Girls Night Out – “Oh, the Horror!”

by Natalie P.

November 18, 2007 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Movie Reviews, Popculture | 3 Comments

Two Weekends ago, at a friend’s annual sausage making party (yes, a “sausage making party”, I kid you not), over much wine and many different types of sausage, some of us got to talking about favorite movies and movie genres.  J and I came to the conclusion that our respective partners were more suited to “Titanic” and “The Notebook” style movies, while we liked a good scary theme. Another of our friends, who wasn’t there that night, is a real horror fan.  She loves a good terrifying thrill-ride. We started talking about all the new and classic horror films and comparing ones we had seen. J suggested we all get together and watch horror movies one night, and in that moment, the “Girls Horror Night Out” was born.  (Addendum,  you must really enunciate well when saying that out loud.  I had a co-worker convinced we had a “girls whore night out”.)

 It started as “We should get the girls together with a good set of horror movies and wine” and ended up being “We should do the whole thing as a sleepover, at the cottage, just to make it REALLY scary.”  Out in the bush, remote, and DEAD QUIET at night.  Two weeks later, I was driving around picking up the other 3 who were coming along.

The bf graciously donated his Element so that we could all go up in one vehicle.  I brought the portable battery, a 19 inch flatscreen monitor, a dvd player,  cables, and the cooler.  I packed wine, pate, boursin cranberry cheese, crackers, chili-filled dark chocolate, apple-caramel muffins, and did I mention wine? As I picked each person up, the back of the Element filled up with sleeping bags, food, overnight bags and more wine. In fact we had stuff jammed in every available spot but there was still room to ride in comfort.

We got up to the cottage just as the sun was setting.  It was clear and crisp with the leaves pretty much gone from the trees. The lake had already started to freeze.  Because the cottage is “off grid”, it had already been shut down for the winter – water disconnected, etc.  We could still use the composting toilet for pee, but anything else required use of the outhouse.   We had already decided that using the outhouse after we started watching movies might be beyond the capabilities of some of us.

The cottage was COLD inside, and the first order of business after getting the car unloaded, was to get the wood stove going.  It took several hours for the place to really heat up (and then it was downright toasty), but we had blankets and slippers so we were just fine.

With an amazing spread of food laid out on the table, we poured the wine, toasted our first (and now annual) Girls Horror Night Out, and put in the first movie.  We decided we would go from “least scary” to “most terrifying”, so we started with “Jacobs Ladder“. Two of us had seen it before, but that’s ok, it’s a seminal work from the standpoint of the horror/suspense genre.  Everyone agreed that there were elements from that movie that showed up in many horror movies subsequently. 

After the movie, I said, “You realize, of course, that just this very act of 4 women coming up to a remote cottage alone, with no electricity and no phone (well, except for my cell), is the very foundation of a horror movie.”

J said, “Yes, but it’s always the slut who gets it first.”

H didn’t miss a beat, “Oh shit…. well, I’m a reformed slut.”

I wondered, “So what does that make the rest of us?”

J  replied, “I’m the perky but naive newlywed.”

And I said, “and P, you are the religious one..”,

“Who has lost her way and her faith…” chimed in J.

“I guess that makes me the older, cynical, wisecracking sarcastic one.”, I mused.

“I am SO not going to the outhouse now!”, H said adamantly.

With another couple of bottles open, we put in the next DVD, “White Noise“.  I’ll admit, I screamed twice during that one.  Afterwards, we were restocking on wine and filling up our plates with food (we were kind of grazing all night), and I think the white chocolate macadamia nut cookies were out at that point, and definitely feeling more on edge.  One of our cottage co-owners, PJ, was possibly coming up some time on the weekend – maybe even that night, but we weren’t sure if or when he would arrive. While technically it was a “girls” night, it was only because the boys weren’t interested in the scary movies or, in one case, were home doing child-care so mommy could go out and get the shit scared out of her.  J asked, “What time is it?”

“10 o’clock”, I replied.

“What time would he have had to leave to get here by now?”

P responded, “Some time around 8 o’clock”.

H said, “If he comes up and scares us, I’ll kill him. He’ll be SO dead.” At that point, she put her foot down. “That’s it. It’s too late. He’s not allowed to come up now. The doors ARE all locked, right? There isn’t any other way for someone to get in, is there?”  I assured her that with the windows locked, the only two doors were in the main room where we were sitting.

We finally settled on the idea that if he hadn’t showed up yet, he wasn’t likely to.

Then someone posited that it was always the seemingly sweet, quiet male friend who happened to be the psycho killer…  We dismissed the idea but it WAS kind of unnerving to think about. 

Sounds like setting the scene for a horror movie… doesn’t it? 

We put in the next movie, “The Exorcism of Emily Rose“, filled our wine glasses, settled in under our blankets, and I was just about to press “play” when the door opened.

Every single one of us *SCREAMED*. 

And then we burst into hysterical giggles.

“How did he get in?”

“Well he DOES have a key, you know.”

PJ stood in the doorway, looking quite surprised and a little amused.  To his credit, he didn’t bang on the windows or sneak in and try to scare us.  We were just so freaked by that point that the very act of him opening the door was enough to shock us all. After the giggles and admonitions were finished, (PJ asserting his innocence the whole time), PJ finished unloading his car. 

