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Posted by farid from ( on Tuesday, June 17, 2003 at 12:27PM :

It's an intruiging thought: what do you do when you're being terrorized in broad daylight? Hitchcock had fun with the idea, so did Speilberg.

We all expect a haunted house to be a scary place. A chase or a murder or disappearance set there is nothing out of the ordinary...we expect it when we first see the darkened old house, at night, sitting atop a lonely hill with a rotting iron gate falling down around it. We'd be surprised if somehting awful DIDN'T happen, something harmless a birthday party for instance...or baby shower. In fact such a harmless, even delightful, event would seem spooky just by association like, "who would plan something so sweetly innocent in such a place"?

But what about being set upon by some crazed person in the daytime? What if instead of a haunted mansion you're in a home in the burbs...surrounded by normal and clean people? Hitchcock loved placing people in what to all outward signs would be about as safe a place as you would want: in a crowd during the daytime, downtown or at a school or in church.

And to add a twist yet, what if the person or persons chasing you were respectable by all outward signs...even famous for being good and benevolent people whom only you had accidentally uncovered? How do you convince the townsfolk that their beloved Little League coach is really a murderer? And worse, since you're the only one who knows his secret...he has a compelling motive to kill you before he's exposed so that in your eagerness and fear you don't quite behave normally? You know damn well Time is against you, yet the harder you try to prove your case, the more bizarre people think YOU are...the more they come to believe that YOU are the crazy one...the one leading a double life, because until you went "nuts", they knew you to be sober and sane.

And, just to bring it all home...what if several respected townspeople insisted on defending the coach, because they want to believe him...perhaps because they've invested too much of themselves in him...even trusted their own children to his care... but also because they were already pissed at you from another incident and saw this as a good chance to pay you back. And what if, additionally, there was a financial motive, or a hope to seize on one last chance to "do something meaningful" by standing up for this "Stand Up" guy, or share the reflected glory of the upcoming baseball championships at which this coach is to be honored for an exemplary life and you can share the dias as the ones who stood by the beloved man against his one, weird, accuser?

AND...what if the guy trying to convince the entire town and the police that their coach is a sicko was born an Eye-Raki, and only later became a naturalized citizen of America, and America was just mopping up a war with that same EyeRak...and these people could use that against him as well...AND what if this guy had a forum where he said things you used to be able to say in a democracy, certainly one that touts itself as the greatest one of all time, but are now considered "suspect"?

Tell me about it.

note: I could have titled this "Parhadberg"...but that sounds too much like a town...a place you wouldn't want to live in. "Parhadcock", on the famous other hand...has more, I don't know...savoire faire to's more poetical. It's definitely more catchy and besides, it gets AndreAss all sweaty.

-- farid
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