Last week I was lucky enough to win two tickets to see any film on any day at CineWorld in Shrewsbury. It was just the incentive I needed to do what my second eldest daughter (Ivy) and I have been threatening to do since we first heard about it - go and see Piranha 3D.
The original 1978 Piranha movie was a favourite of my childhood. Last Christmas, daughter number 3 (Taylor) gave me a DVD boxset of Piranha, Lake Placid and (the particularly awful) Frogs. What a treat that was, sharing the iconic images of my childhood with a generation brought up on special effects a tad more sophisticated than what we now affectionately refer to as 'fish on sticks'.
I hardly ever go to the cinema - usually I am happy to wait for the movies that interest me to make their way onto SKY or I go to "Wendy's Lending Library" (my sister still buys the important ones when they are released on DVD) - so a trip to the cinema is still a bit of a novelty to me. The last movie that inspired me to get off my sofa and embrace the big screen was the 3D screening of the last in the fabulous Final Destination series. Absolutely LOVED it. And the 3D technology has made such a huge leap since the green/red cellophane in cardboard spec frames that I was seriously impressed with it all.
So all in all, Piranha + cinema trip + 3D + free tickets was enough to tip the balance of the scales in their favour against general apathy + genuine anxiety about leaving the baby for the first time for longer than an hour or so (he is only 11 weeks).
It was a 9.15 screening. I spent longer than usual feeding the baby before handing him over to his dad (we don't even own any bottles so I had to make sure that he had enough milk to keep him happy - and hopefully asleep - until my return) and then we set off. Singing along to the Glee CD in the car kept my baby separation anxiety at bay.
As is often the case with free tickets or discount vouchers, the cashier at CineWorld had no idea how to process mine. I started to feel guilty about having won, the agitation of the people queueing behind me building as the minutes ticked by. Eventually, all was sorted and we were comfortably seated, 3D specs in place appreciating the opening sequence which was a tribute to Jaws with the lovely Richard Dreyfuss. I knew from that moment that I was going to love this film.
I don't know if it's just my age but those 3D glasses did make my eyes ache after a while. However, it was worth the minor inconvenience because the film did not disappoint. It was a total gore fest with just the right amount of jumpy moments, comedy and amazing special effects.
There was only one bit of the film that I really did not like and found quite disturbing (and it wasn't the part where drunk girl 3D vomits right at you). A panicked tourist tries to flee the scene of terror by ploughing a motor boat through the mass of swimmers being attacked by killer fish. I think the bumping of motorised vehicle into vulnerable living flesh affects me on a fairly deep level because of an experience I had some years ago.
I was driving home from visiting a friend in Manchester. It was late, I was nearly home, it was very dark as I lived out in the country and there was no street lighting. It all happened so quickly. I saw something flash before me out of nowhere and before I even had time to react I felt the sickening bump of something substantial against my front wing. I thought it was a deer but it turned out to be a greyhound. I will never forget wandering around in the pitch black, hearing the laboured breathing of the dying animal and not even knowing where (or what) it was. I managed, eventually, to locate the owner (a farmer) who came out with a powerful torch and hessian sack to put the body in.
Incidentally, my baby feeding efforts before leaving for my cinema trip were totally successful. He slept for 7hours and I swear he is noticeably bigger, heavier and longer this morning!