The Hills Have Eyes and I Need A Tissue

4 Aug

During Spring Break 2006 while the rest of the people at college were off in Cabo getting drunk and yelling “BRO!” every 1.5 minutes, I was in Ohio. I grew up there and it felt nice to be at home away from all the craziness of college life. By craziness I of course mean having my dumb friend Theresa fall asleep while  watching Shaun of the Dead, take THAT Asher Roth. I felt more like myself in Ohio, like I could relax. I hadn’t made many.. oh what do you call them, oh “friends” at college in that first semester. I attribute this to a failed relationship and a failed “hook up”.

I spent most of 1st semester crying in the shower with swim trunks on. I was dumped and I was devastated. Not only because I was in love, but because I literally had no idea how to talk to college girls. I didn’t understand that there is a certain level of forcefulness that women like. Taking charge wasn’t in my rolodex of moves. To me, everything that wasn’t clearly asked for or stated beforehand was rape. Girls like a guy in charge and the only thing I was in charge of was making sure my DVD collection was in alphabetical order. In spite of myself I found a girl that liked me a little. I liked her too, a lot. We went to high school together and seemed to be alike. We both had a love of movies and could name upwards of 600 Simpsons characters. The only problem was that I was going to school in New York and she was in school in Ohio. Facebook dating was in full effect.

This was something I was really comfortable with. I could be making her “lol” and make her “haha” without feeling uncomfortable or nerdy or… chubby. I could be the me I wanted to be, not the me I am. Me I am? Me I am. Meiam. Meam. Meow. There we go! This was a couple weeks before spring break so we made plans to meet up in Ohio. I told Theresa about it and asked how to take a girl on a date. I had only ever taken girls to movies. It’s the only place that’s quiet and cool and where I feel like me. After throwing around some ideas about parks and bowling and some other possibly panty-dropping options, we eventually decided on: A MOVIE! Big surprise, right?

That weekend the remake of the 1977 film The Hills Have Eyes was debuting at the brand new theater in our town. This had me written all over it. Although I’m not a huge fan of blood or being “scurred”, there’s something fascinating to me about the horror genre and more specifically where it has gone over the past 10 years. And the remakes that come along with that. I have always felt that since Scream there has been a major decline in the quality of horror movies. I’ll take Rosemary’s Baby over Final Destination any day. But scary movies are  good for a date, we could cuddle up if she gets scared. That’s a thing, right? That’s not just in 1950’s movies.

The movie is textbook scary movie. A group of people. Stranded. A couple hot girls. A jealous boyfriend. A hero dad. Two siblings who seem like they’re going to sex each other. Wait, what? Was it only me or did anyone else think the brother and sister were going to do it. Just me? Very good.

One great thing about these types of movies, especially seeing them with first dates is the ability to laugh at the gross parts. One bad thing: my date was not laughing with me. She was not scared. She was disgusted. Almost as disgusted with the movie as she was with me for taking her there. I’ll admit, maybe a mistake. I wasn’t really thinking about her when I went to the box office to get my tickets. I was thinking about me and what I wanted. The same reason I was crying in the shower a couple months earlier. Apparently, I only think about myself. I think that comes from most of my hobbies being solitary ones. I love to watch movies alone. I love to make music alone. And with one glance from the girl to my right at The Hills Have Eyes I knew, I am alone here too. About 40 minutes into the movie she looked over at me and said “Can we leave?”. Leave? Of course we can’t. I have only walked out of three movies in my life: House of the Dead and later on The Spirit and Hancock (I found it incredibly racist, but that’s for another time)

Now any reasonable man would leave immediately in order to save some face. I am clearly not normal. When I asked her if she wouldn’t mind staying until the end she stood up and walked away. I stayed in my seat. I stayed till the end of the movie. We never spoke again.

Several years later while talking with Nick Orsini on the phone I told him about this incident, how alone I felt in the theater that night, how alone I felt in my weird obsession. He then told me about how he took a girl to see The Hills Have Eyes opening weekend and how she felt uncomfortable and how she wanted to leave and how he stayed, alone in the theater in his weird obsession.

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