October: The Month Where The Geeks Will Shriek – An Interview

It’s that time of the year once again, and perhaps it’s everyone’s favorite time of the year because we get to gorge on sweet candy (and chocolate) of all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Aside from that, we get to dress up on one specific day (unless you cosplay) of the year. Over the month of October, I asked fellow Geek Motivation members what they fear most in the world and other things. This is what they had to say:

Warning: Spoiler alert for those who are planning on seeing any of these films!

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1) What horror villain scared you when you were younger, and why? Or what horror movie traumatized you to some extent?

  • Lief Brandgard: “I tried to stay away from horror movies when I was younger, but I frequently saw clips of different [films] throughout my childhood. [Most of which were] from Saw, and the idea of those movies traumatized me.”
  • Miguel Coelho: “Freddy Krueger. He had a scarred face and knives for fingers.”
  • Mike Guimond: “Regan from The Exorcist kept me from going to sleep and putting any limbs over the side of my bed when I slept after seeing a commercial on AMC.”
  • Clayton Hare: “All horror characters scared me. My least favorite was Leatherface. The way he wore victims’ faces really frightened me as a kid.”
  • James Howey: “I couldn’t sleep for four days with the lights out after watching Paranormal Activity in theaters. I was in my sophomore year of high school, and [after] coming out of the theater, I thought the film was real. To this day, some moments in that film still startle me. [That was] one of the most unique and terrifying film experiences I’ve ever had.”
  • Alicia Leon: “My mom [had] never let us watch horror movies. Only once did I watch Mars Attacks because my dad let me (which he then got into trouble with my mom afterward), and it scared me so much that I never finished it until high school. Once I saw that the humans defeated the Martians, I felt better about it.”
  • Michael Marinelli: “Jigsaw. I’m not big on horror in general and have never seen a Saw film, but I’ve seen a few death scenes and those terrified me when I was a kid.”
  • Christian Quiles: “I was a HUGE horror fan when I was young. I would watch many horror films after dark, when my parents were asleep, and love the whole vibe of being scared. Not many characters from horror films scared me, but The Exorcist is one of those films I used to avoid like crazy because of its reputation (mostly due to the Scary Maze prank that features Regan MacNeil at the end of it). When I watched it for the first time, I was in shock and amazed at how much they managed to get away with what they’ve shown, even for 1973’s standards!”
  • Andrew Valencia: “When I was in 2nd grade, I saw Signs in theaters with my parents. I slept in their room until I was in the 4th grade. I moved my mattress into their room and everything.”
  • Will Wyatt: “The Dilophosaurus in the Jurassic Park mainly because it was like the first jump scare I ever saw.”
  • John Tangalin: “I was afraid Chucky the Doll after Seed of Chucky came out. It must have been the scars, and this was before Heath Ledger’s Joker came around with his own facial scars. I remember having to sit Indian style on my seat during mid-to-late elementary school because I was scared a little person would slash my thighs in class. I got over Chucky after watching Child’s Play 3 during my early high school years. You should check out Curse of Chucky and its sequel, Cult of Chucky. The continuous story in these two films is pretty neat, plus it brings back old characters from earlier installments of the franchise.”

2) What horror villain fascinates you?

  • Lief: “The Xenomorphs from the Alien franchise. While not necessarily a singular villain, I love the design of those creatures.”
  • Miguel: “Xenomorphs. Their biology is amazing from being part of a hive with their own giant Alien queen to having super acid blood to having a second smaller mouth inside their regular mouth to having no eyes thus stalking their prey through other senses. Overall, they just look awesome.”
  • Daniel Fitzpatrick: “Aliens and Predators fascinate me the most. I really want to know more about their culture. I also like the Primordial Evil from Buffy.”

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  • Mike: “Michael Myers is the most mysterious, yet savage villain.”
  • Clayton: “Freddy Krueger fascinates me because the way he goes into dreams and [wreaks] havoc has always seemed like a change in horror movies, which I enjoyed.”
  • James: “I’ve loved Godzilla since I was a child. He is my favorite fictional character, and I always looked at him as the toughest dude on the planet. At an older age, I realized that the original meaning behind Godzilla was much more powerful and horrifying. Gojira was released in Japan nine years after the destruction the country faced at the end of World War II. The film and the monster were a reminder of the horror of nuclear weapons. The film is dark, grim and eye-opening to say the least, so many people judge horror by the realism of the subject or film. You [cannot] get [any] more real than the devastation delivered to Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the fire bombings of Tokyo.”
  • Alicia: “Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs [is perhaps] the most fascinating for me. He’s a psychopath, and the way psychopaths and sociopaths think has always interested me since it’s just so different from the way I think and feel.”

