As we get closer to Hallowe’en and we soak ourselves in horror films and thrillers, we got talking about what movies scared us when we were kids. And why.
Scary Movie Moments…
Being frightened as a child is a big experience. There can be the kind that involves screaming and dissolving into laughter when a bunch of kids watch movies together at the cinema or in a familiar living room… but there’s also that other kind. The kind you felt when you saw a movie – or even just a scene or a moment within one – that frightened you while you watched it alone. Or as Chris Comrie points out, when you’re in a room full of adults who are not seeing what you see…
Chris: War of the Gargantuas is the actually the very first movie I remember seeing, I think I was 6. I remember it vividly, because I have never been so completely terrified since and I hope I never am. It’s a completely silly Japanese monster flick about a couple of guys in furry suits fighting and crushing a model of Tokyo underfoot, but I didn’t understand the concept of fiction yet. To me, this was breaking news on TV, and in a state of real hysteria I tried to warn the adults around me that a giant eye was about to look through the 5th floor window, but all they did was laugh.
Maybe this photo will make it less scary, Chris.
Samantha: This sounds funny, but I remember being frightened of the Don Knotts movie The Ghost and Mr Chicken**. I know it seems silly now, but I remember seeing it on TV when I was 5 or 6 and that organ music terrified me. Poor hapless Don Knotts talks about the portrait of the murdered Miss Simmons in the murder-suicide house and it suddenly appears to be stabbed in the chest and bleeding! My father was an artist, and the idea of a portrait bleeding was horrifying. I felt the hot sticky chaos of real fear when I saw it.
Another one that really scared me when I saw it on TV in childhood was De Palma‘s film version of Stephen King’s Carrie. Piper Laurie‘s religious fanaticism was disturbing to me, and the Jesus on the crucifix in the closet used for Carrie’s punishment was truly terrifying. And you’d have to have nerves of steel not to be afraid of flying kitchen implements…
What are the scary movie moments that you remember, that unnerved you, that kept you… awake?
*kaiju in Japanese roughly translates to “monster”.
**The Ghost and Mr Chicken is also, strangely, from 1966, the same year as Gargantuas.
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