As the excitement of Halloween begins to build momentum, the return of the horror movie genre hits us with full force, and fear fest seems to be on every channel. It makes me reflect at the wonderment of my childhood. It was in Grade 2 my parents purchased their first VCR. It was an exciting time for all of us! Unfortunately, with two teenage sisters, nobody ever really wanted to watch “The Muppets Go to Hollywood.”
It was my dad who was in charge of movie night. He had two headstrong teenage girls to contend with and me. Unfortunately, I was never as wily as my sisters which meant my dad would always cave to their selection of slasher and action movies.
This was bad news. No seven-year old child with an over active imagination should ever watch Friday the 13th. I still have a fear of eating bananas with my back to great wide open spaces.
I wonder if these movie choices are what made me the neurotic being I am today? So, much to my mother’s horror, I made a list of inappropriate movies that I watched in my early years which may have hindered my childhood development.
- Deliverance. Up to this day I cannot stand the sound of banjo music, Burt Reynolds’s moustache, and creepy red necks. However, it has prepared me to run. My husband and I once crossed through a shady village on the border of Maine and Quebec. We stopped for gas. One of the trucker’s at the gas stop looked to his friend and said “Wouldn’t you like to eat that little rump roast?” I took that as a sign, remembered the distinct horrors of Deliverance, locked the door, and made my husband drive off as fast as Steve McQueen.
- Jaws. Needless to say to this day when I’m swimming in the cold Atlantic Ocean I have visions of Jaws popping out of the water and devouring me whole. It’s even a more unsettling feeling in tropical waters especially when a big fish nudges you on foot. It’s then you let out a little scream and scramble out of the water with your bikini top half off. Not that this has ever happened to me…
- Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome. As a child, my parents had the Pierre Burton dream, and we drove across Canada. I watched Mad Max before this eventful trip, and every time I saw a gang of bikes, I thought I was a goner, it would be the end for us all, and I would begin my escape plan. Usually, this plan involved me hiding underwater in the hotel pool. It was the only place I felt safe…
- Nightmare on Elm Street. I did not sleep for months in fear of Freddy. Enough said!
- Friday 13th part 2, I have never looked at a banana the same way again!
Oh! And my parent’s friend were no better! They let us watch Sleep Away Camp! And from that day on I always remembered to turn off my curling iron.
Now, looking back, I wonder what a childhood development specialist would say about this list. I wonder if this fuelled the fire for my fear of things that go bump in the night? And maybe it explains why I, now, yelp every time Nancy Grace jumps out of the screen while I’m watching Joy Behar? It is because of this; I firmly believe a little censorship for children is truly good for the soul.