Beyond their muted hipster tendencies, having the teens watch those specific films is a sneaky way of establishing tone. Even before Jay's curse is induced, she and her friends are already engulfed by suburban sprawl.
If the point of watching a scary movie is to be scared, and one has no part of their worldview that accepts the possibility of the events being depicted happening in some way to themselves, how can a scary movie do its job, for them?
Hotels inspire the horrific and macabre, and with Halloween almost upon us it's time to celebrate haunted rooms, menacing presences, poltergeists, and even the occasional Log Lady lurking in the lobby.
I never understood peoples' attraction to horror movies but, as a writer-turned-filmmaker who just spent three days totally immersed in the genre (courtesy of Shriekfest Horror Film Festival in Los Angeles), I have a newly-developed appreciation for the films.
1) If someone offers to sell you a beautiful house in the country for an unbelievably low price, do not make the purchase. As nice as it sounds, the house is evil and you and your family will be dead within a month.
For starters, I have no interest in the supernatural and paranormal -- mostly because I don't believe in it. (Of course, that's the perfect set-up for a horror story.) I've never had a paranormal experience, though I'm sure there are people who believe they have.