Seven Films to Get to Know Me By | Random Thoughts
Films tell a story, not only from the writer, director and actor's perspectives, but also from the viewer's perspective.
Our favorite movies may tell others what kind of values and morals we have, what our sense of humor is, as well as what we may be missing from our lives.
The films I am sharing with you today are not my favorite films per se, but they are films that have impacted my life in some meaningful way.
I love movies. I have loved watching movies since I was little, with horror films being my favorite genre. Not all the films on this list are horror films, but all tell a story about my life. Without further ado, here is my list:
Child's Play (1988) - When I was little, my parents, my brother and I lived in a log cabin. It was actually made out of logs and had two stories. The bedrooms were upstairs and I remember at night my parents would watch movies downstairs in the living room, which was visible from the top of the stairs.
Once in a while, I'd sneak to the top of the stairs and watch what they were watching from the comfort of my Gremlins sleeping bag.
One night, they were watching Child's Play (1988) and what I remember of it was Chucky coming alive in the mom's hands and rolling under the couch. I was completely shocked and horrified, not sure if I wanted to continue watching. I remember thinking, "Oh no, I hope nothing is under our couch with a knife!" (which is why you should always have achilles tendon armor if you find yourself in a Child's Play/Chucky movie).
As a result of this film, I've always been kind of afraid of walking near a couch or a bed where I can't easily see underneath.
Thinking about my motivations later, when I was an adult, I realized that experience really showed my love for horror films even at a young age.
Bloodsport (1988) - When I was a teenager, I lived on the East coast and there was a television channel called Channel 54.
I don't remember who it was affiliated with or owned by, but they had two specials every Saturday called Nightmare Theater and Action Theater.
Action Theater would come on first and usually be one of the American Ninja movies or Bloodsport (1988).
I loved Bloodsport from the very first time I saw it. It is so unintentionally hilarious and I absolutely love martial arts films, so I would make sure every Saturday to check to see if it was on and watch it. To this day, I never get tired of watching it. It's still just as hilarious and fun to watch.
Blank Check (1994) - I remember seeing Blank Check (1994) on The Disney Channel when I was younger.
It was fascinating to think about how I'd spend that much money and how it would be so much fun to do all the things the kid did in the movie.
For the longest time, I was obsessed with getting an entire garbage can full of ice cream like the kid got.
I watched the film again recently and all I could think about was the logistics of getting an entire trash can full of ice cream, how gross that would be (was it cleaned well and would you really eat out of that thing even if it was?) and can you really eat anything more than the top layer before you scream, "Take this away, peasant!" at your limo driver?
Also, hey limo driver, good luck getting that thing to the curb for the waste management people to get (I'm sure they'd refuse to take a garbage can full of melted ice cream, ants and bees anyway) or to a dumpster.
No Escape (1994) - When I was younger, I remember seeing a trailer for No Escape (1994) and immediately becoming obsessed with watching it. Don't ask me why, but the only thing I can gather about my weirdo self was that I was, from a very young age, fixated on the film genres of horror, horror-comedy, action, martial arts, and action-horror-comedy.
Watching the film recently, I was kind-of-mostly horrified that I watched it when I was so young. Granted, the film is funny in a lot of ways, but it is also extremely violent.
When analyzing the film as an adult, I still like it, but I realized part of the reason I liked it was the lead character played by Ray Liotta was extremely resilient, brave and sarcastic.
I share those qualities with Ray Liotta's character, so I admired what I couldn't see in myself until I was much older.
It's interesting when you look back at people or characters you admired when you were younger and see yourself in them.
The Queen of Versailles (2012) - I became fascinated with the documentary film, The Queen of Versailles since the first time I saw it. It was really a new experience for me to see a fantastically rich family and just see so much of their lives without it being edited and biased. What I learned from the film is that you can have so much money, yet still have all the problems people who make a moderate income have.
Money didn't make any of the members of the family happier, it created distance between them both physically and mentally. The mom didn't really watch her own children; she relied on nannies and housekeepers to do that. The dad also didn't really interact with his children or his wife and didn't really seem to care to know them at all.
