The Masochist’s Lament: Horror Movie Nightmares (Continued)

The last story I did was about my love of scary movies and my hate of The Shining. This post is going to take the first part of that sentence and elaborate.

Since I loved horror movies, it makes sense that a lot of my inane fears came from them. The dead lady in the bathtub in The Shining is a terrifying scene. That, sadly, is the only really good horror movie that actually scared me. All the others were throwaway films designed to garner shrieks with sub-par acting, writing, direction, lighting, whatever. (Interesting note: I was never terrified of the boat scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I was too distracted by the HOLY-SHIT-A-LANDSCAPE-OF-CANDY-AND-A-CHOCOLATE-RIVER to really care about that whole acid-tripping nightmare)

For example, The Ring gave me heart palpitations. For six days following that movie, I checked family photos to

Cover of "The Ring (Widescreen Edition)"
"You'll have an immediate distrust of girls with long black hair!"

make sure the faces weren’t distorted. A week later, when I was still very much alive (though very much a gullible idiot), I celebrated. I justified my fear by telling myself that a movie like The Ring was a great way to kill millions of people. That shitty video that all the victims watched really would work, and a little black-haired, drowned girl would crawl out of our televisions a week later to kill us off. It was a plot of the governments of the world to help with population control. Obviously. I was 12 when the movie came out.

In later years when my fear of dying after that movie subsided, that little girl still terrified me. I had a collection of American Girl dolls, and Josefina once was possessed by Samara. I’m not kidding. My mom and I were brushing my dolls’ hair in my bathroom, using water from the sink to make it easier to brush. I had combed Josefina’s hair over her face and was brushing at the knotted mess like my life depended on it. All of a sudden, I looked up into the mirror, noticed Josefina had clearly become Samara, screamed, and ran down the hallway. I wouldn’t touch her after that. My father offered to put the doll in the safe, but I refused because I didn’t want her breaking out and killing my parents, too. It was only me that black-eyed devil doll wanted (me, and the little party dress accessory you can purchase for $28).

Darkness Falls (2003 film)

Darkness Falls scared me sleepless for weeks. The pathetic thing here is, besides how atrocious the movie actually is, I didn’t see the movie until years after it came out. The previews were enough to convince me that an evil witch ghost, also known as the “tooth fairy” lurked in the shadows and was preparing to kill me. I slept with all of my lights on in my room. Not for a night or anything. For a month. (The nights where the brightness was too much, I slept in my parents’ room. Because evil witch ghosts can’t kill you when you’re in your parents’ room. Duh.) Again, I was 12 years old.

One other movie that scared me that shouldn’t have scared a soul in the world was Mars

The Martians were created using computer-gener...
Why the hell would I have nightmares because of this? Oh wait. Never mind. Those nightmares are totally justified.

Attacks. That movie is hilarious, stupid, and hilarious (there really aren’t three qualities to describe that movie). The little bug-eyed aliens came in and put a chihuahua’s head on a woman’s body? HA-HA-HA. Their little guns made zapping noises? Hardy-har-har. The whole movie was filled with purposeful hijinks and pranks and shitty special effects? I should have been laughing constantly instead of crying. Granted, I was six at the time, so the fear made a little more sense, but that movie is way less scary and way more hilarious than any alien movie ever (Besides Monsters vs. Aliens. One line made me spit out my drink: “Is it getting warmer out here? Because that would be a really, really convenient truth.” I was 18).

These represent a smattering of the nightmares I accumulated through shitty horror movies. You may be wondering why I was so afraid of the most awful horror movies as opposed to the really good classics. In psychoanalyzing myself, I have decided it was because the movies were so terrible, I had to be scared of them just to gain something by watching them. Because seriously, I wasn’t going to get those 90 minutes and 8 dollars back.

230 thoughts on “The Masochist’s Lament: Horror Movie Nightmares (Continued)

    1. Wait, so you don’t like any of those horror flicks, including The Shining? I liked the Shining the last time I watched it, but really I should read the King novel. I agree that Darkness Falls was shitty, but I thought The Ring was effective, though I do wonder what I’d think if I watched it now, years later.

      1. Yeah, I don’t get why there is a lot of dislike for The Ring. I haven’t seen the original Japanese one though.

    1. I do exactly the same thing! but it’s Mars Attacks that will always haunt me. Even though I know NOW that it is supposed to be a ‘comedy’. Those creepy aliens haunted my days and nights.

  1. It is because of horror movies that I will never live in a two story house, or one with an attic or basement. I’m almost 23 and The Ring still freaks me out to this day.

  2. I hate scary movies. Watching the original version of the Exorcist at 13 pretty much secured that. I would lie in my bed holding the covers under my chin and staring at my doorway (door open and hall light on) until I fell asleep because I was afraid she was going to come into my room when I wasn’t looking. Her face petrified me. (I think that’s what I hated most about that movie…) I get anxious and hate the feeling I get in my stomach when watching a scary movie. Needless to say, I avoid scary movies like it’s my job. Having said that, friends of mine convinced me to watch The Ring. That night I was afraid my TV was going to turn on and she was going to crawl out. Did I mention I was 21 and in college at the time? Yup.

    But I did think Mars Attacks was funny!

  3. A post so funny, it’s bound to give me nightmares!

    I think that we are attracted to movies about the very things that we are terrified of, in my case Mafia and totalitarian shadow government flicks. I think that watching stuff about the very stuff that scares the bejesus out of us strokes our egos β€” we’ve fooled ourselves into believing that by watching a DVD we are facing our fears and we ignore the fact that we fully understand that we are safe, but sometimes we still have to remind ourselves by saying to ourselves “This is only a movie”.

