reason this event is so popular, other than the gimmick, is that fans want to feel closer to the stories they’re enjoying. And I know I can’t be the only one! Who else enjoys immersive horror watching?!