Someone said, “Leighann, what’s your favorite romantic movie?” Believe it or not I’ve never been asked that before so I had to think about it for a second. My head tilted to the left, my eyes stared off into space, and my body went still. I do that sometimes when completely caught off guard. It looks like I’m processing a data download from My Mothership. “What’s my favorite romantic movie?” I was as shocked as anyone when I heard myself say, Hellraiser.
To the best of my conscious knowledge Hellraiser has never been classified as a romantic movie by anyone, ever. It’s not even my favorite film. It’s actually one of the few horror flicks that truly scare me. I couldn’t watch it for years. Years! But it wasn’t Pin Head who put me off. I grew up in New York City. A guy with metal pins sticking out of his head in a perfect grid pattern isn’t scary. That’s a creative casual Friday.
The Puzzle Box terrified me. I never learned how to solve puzzles as a kid and the longer we don’t understand something the scarier we allow it become. The Rubik’s Cube my parents gave me only served to exacerbate my feelings of mental inadequacy. Yeah, I’m sure there’s a trick to solving it, but I never got the email. And so I was happy when the Rubik’s Cube crazy faded from pop culture prominence and very relieved that my admission to college didn’t depend on solving it. I’m okay with The Cube being a multicolored paperweight.
Yet, it still intrigued me that my subconscious served up Hellraiser as a romantic movie. Was it going for the joke as my conscious mind often does? Maybe; maybe not. Perhaps my subconscious knows me better than I give it credit for. On the surface, Hellraiser is not a romantic movie. But it’s so much easier and fun to watch while wrapped up in the arms of someone special where I can easily hide my face away from the scary bits in their crook of their shoulder. And that, my friends, is romantic. Assuming said armpit of love is clean and properly deodorized.
"But slightly more worrying than saying Hellraiser is my favorite romantic movie is that The Mother Ship and I still have yet to think of a better answer.