  4. You have just justified my fears of that stupid Mars Attacks movie. I cannot explain the utter horror I faced as a child, AND I NEVER EVEN SAW THE MOVIE. I believe it was a clip of a commercial that birthed the nightmare of the martians landing in my living room and stealing my little brother. To this day, I still will never watch that movie… and I’m 23.

    1. Yes!! I remember seeing a commercial for that movie when I was like 7 and it scared me senseless. I saw that little skull-faced martian for a total of like 12 seconds and was scared of it for years. I’ve since grown up and watched movies like The Shining, Hostel, and Saw…they didn’t even make me flinch, but last year Mars Attacks was on TV and it I had to turn it off…I was 21 at the time.

  5. Great post πŸ™‚
    It’s strange what get to you… When I was six I saw Roger Rabbit for the first time. After judge Doom has been rolled over by the steamroller and he begins to get to his feet again there’s this quiet music. That music has somehow stuck with me ever since and every time I hear it or something like it it sends shivers down my spine… it’s about 0:20 in this clip:

      1. AGREED! He was truly freaky… although I know what I will be watching tonight hehehe haven’t seen that movie in forever, do you reckon the local video shop would have it?

  6. I think you’re my soulmate regarding the Mars Attacks film. I made my babysitter take me out of the film because of the chihuahua scene! I cried and everything!

    Also related, zombie movies give me god awful nightmares. Still. Like, last night.

  7. Old houses do me in – like “The Others” (Nicole Kidman) or “the Skeleton Key”. Maybe because I’ve liveed in ancient homes for so long……I like to torture myself too!

  8. My all time favorite is the 80’s version of “The Thing,” by John Carpenter. Great story, acting and special effects. (before CGI) Scared the crap outta me. The suspence and eerie sound track make me watch it over an over.

    1. I can’t watch that movie because of the part where they shoot the dogs in the beginning. It makes me cry. Ha. BUT that is a good movie, minus the dog-killing (interesting how I’ve been completely desensitized to the death of people, but when a dog eats it I’m all tears)

      1. I could be wrong, but I dont think they ever did shoot any dogs. They tried but failed. And THAT is what brought the monster among them. They let the dog live and they got eaten by an alien. (The dog was the alien.) Ya made me give it away.

  9. scary movies and scary stories always give me this sense of thrill and foreboding! i enjoy listening and watching them..the real terror strikes me in the dark of the night when I’m the only one awake πŸ˜› I’m kinda nocturanl you see, i dont really like demons keeping me company πŸ˜›
    anyways, congrats on the freshly pressed! πŸ™‚

  10. I find reality quite scary enough on a daily basis to keep me from going around tweaking my perception of “things that could be scary or accelerate the rendevous with you know what…” Fortunately I’m protected by poverty from any inadvertent overexposure to scary movies…when I was growing up my family provided all the fear I would need…my brother drowning and destroying my large brown Teddy Bear right in front of me before he demostrated how he might drown me someday too….I kept the doll in a wedding gown that my sister gave me when I was 2 or 3 somewhere somehow…don’t remember what became of her but I know who did the deed…wanna scare the living shit out of America? Do a movie about my fucking family….there’s some good cuddly stuff too but we had a few members that made sure that the horror was constantly going on…I’m happy to know though that I’m not alone in my inability to regulate how I perceive danger….I do remember seeing Texas Chainsaw Massacre at the drive-in….I mean I fled as soon as I saw what was coming….no thanks!!! So…if you happen to see me acting in a way that may make me look like a terrorist in Boston….let me assure you…it’s all reaction formation….who’s scary now?….you know? I’m working through it a little at a time….

  11. Mars Attacks is by far my most favourite movie of all time.
    The scariest one for me? E.T! I can’t even be in the same room while it’s on.

    Great post πŸ™‚

    1. OMG I was terrified of ET as a child… my younger brothers still bag me out for it and I am now 28… just that weird crazy nasal squealing thing he did… couldn’t handle it he freaked me right out.

  12. Hilarious take on crappy horror movies. I love horror movies myself. Bad ones, good ones, the idea of them, the possibility of being horrified. I haven’t watched Darkness Falls but your brief review here has made me want to watch it!

  13. You know, ‘The Ring’ really gave me the shivers as well, although many people I’ve spoken to didn’t find it scary at all. I think what made it so effective for me was that the filmmakers allowed the audience to create most of the horror in their own minds, and felt less inclined to ‘show it.’ I wish more scary films were done this way.

    1. I, too, found The Ring to be very disturbing. I think it was a late night free movie channel find. It truly scared me. Whispery, elusive, spooky, and more. Never new the name until now.
      From another movie lover, I find Mars Attacks to be a funny, terrifying, cameo-infused, campy B rate move. Love it!
      Congrats on FP. Enjoy the ride!

    2. In my opinion, those who thought The Ring wasn’t scary seem to equate horror only with bloody knives. The Ring was about mood, confronting the unknown, and — worst of all — facing the evil and LOSING. Regarding animals, I was dismayed when a horse broke away and “drowned” in that movie. I still remember the dog scene in Dreamcatcher, too.

  14. I really like how you create something so funny and cool out of something that a lot of us share (the strange thrill we get out of scaring ourselves). When I rented and watched The Ring for the first time, alone, at night, I got to the part where Naomi Watts’ character finally watched the haunted bizarre video that, upon seeing it, a person was known to get a phone call in which they heard their death and they in fact would die (often horribly). She, and I, had just witnessed the film, and then MY real FREAKING PHONE actually RANG…one of the most terrifying interactions of the real world with the imaginal scary one that I’ve had to date.

