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I went with a number of my friends to see The Cell when it was still in theaters. We'd seen the previews and thought it looked interesting, so we piled into Living Dead Bus and went to Bellis Fair Mall to see it.

I should point out at this point that the group of people that I went with are inveterate gamers. Roleplaying games, particularly live-action, are their favorite hobby. They tend to view things in game terms; it's a common frame of reference that we all have, and can use as a basis of conversation. I remember going to see Eyes Wide Shut and wondering Why is there a Tremere chantry in this movie?! when Tom Cruise walks into the mansion. And when we went to see The Cell, everyone agreed that Jennifer Lopez was every inch the Lasombra Templar at the end, all in black, destroying the serial killer's mind.

Furthermore, they are all players in the live-action Sabbat game that I run, so they're used to portraying -- and dealing with -- disturbing imagery and sociopathic individuals.

Even so, at one point or another when watching The Cell, nearly all of us were tempted to get up and leave at some point. I was somewhat suprised to learn this; normally, I am more squeamish than most, but I wasn't particularly bothered by it. I was so captivated by the sumptuous imagery that I honestly didn't notice. At the very end of the film, the credits rolled, and the theater was dead quiet. Some audience members were visibly shaking, whether with nerves or affronted morals.

So I know I frightened a few people when, in my entranced-Toreador voice, I said "That was so pretty!" into the shocked silence.

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