Like a bad cold you just can’t shake, Al Lowe and I are back to continue our new writing franchise: 10 Things Movies Have Made Terrifying. We already brought you a part one, but after numerous discussions about all the objects we’d left out, and after coming to the realization that there’s an endless list of these sorts of things, we decided to reunite for a follow-up feature highlighting some glaring omissions from our original article. The first time around we tackled sillier objects like tires, sushi, tricycles, and books, but I believe we’ll be hitting on more actual fears this time around. Part one was all about having fun, but part two definitely got a little bit darker.
By darker, I mean Al and I opened up and stayed true to ourselves, drawing upon those moments of pants-wetting fear we experienced after watching a particularly effective movie. For example, I know this may sound ridiculous, but after watching Jurassic Park, I couldn’t help but be petrified at the thought of a velociraptor lurking around every corner I turned, just waiting to rip me open like a present on Christmas morning. Were my thoughts irrational? Yes, we haven’t tempted fate by recreating dinosaurs just yet. But was the fear real? Absolutely. Dinosaurs had been something I’d only learned about in books until that point, but after seeing Robert Muldoon be out-hunted by one “clever girl,” the damage was done. Fear is powerful, fear is gripping, fear is dominating, and fear is real – even if it’s based on something far from the realms of reality.
But since we’ve already done this before, you know the drill. Join Al and I as we again pick things from everyday life that movies have turned horrifying. We’ll let Al wait his turn, and I’ll start with my picks…Next
Bodies Of Water: Jaws/Lake Placid/Anaconda
This is probably the most glaring omission from our first list. Sorry people, tried to get a little too creative and silly, but my head is on straight now, and I can remember a time when any body of water made me uneasy. Jaws is the most prevalent example as to why, because Steven Spielberg masters terror by saving the shark’s reveal for so long, but my biggest example is Lake Placid. A far less superior film, but a much more stinging reminder that you never know what might be lurking under that deep, murky water you’re swimming nonchalantly across the surface of – especially when it takes place minutes from your favorite vacation spot.
Every summer I vacation in the Adirondacks, staying in a cozy lakeside abode with free reign of a gorgeous lake. We go water-skiing, tubing, swimming, wave running – you name it. Life was good as a child, splashing about with infinite enjoyment, but then everything changed. Damn you Lake Placid! How was I not supposed to think a giant crocodile wasn’t swimming under me whenever I jumped in the lake, just waiting to lurch up and snap its chompers into me? F#ck that shit. Then Jaws with the ocean? Man, I was done with water altogether. Beaches, Lakes, Reservoirs, Rivers, Creeks, Ponds, Puddles, Pools, Fountains, Bath Tubs, Showers – no thank you!
Dolls: Child’s Play
Fun fact: I’ve still never seen a single Child’s Play movie because I was deathly afraid of Chucky as a child, teenager, and young adult. I don’t know why. Well, OK, as previously stated, I was a big weenie as a child, so I understand then. But as I outgrew my distaste of all things horror, Chucky was the one evil icon I couldn’t shake. Silly right? A doll. A child’s play toy. Something inanimate coming to life and murdering people. Out of all the horror villains to be afraid of, that’s the one that sends me into a hyperventilating fit, haunting my mind as I lay in bed with 20 blankets over my head? Yup, can’t explain it, but for way too damn long, Chucky ruined me.
Maybe it has something to do with Child’s Play taking something so innocent and turning it into this malevolent character who kills without prejudice. Everyone owns toys growing up, and as children we looked to such things with creative wonder and enjoyment. Then horror movies come along and show something associated with safety as the complete opposite? Twisting reality and our minds too? Sounds plausible to me.
Dreams: A Nightmare On Elm Street
Damn, this is another obvious one I missed – especially since Freddy Krueger is my favorite slasher villain of all time. How could you not be afraid to fall asleep after discovering a monster that waits for us at our most vulnerable, invades what pleasant dreamland we might be floating though, and then kills you in both dreamland and real life? How does the song go? “9…10…never sleep again.” Oh yeah, that.
