Monday, 15 October 2018

The Power of Film

This post does not necessarily concern Halloween themes, but nevertheless it seems an appropriate time of the year to pose the following question --


For me, the answer is immediate -- Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. I saw it on TV when I was little and it scared the bejesus right out of me.


Like all of Hitchcock's movies, there was nothing excessively graphic or gory about the film, but the Master of Suspense made his audience visualize the terror and violence in their minds -- which is ten times worse!

More or less around the same time that I saw this movie (although I can't remember specifically if it was before or after), I developed a major phobia about things flying around my head. The causal incident was an ugly and traumatic episode with moths in a confined space which I could not escape. But this movie, regardless of when I actually saw it, certainly didn't help the situation.

This phobia still plagues me. I cannot set foot in a butterfly house at a zoo or botanical garden, nor can I tolerate any birds or other creatures flying around my head.

So what about you? Any movies that scarred you for life? Spill your guts in the comments (but not literally though, please) . . . .

43 comments:

G.B. Miller said...

Strange, while I'm typing this comment, the radio in the other room is playing "Hey Man, Nice Shot" by Filter.

As a kid, I got traumatized by Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory". Specifically, the scene where the kid is sucked up in the tube of chocolate after falling into the river of chocolate. For many, many years, I could not watch that particular scene while watching the movie. To this day, that scene still gives me the willies.

laurie said...

I. Can understand that leaving a mark on you for sure, I never have watched horror movies I tell you, the movie Jaws, living on the water was a bit more interesting after that one !

anne marie in philly said...

"the haunting" did it for me. I'm not a horror fan by any means.

Strangely Naked said...

I remember nothing about the movie except that People Under the Stairs was my first "nope" moment when my sister and I turned off a movie because we were too scared. But if we're talking lasting trauma, the movie that scarred (yes, scarred) me was when I found my parent's VHS porn stash and one of them was far out of the norm for the 1980's. My parents were freaks, and I have to live with that to this day.

Bob Slatten said...

I cannot think of one.
I love scary, though I loathe gory.so a genuinely frightening movie is a good thing for me.

If forced to pick,I'd choose My Fair Lady because they cast Audrey Hepburn over Julie Andrews and that was terrifying!
=)

Rosemary said...

Mine was a gorilla in a Christmas Pantomime when I was 5 years old that came into the audience and frightened me - stupidly I thought it was real. The film that frightened me most was Dracula and his fangs going after young girls as night fell. After seeing that I kept my window shut at night.

DEZMOND said...

I think there was a very old, black and white, horror movie with some psycho who made people of wax, that one was the first and the only horror movie I've seen as a kid.... not counting Freddy who still makes me afraid of darkness.

mxtodis123 said...

The Blob. Actually, I wasn't quite a kid, but a teenager. I remember how after the film I was sitting home looking under the doors for any signs of the blob.

mshatch said...

The Exorcist. But honestly, Bram Stoker's Dracula scared me more. I wore my cross religiously (hahahah) for months after.

LL Cool Joe said...

I can't remember what the film was called but it was about a girl who was kidnapped and kept in a coffin under the ground. OMG that freaked me out for years and still does when I picture it.

lady M said...

Hand down - Night of the Living Dead.

Linda deV said...

Exorcist. I had nightmares for decades and they return if I hear Tubular Bells. I have been told I should watch it again so I can see it wasn't near as bad as my 11 year old self thought it was but I can't make myself do it.

Jill said...

I'm not a fan of horror movies.... but when i was younger my friend made me watch the exorcist and I didn't like it at all..... Funny how things that happen in our childhoods affect us the rest of our lives. Hope your week is off to a great start!

Blessings,
Jill

Martha said...

I can't think of one off the top of my head but I do remember something similar to what LL Cool Joe is writing about that freaked me out. Being buried alive is probably one of the scariest things for me!

That being said, I do enjoy scary films, but not gory types. Anything that has some psychological thrill to it that haunts me for days is the best.

Joanne Noragon said...

I don't watch horror, ever. My granddaughter tells me horror films are not "scary" because they are not real. I watched one from her point of view. She made the case for why it was not real through out. She does have a point. I still don't watch.

e said...

I make it a point to avoid the entire Horror genre. Even ominous suspense is usually too frightening for me. I prefer comedy!

I am more of a book reader. I grew up in a house that had some of everything to read and made the mistake at about age 10 to read 'The Body Snatchers'. Holy Crapola, Batman! Nightmares for weeks!

holli said...

EXORCIST for one but there was one that i saw as a kid and it scared me a lot- the house was alive and it was decaying, but every time someone died, it would become more beautiful and a hearse would show up. What was scary was the driver of hearse would drag a coffin up the stairs and you could hear the thump, thump, thump. So scary!!

Barbara said...

Birds and Psycho naturally. But I'm going to think about it. I can't seem to remember.

Adam said...

My mom said the same thing

for me Troll 2 and Chucky

Birdie said...

I have never been able to watch scary movies because they all freak me out! lol

Rain said...

I'm a big Hitchcock fan too Debra, but only started to watch his movies a few years back. The Birds is a very creepy film...but Psycho is my favourite of the "horror" types he did. Rope is another great suspense he did!!

For me, it was Jaws. I saw it on tv as a kid and I had a very hard time for years and years even swimming in a pool!!

Parnassus said...

