Growing up, I wasn't allowed to watch much tv. The tv that I did watch was pretty much restricted to Little House on the Prairie or Disney. Movies all had to be totally pre-screened, and if they were PG my Dad would mull over them while I begged. Anything rated Mature was a definite no. PG was iffy. I even remember dating at 18 and asking to go see Whitewater Summer and being told no-that the only approved movie was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. What pair of 18 year olds want to see Snow White?
Of course, we had HBO at home. I can't even imagine that my parents would not have known that I watched anything I wanted on it when they weren't home. Every scary movie I owe to late night babysitting, staying at friend's houses, and HBO. The only thing is that I'm a total wimp when it comes to scary movies.
My first scary movie experience came at the tender age of eight. This one was parent approved, and I suppose that since it was based on the Bible it was considered okay. All I can tell you is that I had vivid nightmares that Satan was out to get my soul-which lasted for YEARS. Way to freak a kid out there people...tell her she's going to get left behind when Armeggedon happens. Just make sure to remind her for years later "make sure you're right with God because you never know". If she also believes that ghosts, spirits, and demons are, in fact, completely real, it will keep her from watching any scary movie for most of her life because she will be so completely terrified by it she will have trouble separating fact from fiction.
The second scary movie was The Shining, when I was 10 years old during a sleepover. Actually it wasn't the movie per se that scared me. Part way though I excused myself to the washroom, only to emerge minutes later to see my friend standing there with a meat clever and laughing wildly. She thought it would be funny to scare the crap out of me, which I didn't find so funny.
I remember screaming at her, packing up my stuff, and practically running home. I did read The Shining many years later...and it wasn't really that bad after all. Stephen King is one of the only horror writers that I sort of enjoy now and then.
Of course I can't forget the movie that we were forced to watch at school. Ya, you read that right. My grade six teacher refused to listen to my pleas to go to the library and do math instead, and I had to sit in the room and watch. Isn't that nuts? What kid would rather do math? That was me. I didn't go in the woods at night for months. Of course, we didn't a whole lot anyway, what with the haunted cat incident and all. This movie gave me nightmares for a long time and I tell ya-I'm 35 and I still won't watch it. (shiver)
I did watch Poltergeist a little on HBO, which then made me very afraid of our big old house at night. Especially the large, dark, cold, sunken living room, with the ugly shag green carpet that reminded me of grass and one whole wall of windows looking out into the woods. Our old tv would be sitting there and I almost half expected it to start glowing or something. When I babysat some kids that had a toy clown, I'd hide it in the closet. (ya, take the clown you crazy house ghosts you. Go ahead and kidnap the kids into another dimension. I'll just leave!)
Really, it's been only recently that I've been able to watch movies and tv shows that are a little spooky. I still delve into them only a little, much like sticking a toe into the water to check it out. I do prefer movies like "Sixth Sense" and "The Others", and will never watch any gory slasher flicks like The Hills Have Eyes or Friday the 13th. Still, I have to be in the mood and you'll find me with my hands over my eyes, or even leaving the room when it becomes too much. I then wander back little by little, and by the fourth time seeing the movie, I can watch the whole thing all the way through. I have slowly become a little desentized by watching The Ghost Whisperer and Medium, although even they get me a little weirded out now and then. I'm working on it, people. I'm not good at this sort of thing!
What about you? What movies scared you as a kid? Do you watch them now? And...most of all....are you a little freaked out afterwards? Better yet...any good recommendations?