Horror movies, The Exorcist and a pea soup in honour of Regan.
I have this thing for horror movies. Ever since a young age. I think it's safe to say that it is my favourite genre when it comes to film. I really, really love a good horror movie. Like I said, from a very young age. I can remember being about nine or ten years old, and slipping out of bed and out of my bedroom every Friday night, hiding in my parents' hallway, lurking in the shadows of the living room door, only to watch this horror show my father followed weekly. I wasn't allowed up that late, except on Wednesdays - ever since I was seven, as I just would not sleep and would cry for a whole hour - to watch Blake's Seven (safe to say that science fiction is my second favourite genre, I guess...). All the other days I was supposed to go to bed at a timely hour, like every other children, and I was happy to comply as I got to watch that Blake's Seven show. Does anybody even remember that one?
But one Friday, I dunno how, I found out about that horror show - Thriller, I think it was called, and then there was another one, Hammer House of Terror. I think I must have been sickly or something and couldn't sleep, and so I was allowed up and watched one episode with my dad. And was forever lost to the world of normal people. I mean, I got really hooked on horror shows and horror movies and horror books. It got so bad I did force myself to stay awake every Friday night so I could sneak behind the door and watch an episode. I was soon discovered by my parents, and after much to and fro, allowed to stay up on Fridays as well so I could watch that show. My mother ended up agreeing to it because she clearly could see I was not afraid of the shows, I did not have nightmares, I simply appreciated the genre.
From those horror shows I eventually moved into the horror films category, with my father sharing my love for said genre and advising me on what to watch - I remember quite well his enthusiasm over Rosemary's Baby, which he saw when my mother was pregnant with me, you don't want to know the thoughts that crossed his mind after said film being watched, it was our private joke - and telling me that the scariest film he'd ever seen had to be The Exorcist. He actually told me to wait a couple more years before I saw that one (hiding from me the fact that he so liked the movie he had bought the book!!) so that I could be more mature and really understand the film. He was fiercely catholic, in his own personal way, and I suppose the movie had such a go with him because of it. I was already on a stage where I was questioning catholicism and christianity, studying up on other religions, and becoming very much aware of paganism in the form of Asatrúar and Druidism and Wicca. So I decided I wanted to see The Exorcist, not for religious reasons, but for the sheer horror of it
I blabbed about the movie to my best friend, making her eager to watch it too - she's is still a movies buff to this day and age, of every genre - and as luck may have it, it happened that the movie aired on TV one late night. She had her dad program the VCR and tape it, and the next morning we were already arranging things to have our own private viewing during the afternoon. Word came out as word does and suddenly every girl in our street wanted to watch the movie with us, so we made a big thing out of it. We closed the curtains to make it spookier, and we all sat down on her couch and floors, and watched the whole thing through. My sister and a couple of others quit real soon - my sister would have nightmares because of that movie for quite a long time - but we stuck it up to the end. I was entranced. I was shocked, I was upset. And I was scared. That was the best thing about that film: I was scared!! It was news to me, the film had actually scared me.
It would be years before I ever saw that particular movie again, having it imprinted in my mind actually quite deeply. I was about twelve when I first saw it, and only went back to it when I was about sixteen? I found the book about that time, as I had moved on to research even more on horror movies and horror books and all kinds of authors from Stephen King to Clive Barker to Edgar Allen Poe to whatever I could get my hands on. I became aquainted with the work of Dario Argento through his movie Demonii, and had a long love affair with his filmography - Suspiria and Tenebre still going strong in my imaginary - I delved into werewolves, I was a constant fan of Nightmare on Elm Street to the point I knew the film by heart, I swooned over The Omen, and I one day found myself reading the Amityville Horror. I couldn't sleep after I finished that book, and my dad, who was used to me never being afraid of horror stories, grabbed the book from me and read it in a sitting. He then told me the book on The Exorcist was far scarier, and went in search of it.
Turned out he was right, and the book scared me a lot more than the film had done. I read it only once, never went back to it, though sometimes I find myself wanting to. There is something eerie in the way it is written, something the film itself cannot convey, something that left me ill at ease, and so I put it away right after I finished it. But I went back to the film, just to make sure it did not leave me feeling as uncomfortable as the book, which of course, it didn't as I could by then and now see through all the especial effects, and so, pea soup. Yep. Makes no sense? I cannot think, cook, eat pea soup without thinking about that film. Anyone who has watched it knows why, and if it has put you off pea soup, it kind of did the opposite for me, and there is a very few amount of things I find more comforting than a bowl of piping hot pea soup. I find the creaminess in it so velvety - if you don't like feeling the bite from the peas' outer shells, you can strain the soup after you've blended it - and yet so homely, it is akin to a warm blanket thrown over my back on a chill morning. And it brings to mind how exciting it was to watch horror movies and actually be scared by them!!
So how do you go about it? Fairly easily:
- 250 gr of frozen peas
- four large, starchy potatoes
- one onion, peeled and diced
- one large carrot
- one courgette
- one small turnip
- one litre of either chicken or vegetable broth
- salt (and pepper, if you like it)