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  • Michael: “Jigsaw. His traps are brilliant usually (although also terrifying).”
  • Christian: “The Babadook. No debate! This was a movie that I was practically in love with for months because of the film’s main theme: Depression. Mental health is a topic not many people understand; a topic that has also affected people as well. Making depression the main antagonist was a genius idea for this film. It shows how horrifying and devastating it can be for someone’s life.”
  • Andrew: “My favorite horror movie villains are extraterrestrials and demons. Extraterrestrials are clearly because of Signs, I think it’s terrifying to imagine an entire group of people being infinitely more advanced intellectually. All of a sudden WE are the frogs being dissected, and no one ever thinks to explain to a frog why it’s being dissected. The frog can’t comprehend it. Demons like Pazuzu in The Exorcist or Moloch in the Paranormal Activity movies resonate with me because I grew up going to church, and I believed they existed. Now I don’t, but I think they’re endlessly entertaining.”
  • Will: “Pennywise the Clown interests me because it was the first horror villain that I [read about in a book and watched on screen] and took the time to understand rather than just watch. [I’ve read the novel, but it’s been a while].”

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  • John: After watching a whole marathon of Friday the 13th and Halloween movies on AMC’s annual October television event (in 2010 or 2011), I really got into the slasher films’ respective villains Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. I’ve also now come to appreciate Pennywise the Dancing Clown more than I did when I was younger because…well, after writing so many Geek Motivation articles on IT (check them out by the way), my reason is rather evident in itself.”

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3) What is a big fear of yours, and why?

  • Lief: “I’m completely terrified of baby dolls. There’s no logical or rational reasoning to it that I can think of, but they’ve always scared me.”
  • Miguel: “Wasps. I got stung by a bunch of wasps when I was little.”
  • Daniel: “A big fear would perhaps be a lack of success and existential dread. In real life, I’ve been shot at, stabbed, attacked with a syringe of HIV, so much to that point that I don’t really do with physical fear more the mental stuff.”
  • Mike: “A big fear I can admit to is that of embarrassment because it’s what makes me the socially awkward person I am.”
  • Clayton: “I have always had a massive fear of heights. I really don’t know as to why, but I never get along with them.”
  • James: “A fear I kind of have is tight spaces; basically claustrophobia. A film that uses that so well is The Descent. The film is one of my favorite of the horror genre and one of my favorite films in general, [and] is a powerful and terrifying masterpiece.”
  • Alicia: “I’m afraid of heights! I realized this when I tried indoor rock climbing for the first time earlier this year. It was progressively harder to move my legs up because they wanted to stay frozen, and it felt like I was going against my own instincts. Terrifying…”
  • Michael: “Probably drowning because it would be terrifying as well and I’d likely be alone.”
  • Christian: “My biggest fear is being alone in dark places. The idea of not knowing who or what is in a dark room scares me to death!”
  • Andrew: “I can’t stand spiders.”
  • Will: “I have a fear of loneliness, mainly from my depression.”
  • John: “I have a fear of heights, but ironically I love flying in planes. There was this mall in the Philippines called SM Megamall that I went to over the summer. I was on the sixth floor and my legs were shaking. Just the idea of falling from that height sends chills up my spine. Literally.”

4) What’s your favorite horror movie (slasher and/or supernatural)?

  • Lief: “My favorite horror film is IT (2017). I saw it with a buddy of mine a few weeks back and I loved it. It felt so much different than any true horror movie.”
  • Miguel: “The Shining. You know a horror movie is good when it scares and unsettles throughout the entire movie even if nothing is happening. (Plus, Jack Nicholson is in it.)”
  • Daniel: “My favourite horror is definitely slashers. Scream, All Cheerleaders Die, Urban Legend. Slashers are awesome. Also, Evil Dead is cool.”

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  • Mike: “I’d say my favorite horror movie would be A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).”
  • Clayton: “28 Days Later. I’ve always had a somewhat unique fascination of zombies, and that movie was the first ever zombie horror film I’d seen.”
  • James: “My favorite horror film of all-time is Alien. The film creates fear and tension in phenomenal ways. It also introduces a creature that is interesting, scary, and iconic created by the late H.R. Giger. Sigourney Weaver and the whole cast are brilliant in the film. To this day, the scene where the Xenomorph emerges still makes my skin crawl. Alien is a true horror and Sci-fi classic.”
  • Alicia: “The first Alien movie is my favorite horror movie. I love me some sci-fi and suspense!”
  • Michael: “Since the only horror movie I’ve really seen is Texas Chainsaw from 2013 then by default I guess Texas Chainsaw from 2013.”
  • Christian: “My favorite films have to be the Friday The 13th, Cabin In The Woods, and Evil Dead.”

