In honor (read: defiance) of Friday the 13th, I give you my list of pop-culture things that freak me out. You’ll make fun of me, but after you’ve done with that, PopWatchers, please share your own personal frights.
13. Dakota Fanning’s Marc Jacobs ads
Disclaimer: I’m not saying that I fear this extremely talented tween (I’m not that mean). It’s just that I expect to see runway models sporting couture when I thumb through Vogue. But 13-year-olds? Not so much.
12. Macy Gray’s voice
The best way to get me out of a party is to have the DJ spin “I Try” by the eccentric pop artist. (I had to endure a few bars just to paste this link, and it was a difficult task.) I think Macy Gray is creative and talented, but I just can’t deal with her voice. My dad once took me to a Carlos Santana concert and heavy traffic made us two hours late. We arrived at the beginning of Santana’s set. But I’d never been so happy in my life. Why, you ask? Because Macy Gray was the opening act….
If you’re questioning the coffee company’s pop-culture relevance, I give you exhibit A: celebrities sipping the ubiquitous Starbucks latte. And exhibit B. And exhibit C: my addiction to iced soy chai. Frightening. And expensive.
10. R.L. Stine novels
Backstabbing stepsisters (and by that I mean stepsisters who actually stab you in the back), and drama queens who want a part in the school play so much they’ll do anything to get it — these wacko adolescents fill R.L. Stine’s novels. And even though the books scared the bejesus out of me, I read one about every week as a teen.
9. The music video for “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”
As a kid, I hadso many questions about this video: “Mom, is he dancing with a deadwoman?” “Why is he doing that?” “Is she really dead?” That lastquestion — and kudos to Kim Basinger for seeming so realistic — wasperhaps the most difficult to grapple with. I love this song and Irealize now that the video represents its most literal interpretation,which makes it kind of heartbreaking. But mostly it just gives me thecreeps.
8. Grown-up kid stars
Call me crazy, but I really feel like Igrew up with the kids from Nickelodeon (Amanda Bynes, Kenan Thompson),Disney Channel stars (Hillary Duff, Shia LaBeouf). Not to mention thoseOlsen twins (T.G.I.F. anyone?). So when I see them all shiny and grownup — as many of them are in this week’s issue of EW (see: “TweenSpirit”) -– it’s a little hard to deal.
7. “Aquemini” by Outkast
Seven is lucky, right? So, I figuredthis was the perfect spot for my so-good-it’s-scary pop-culture item.If you haven’t heard this song from the band’s critically acclaimedalbum of the same name, it’s definitely worth a download. (For whatit’s worth, the whole album is pretty amazing.) The music is eerilydissonant; the lyrics, intriguing. There are so many good elements tothis song, you’ll want to listen over and over again.
6. Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark?
I give you…the tale of the scariest kid’s show ever. Remember SNICK’s All That, The Secret World of Alex Mack,and this 30-minute-horrorfest? Scary stuff. Squeaky-voiced teens toldtales of ghosts, headless horsemen, and wayward clowns, who made normaladolescent stuff (dating, acne, geekdom) look easy. (Hey, was that thepoint of this show?) A few weeks ago, my roommates rushed to my doorafter hearing my high-pitched scream. “What’s wrong?” they asked.Naturally, I told them I had been watching an old episode of Are You Afraid online.
5. Gnarls Barkley’s “Necromancer”
It appears that this trackfrom the Cee-lo/Danger Mouse mash-up is about necrophilia, and thoughI’m sure it has a deeper meaning, I can’t listen to it long enough tospeculate on what that might be.
4. The Shining (1980)
Jack Nicholson. Don’t think I need to say any more.
3. The Sixth Sense (1999)
My sister and I first watched thisafter our dad installed surround sound in our basement. We heard everycreak, scream, and whisper. And my sister heard a blood-curdling screamwhen M. Night Shyalaman cuts to a hanging corpse in the school scene.The shriek was mine.
2. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video
OK, so not totally original. I think any ’80s baby who saw this video got a little “shook.” But I still can’t watch it alone.
1. Poltergeist (1982)
As if all of the urban legendsassociated with this ghoulish franchise weren’t enough, I have my ownreasons for why I will always be scared of this movie, no matter howmany times I watch it. This was the first real horror film my parentsallowed me to see (I’d begged them), and we sat together on our couchto watch it together. Until my dad thought it’d be a good idea to gobehind the couch, and jump out and scare me during the closet scene. (Carol Ann! Carol Ann! Come into the light!). He screamed boo! I screamed aaaah! And then I burst into tears. It’s a wound that has never completely healed.