Monday, October 31, 2011

Nightmare Movies from Childhood

So, when I was a kid, I would have called my oldest daughter a wuss when it comes to what scares her in movies. She can barely handle any tension--villains are just awful for her. I've tried to watch a few of my favorite movies from childhood with her to no avail. The Little Mermaid? Can't hold her attention--we didn't even make it to Ursula. Labyrinth?

Oh, yeah. Those goofy puppets (to me) are an absolute terror to a sensitive four (now five) year old. Thinking on other favorite movies of childhood, they're basically all out. The Neverending Story, Willow, Goonies, Legend... We were just expected to be tougher as kids in the eighties. No Dora, Max and Ruby, Caillou and the like to give us fun, happy stories without scary bad guys.

These Cracked articles illustrate that: 1 2 3

(the scene with Artax (Neverending Story horse) is definitely one that's never left me. Scary? No. Traumatizing? Well, I still get upset in movies when someone kills a horse--more so than when most humans die.)

I think it was the fear that these kids' movies inspired that led me to love the horror genre. So, what scared me as a kid? Not all are hugely different from an adult perspective, but I at least watched the whole damned movies (and seriously? Who let me watch these? Often, the answer was: my sister, but you'd be surprised how many times it was my mother). I'd never intentionally expose my children to these movies before they're cynical teenagers.


I used to swear I saw the little bastards in the grass at night when I stared out the windows. And I still, to this day, cannot stand open cabinets or closet doors.


That thing has been haunting my nightmares for I have no idea how long--only that I must have been exposed to it as a very, very young child.

The Gate

This movie is why I will forever hate claymation to the depths of my soul.

Twilight Zone the Movie

Poor John Lithgow. Yes, there were some scary moments with the kid with the mind powers, but nothing traumatized me as thoroughly as the gremlin on the wing of the plane. I seriously want to cry looking that thing up.

Tales from the Dark Side: Seasons of Belief

Not a movie, but I've never forgotten this. I don't think I ever will. Nor will I say Its name.

Child's Play

Really? You need an explanation? I owned this doll and promptly went home, tied her up with a jump rope and lobbed her at the back of my closet, not to look at her again for months. I actually still own her, though she has dreadlocks, no cartridge and no batteries. So my kids can play with her. If she ever talks, I know there's no batteries. Although I always thought Chucky was more of a My Buddy doll.

So, there's a list of movies that terrorized me as a kidlet. What movies haunt your nightmares?

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