I love Halloween. It ranks up there right beside Christmas. The only two things I wished we had here each time October would arrive are Pumpkin Spice Latte and for everyone to be actively involved with the fun spookiness that is Halloween (trick or treating and partying this side of the world pretty much depends on where you live). Since I can’t forever wait and sit around for those two things to happen, I always just celebrate Halloween in my own little way: Watch some seriously scary movies, be it from the 90s or now, armed with junk food and an endless supply of something to drink the whole time (hot chocolate, preferably).
What makes a good horror movie? I have always favored the old school type and the ones that rely more on ghosts and supernatural instead of gore. (Yeah, no “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” for me, thank you very much.) I remember watching “Leprechaun” when I was younger and then I had a nightmare about it. I dreamed I was in our house and then it was running after me. I ran up the staircase, probably to go to the safety of my room. As I was running up, its hand grabbed me; I tripped and fell. I heard the leprechaun laugh then. I woke up with fear enveloping me and it took me a while to realize it was just a nightmare.
With everyone else sharing their own list of scary/creepy/spooky movies and books, I thought I’d join in the fun. However, my list has a theme: Movies and TV shows that terrorized me as a child. These are the top five horror movies that made a mark in my childhood (and made me realize just how much I really do love anything horror):
1. “Pet Sematary”
I have never read any Stephen King book when I saw this movie. I didn’t even know who he is. All I can remember is me and a couple of family members watching this. I remember the little boy who got hit by a truck. I remember the way the camera focused on one shoe. I remember that distinct feeling of fear upon seeing something horrifying. And then I also remember the little boy turning into something else, calling out “Mommy mommy mommy MOMMY!” and then running. Do you remember that evil smile that no normal toddler should be wearing? *shudder*
Inside a library, there were balloons — lots of them and in different colors. And then there was the clown. There was It. Then those balloons, coming out of nowhere, suddenly began popping one by one. The worst part? As each balloon popped, blood sprayed out of it and the other people (aside from one of the main characters and It) didn’t even notice. This scene freaked me out as a kid. It stayed with me for years.
3. “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”
This is one of those TV shows that I eagerly followed back then. I remember grabbing some food and drink before pulling a chair in front of the TV and settling in to watch it, all alone. I’d leave a light or two on but sometimes, I’d turn them all off for fun. The episodes of this show was spooky enough but none of them really scared me. Except this one episode, where I really jumped up from my chair and then ran out of the room, food and drink forgotten. (Eventually, I calmed myself and came back to watch, but I turned on all the lights that time.)
“She sneezes once, she sneezes twice. She sneezes thrice, and she’s my bride.” That line, uttered by the evil Leprechaun, haunted me for quite some time during my childhood. In fact, after watching it, I took great care in sneezing no more than two times in a row. (I was one of those people who sneezes softly but for a couple of times, going as much as seven sneezes.) Seriously, this is one movie that terrified me as a kid.
I love fairy tales but this movie ruined it for me. I knew Rumpelstiltskin was bad but I never envisioned him the way this movie did. His face and form? Enough to strike fear in me. Although not as scary as the Leprechaun, this villain contributed to my fear for malformed, otherworldly creatures. And that time, it seemed possible that they could leap out of the TV screen and then come and get you.
What about you? What movies or television series do you remember being terrified of when you were a child?