    1. Thank you! And I must admit, one time a friend’s older sister was watching that movie, and one of us camped out in the basement with the phone, and as soon as the video stopped playing, we called her cell phone. I don’t think she was very happy with us.

  15. The only horror movies to give me nightmares were Nightmare on Elm Street and Candyman. In general, I don’t find American horror movies very scary. If I want a scary movie, I usually watch something Korean or Japanese.

  16. I agree, the little girl figure from the Ring, (and Ringu, it’s Japanese counterpart) had me terrified for a very long time. The first time I saw the movie, I came across my parents watching it, at the scene with the well. Terrifying!

    And then there was a similar figure from the grudge. A messily dark-haired female ghost out for vengeance. I think I developed a sort of aversion to the trope.

  17. Great post! I love horror movies and books. One of my favorite movies…super creepy, is Frailty. If your nightmares need some inspiration, check it out.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! πŸ™‚

  18. definitely found both the hills have eyes and the unborn scared me the most. the unborn because it made me think about if i was a twin… and also because she gets something stuck in her eye… that is VILE! and then the hills have eyes…. they were so awfully deformed.. i got scared about nuclear explosions.. but don’t worry scary movies scared me too!

  19. You know what movie terrifies me to this day? That Justin Bieber movie, Never Say Never. No, I haven’t seen it, but just knowing that it exists keeps me up at night.

    I get goosebumps just writing about it (shudders) yikes!

    1. The fear that I may somehow accidentally view even a snippet of this movie has me up at night in cold sweats. Apart from the movie how does a child bring out a tell all biography? Seriously… at the end let me guess… he can count his chest hairs on two hands rather than just one?

  20. I’m a horror movie addict. Loved your post. Want to see something scary? Watch Insidious… I still can’t sleep.

  21. The spider walk in the Exorcist still scares me everytime I watch the movie every year on Holloween. What I find really scary is that the actors in the Exorcist are all soft-spoken. That makes it creepier.

    I love horror movies.

  22. I saw the Ring when I was about 16 or 17. I am now 25. I will not sleep in rooms with a TV unless I have covered it up because I am perpetually afraid that little girl will crawl out of my television. On occasion, I try, but I quickly envision it and have to cover the television up. It’s sort of an odd combination of that and the Grudge when the covers start moving on the person and there’s a woman/ghost under there. While I definitely can’t say that these movies are great, they are visually stunning. They leave you with these images that you just can’t unsee, and for me, that’s what gives me nightmares. A story is a story, but once you have something visual to haunt your dreams, it’s hard to get it out of your head.

    1. Well said. I felt the same about The Ring. This movie has stayed in my memory and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Very visual and spooky.

    2. I completely understand your TV thing…I saw the movie when I was about 7, and so when we moved into our new house and my dad decided to put the television in my room for temporary storage, I would not have it – however, I was neither frank nor brave enough to admit that my reservations about the arrangement were all based on a movie that was easy enough to laugh off in the daytime but which became quite vivid at night.

    3. Maybe The Ring television image is to your generation what Poltergeist was to mine. The static on the television, and then everyone in the theater leaning forward because we could swear we heard words…. and we shouldn’t hear words…. we shouldn’t but we do…. and we know, we KNOW that someone should turn it OFF….

  23. I saw The Ring in the theater on a Tuesday afternoon. Having somehow managed to miss all the commercials for it, I had no idea what I was getting into and only knew that it was supposed to be scary. Due to the fact that it was a Tuesday afternoon and also that the movie had just about completed it’s run in the theater, it was being shown in the little reject theater that was under the escalators. It’s a small room with maybe 75 seats. Myself and my date were the only ones there. Likely because I had no expectations one way or the other and was essentially a blank slate, that movie ran amok in my head like government mind control. Fast forward to present times and I’m still afraid of that girl with the dirty night gown and the stringy hair. On a side note, the girl that plays Samara, Daveigh Chase, plays an equally diabolical character on the HBO series Big Love. I suspect she’s not acting.

  24. what scared me well and made me pull the blanket up tot he chi while gazing in front of me for half a night was Stephen King’s “IT” The eyeballs in the cup and the freaky clown, man, that was harsh! there is also this Russian movie called “Viy” that I watched in elementary school, that scared me for two nights in a row. But, why, no one finds Hellraiser II scary?

  25. I have to link my friend to your blog, she was absolutely traumatised by Darkness Falls when she was old enough to know better and I’ve never let her live it down.

  26. One movie that scared me as a kid was “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” with Kim Darby. It was just the fact that there were little creature running around her house that she didn’t see. I don’t like little things that can get you! And what about the third story of the original “Trilogy of Terror.” Yikes!

  27. A classic share here! lol The part about “Samara” staring back in the mirror is priceless. Now, had she been a Cabbage Patch doll, I might have believed you. πŸ˜‰

  28. I loved this statement:
    “Because evil witch ghosts can’t kill you when you’re in your parents’ room. Duh.”

    I can totally relate – when I was about six, a boy told me the Chuckie story (I didn’t even have to see the film) and I made my mom lock all my dolls away. I couldn’t sleep for weeks.

