One day, I was home watching an excellent Spanish horror film called The Devil’s Backbone. I’m not into blood-and-gore horror, but give me a psychological thriller that messes with my head any day of the week.
Not that my head needs messing with, but anyway…
Twelve-year-old Carlos is sent to a boys’ orphanage while his father fights and later dies in the Spanish Civil War. Once there, he confronts a menagerie of surreal characters and situations, including a female caretaker with a wooden leg, an unexploded bomb half buried in the courtyard of the orphanage, a long-time resident willing to do anything to get his hands on the gold hidden in the orphanage’s safe, and the ghost of a boy who haunts the premises and seeks revenge against the one who was responsible for his untimely death.
Naturally, I felt I needed to set the mood, so I had turned off all the lights. And things rapidly spiraled downhill after that.
I watched, frozen in terror, as Carlos, stalked by the ghost of the dead boy, hid himself inside a closet.
And then the phone rang, and I thought I was going to have a heart attack right then and there!
“Hello?” I said.
“Hi.” It was my dad.
I sighed and rolled my eyes.
“Dad, I was right at the scariest part of a movie when you called. You scared the CRAP out of me!”
“Good!” Dad chuckled.
And then we chatted a while.
Later, I watched the rest of the movie with the lights on.
But you already knew that, didn’t you?