Tonight, we watched Donnie Darko. Excellent film, but it's definately part of the reason I'm not sleeping now. Surprisingly unsettling. References to things unsettling, even. And one creepy fucking bunny.
As I arrived home, it hit me how unsettling this film actually was, and how being in the dark alone for that few seconds before I opened the door was chilling. Going to bed tonight will likely be the same, as I will be going alone, in the dark.
I then thought about the progression of meaning movies have made in my mind. When I was a child, movies were upsetting because there was no clear distinction about what was "real" and what was not. I was frightened when monsters were in movies because I felt like they could very well exist in my world. Demon kings and dragons could hurt me. It made me scared.
Then, as I grew older, I began to understand movies were not real events filmed, but done in studios with smoke and mirrors, so to speak. When they pulled out the hearts of those guys in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, it was all special effects. And I wasn't scared. I was amused.
Then, somewhere along the line, there became a distinction between film and ideas. No, movies aren't necessarily real people and real events, but the things that go on in them have truths in them. Deeper meanings that become far more upsetting than monsters on strings. Movies have more impact, I feel now, than most people give them credit for (though I'm probably preaching to the chior on that one). And while I wasn't afraid of really cool special effect vampires in Blade 2, this IDEA of a demented-looking rabbit, which was more that the sum of its costume and creepy effects, and what he represented (slightly unsure as I may still be) has scared the crap out of me.
Words have power. Pictures and words drive it home.
And now, I dunno if I can sleep alone in the dark.