The Uninvited

BeyondTheDoor.

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The butler did it.

But what exactly did the butler do?

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Whatever he did, I’m certain it was not as great a crime as what my neighbour is doing.

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Nor was it as thrilling as what I am imagining doing to her if she tells me once more to pay attention to what happens next, then proceeds to describe what is going to happen next just before it happens.

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The suspense isn’t killing me, but the lack of it is.

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From the most popular mystery romance since “Rebecca”! – the tagline shouted.

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The Uninvited

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I didn’t find “Rebecca” mysterious or romantic, it was stressful and frustratingly so, because I watched it with the same person who is seated next to me now while we watch “The Uninvited”.

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“The next scene terrified me when I first saw this film, the stillness and silence before the window blows open… you just don’t expect it! I screamed out loud, so did the entire movie theatre! Look, look, it’s coming up now…”

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I look, watch.

The scene plays out.

As I look and watch, I feel looked at and watched.

Her beady little eyes boring into me expectantly. Glistening with anticipation of my reaction.

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“You must have nerves of steel!”

That is not a compliment.

“I can’t believe you didn’t even flinch… mind you, it wasn’t as terrifying as I remember it, but then again I was a child when I saw it, not much older than you. I was such a scaredy cat in those days, such a vivid imagination. You’ve never been that way, perhaps it’s for the best, but still it’s a pity that you couldn’t enjoy it the way that I did. Although I would have to say that seeing it again after all those years… I’m rather disappointed in the film, it’s not as scary as I thought it was. That scene was rather bland compared to my memory of it. It’s funny how deceptive our memories can be.”

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Perhaps my memory of watching that film with her is deceptively defective.

I can’t recall the film at all, what I remember of it is what I was told about it, even though I know I saw it all the way through to its end.

I’m fairly sure it had an end, although it did seem interminable.

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That moment was not an isolated event.

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Suspense thriller, murder mystery, film after film… a black and white lesson in how to ruin another’s viewing pleasure with your own pleasures of viewing.

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Except for one.

One film which I enjoyed immensely, which was thrilling, even though she was there, the ever present neighbour looking out of her window into mine, telling me what to see when I looked outside.

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The birds.

In “The Birds”.

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Nothing You Have Ever Witnessed Before Has Prepared You for Such Sheer Stabbing Shock! – claimed one of the taglines of “The Birds”.

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I’ll never forget what those birds did.

The butler could never do that!

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The Birds

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