Jul 15, 2012

top scarring movie moments of my childhood

A few weekends ago I went to see Snow White and the Huntsman, which I was an overall fan of (there were a few non-sequiturs that I won't go into here). But there was a point in the movie that triggered very traumatic flashbacks for me. Closer to the beginning of the movie Bella--I mean, Snow White--is riding a white horse through the wilderness in a medievalized version of a car chase. They end up at the borders of the dark forest and her pale steed gets swallowed in a mud pit and struggles to get out.

As soon as I saw this scene, I immediately thought of Atreyu and his horse Artax, who dies in the swamps of sadness in the exact same way.

Which brings me to my fabulous list of scarring movie moments:

1. Neverending story.

I don't even remember how old I was when I first saw the Neverending Story. But I do know I was a wee-bitty thing, small enough to forget the plot of the entire movie but aware enough to remember that scene in the most scarring way possible. Retrospectively, I think the reason that this moment was so scarring upon my impressionable self is because it was my first real introduction to depression, and the fact that sometimes, people (and animals) do give up fighting. Swallowed in their own despair.

2. Galaxy Quest Aliens.

I couldn't even remember the name of this movie, but this clip did wonders to enlighten me to Darwin's "Survival of the Fittest" theory. I probably spent the night in somber sadness for the cannibalized alien. I've hardened up a bit over the years (a fact my poor characters can attest to).

3. Tauntaun guts.

I don't consider myself an incredibly squeamish person (insert photo proof below), but I will always, always remember the Tauntaun guts from The Empire Strikes Back. Looking back they really aren't that gross, but I couldn't get over how much they looked like bloated worms. Urgh.

And yet I'll eat this:

Yes. That's a giant spider. Nope. I'm not squeamish.

4. The Sixth Sense

This entire movie is a mine-field of scarring movie moments. In fact, I can't even bring myself to scour the net for these moments because I don't want any more terrifying suicidal moms and boys with half-missing heads haunting my dreams. No thank you. It kind of falls into the movie category of I Am Legend in that I love the overall movie, but I don't appreciate being startled/half-terrified by ghosts/zombified people.

5. The Ring

Oh dear God if there's one movie I wish I could go back in time and unsee, this would be it. I went along for a friend's 13th birthday party and promptly learned that my psyche wasn't built to handle horror movies, especially of the supernatural sort. This entire movie was like a nuclear bomb of scarring.

I'm freaking myself out by just typing about it.

I asked around on Twitter about people's top scarring childhood movies. Gremlins was a popular response. As was Jaws. What about y'all? Are there any movie moments that impacted you in a bad way when you were younger? Do they still effect you now? Or do they seem silly?


  1. I, too, was scarred by The Neverending Story. They showed it to us in first or second grade and I remember being so upset by that scene that the teacher put me in another room to color until the film was over. I haven't seen it since, and other than that scene and the dog-dragon thing, I have no idea what it's about.

    Isn't it funny, though? I'm sure if I were to see the movie for the first time now, I wouldn't be fazed at all by it (or maybe I would; I have a soft spot in my heart for animals), but I can't forget that memory.

    One I have is the Vincent Price version of The Fall of the House of Usher. Saw it when I was a kid at summer day camp and it terrified me.

    The Ring? Agreed. O_o...

    Y'know, Ryan, this didn't make for a very serene Sunday for me... ;)

    1. Ha! Sorry! I just had it on my mind. :)

      The Fall of the House of Usher is a terrifying STORY! Let alone a movie! I can't imagine.

  2. Watership Down! I can't bring myself to watch the movie even now. But my poor child, animal-loving self couldn't understand why the cute rabbits were drowning and killing each other.

    1. Watership Down was a movie? I loved that book when I was a kid!

  3. The Ring, for sure. My best friend when I was 14 forced me to watch it. I haven't seen it in almost 10 years, and I still wish I could un-see that scene where she crawls out of the TV.

    1. YES! I was so terrified of TVs for like, a month after that. And the scene where they find the niece in the closet. Ugh.

  4. I got freaked out just reading this. I've since gotten over the tauntaun guts thing, but I'm personally still haunted by watching Amityville horror and some zombie movie when I was a kid, the latter which showed a girl's eyeball being impaled on a giant splintery piece of wood. *shudders*

    1. Ack! Zombie gore I'm actually pretty okay with (though The Walking Dead does go a bit overboard sometimes on the grossout factor). But Amityville horror sounds not so great. Ack.