    The other movie that freaked me out was Jeepers Creepers. I don’t remember how old I was, but I was terrified being anywhere near a window because I had somehow convinced myself that I was selected. I kept imagining it staring at me through a crack in my blinds (turned out it was my cat who was hanging out on the terrace in front of my window). That didn’t stop me from waking my dad in the middle of the night to look through my window countless times).

      1. Well the problem was that because I never saw the film (I was only told the story). I didn’t know what the doll looked like. So, I was afraid of all my dolls.

  29. As a huge fan of horror movies and an avid collector of them (from classics all the way to Z-grade junk like ‘Hell of the Living Dead’), this was a great read! Awesome stuff!

    Anti-Film School

  30. Congrats for making it to Freshly Pressed, and glad you did, for this is a brilliant post. I have never been able to watch The Ring because just the previews give me the creeps….
    P.S Aren’t ALL dolls creepy anyway? ugh….

  31. I love a good horror movie and Mars Attacks has always been a personal favorite because it was such a great parody! It’s important to enjoy a wide variety of movie genre to make use of our full range of emotions! Suspense, horror and thriller movies are great for pumping the adrenaline!

    1. My favorite “horror” movies are the Scream series. They are such smart satire! They are sadly too quickly dismissed, but they are truly brilliant in how they make fun of scary movies.

  32. Ahh, The Ring. That movie made my turn my television around before I went to bed for a good two weeks. Plus it made it difficult for me to open my closet door. (Damned wobble-headed dead green girl.)

  33. I’m actually taking a class (I’m a film major) dedicated solely to Horror films. I am a horror film fan myself, but from this class it opened my eyes to different types of cinematic horror and the history of it. If you need any recommendations let me know:)

  34. I watched Tales from the Crypt religiously when I was four, and nowadays basically nothing scares me. When I was younger, though . . . ugh, The Ring and Mars Attacks! *shudder*

  35. When I was a kid, I was so tough – and wanted to prove it – I watched all kinds of horror movies (that no kid that age should have!). Now I can’t – I’ll freak myself out. I think it’s the adrenaline that kicks in during the suspense scenes – it stays in my system or something? That plus my imagination just leads to a bad next few evenings! But I think you should give “Mars Attacks” another chance πŸ™‚ That one is too much fun not to watch a few times!

  36. The Orphanage (Spanish: El Orfanato) is a 2007 Spanish-Mexican horror film which is one of the scariest movies and one of the most traumatic I’ve seen in a while. If you have children, don’t watch it, because as frightening as it is, it is also heart breaking! Love your post! Congratulations on making freshly pressed!

  37. Count me among the long-time horror fans here. So is my man. Imagine my surprise when, the night after we saw “Signs” in the theater (and no, the fact that I paid theater prices to see that movie isn’t the scary part), I’m lying in bed, wide awake. All I can see is that spindly alien sashaying into our room.

    I roll over. I feel some movement from his side of the bed.

    Me: You awake?
    Him: Yep.
    Me: You, too, huh?
    Him: I swear I heard that clicking sound they make.
    Me: Oh, we are SO an extraterrestrial’s midnight snack.
    Him: Gonna’ eat our faces off.
    Me: Are we seriously scared of that movie?
    Him: Yeah, I can’t believe it, either.

    Neither of us slept that night. I had not resumed drinking coffee yet, so the next day was incredibly rough. It was made all the rougher because I was too embarrassed to share the reason I was exhausted.

    1. I am guilty of really liking the movie “Signs.” And anything early Shanamanamananamamamanam did. But I must confess, I kept full glasses of water on surfaces around the house. I don’t think anyone appreciated it.

      1. I’m sorry guys but that movie… I didn’t get it… the aliens die from water right? Well are they dumb? They came to a planet that is majority water and tried to take over humans who are what 80% water? I just couldn’t get past that point to enjoy the movie – bit of a stickler that way hehehe.

  38. I was extremely gullible when I first saw Blair Witch Project, and my dad convinced me it was a true story. Upon watching it I could NOT sleep for at least a week. My room was too quiet. I could hear the man crying out in the middle of the forest as if he were in my closet. Which was what I was always afraid of.

    The lady in the bathtub in The Shining is pure terror. As a matter of fact, that entire movie is chilling. Maybe not jump-out-of-your-seat-and-scream scary, but chilling to the bone…and the book is apparently 100 times worse.

    1. Fun fact #1: I watched the Blair Witch Project when I was staying in the Outback of Australia.
      Fun fact #2: I read The Shining when I was in 8th grade. I don’t remember all of it. I must have blocked it out.

    2. I think I was 14 when BWP came out and was supposed to go on a first date with this dude, I was very independent so had bought my own ticket and then got stood up. Decided I didn’t want to waste the ticket so went in and saw it by myself… hmm. Boys bought my ticket for the movies after that hahaha.

  39. After I saw The Ring, I slept with the TV on in my room for a week afterwards cause I was terrified it was going to turn on by itself otherwise.

    Have you seen I Am Legend? I also kicked the doors open in my house for several days convinced those creatures were huddled behind every nook and cranny. LOL.

  40. I was at an impressionable age when I watched “the exorcist”, from then on, twisting heads became a nightmare and decided that dolls with movable heads are not toys anymore. They would be empty vessels for spirits that one day will come for my soul.
    Then came chuckie, so my childhood fear fact only affirmed that I was correct. πŸ™‚ Now, I dont watch scary movies anymore, I might find out my other dark theories to be a constant truth.

  41. The Stanely Hotel where the Shining was filmed is a beautiful place to stay. The movie is played on closed circuit tv 24/7. Of course, there is a ghost tour around Halloween. The silence all around the place when it snows is kind of creepy. My sons driving scares me more than any horror movie.
    Nice post.

