Kicking off the start of my Halloween warm-up with two weeks of horror movies. I’ll post about the horror movies I’ve seen and what I’ve found (or not found) scary about them. Hope you enjoy!
My parents divorced when I was 3. My sister and I would go to Dad’s house every other weekend and he usually took us bowling or to the movies. I remember, almost clear as day an autumn day in 1981 when my dad asked me which movie I wanted to go see: The Blues Brothers or Halloween. I was five. Going by the movie titles alone, which do you think I chose? Halloween, of course!
It didn’t help that my sister, who’s eight years older than me, was whispering that she wanted to see it. Yeah, so at the tender age of five, I saw Halloween II. I’m pretty sure I hadn’t even seen the first until several years later. Years after my nightmares ended. Sort of.
I consider this movie to be one of my absolute favorites. The movie score was great as well. Oh sure…I couldn’t watch it for a very long time…like 20 years at least, but now I look for it when I want a good scare. My much younger self, however, had a much harder time letting go. The nightmares…oy vey!
I don’t think it helped much that our house had a long hallway and my bedroom was at the end of it. Oh sure, I was across the hall from mom’s room, but it was too far. After she and my stepdad told me that I had to sleep back in my own bed after several months of crawling between them, I had a lot to think about.
What if Michael came for me while they were sleeping? Would Mom hear me if I screamed? I knew Michael Myers wouldn’t go up against Mom. Mom could beat anyone up, but what if he yanked out my vocal chords before I could cry out? (Is it any wonder I’m a writer?) I formed a fortress of stuffed animals around the edge of my bed. It was a good thing I had so many because I knew if Michael was under my bed, I could fool him into grabbing one of the stuffed animals while I had time to escape. Yeah. I was all about decoys at five years old.
I’ve had the recurring dream of Michael Myers coming to get me throughout my life. It’ll pop into my mind and I’m right back to my five year old self, hiding under the hospital bed as he comes into the room. Even though I know it’s a dream, it doesn’t stop the fear. John Carpenter tormented me for years. He did a much better job than my sister ever did (I’ll tell you about that one later).
So I had to ask myself, what was so scary about the movie? Then I realized, there’s something so frightening about Michael Myers, isn’t there? I probably would have been fine if he’d shown any emotion or passion about killing, but he didn’t. He was silent. Cold. Unmoved by pleas for mercy. He was scary as hell. *shivers* Even now, when I watch the original Halloween and Halloween II, I can’t help but feel a small curl of fear in my gut.
I’ll probably have a nightmare about this tonight. Joy.
What was the first horror movie you ever saw and how old were you? Do you think I need therapy?