Movies were a big part of my childhood growing up. Being we lived in a rural town, there wasn’t much else for us to do as a family. So nothing was no more exciting than on Friday evening when my mom got home than going to the movie store and renting movies. You got to go and pick out the one movie you had wanted to see since you saw it advertised on television for the movie theaters. I was always drawn to the horror movie section when we’d go in there. Even when I was little, and my parents wouldn’t let me watch those movies yet. The terrifying covers of the boxes just captivated me and terrorized me at the same time.
The Exorcist was the first horror movie scene I ever remember seeing as a kid. I wasn’t supposed to be watching it. I was young. Probably not even five years old. I had two older brothers who were teenagers at the time. Somehow, I wound up in the room while they were watching it, and I saw the scene where her head spun around. At that moment in my life, I decided that was it for me. I jumped up and ran out of the room, screaming and crying to my mother. My brothers laughed at me. It was late in my teens before I ever decided to watch that movie.
The Amityville Horror (1979)
I never saw The Amityville Horror till I was older and could handle it. But I was terrified of it at a young age. See, my brothers told me the story of it. They also had the book. I remember the book so vividly in my mind. It was a thick paperback book that had a picture of the house on the front of it. I’d see the cover, and it would instantly bestow fear onto me. Another thing was my grandparents had a front door on their house that had windows at the top of it that looked like the Amityville house’s windows. So I couldn’t be in their living room at night without my sister.
My brothers got me with this one as well. I was a little older when I saw this than I was with The Exorcist. So, I made it a little further into the movie. When the alien popped out of the seed pod and attached to that guy’s face, that completely blew my mind; but when it became too much for me was when it detached itself, and the alien erupted from the guy’s abdomen, I was done. This time I graciously exited the room, though.
The early childhood trauma thrust onto me by my older brothers didn’t deter me from horror movies, though. As I grew older, I always had an appreciation for a good horror flick. The only thing was, they just never packed a punch as those three movies did. I watched all The Nightmare on Elm Streets, Friday the 13ths, and Stephen King novels made into movies, and they all just never got me there. I guess it was kind of like being an adrenaline junkie. You do that thing that gets you off that first time. Then you spend the rest of your life trying to get back to that feeling.