  42. Mars Attacks is a pretty funny movie. I understand what I called “stupid humor” and am greatly amused by it. I loved the movie. The SO on the other hand, sleeps through it

    And the Shining, yes nice and creepy but an excellent movie.

  43. Ah, I must thank you for having made me smile after doing my English homework, I relate to so many of the things you said, but would never have been able to express them so cleverly as this : ) Congrats on making the wordpress wall.

  44. Honestly, I was scared of mars attacks and I only saw the cover for the VHS XD lolz. VHS… we all remember that right? That’s almost a nightmare of itself!

  45. Love your post! I’m obsessed with horror movies, especially crappy ones, and I agree with your theory that the only reason to be scared is to gain something from them. Because really, there’s no real meaning for them to exist, lol. I can tolerate horror movies pretty well, but I still, thanks to The Shining, get freaked out in long hotel hallways, other various movies have made me afraid of car garages (the big ones with multiple levels for cities and such) and because of 1408, I can’t stand my friend’s bank, which has one super long plain brick wall that makes me think of falling off that hotel every time I look at it, lol. Actually, thanks to horror movies- I hate hotels. I was 23 when 1408 came out, lol.

  46. The opening scene of Darkness Falls, when the tooth fairy is outside the bathroom with fresh mama’s blood all over her face, TERRIFYING. This post made me smile not only because it was hilarious, but also because I’m not alone in my feelings toward movie number two. Eek!

  47. Great post, I hate horror movies and avoid them as much as possible. We do a lot of camping and when Blair Witch came out it was so hard to stay away from it but I knew if I saw it I would never be able to go out in the bush again! I will never watch Wolf Creek for the same reason, Mick Taylor…shudder….

  48. Mars Attacks is a Tim Burton film, which is my favorite artist. I hope you take a minute to read my blog called Such a Fan. Thank you for mentioning this movie nd great blog!

  49. I never went to the cinema to watch these types of films because I would stand up and shout at the screen. After a while it was either watch it at home or go alone, as my friends were a little embarrassed at my antics. Event horizon was the one for me. Scared the life out of me! I think the fact that I watched at a friends, in a dark room, late at night did it. I did find out later that my lack of sleep on that night was my friend whispering lines from the film through my door.

  50. The movie which still has the power to make my toes curl with tension is Jaws. Even though I have seen it dozens of times I can still feel my stomach fluttering at certain scenes. The green head, the first female victim, Ouint getting chewed. Eeek! A complement to Speilbergs great talent.
    Favourite scary film, Signs with Mel Gibson. So atmospheric.

    Congrats’ on being FPd. πŸ™‚

  51. The Shining has given me so many references in my life! I describe my twins seeing the “mall” Easter Bunny the first time as standing before him/her like The Shining kids, still arms and shoulders
    dropped and then slowly their knees bent and they point and scream, “I see you! I see the man inside the bunny! I told you the Easter Bunny isn’t real!” I’m saving the rest of the story for my Easter post but who would have ever thought that referencing The Shining gives everyone the exact mental image. Love that movie and may be the only movie that has ever truly scared me.

  52. What scared me as a kid was, Bambi (are my parents gonna’ get shot too?) Pinnoccio (I’m growing ears, I know I am! and a tail !!! – as I check in the mirror every day), and Snow White (I ain’t eatin’ noooo more apples). Dr. Suess was the scariest, all that chaos!

    1. Pinocchio is probably the scariest movie ever. I watched it two years ago and couldn’t stop thinking, “OH MY GOD THIS IS NOT A CHILDREN’S MOVIE. THIS ISN’T EVEN AN ADULT’S MOVIE.”

      1. All those children going to that place, where they can do anything they want – talk about Sin City! Then the gates are closing and they’re getting hearded like donkies by evil men with whips, and they’re all screamin’ for their mommys… (me too!).

  53. I have seen The Woman in black… stupid movie.. nothing scary in it.. :@
    so many people like horror and scary movie. somewhere i red the article which says watching a horror movie and bungee jumping have the same experience. will be feeling the same kind of excitement :p

  54. The Shining is really scary..Jack Nicholson’s shark like grin itself is enough to creep anyone out.. Though for me Chcuky ruined it all.. I never looked at dolls the same way after watching the movie. The second one is omen.. That kid’s haunted my dreams so much.. Great post πŸ™‚

  55. Some kids developed a fear of spiders. Others were afraid of snakes.
    Me? I got both of those fears and a highly irrational fear of man-eating plants. Thanks, Jumanji.

    1. You mean the movie w/ Joan Collins (1972), yeah, I love all those Amicus, multi-story films. The House that Dripped Blood, Beyond the Grave, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors, Torture Garden, all in my collection! Not terribly scary by today’s standards but great little stories.

  56. I just love spooky scary movies, the zombie movies don’t really get my attention, but the older movies with Frankenstein are a treat to watch with the lights out and a candle flickering in the back ground.


  57. The horror movies with supernatural things in them never scared me. It was the movies with the psychological/human nature type horror that freaked me out. Actually, the only movie to really scare me in years was Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween. Not because of the slasher movie feel but because his portrayal of how psychotically twisted and empty Michael Myers actually was (especially as a child) was so frightening, I almost left the theatre because I just couldn’t handle it. Supernatural stuff doesn’t scare me because it isn’t real; psychotics and sociopaths are real and that scares me

  58. I remember Gremlins 2 scaring me sleepless when I was a young, young kid. Most of all, I remember once waking up in the middle of the night to drink some water. When I turned away from the water bottle, I saw that movie being reflected onto the microwave oven’s door like some eerie apparition of some kind, so I ran back to my bedroom as fast as I could while trying not to scream.

