I love going to the movies. I think most people do. I especially like comedies and a good action movie always seems to hit the spot. Hey and an action film that’s chock full of comedy, well that really can’t be beat. But the one type of films I have always disliked are the films from the horror genre. I’m not talking about movies like Saw or Hostel. I don’t consider slasher porn to be true to the horror genre, although to be honest I’ve never seen either of those films.
As an adult I no longer watch “horror” films at all (the last horror type film I saw was Shaun of the Dead, funny yes, scary no.) But as a kid I remember having to sit through many scary films thanks to a brother who is five years older than me. Below are four films that scared the hell out of me as a child. The funny thing is when I look back at these films they weren’t horror films at all. They were simple kids movies with some minor scary elements.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was released in 1968 and based on the children’s novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car. To be honest I don’t remember much of this movie. I haven’t seen it since I was in single digits because it scared me so bad. What I do remember is Dick Van Dyke played an inventor of sorts. But what I do remember very clearly is the Child Catcher. A terrifying man whose job it was to, well, catch children. The child catcher was terrifying with his dark black hair and a large nose that he used to sniff out children. To this day almost thirty years after seeing the child catcher the thought of him still turns my blood cold. “Children come get your lollipops…all free today.”
The Last Unicorn
As a child I use to hate watching this movie. My brother and sister loved it so I was forced to watch often. The story is about the last unicorn (obviously) who is on a search to find out what happened to the rest of her kind. The story itself is rather stupid. But what scared me the most was not the red bull chasing the unicorn in the forest or running unicorns into the ocean as it should have been. No, I was horrified when the last unicorn was turned into a woman by Schmendrick’s misguided magic. Something about the way she moved scared the living crap out of me. I remember in human form being so upset and it just scared the crap out of me.
The NeverEnding story
The NeverEnding Story was a movie that I actually loved to watch. I never read the book but I have heard it is even better than the film. Books always are. The NeverEnding Story made me laugh and it made me cry (such as when Atreyu’s horse Artax dies). When you talk about the scary elements of The NeverEnding Story most people would be quick to note the Gmork, the large wolf like creature that tries to attack Atreyu. But Gmork never terrified me; it was Falkor the flying luckdragon that scared me the most. Don’t get me wrong I loved Falkor when I first saw him. I though he looked like a large puppy. But the viewer is soon treated to a view of Falkor’s underbelly that is covered in egg like maggoty things. Needless to say I was horrified. It still turns my stomach today.
I remember going to see The Dark Crystal in the movie theater when I was a little kid. I consciously remember thinking that this was going to be another Muppet movie. Boy was I wrong. Of course I thought that the Gelflings were cute as hell. If fact they looked a little like the blonde puppet from the Muppet Show, the one that was in the band with Animal. But what petrified me most was the Skeksis, the vulture-like baddies of The Dark Crystal. They way they moved, the way they spoke, and the way they tore that other Skeksis’ feathers off. Oh, the horror.