The doll and I walked around the video store looking for acceptable titles. Pulling up her iPod, she said, “Um, Unfriended and The Visit are the two movies my friends have expressed interest in seeing.” Taking a look at one of the covers, I asked, “More horror movies?” She shrugged her shoulders as if to say “So?” and grabbed the two discs. “Oh and Mom, we need to find a family friendly movie for Natalia, she hates scary movies”. “Okay,” I replied and a few minutes later we exited the store carrying two scary and one, family fun movie.
I’m not quite sure how my house became the scary movie sleepover house, but I can honestly tell you, I’m happy we are. The reasons are simple, most of the girls enjoy this genre when they’re in a large group, so they tend not to separate from the group while the film is in play. In addition, I get just as much of a kick out of watching their reactions as I do actually watching the movie.
“Okay, I did see this movie and I’ll give you all a hint: when the picture starts to jump around, that’s when something bad’s going to happen,” Emily warned, at the start of the movie Unfriended. I sat in the threshold to the kitchen while the girls spread their sleeping bags and blankets around my living room floor. The entire movie takes place from the viewpoint of a computer screen while six people are having a group chat. The audience gets to see one character’s screen as she moves her cursor from one file to another; listening to music, having private chats, searching for answers and eventual help. “Look at all the open files she has!” “That would drive me nuts!” “She needs to close them down!” Three different girls announced in unison. “Look at all the popular sites she has open, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify; I bet it cost the producers a bunch of money to have those companies included” Nikki surmised.
“Mom?” “Um, Aunt Marsha…” “Mrs. Lewis?” “MOM!” Lifting my head, I blinked a few times and replied, “What?” The doll looking back at me said, “You were snoring…” “Yes, I was, sorry,” I said still clearing the cobwebs from my eyes. Apparently the fun family movie put me to sleep. “Why don’t you just go to bed?” She tried. “No, it’s early yet,” I said noticing the 1:00 am time. “Mommm…” The doll repeated. “I’ll go to bed after The Visit. I mean I should be down here in case Natalia needs me,” I said, hoping the excuse would hold. Instead, Natalia turned toward me and said, “That’s okay, I’m not going to watch it. I’ve got some really good headphones and my iPhone to keep me distracted”.
Nodding toward her I looked back at the doll and repeated, “I’m going to stay down here and watch the movie with you.”
The Visit tells the story of teen siblings weeklong visit with their maternal Grandparents, with whom they’ve never seen nor met; while their mother goes on a cruise. While visiting, they come to the conclusion that something is not quite right with Gramma and GrandPa. The doll’s cousin Mary, who had already seen the movie gave out warning shouts, whenever she began to feel uneasy, “You might want to cover your eyes for this next scene…” Enticing several of the girls to take her advice and watch through fingers covering their eyes.
Overall the girls screamed, squirmed and laughed to cover their unease from one scene to the next. In addition to getting mad at one another for trying to scare each other in between frightful scenes. Of course, I couldn’t help but delight in their nervousness. My second wind fully engaged when my adrenaline began to flow, causing me to jump up and down and laugh not only at the girls reactions but my own as well. When the movie finally ended, I was exhausted and said goodnight to the girls and went to bed. The girls settled in to watch another movie but promptly fell asleep bringing the epic night to a close.