    It turns that it was my older brother watching the movie in the living room. I know it’s meant to be a horror comedy, but I only saw the former back then.

  59. Holy wow. I thought I was the only one terrified by Mars Attacks. I had nightmares for MONTHS after seeing it, and any time I tell someone this they look at me like I have a chihuahua head.

  60. I loved the shining but Candy man scared the shit out of me! I watched Nightmare on Elm St when I was about 5 or 6… big mistake. Now i’m in to creating films horrors are a kind of research tool, as are most films, tv adds, or any other kind of moving image.

  61. I was watching the ring and they were a documentary about michael Jackson at the same time( that was before is dead) I remember that turn off the light on purpose to make sure i will be scared watching the ring. I remember not being so scared by the ring in my dark appartment but then, at the end, I change chanel and I was scared of Michael face and aura. I like Michael a lot but that night it scared me more then the girl that goes out of the tv, maybe the black hair and white skin.

  62. I was 8 when I watched mars attacks! It scared me shitless for’s very relieving to know it wasn’t just me πŸ™‚ Love your post

  63. I was 12 when I first saw The Ring. After that, me and my high school friends would draw circles, because we have watched “the video.” Haha, silly kids..
    The only thing I can remember about Mars Attack was that the aliens’ heads could be blown up by a certain grandma’s music…

  64. I seriously cannot watch horror movies. I am one of those people who have nightmares about them. I recently watched Invasion of the BodySnatchers (lamest horror movie ever) and even though it didn’t frighten me so much as made me laugh…dangit I still had nightmares about it! So, I’ve sworn off of them.

  65. Pet Sematery 2 was the bane of my childhood existence. To this day, I still have nightmares about the possessed dog in that movie. **Shudder**

  66. As for me, most part of horror movies are stuff for kids like Beavis and Butthead. But the Shining is something – you are absolutely right!

  67. David Lynch’s TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (1992) scared me. I watched 10 minutes and then left the room. It was too bizare and the Lynchian visions danced in my nocturnal gead, leaving me awake, starring at the door to my bedroom.

  68. Oh my gosh when the picture of the Mars Attacks alien came up on the WordPress homepage my heart actually stopped and I crossed off the page straight away! But yet here I am…I had to have a little look at him. That image of the big brainy head really used to scare me when I was younger…I used to think I could see him stood at the foot of my bed!! AAHI’MFREAKINGMYSELFOUT!

  69. The Omen (the original from the 70’s) scared the bejesus out of me and gave me nightmares when I was younger. I used to search through my hair just to make sure there were no 666’s hidden in there!

  70. i didnt think anyone else ever saw Mars as soon as i saw that picture i laughed on the spot then clicked on your blog

    1. The picture of Mars Attacks got me to click also. The ring kinda scared me at the time, The Grudge really freaked me out because I used to listen to whale song when I couldn’t sleep… I would bet any money that the freaky croaky noise that the ghost makes when it comes for you is whale song, because it sounds exactly like freaking Orca’s and I couldn’t sleep for a week. The 2008 movie Shutter was kinda freaky and wrong! Another weird recent one is Legion and OMG Drag me to Hell… it was so gross in some parts it turned me off food for the rest of the day… and that is these days where I am 28 and love myself some horror. Anyone who does enjoy some Zombie check out Walking Dead (TV series) oh and hella funny Zombieland… LOVE Bill Murray in this!!!

    2. I saw it on opening night. Even more and completely unware of Mr. Jared Leto’s wardrobe, I wore my Alien Sex Fiend Acid Bath T-Shirt. OMG I was That Guy. That was one totally awesome flick though

  71. Love this post, and I have a sincere question: When you watch a lot of scary movies, do you become jaded after awhile? Do you yawn as the blood spatters or the stairs creak? My scariest movie was American Werewolf in London. I actually walked out of the movie theater.

    1. I do get somewhat jaded. It’s more like, I know what’s coming and when, and what all the twists will be. The only thing that really upsets me in a horror movie is when a dog dies. It’s kind of awful.

  72. Reblogged this on wiredinthemix and commented:
    I had exactly the same view of Mars attacks. I have a sister of the same age as me – and we both agree that this was the one movie that gave us the most amount of nightmares. Now that we’re older, after watching it we can see that it’s supposed to be a comedy. I mean, come on, killing aliens with the sounds of Barry White? – how are you supposed to take that seriously? but yep, terrified opinions = totally justified. Just look at them.

  73. I never really got the whole point of horror movies. Painful doesn’t even begin to describe my experience in watching poorly produced features of this type. I appreciate your sarcastic take on the genre.

  74. I was eight when I watched Mars Attacks. I haven’t watched the movie ever since but Tim Burton’s creation is still sticky up until now. The “We come in peace” remark gone awry, the woman’s head in the chihuahua, the corny music that can wipe off the whole alien race, the boxing match with the alien… all of them. A classic Sci-Fi with a twist.

    By the way, Sadako from the Japanese version of The Ring is scarier than the American version. It even have some drama from the so-called Ring Zero or the prequel of the film.

  75. “Mars attacks” came out a bit after or before “Independance day” I believe, and it was really fun to watch and listen to reactions from the (very) popular or basic audience. I was also very sad to see that actually people chose ID, mostly, failing to get what could be funny or interesting in MA of course, and even thinking it was a “serious” movie. I’ve tried to watch ID. I must watch MA once more to recover from the shock.

