There are many classic movies I haven’t seen for no reason. The Nightmare Before Christmas is not one of them. I’ve actively avoiding watching this one because it always looked terrifying. In addition to the characters themselves seeming creepy, it also had to do with the fact that I’m scared of claymation.
So, after seeing Scrooged for the first time last night, projected onto the wall of the entirely-empty-except-for-us Pop Bar, when the bartender couldn’t play my date’s pick of Christmas Vacation (thanks to Netflix’s limited selection of streaming options), I decided to face my fear.
It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. The claymation part was pretty okay. The concept itself was all right as well–after all, Jack wasn’t really a bad guy, even if he was extremely creepy looking. It certainly wasn’t as nightmare-inspiring as Coraline.
In fact, it made me wonder about other things I avoid due to being afraid–riding a bike in the street, going to brunch by myself, actually working on my writing so I can submit stuff and be rejected. That last one I’m not even consciously scared of, but I must be on some level, or else why aren’t I doing it right now instead of creating this blog post?
Could it be that everything I think is scary isn’t really? Is everything in life just like going on a roller coaster–terrifying as you approach the first hill but then thrilling once you’ve done it? Probably not everything; some things are scary because they’re truly dangerous. But I think I need to try them first and find out for myself instead of just assuming things–riding a motorcycle, jumping off a bridge, eating raw zucchini–are not for me. I usually tell myself I’m good about taking risks, but realizing how long I’ve avoided The Nightmare Before Christmas reminded me that I’m maybe not as brave as I pretend to be.
Which is fine. I don’t have to be the bravest person in the world. But I do need to be the bravest person I can be. I owe it to myself–and Tim Burton, I guess.