Hello Debra, I have always loved horror films and they have never bothered me. My brother and I used to stay up late on Fridays watching all the horror classics on TV.

By the way, the film that Holli is remembering seems to be Burnt Offerings. The beautiful old house in the movie is now a museum, the Dunsmuir House in Oakland, California.
--Jim

Leeanna Henderson said...

I wasn't able to see scary movies because of my mom. But the one that scared me pretty good was The Thing with Kurt Russell. The part where they were doing CPR on I think it was the doctor and his chest opened up and ate the guy's hands off. That was scary. I had to turn the VCR off for a minute to collect myself.

Susan said...

Jaws. I cannot go into a body of water further than ankle-deep and that causes panic.

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

The Exorcist! My 50 year old self still cannot watch this movie to this day. Freaks me right out.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

There's never been anyone like Hitchcock, right? I've spent time in Bodega Bay (where they filmed the birds). It was neat being at the schoolhouse from the movie. But yeah, scary stuff.

The ones that really scared me were Friday 13th, Nightmare on Elmstreet, and all the movies with a young cute babysitter whose phone goes dead when Freddie or Jason enters the scene.

Ol'Buzzard said...

I lived in a small town and we had a movie theater. It was a dime for kids under twelve and I would work in my uncle's store for a quarter and then when they showed the old B-horror movies I would walk across the bridge, about three blocks to the movie house at 7 p.m.. - this meant I would have to walk (run) back home at night when the movie was over. There were no street lamps in town so it was dark. I knew I had to walk across the bridge, so I would whistle or sing until I hit the bridge - then run like hell. Werewolves, vampires...
I knew they were there underneath that damn bridge.
the Ol'Buzzard

Jamie Meyers said...

"Earthquake" scared me when I was a kid. For a long time afterwards I thought there was going to be an earthquake and I'd get killed by the house collapsing as I slept. There was a 1974 TV movie called "Where Have All the People Gone" that scared me witness too. There was a series of solar flares that killed almost everybody on earth and made animals crazy and the film was about the survivors and their attempts to piece things together in the aftermath. I don't remember almost anything about the plot, and was amazed to find a reference to it in a quick Google search, but the visual image of the sun glowing poisonously is burned into my brain forever. Damn, that thing scared me.

Susan Kane said...

I was a kid in the 50s and precious few horror movies were on then in our rural area. But, given that, I will never watch Exorcist again.

Marie Smith said...

It was a book which scared me, not a movie. It was Salem’s Lot by Slephen King.

Magic Love Crow said...

The movie that did it for me was "Carrie". My mom always disliked Rosemaries Baby. I still have never seen that movie!! One of these days! LOL!

mistress maddie said...

Hands down...Poltergeist.

I slept with lights on for weeks.

Magaly Guerrero said...

Now I must watch The Birds. The movie that horrified me is a very predictable one: A Nightmare on Elm Street. I couldn't close my eyes. I was certain I was going to wake up to Freddy's sharpies sticking out of my gut. A vivid imagination can be sooo painful... and sleep depriving, lol!

Fundy Blue said...

Movies were very rare treats when I was a child. I can remember desperately wanting to see "The Blob," but there was no theatre anywhere near us. My brother and I practically rolled on the floor with laughter watching "The Birds." It's amazing we weren't kicked out. We just thought the idea of birds acting like that was ridiculous. Sorry, Debra. But five decades later when I saw a house, its yard, and trees completely covered with hundreds and hundred of birds twittering and eyeing me as I tiptoed by, I was completely freaked. So maybe the movie worked into my subconscious. "Night of the Living Dead" traumatized me because a friend of mine was killed while I saw it. "Alien" did me in forever ~ after I saw the alien bursting out of John Hurt's chest, it was The End for me and horror movies.

jadedj said...

The Thing (the 1951 version). Scared the crap out of me when I was a kid.

bj said...

All the scary movies I saw growing up like Wolfman or Frankenstein or The Mummy, were such fun and had no lasting effect on me.
The scariest....HALLOWEEN....scared the s*** out of me but it didn't have lasting impressions, either.

Kirk said...

I love horror films, but never wanted to be particularly scared by them, and rarely am. It's just the overall oddness that appeals to me.

When I was a kid I saw a movie on TV about the Titanic (obviously not the one with Kate Winslet--I was past 30 by that time) and a little boy got separated by his parents: "Mommy, mommy, where are you?!" Now, THAT traumatized me!

John M said...

Invaders from Mars and The Body Snatchers, sort of horror and science fiction combined.

Guillaume said...

My parents did not allow me to watch The Birds as a kid. They tried to prevent me from watching horror movies. So I got scared of some moments in Excalibur and Clash of the Titans. Bits of Hammer movies I could catch on TV as well. I was very horror deprived. Only during teenage I could finally enjoy my natural appetite for scary stories.

Missy George said...

Hitchcock is up there with the Omen, Jaws , Halloween and the Exorcist..

baili said...

great ask Debra

Dracula movies and of course Hitchcock series

but one local movie movie in which villain had dark blue eyes who kills an innocent family of four people parents and their little son and daughter kept me shivered and disturbed for long time
since then i am not happy with blue eyes specially males

Anonymous said...

@ Hollie. “Burnt Offerings” was the name of the movie you mentioned

JACKIESUE said...

the original

the thing..eeeeekk..