Before we started, I took the opportunity to ask PJ to accompany me to the outhouse, because I figured I’d better go now, rather than after the next movie, or awakening in the middle of the night and having to make my way out there alone.  I figured NONE of the girls would be willing to go out with me at that point, and I was right.  H thought it was VERY brave of me to go to the outhouse at all at this point, even escorted.  Though I had moved 6 of our solar lights to mark the path to the outhouse when we first arrived, it was still pretty black out there.

I came out of the outhouse, carefully, half-convinced that PJ would jump out from the side and scare me (I probably would have done that to him), but he was nowhere to be seen.

I started calling for him, mind racing – oh shit, this is how it starts….

He was on the other side of the parking area with the light off. He called “I’m over here” and turned the flashlight on.

It still felt a bit too much like a horror movie until I was actually up next to him, and could see he was standing there alone with no psycho-killer holding a knife to his throat.

I breathed a sigh of relief and we walked back to the cottage.

We settled in for the next movie. PJ had brought more wine and food, AND another battery pack – and thank goodness, because about 1/2 the way through Emily Rose, my battery pack died. Now we could have put on the generator, but that would have meant going out to the generator house (next to the outhouse) both to start it, and to kill it after the movies were done.  We plugged in and restarted the movie, scene selected to where we left off and finished the movie.  Afterwards, we all agreed we weren’t taking our watches or any clocks in the bedrooms, and that we had to be asleep by 3am.

We took that point in the evening to start telling our own “ghost” stories or experiences with the supernatural.  Only recently, a group of about 15 of us had gone on a night-hike to a cabin in a nearby provincial park.  As we were all leaving, I had to stop to use the outhouse (seems to be a thing with me). P accompanied me and we each waited outside for the other as we took turns. As P was in the outhouse, I saw a light in the bush BEHIND the outhouse. She came out at that moment and saw it too. We called out, and the light went out.  Our friends were in the OTHER direction, and hadn’t even gotten that far yet, they were still just coming out of the cabin.  It was VERY unnerving.  I was very conscious at that point about not leaving any stragglers on the long hike back to the parking lot. 

Someone else told a story of having something weird happen to them at 3am the night after first seeing Emily Rose. And the stories went on.  We were well psyched for the final film.

The last movie of the night was “The Descent“, and I’m glad we saved it for last. It definitely had ALL of us (even PJ, at one point), jumping, screaming and gasping.  It was VERY well done, and very disturbing, and I admit that I had my hands in front of my face more than once. Part way through someone said, “Do you think this movie has a happy ending?”  We burst into nervous laughter.  In fact, the ending was just perfect.  I hate fluffy wrapped-up-in-a-bow endings (and that’s the biggest spoiler I’ll do in this review). The Descent was definitely the most horrifying of the 4 movies, in more ways than one.

The problem is that after something like that, you are so wound up that sleep, even though it is now 2:30am, is very slow to come. H and P were sharing a room and I could hear H saying, “I’m so glad I’m not sleeping alone in a room tonight…”

PJ slept out on the screened-in porch, despite the cold, in an extreme cold-weather sleeping bag, because he wanted to practise for winter snow-camping.  We were half-convinced something was going to get him in the night.  (The next morning he said he heard some weird sound in the night that was sort of like a dog barking or yelping…) 

The night passed, I finally managed to fall asleep, and we all awoke in our beds, safe, sound and only slightly worse for wear.  We filled up on fresh bagels, muffins, coffee and fruit and packed up the remnants of the night before. 

As we were leaving, J hugged PJ and said, “Thanks for not killing us”, to which P said, “You know, you really shouldn’t have to thank him for that.”

We have decided to make it an annual event, but we will keep the weekend secret from our friends because I just KNOW that if they know in advance, someone WILL show up and freak the shit out of us. God knows, I’d do that if I knew some friends were up at their cottage watching scary movies. 

After all, I AM a Heartless Bitch.

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3 comments so far
  1. "gunner" November 19, 2007 4:55 am

    ‘ware zombies…, dey be ahll green an’ funky mon.
    “gunner”

  2. Kimberly November 20, 2007 8:19 am

    Hee hee, I go back and forth with the scary movies. I read that it is good to watch scary movies once in awhile because it helps to keeps your “yin and yang” energies balanced. Hmmm. I ALMOST convinced a male friend of mine to come over and watch scary movies with me BUT I warned him that I might piss myself. He cancelled on me. HA! A couple years back, a small group of us were harassing each other with text messages, text with pictures and random emails with quotes from “Silence of the Lambs”, mostly Buffalo Bill quotes, “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again” and, the INFAMOUS, “Put the fuckin lotion in the basket.” I even went as far to set Windows so that when I got an email, anyone near my laptop was graced with Buffalo Bill’s lotion demand, loud and clear. Gotta love those sound bytes, eh? Sounds like you all had a splendid, scary hootenanny. Kudos!

  3. Natalie P. November 20, 2007 3:49 pm

    Hell, zombies ain’t got NOTHIN’ on those morlock-type nasties down in dat cave!

    However, it (The Descent) did have some classic Heartlessly Bitchy moments.


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