Freddy Krueger takes the idea of “home field advantage” to horrifying new heights, as he controls everything in the dream world. Sure, you can try to fight him, as many teens attempted, but in the end, Freddy always has a new trick up his sleeve – one you can’t escape. Remember all those nightmares you had where you try to run, but all of a sudden you’re moving in slow-motion, and no matter how hard you tried you couldn’t get away? Well, be thankful that wasn’t Freddy chasing you, because when he catches you, there is no waking up. Got those sleeping pills handy?Previous Next
Trees: Evil Dead
And no, not because of The Happening. That movie was so abysmal I actually felt bad for M. Night. It’s like he got to the end of his script, forgot the point, and just made the killer the first thing he saw when he looked out his window. Nope, I’m way more terrified of the trees Sam Raimi created in Evil Dead. You know, that iconic scene which gave our badass botany the nickname of The Angry Molesting Tree (as it’s since been dubbed)? As a horror fan, you absolutely HAVE to know this scene, being so outrageous that the tree was added as a caged monster in The Cabin In The Woods.
As you can probably guess by the name, the trees in Evil Dead become possessed by the Necronomicon, and then turn more touchy-feely than Fred Armisen in Eurotrip – and they don’t even say “Mi Scusi!” These trees grab a hold of you with their unbreakable grip, string you up, then make a B-line right for your naughty zone. Sure, it’s a girl in the film who gets tree-raped, but don’t think that means you’re safe, guys. There’s always the backdoor entrance, and if that doesn’t terrify you, then go get yourself psychologically evaluated – because you’re thinking about trees going in your b-hole. That’s just messed up dude. God.
Ron Jeremy’s Penis: One Eyed Monster
The man, the myth, the legend. When you think male porn stars, who is more famous than Ron Jeremy and his monster dong. But after seeing One Eyed Monster, this dude’s junk turns from a woman’s dream to Earth’s worst nightmare, as it detaches itself and starts murdering people through the most unpleasant of ways. Women always yell at men for thinking with their “second brain,” but what if there wasn’t a real brain controlling it?!
Alright, just look at my list for Part I – did you really think I was going to stay serious this whole time? But again, most of a man’s terrible decisions are made when thinking with his more devious brain downstairs, so the utter thought of such an inherently evil thing becoming possessed by some strange bolt of life and running about on its own is utterly terrifying. Then, as a kicker, it’s a monster from none other than Ron Jeremy, so that means it’s not only evil – but it’s got some “substance” to it. Seriously, if you weren’t afraid of that hairy bear of a man Ron Jeremy already, One Eyed Monster will give you a real reason to fear his meat torpedo – and one weird ass movie experience.
And on that note, here’s Al! Follow that, bitch. *drops microphone, walks out*Previous Next
People Watching: Rear Window
You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy people watching. It’s a lot of fun. After all, you get to see interesting people doing interesting things, and you even have the power to invent entire stories and conversations centered around their actions. It’s the ultimate lazy day activity for a lonely person with a window. But I will never again people watch, and it’s thanks to that terrifying classic – Rear Window.
What Rear Window taught me is if you people watch, you’ll likely see something you’d rather not know. Sure, it’s good that Jeff was able to figure out that his neighbor was a cold-blooded killer, but think how much easier Jeff’s life would’ve been had he not figured that out. Plus, when Mr. Thorwald came a-killin’, Jeff was lucky enough to have a camera nearby. I personally do not have a camera with that strong of a flash, so had it been me in that situation, I would be chopped up in little pieces with hydrangeas being fertilized by my corpse. That’s why if you walk by my house, you’ll notice all the blinds are tightly drawn, because I don’t ever want to see my neighbors and risk noticing they have a tendency to do away with those who disagree with them.
Renting Movies: The Ring
Renting movies, at least physical copies, has become a thing of the past these days with the fall of video stores and the rise of streaming services, and honestly, I think that’s one of the best things that could happen to the world. Even before these stores met their demise, I was extremely hesitant when it came to getting my movies from them, especially movies I didn’t trust. Why you ask? Because I assumed every video had the possibility to kill me in seven days, that’s why.