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  • Andrew: “My favorite horror movies are Drag Me To Hell, As Above So Below, Honeymoon, and The Stuff.”
  • Will: “The Taking of Deborah Logan interests me a lot.”
  • John: “I used to really like the Final Destination series (I wish they’d come out with a new movie) because I liked the concept of Death coming for you in an order. I like IT (2017) now for obvious reasons.”

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5) What was one of your favorite things you dressed up for on Halloween?

  • Lief: “When I was younger, I dressed up as Obi-Wan [Kenobi] for Halloween. It was awesome and a really good costume made of stuff I had around the house. Second to that is when I just put on the scarecrow mask my sister made for me.”
  • Miguel: “Zombie.”
  • Daniel: “I dressed up as King Arthur like three years in a row. That was my favourite.”
  • Mike: “Superman.”
  • Clayton: “My most favorite Halloween costume was by far when I was a Huge Sumo Wrestler in a blow up fat suit.”
  • James: “Clark Kent.”
  • Alicia: “Even though I was born in and raised in San Diego, I never dressed up for Halloween. My mom wouldn’t allow it. It wasn’t a custom she grew up with and she tells me now that she was worried [and asked herself things like] ‘What am I teaching my child by celebrating this? Other festive days have lessons, what does this one have?’ So we never got into it, although I think I would have loved to dress up as Supergirl or a fairy. “
  • Michael: “I always dressed up as a superhero, and when I was a really little kid, I was a combination of two things. For example, a Batman-scuba diver.”
  • Christian: “I used to love dressing up as the Red Power Ranger, Darth Vader, and even Woody from Toy Story!”
  • Will: “My best costume was when I went as ‘dick in a box’.”
  • John: “I dressed up as Batman during one Halloween. Every other year is sort of a blur to me.”

6) Your favorite candy?

  • Lief: “I love Butterfingers. They’re definitely my favorite.”
  • Miguel: “Smarties.”
  • Daniel: “Chewy sweets like gummy bears.”
  • Mike: “Reese’s.”
  • Clayton: “Sour Mike ‘N Ike’s.”
  • James: “Reese’s Pieces.”
  • Alicia: “My favorite candy is anything with chocolate.”
  • Michael: “Candy corn for sure.”

Colorful Candy Corn for Halloween

  • Christian: “My favorite candy has to be a Milky Way bar.”
  • Andrew: “My favorite candy is yellow Starburst.”
  • Will: “Probably Snickers.”
  • John: “I’ll eat almost anything except for candy with peanut ingredients (because I have a peanut/ peanut butter allergy).”

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7) What do each of you have to say about October (that is, what can you learn about it that we could tell others)?

 

  • Lief: “While October is fun and scary, that doesn’t mean you have to get upset with people who aren’t a fan of Halloween. Some people just don’t like it, and that’s perfectly fine.”
  • Miguel: “October was originally the eighth month of the Roman calendar, therefore it being called October.”
  • Daniel: “Bonfires are a great way to get rid of unwanted furniture.”
  • Mike: “Although spring and summer are consistent with how we see the world (nature especially), October is a unique time of change that must be relished in with carving pumpkins, jumping in leaves, gathering by the bonfire, bundling up, indulging a bit, and enjoying the new season (of all the [television] series premiering this month).”
  • Clayton: “October is a great time to come together with friends (or make new friends). You can do a multitude of things, whether that be carving pumpkins or going to a haunted house. October is a unique month to bid with friendship and family.”
  • Alicia: “Oddly enough, that experience [with not dressing up] has taught me to stand my ground even if it means going against the current. If you want to dress up, don’t miss out and do it! If you don’t want to, then you don’t have to feel pressured to do so! People may look at you funny in both cases but that’s fine because you’re not doing it for them, you’re doing it for yourself. So, no matter what you choose, I hope everyone enjoys a safe and fun Halloween day.”
  • Christian: “October is a great month, not just because it’s my birthday at the beginning of it, but because it’s what I like to call ‘The First Month of the Holidays.’ While we wait for the best holiday of them all at the end of the year, Halloween has a special place for me. Candies, costumes, trick or treating, the fall feeling. Those are things stick out when you think of October.”
  • Andrew: “October is great from what I’ve heard. Growing up in Miami, we don’t have seasons. Now that I live in New Jersey, this year will be the first time I actually experience a season that isn’t summer.”
  • John: “This month is my favorite month of the year because I’m midway through my first semester of the new school year, and the whole vibe October is what keeps me so full of life.”

October is a festive month full of scares, thrills, and candy. Although–and let’s be honest–nobody is too fond of midterms. Perhaps October is a great month to look back at the year and to look forward beyond November and December.

Follow Geek Motivation on Twitter (@GEEKMOTIVATION) and Instagram (@geekmotivation) for all the great things movie and television-related.

Written by: John Tangalin

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