As a movie fanatic with a penchant for nostalgia, I have a sincere appreciation for typically any film I first watched as a child. As I get older, I realize more and more how large of a role they played in shaping me psychologically into the adult I pretend to be today. Most are wonderful, fond childhood memories that I still watch today with the same eagerness I did as a kid with my matching lunchbox and thermos.
Then there are the others. Those movies that took an unassuming, mental sponge of a little girl and warped her psyche to such proportions that even today I maintain fresh scarring around… whatever it is that screws up nice people. In fact, the scars are so deeply rooted, they are now just a part of who I am as a human being, never to be fixed or cured.
So, I’m going to go there. I’m taking the plunge and delving into the top most traumatizing movies of my childhood, many of which I may never fully recover.
1. Jurassic Park.
Dear Mr. Spielberg/Life Ruiner,
Dude, thanks for making one of my favorite movies as a kid, “We’re Back: A Dinosaur Story.” It really fueled my dreams of meeting a kind-hearted dinosaur named Rex who talks to birds and eats magic cereal!
Oh, and thanks for destroying those dreams with JURASSIC motherf***ing PARK.
Nothing explains PTSD more clearly than watching a hungry velociraptor race down a industrial kitchen aisle towards a sobbing little girl as she frantically tries to pull down a stuck cabinet door to keep from being EATEN. No wait, not just watching it happen, but watching it happen from The. Point. Of. View. Of. The. Velociraptor.
P.S. But Steven, you also made Hook, so we’re totally cool.
2. Poltergeist I, II, III.
Mr. Spielberg. We meet again.
Where do I even BEGIN.
How about…being a little girl named Caroline and listening to a creepy little lady and ghost/demon say “Carolaanne…Carolanne…” over and over and over? Let me tell you, at 8 years old, the difference between Caroline and Carol Anne doesn't exist. So that was fun.
Or watching a child lie in bed in the middle of the night look back over at the chair across the room and the toy (Maybe a CLOWN. (srsly, spielberg?)) that had been sitting there previously is GONE…and now at your bed and trying to kill you?
Or, perhaps it’s the sequel, where a skeleton-like old man comes to your front door and starts screaming at you that your whole family is going to die?
Or maybe even in Movie #3 where the poltergeist is coming through the mirrors?
LOLOLOLOLOLOLZ I’M LAUGHING TO KEEP FROM CRYING THINKING ABOUT IT HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT STEVEN
3. The Great Mouse Detective
Before you all audibly gasp at this on the list, I love this movie. Truly. And I had a big crush on Basil, but that’s a different story. It really comes down to one single life-ruining scene. THIS:
Why must there be a peg-legged bat hiding in a toy baby bassinet with a bonnet? No, really. Why. WHY.
And finally, we reach the end-all-be-all.
The Queen Mother.
This movie has done more damage to my psychological growth than any of the movies I mentioned above combined. Not just one scene or two, no. The ENTIRE movie. If you’re asking yourself why I would say such a thing, then (1) you clearly have never seen Pinocchio, and (2) I'm going to explain.
a. Walking to school and being approached by a fox (as in the animal) wearing a trench coat.
b. Hoards of young boys being kidnapped and taken by a giant, mustached Italian man to an isolated location called PLEASURE ISLAND.
c. Said hoards of young boys turning into DONKEYS…leaving you the only one unchanged and completely vulnerable.
d. Being a puppet. (let's be honest.)
e. **BEING SWALLOWED BY A GIANT MAN-EATING BLACK WHALE NAMED MONSTRO AND HAVING TO FIGHT IT OFF WHILE STILL SWIMMING IN THE WATER:
In case you were wondering why exactly my greatest, most irrational and debilitating fear in the entire world is the whale, now you know.
...So, basically… Everything absolutely horrifying, demented, and inexplicably wrong that could happen to a child in one animated movie? Yep.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be over in the corner crying at my own shadow.