I started keeping track of it three years ago when it happened on August 2nd.
Two years ago, it was July 28th.
This year, the record goes to July 15th!
These are summer dates in which the temperatures get as high as 100 degrees in Colorado, and they also happen to be when Spirit Halloween stores open in neighborhood shopping plazas.
Now, mind you, the stores do not actually “open,” but the spooky, neon-green sign goes up, along with a “now hiring” sign, and there’s a preliminary reminder that cooler weather, horror movies, and Halloween are just around the corner (almost 4 months ahead of schedule).
I find nothing wrong with this. I think it’s fascinating, actually. It reminds me of the early 90s when indoor mall shoppers would get upset when Christmas décor went up before Thanksgiving! It was a sin!
Today, as a 43-year-old new (and old) dad, I embrace the early anticipation of the holidays, especially Halloween. As it’s supposed to hit 101 degrees Fahrenheit in Denver today, the stupid Spirit Halloween sign gives me hope for the near-future briskness in the air, the radiant reds and oranges that flood the trees, and cozy hoodies that are worn on the couch in front of the best comfort entertainment out there—horror movies.
As I’ve stated many times before, the chills and shadows of Halloween creak open the door to horror flick escapism for me. Probably because my dad let my middle brother and I watch horror movies when we were young, I possess an internal need for manufactured fear, and believe it or not, it is a fear that actually calms me.
Writer/Mom hybrid, Ashley Abramson, writes: “Unlike real life, when your worst fears could come to fruition at just about any given moment, holding a remote in your hand while watching something scary comes with a sense of control.”
Horror aficionados like me get it. The rest of you—including my wife—prefer Disney+, and more power to them. I can still enjoy watching Frozen, but I also think it would be cool if hell froze over, and Olaf had to deal with Satan.
With a few exceptions, I normally save all my horror films—both old and new—for the month of October. This year, because my wife and I are expecting another daughter in late October, and my life will become yet another whirlwind of wonder and anxiety, I’m going to open that door to Halloween and horror movies early this year.
I’m starting with Jordan Peele’s Nope tonight, and I can’t wait.
I dunno—maybe it’s the eight and half months that have gone by without a horror movie. Maybe it’s the darn Spirit Halloween sign that I saw a few days ago under the blistering sun.
Something is tempting me to open that door…
Thanks for reading,
What are your horror movie traditions? How are you managing the extremely hot weather? Anyone seeing Nope this weekend?