    A french friend.

  76. Have you seen Paranormal Activity 3? I usually find horror movies disappointing, as they are not really scary, but I must say Paranormal was the best horror movie I’ve seen in ages. I saw it on a plane ride from the US to England and it kept me jumping on my seat. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Suspense builds as a result of the way in which they’ve shot it.
    For horror books, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot–and yes, the books are always better than the movies.

  77. I’m glad you mentioned Darkness Falls, I saw that movie in theatres and for somereason it always stuck in my mind. I didn’t find it particularly scary, and I barely remember the plot (being in the shadows… kills you?) but either way it has always been on my mind and I thought it was one of those throw-away movies that time forgot…. and probably should have.

  78. You are really humorous! This post really cracked me! I do agree some horror films leave me afraid of doing somethings or imagining your reflection distorting! Fear Not!!! πŸ™‚

  79. I had a “Ring” moment– my boyfriend and I were watching the movie, sitting on the couch, Sunday afternoon. All of a sudden the phone rings– we looked at each other, each with identical spooked looks on our faces. The movie had sucked us in so completely that the sound of the phone in our apartment was just about the creepiest thing that could happen. I remember my arm breaking out in gooseflesh, and just feeling that I couldn’t possibly summon the courage to answer the phone.
    Thanks for your thoughts. I too love a good scare!
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  80. Growing up, and still now even though she’s passed on, my mom and I would go to this incredible place in my hometown known as Bookseller, and find the most so-bad-it-becomes-awesome movies along the lines of Mars Attacks, Zombie Strippers (totally watched on Thanksgiving) just to see how bad it was, then forever laugh at it and quote. Currenlty I can’t wait for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and FDR:American Badass just because its gonna be so horrible.
    Great post!

  81. Haha, this was a great read, thanks!
    I read The Shining before ever watching it and holy crap that book is terrifying. I would read it in bed, having to take multiple breaks to just look slowly around my room and make sure there weren’t any dead woman lying about or something. But I enjoyed this post because I had very similar experiences growing up (and still to this day). I remember being scared after watching Death Becomes Her…which is a bloody comedy for goodness sake! I did make the terrible and forever regrettable mistake of watching Candyman when I was 12…to this day the simple task of looking the in mirror whilst brushing my teeth is a challenge (coz you know even if you thinking his name 3 times in your HEAD…he’ll still getcha!). Pathetic, but true.

  82. This blog was great πŸ™‚ I too love scary movies and I pretty much had the same reactions to these three movies as you have! The shining was my very first scary movie that I had the pleasure of viewing with my six year old eyes, and still to this day, it creeps me the hell out!

    Thanks for this wonderful blog

  83. I haven’t watched The Shining yet. But a movie that really got me the jeepers was – Exorcism of Emily Rose. Partly because it was scary (that being the whole point) & partly because it is a TRUE STORY!

    & ofcourse, paranormal activities left me sleeping with the lights on for weeks. Did these movies scare you too?

    1. I’m fascinated by anything based on a true story, so I’ve looked into Emily Rose and I desperately want to read the book that the movie fictionalized. I didn’t find it scary so much as extremely intriguing. Paranormal Activity I found boring, to be perfectly honest.

  84. Ooh! “The Ring” kept my sister up at night for a week, too.

    “Jaws” had a deep impact on me. Saw it for the first time when I was six and didn’t realize how bad the fake shark was. (Good movie, just bad effects.) Even today I have a hard time wading in more than waist deep into the ocean.

  85. LOVE The Shining (the mini series, with the lady in the bathtub).

    All other horror film after have felt sub-par.

    Can we STOP it with the twitchy camera and the sudden flashes already? Cheap thrills are and deep scares that stick in your head for years to come are gratifying.

  86. That’s so wild you said that about your parents room. When Halloween 2 came out (the original non-Zombie made film) I begged my mom to take me to see it. She gave in and I was so scared by that movie I slept with my grandmother untill I was 11 (about a year or so)!! Matters not cause all my life I would go back to the scary movies and love every minute of it. To me,there is not a movie around scarier than the original Halloween!

  87. So, Mars Attacks scared me too! I saw it in the theater with my parents when I was nine, and I made them let me sit in the front of the car with them on the way home, so I wouldn’t be alone in the backseat.

  88. I can so relate to this. My husband and I are zombie movie addicts and we see a horror film every Valentine’s Day. It never affects him in the slightest, but I often have really graphic nightmares afterward even if they didn’t scare me in theatres. The one movie that really scarred me for life was the original version of The Fly. The scene where the guy is part fly and he is trapped in a spider’s web screaming “HELP ME! HELP MEEEEE!” as the spider comes to eat him freaked me the hell out. My grandma used to squeal and say that phrase all the time just to mess with me.

    Great post. Congrats on FP!

  89. I remember seeing The Haunting (original Val Lewton version) when I was young and being totally freaked out by something that was all suggestion. The closest you ever come to seeing the source of the disturbance is a bulging door. Oddly, I’ve always found the monsters in Carry on Screaming disturbing.

  90. haha I love how you say: “I thoroughly enjoyed how awful they are.” I have the same thing with horror flicks. I hate em (like I love them). πŸ˜‰

  91. Great post!
    I’m a masochist; horror movie scare the hell out of me, but i can’t stop watching. Recently friends were watching the ring, and when it showed the tape, i closed my eyes…just in case you may never know. But when i first watched it, what scared me most were their distorted face…not the whole Samara thing.
    Paranormal activity made me jump whenever I heard a weird noise in the house or found things not in their place. And it did until the second movie came out and explained a little bit. Then I did some family research just to be sure, the wind closed the door and not something else.
    LOVE the Shining.