I never even feel safe with a labeled video. Who’s to say that someone just didn’t tape over that video with fingernails being shredded and creepy bugs crawling around? Is it really worth that risk just to watch Forrest Gump again? I don’t think so. There is no movie that is so good that it’s worth risking such a horrible final fate.
There is a zero percent chance that I’ll ever just grab a random movie from a motel’s selection rack. In fact, I get the chills even turning on a TV in a motel since seeing The Ring. There’s always the chance that someone slipped the video into the player and is just waiting to pass their curse along to me. Thank god for Netflix.
Used Cars: Christine
I bought my current car used, and I must say, I had some major paranoia when it came to that purchase. Sure, I bought it from a dealer and not a creepy old racist, but still, who knows who had owned the car before me. There is zero chance I would ever buy a car from an old man in the country. That isn’t ever happening, no matter how great of a deal I could get, thanks to Christine.
I avoid loving my car too much. I never gave it a name (or a gender for that matter) and I certainly won’t ever work on it myself. That’s not because I’m afraid of my hands getting dirty, I’m just afraid that any labor on my car will constitute some of my soul and love going into it, and then it will take those newly stolen soul bits and go on a crazy killing spree. Sure, Christine mostly protected its owner, but I sort of like the people around me, and I’d like them to not die as well. I really would just prefer that none of my girlfriends ever get choked in my car. That would put a major kink in my love life if I couldn’t even drive my girlfriend to dinner without her dying.
A tandem bicycle seems more like a viable option every time I watch Christine.Previous Next
Stray Dogs: The Thing
I really like dogs. I’m definitely a dog person, without a doubt. There are few better companions than man’s best friend. They’re absolutely thrilled every time you come home and they’re the most appreciative diners, no matter how dry their food is. That being said, I will not consider taking in a stray dog ever again thanks to seeing The Thing.
Granted, I realize there’s probably a very slim chance that the dog I find is going to be an alien, but still, it is a possibility, and not one I’m willing to risk. I can’t think of much worse than napping on the couch, with your loyal pup on the floor beside you, when suddenly it wakes up and decides to eat you. That would certainly detract from the rewarding aspects of pet ownership.
Even shelters worry me. I’m definitely for dogs getting adopted, and I never want to see one put down, but every time I see a dog in a shelter that looks like it could survive in Antarctica, I suddenly realize that these puppies can play with each other and I really don’t need to walk around and pet them. Now there are lonely dogs all over the city thanks to John Carpenter.
Strippers: From Dusk Till Dawn
Strip clubs tend to be sketchy places as it is. You have to be a very frequent regular to feel comfortable around the crowd that a titty bar usually draws, but you have to be even more comfortable to still go to strip clubs after watching From Dusk Till Dawn.
Yes, the chances are slim that the hottest stripper in the club is going to end up turning into a vampire, but how in the world are you supposed to enjoy the show with that thought in the back of your mind? And I’m not talking attractive Twilight vampire here, I’m talking disfigured, blood-thirsty, insanely muscular vampires. One minute a girl is going to be sexily dancing with a snake, the next minute she’s going to smell blood and come lunging at my throat with his fangs bared. If that sounds like a fun night to you, we obviously hang out in different circles.
Okay, I would have felt uncomfortable enough in that trucker strip club even if there weren’t vampires involved. That’s the reason I became a writer and not a truck driver in Mexico, but if I ever was in that situation, I doubt I would have George Clooney to protect me. If Clooney and I are ever out on the town, then it’s a risk I’m willing to take, but for now, I’m not looking to have my blood drained just to see a naked lady.
Then again, if the vampire/stripper looks like Salma Hayek, it may be worth the risk.
Thanks for reading Part II of our inevitably ongoing series! Think we’re still missing some big ones? Let us know in the comments!
Please note that this article was a collaboration between Alexander Lowe and Matt Donato.Previous