My siblings thought it was an acceptable idea to have me watch the original ”Scream” film when it came out. I was five. My mom was furious. But I survived. I even have a sort of affinity for the film, despite the many nightmares it produced throughout my childhood. 😂
Then, “I know what you did last summer” was another they shared with me, only a year later… yikes. Again, though, I survived.
The sequel was freaky but fun for me, because it was possibly the first sequel to release during my lifetime for something that I knew.
At some point, before age nine, they showed me “Jaws”. “Jaws” is actually one of my favorite films – I even read the book recently! – despite the nightmares… and general fear of the ocean… that still exists today… 😂
Frankly, seeing “The Sixth Sense” at my mom’s strong recommendation when I was eight was significantly more traumatizing than any of the others, and I, to this day, have bad dreams and spooky nights because of it…, but that’s for different reasons. “Scream” isn’t very practical or realistic for everyday life.
“Deep Blue Sea” and “Lake Placid”, at age eight, were probably the films that put me over the edge in terms of being comfortable swimming alone in any body of water… I just couldn’t do it – even in the pool at my brothers’ dad’s house, I was somehow convinced that, after I had started to swim away from the wall, someone had opened up a secret panel behind me, and released a shark into the water…., and so I would rush to the other side and wrench myself out of the water as fast as possible, breathing hard… always to find no shark, of course… fortunately, of course…
One of my brothers – one not involved in having me watch the scary movies – had mentioned to me, after his having seen “The Ring” in theatres, that the film was terribly funny due to the fakeness of so much of it… he was the only one laughing during the film, but he was laughing hard at times, he said.
The thought of a scary film’s being funny was new to me, and I considered that I might want to see this film…, but not badly enough to seek it out – I had already written away scary films from my life by that point.
One night, however, years later, I was drawn by a film that came on television, not knowing what film it was. I had an odd feeling that it was “The Ring”, however, and I turned out to be correct in that judgment. Keeping my brother’s idea of humor in mind, I stuck with the film. Frankly, I also found the film quite stupid in many ways, as my brother had suggested and described years beforehand. I was still haunted in dreams by certain aspects of the film, but I recovered much more easily than with any other scary film I had ever seen, and I attributed it to the mentality of laughing at the graphics and illogic of certain visual scenarios within the film – thereby distancing myself from the story itself.
I still stay firmly away from scary films, though, and horror films are a solid no for me, with no question of even discussing them and their subject matter…
I’m almost certain that almost all of my nighttime and dark-alley fears have come from films…, so, perhaps life could have been a lot easier not having the scary films in it…, but perhaps it is just those fears that have me be so prepared for just about anything in life…?
Anyway, the point is that I very much dislike and avoid scary movies (now that I have say and am not a little kid), but I was exposed to several as a young child, yet I survived.
So, if you are watching a film, and discover in the middle that it might be a bit too gory or freaky for a child in the room, don’t worry too much… you’ll probably traumatize them much more with other things in life than with that movie… I don’t encourage the scary films – not at all – but I recommend not panicking too badly, if they end up seeing something you think might be a bit much for them… they’ll survive. 😂