  92. At age sixish Mars Attacks was also the first movie to give me serious nightmares. I still refuse to watch any scary movies.

  93. I have given up on watching creepy movies. When I was younger I was walking upstairs pressing my back against the wall always looking upstairs. I was so scared and even though I am now over thirty there are still some movies that keep coming back up in the back of my mind on an occasional basis. I have no idea what makes these pictures come back – they simply do. I think it is the thrill that makes everyone watch these movies but honestly – I prefer having a good night sleep before staring at the wall wondering if Freddy comes through :D.

    Mars Attacks is a good movie – funny but somehow awkward.

    There is one movie that was so disturbing that I said I would never watch it again. Right now I am quite content with my brain because it seemingly works so effective that I really can not remember right now which movie that was :D. I just remember that it would be awesome for horror freaks… *thinking*

  94. Amusing to see how wide the age range reflects the range of movies that are liked or so strongly disliked… Can we all agree that JAWS is just a great Monster movie? Please? Thanks. Well I’m an old fart here, and I just wanna suggest a couple if you rabid fanatics haven’t yet suffered through:
    DOLLS (Stewart Gordon’s take on the “scary dolls” thing, puts Chucky in the toilet by comparison.. and hell, while you’re at it, see Gordon’s RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND too, for some of the most out-there funny-horror you’ve ever seen, along with a slew of really fine actors as well as the magnificent Barbara Crampton…who’s only a soap opera actress but very easy on the eyes)
    CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST – This one did the BLAIR WITCH thing almost 20 years before BLAIR did, and it isn’t supernatural at all, only the most nauseating example of mainstream Italian Cinema you’ll ever set your eyes on (Unless you count TRAP THEM AND KILL THEM, a far inferior Cannibal exercise that nevertheless features a memorable scene of brains-as-dip that must be seen to be believed)
    and finally,
    CARNIVAL OF SOULS – Herk Harvey’s 1962 b&w obscurity is stiffly acted, cheaply produced, and absolutely, horrifyingly surreal…one of the few movies I can say actually terrified me, this picture works its dark magic with all the power of a Luis Bunuel masterpiece, and if you can get past the fact that you’re watching a cheapo made 50 years ago and immerse yourself in it, it will shock you. Find the Criterion DVD, and avoid the cheap public domain copies. And by ALL means avoid the re-make!! Which woulkd be good advice on all that Japanese horror too.,.
    Nice posting, Bucko.

  95. As a small child growing up in West Germany I watched the East German fairy tale film “The Ringing, Singing Magic Tree” (translated from German), where an evil dwarf is doing his best to scare children out of their minds. The film was produced for East Germany’s regime, and something of the producers’ chilling dictatorship stance must have filtered through to terrify this child. For many years afterwards I had nightmares about that TV film. Then, as an adult living in the UK, I read some film review or other in The Guardian once, where a respected reviewer also cited that nasty fairy tale dwarf and the film as the scariest ever…my childhood self felt vindicated.

  96. I saw The Ring as a grown man and it scared the crap out of me. Anything with horse suicides is just plain disturbing. The mood is what does it more than any one scene – although there were a few scary scenes too. I mean, horse suicide!! The fly that comes off the film…? The way the movie seems to be over, until you realize it isn’t yet…? God I hate that movie for scaring me. I was terrified of it until the Scary Movie series took it on and deflated some of the horror.

  97. can’t wait to a get copy! but I will likely read it under the sun since it is sure to scare the heck out of me in the evening… and that means no sleep. those scary stories are just great, aren’t they?

  98. The Exorcist scared the crap out of me (okay it still does), to the point that I refused to see the new-ish edition where she does that freaky crab crawl out of her bedroom and down the stairs.

    It’s simply unacceptable that she leaves the room. That’s the only thing that let me get any sleep a month later!

    “She never leaves the room, I’m okay.”

    “Damn it”

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  101. When the american version of The Grudge hit theaters over here we went to see it. And I couldn’t sleep for an entire week. The first couple of nights I didn’t want to be in bed with the lights off so I kept them on all night. A few nights later down, I could turn them off but I’d be terribly happy when it would become light again and I could breathe. I still hate the sound her bones make in the movie and I still get the shivers whenever I see a picture of the movie or when I see anything else that might remind me.

    I went to Norway to visit a friend a while ago and she laughed at me. Stoic and hardened as she was, she thought I was being retarded and she forced me to see the Japanese version to get over my fears. As the DVD started playing the menu I was bawling my eyes out in her kitchen out of sheer terror but she laughed again and eventually I sat down next to her to see it.

    And it wasn’t so bad.

    My idea is that these American horror versions are so scary because of the explicit scary moments filled with awful scenery of things you really do -not- want to happen. They’re very crafty in not showing the critical moment. And you notice -that- best when you see a movie in which they -don’t- do that. For instance: see “Boogeyman” from 2005 -> as soon as I saw the monster in all its shiny glory the film was ruined. There was no mystique anymore and it had a clear face. The Grudge never really had a clear face. She was presented entirely visually but by cutting shots they made her way too creepy, heheh..

    Oh man, it’s lovely to read another horror-lovers experiences. Thanks for posting! I’ll be following you around for a while! πŸ™‚

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