When I was in my teens, quite a long time ago, I really loved horror movies. That, is, till I saw Psycho, back in 1960. John and I were seniors in high school and we saw it at the Britton Plaza. It was terrifying. After the movie was over, we drove to a secluded place to "park" -- do any of you remember "parking?" and "making out?"
John had barely pulled the car under the big live oak tree in our special spot before we looked at each other and at the dark creepy woods around us (who knew how many psycho killers might be out there) before we looked at each other again and agreed that this might be a good night for me to get home early.
And it goes without saying that I still lock the bathroom door before taking a shower. . .
A girlfriend and I saw Christopher Lee in The Horror of Dracula back in 1958. It, too, left its mark. I noticed that all the young women upon whom Count Dracula preyed slept on their backs with their hair spread across their pillows.
I began to sleep on my side with the sheet over my head. For a time, I put garlic cloves at the windows till my mother objected.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) is another movie (I can't quite bring myself to call these films) I remember vividly -- the creepiness of those pods and the foam that oozed out of them as they opened. And the magnificent hopelessness of the ending. But for all its scariness, Bodysnatchers didn't inspire any lifestyle changes for me.
House of Wax (1953) is one that got away. It was playing in downtown Tampa at the Palace and I was all set to go with friends when my mother dug in her heels and forbade me to see it. Too scary, she said. I don't remember if she herself had seen it or what. The first 3D horror movie and I was denied the chance to terrify myself.
I still haven't seen it. But if I want that creepy frisson of fear, all I have to do is remind myself that there's an empty room at the Bates house . . .
What about you all? Were/are you a fan of horror movies? What movies scared you?
Actually, thinking back, I was taken to see Snow White at a rather early age and had to be removed from the theater when the wicked stepmother started carrying on. I still have the occasional nightmare that derives from that trauma...