I went to a movie for the first time in eight months on Friday night. It felt … weird.
I think paying for a film with Michael Myers as the protagonist, when I had once been paid for my shaky opinion on films, was probably the most frightening part. I had to see a lot of good movies, so my taste got better, despite my … taste.
Maybe it was because all the movies I want to see are in hiding until next year, but my 12-year-old and I saw “Halloween 2018.” She thought it was scary. As did I … for different reasons.
It was the first “Halloween” movie I’ve seen in a theater since the ’80s, when I was much younger and still believed the first thing one should do when an insane serial killer is after you is to exit the locked vehicle and hurry up and find the nearest forest.
Speaking of which, “Hansel and Gretel” (the book … with pictures!) was WAY scarier than “Halloween 2018,” which is either named after the year it came out or the 2,018th movie in the franchise.
My daughter had a blast, which was the real reason we went. She’s like her dad, in that she finds scary serial killers fascinating. That’s good, right?
One of our shared “things” (you have to have “things” with your kids) has always been movies. For example, one of my shared “things” with my 18-year-old is music. That’s why she tried to perform a Bad Religion song for her 2nd grade talent show, until I suggested the other kids (their parents) wouldn’t understand.
The 12-year-old—whom we’ll call “Lucy” (because that’s her name) and I have been missing our film outings during the pandemic. I was skeptical of the theater’s promised COVID-19 measures because I’m a jerk that way and want to live. Just to be safe, I sent my daughter in first.
But Cinemark seemed to be doing a pretty good job. No one got closer than 6 feet from us which—for me, lately—doesn’t seem to be a problem. That even goes back to before the pandemic, come to think of it. Everyone wore masks, which was kind of funny when they tried to eat popcorn, but who am I to judge?
Even the movie’s main character wore a mask. (Thanks. I’ll be here all week.)
As a person who’s been borderline paranoid about keeping my distance the past seven or eight months, I left pretty satisfied about the experience. Of course, there weren’t many people there—and things got a little weird around the concessions (even weirder than the blocked arteries that come with theater popcorn).
I admit my arteries were missing that pretty badly.
But it got me thinking about music venues, and how different live music is from movies. And how people are starting to get bolder.
Maybe it’s good theaters are, so far, only showing old movies, or ones that look like they should be paying you to see them. Yes, I know “Tenet” is out there, but my brain hasn’t experienced a complicated movie in a long time, and I’m afraid re-starting with Christopher Nolan is like saying you want to try boxing by getting in the ring with Mike Tyson. Either way, your head could explode.
I believe the experts are right and sensible approaches need to be used. So I won’t fight Mike Tyson or see any Christopher Nolan movies—and I’ll wear a mask while staying away from germy strangers until the coast is clear. And when someone can figure out when that is, please let me know.
Follow music critic Tony Hicks at Twitter.com/TonyBaloney1967.