The mom, in one scene, went to Walmart for Christmas presents for her children, yet didn't put any thought into what each child might like, so she ended up getting a bunch of board games, bikes, and toiletries. When Christmas came, the presents were given out without purpose; it didn't matter who got what present because they weren't meant for any particular person. I remember thinking, this is really sad. I would rather get one present that someone put a lot of thought into specifically for me rather than 100 presents that could be for anyone.
The gifts we are given don't mean anything unless they've been given purposefully and with love. Gifts, no matter how big or small, only mean something when you know the person spent time thinking about you. Anyone could go to a store and pick up an item, pay for it, wrap it, and hand it to you.
After viewing this film, it really made me think a lot about material possessions and the things we surround ourselves with. I started to research more about only having things in your life that you love and mean something to you. I found it easier to let go of things that didn't add anything to my life and only buy things or accept gifts that I loved.
Sometimes the films we watch don't initially seem to have a huge impact on our lives, but once in a while we look back and can't deny how big of an impact they do occasionally have.
Pitch Black (2000) - When I was in my late teens, I worked at a movie theater. I loved it because I got to see all the movies I wanted for free and I became friends with almost everyone I worked with.
When I first started, I worked as an usher, taking tickets and directing patrons to the correct theater. Since I usually watched all of the movies, no matter how good or bad they were, I had a lot of opinions about the movies the patrons were about to watch.
I took it upon myself to look at their tickets and tell them whether the movie was good or bad, then telling them what movie they should go see instead if it was bad. One of these movies was Pitch Black (2000).
After a while, I would get patrons who would seek me out to ask what movies to see and management eventually approached me to find out why random people were asking when I was working. I told them I was telling patrons to go to different movies than what they were going to see and they basically groaned and said, "So that's why when we check the theaters, some that aren't supposed to be full are, and the others that are supposed to be full, aren't." They told me I wasn't allowed to work in the usher position anymore because I had ruined their numbers for The Matrix (1999), Ravenous (1999) and other movies.
I ended up working at the theater for about three to four years, until it closed. Everyone who worked at that theater was a misfit of some sort, kind of like Empire Records (1995), so we never got in trouble for any shenanigans we pulled.
Midsommar (2019) - I initially put off watching Midsommar (2019) because I really don't enjoy watching disturbing movies. I had watched Hereditary (2018) and the parts that had to do with head trauma really bothered me, especially the ending with Toni Collette. I wasn't sure if I wanted to watch any more films by Ari Aster after watching Hereditary (2018). Eventually though, I was curious enough that I decided to watch Midsommar (2019) and I ended up really enjoying it despite the gore and disturbing content.
The reason I liked Midsommar (2019) so much is because of the portrayal of the relationship between Dani and Christian and Dani and Pelle.
The film really dives deep into people in your life who care about you and are willing to support you no matter what and those who, for whatever reasons they have, are not willing to be there for you when you really need it.
In the film, Dani's family dies and she tries to lean on her boyfriend, Christian, for emotional support. However, she discovers that Christian's support is very limited and comes with several stipulations. Throughout the film, Dani sees Christian for who he is an ultimately becomes jaded towards him.
This film really made me think about the type of people who are in my life and if they truly care for me and support me when I need it. There's a line in the film when Pelle asks Dani if she feels held by Christian and it really made an impact on me as I think about that line often.
It made me think, why should I have anyone in my life who doesn't make me feel good about myself, who doesn't support me and is only in my life so they can try to get something from me? So many people have expected things from me because I would freely give my time and energy to help them, but when I have needed help, they were nowhere to be found.
In the film, Dani got Christian out of her life in an incredibly shocking way. Despite my shock, I thought about how she reacted when he finally was out of her life and thought about how cathartic it is to get someone out of your life who is hurting you and is only there when it is convenient for them.
I realized I have complete control over who is in my life and I don't have to be nice, empathetic and kind to people who only use me. I don't have to cling to someone just to have a friend or someone to talk to. It really has made a positive impact in my life and even though it's not a horror movie I am typically drawn to, I am so glad I saw it.
What do you think of these films? Do you have films that have impacted your life in a meaningful way? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!