Thursday, October 16, 2008

Two Movies That Haunted Me As A Child

With Halloween right around the corner, I thought it'd be a good time to share two movies which traumatized me as a child (I did a more bare-bones version of this post more than a year and a half ago).

Some of my favorite movies are scary ones ("Scream", "The Others", "The Ring"), but this wasn't always the case. At the age of 10, two TV-movies messed with my head big-time, so much so that I completely avoided the genre for the next half decade.

The first was "Salem's Lot", a 1979 telefilm based on a Stephen King book. I didn't watch the whole movie, but the part that disturbed me the most was when this vampire boy floated outside this man's window, entered his room through the window, and then bit the man. Here is the scene:

For weeks afterward, whenever I laid in bed, I would look out my bedroom window to be sure he hadn't found me yet, the vampire boy who caused all that commotion in Salem.

The other flick that disturbed my beautiful mind was 1981's "Dark Night of the Scarecrow" starring Charles Durning. Here's the plot summary:"A retarded man is unjustly accused of killing a young girl. Disguised as a scarecrow, he hides in a cornfield, only to be hunted down and shot. Later, members of the search posse are killed by a mysterious scarecrow." Here are some choice scenes from it:

I'd go to bed many nights afterward wishing I could forget what I'd seen. It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who had this reaction (check out this recent discussion board on "Dark Night").

Now, think back to your childhood, my friends. Did any movies inspire a similar reaction in you?


Rocketstar said...

For me it was Children of the Corn.

just a girl... said...

cracking me up. I hate scary movies. For me poltergist when they are saying polly ann, polly ann. I have chills right now and not even kidding. The second was the shining I have never seen that movie. But just seeing the parts I have, have scarred me for life.

houstonmacbro said...

OMG, The Others. That movie was so friggin' creepy with those twins!

Timothy Smith said...

Salems Lot for both my wife and I gave us nightmares.

The Entity was another one. As a kid I was scared of being sodomized by a ghost while sleeping! Does not get any scarier then that!

Brian said...

My scary ones were "It" and Friday the 13th. The clown scared the crap out of me and still does. Stupid clown. Friday the 13th is just kinda corny now.

Stephanie said...

My picks:
The Exorcist
Nightmare on Elm St.
The Shining - "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

I love scary movies!!!

Thomas said...

Rocket, I've not seen "Corn", but have heard it's a doozy. Stephen King and demented children is a match made in hea, I mean, hell.

Just, I didn't see "Poltergeist" until many years after its original release, but was also moved by how effective it was at showing how the place in which one should feel the safest (home) can turn into anything but.

Houston, as Bill Clinton once said, "I fehl your pain".

Tim, nice to hear I wasn't the only one terrified by "Lot". I remember seeing parts of "The Entity" in my late teens.

You one-upped me, man. I was scared of that little boy getting me in "Lot" while you were afraid of gettin' it up the keister from "The Entity".

Now that I think about it, whose to say which is worse?

Brian, "IT" is another of my all-time faves. The stuff that scared me the most was in the first half (like when that sink started spewing out blood). The clown is definitely the stuff of nightmares.

I agree that "Friday the 13th" doesn't hold up any longer. Next year, a remake is going to be released in theatres. Doubt I'll check it out, but maybe it'll have the scares the original no longer does.

Stephanie, "The Exorcist" has been named the most scary movie of all-time by several publications, so you're in good company on that one. "Nightmare" and "Shining" are also very good.

disestablishingpuritanism said...

This is by far my favorite month. I don't know why I'm such a fan of horror movies. I guess it's the shock value you get from some of the good ones.

My very first horror movie I saw when I was five still haunts me today, "Poltergeist." There were just so many hair-raising moments in that movie and Spielberg and company did an awesome job with special effects.

Others that were and still are creepy to me:

1. The Entity
2. Rosemary's Baby
3. Lost Highway

There are a few more I just can't remember now. Yeah, that scene out of Salem's Lot was very creepy as well. I was taken back by it the first two times I saw it. It was only once I saw the movie in its entirety since it's a long one.

Timothy Smith said...

Want to see some real horror?

1) Iraq for Sale
2) Hacking Democracy

Very scary stuff!


Thomas said...

PJ, you saw "Poltergeist" when you were 5?! Excuse my French, but Holy Shit!!

Wow, I didn't know that "Lost Highway" was supposed to be scary. I do know that it was Naomi Watts' breakthrough. I'll have to Netflix it.

Tim, I plan to hit those two flicks sometime after Election Day (I'll have the cajones to view them once the O-man is President-Elect).

Timothy Smith said...

True...Hacking Democracy may scare you. Stealing an election is actually a simple matter. I just don't think the repubs have the balls if Obama is up 5-8 points in a state.

Thomas said...

That's right. If it's a close one (like Florida was 8 years ago or Ohio 4 years ago), it's that much easier to tip a state.

Eric Curtis said...

I never could make it through "The Ring," and that was in the middle of the day *shivers*

One movie that really screwed with me was The Thing. I was about five, and my dad was watching it on TV. I just happened to wonder in the living room during the blood test scene. I had nightmares for days, and had to sleep with my parents.

It's kind of funny that now that's one of my favorite movies.