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Top Five Ways that NCI is Like a Horror Movie by Jessica Watterson

Crazy idea for an article? If you know me, you know I love my horror flicks.  You probably also know that I’ve sat in the front row of the Nickie Show for eight plus years.  So with Halloween right around the corner I thought I’d show you all how the central themes can tie together.  Stick with me on this, you’ll see it.

 5.  Venturing into the Unknown.  So we’ve all seen the “backwoods butchers” type horror movie, right?  A basic horror go-to.  A merry band of people (usually teens) simply heads off into parts unknown for a (mis)adventure.  This abducted in the woods motif is probably a distant descendent of “Hansel and Gretel” [Natasha Lefler, thoughts?] and has been around forever with subtle variations (“Blair Witch Project”, “Wrong Turn”, and of course the gold standard “The Evil Dead”). This idea isn’t just limited to rural locations, it can be oceanic (“Open Water”), space (“Alien”), or even grandma’s house (“The Visit”).  The concept is good people traveling to strange lands and things get crazy. The enhanced fear aspect is due to the victims being outside their natural environment.  For eight years I’ve watched the good people of NCI venture off to new and different places to do new and different things.  I myself transplanted to Phoenix with Brian (and Biscuit) in 2011 to start the DTC project.  The concept of going off to foreign turf to accomplish the goal has always been a part of NCI life.

 4. The Importance of Finishing the Job.  How many horror movies have you watched where the hero (aka last teen girl left alive) finally subdues the killer, only to leave him knocked out?  Instead of picking up the trusty meat cleaver and giving him a few more slashes to seal the deal, she opts to turn her back to her assailant and embrace her dying lover, her soul mate that she’s known for a whole four hours, and clearly has zero chance to survive any of his numerous stab wounds! You know where this goes, we all know where this goes.  FINISH THE JOB!  Whether it’s completing a cabling project to perfection or finally laying Michael Myers out, “mostly” just isn’t good enough.

 3.  Teamwork!  Teamwork is a fundamental for so many activities in life.  Whether it’s business, sports, military, or personal relationships, teamwork is vital to success.  This is also true with horror.  Whether it’s the good guys (“Jaws”, “The Descent”), the bad guys (“Funny Games”, or my all-time fave “House of 1,000 Corpses”) or even both (“Scream”, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”), teamwork is used successfully.  I don’t need to say a lot about teamwork with NCI.  Team is a core value, and I have been watching this team come together for eight years now. 

 2.  Overcoming Obstacles.  Most good horror movies will give the comeback element.  At some point, the victim evolves into the hero by climbing, fighting, or scratching their way out of their current predicament.  Maybe it’s setting their own fractured leg bone, squeezing their hand through a restraint, or conquering their fears by wading through a mass of rats or snakes.  The “Saw” movies offer a lot of obstacle conquering scenarios.  “Misery” is another great example.  NCI is all about overcoming obstacles.  I have watched this company fight its way into better positions year after year.  What other company builds their own warehouse to support a project or flies people across the country to cover a job on a remote Native American village?

 1.  The Struggle to Survive.  This is the most important theme in horror, it’s what makes the movie.  Those that live are those that refuse to die.  Sure, it’s often a super attractive teen girl with perfect hair and makeup, but the message is the same, movie after movie (“Zombieland”, ‘Halloween”, “The Purge”).  The ones with the will to survive will do what needs to be done and will make the decisions and choices that need to be made.  How is that any different than the NCI story over the last 25 years?  Brian and the team around him (a team I’m proud to be a part of) has embraced this mentality, the “Walking Dead” mentality, as Brian puts it.  Survival in business isn’t given, it’s taken! 

 See, horror movies and NCI have a lot more in common than you thought!  Now, go pop that popcorn, jump on the sofa under a cozy blanket, and stream your entire favorite slasher franchise tonight.  Halloween is right around the corner!

 Jessica Watterson

Kristen Pierce