I’m a big movie fan, and generally like every movie I see. Of course there are the few oddballs that make me wonder, ‘How exactly did that get made?’ (I’m looking at YOU, Autumn in New York). And of course there’s the handful of movies that I LOVE, movies that I will always love, no matter what, for the rest of my life (thank you, Star Wars).
And then there’s the teeny, tiny sliver of movies that have made a definite impact on me – movies that have affected me so much that I cannot stand to watch them ever again. They are The Movies That Have Scarred Me For Life.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
E.T. is one of those movies that everyone my age had to see when they were kids. And who wouldn’t want to see it? It was about an adorable little boy with an adorable little sister who finds an adorable-ish – looking alien from another planet and tries to keep it as a pet by hiding it amongst a bunch of stuffed animals.
Cute, right? You know what else is cute? Dressing said alien in old ladies’ clothing!
Adorable! What kid wouldn’t love this movie?? Drew Barrymore with a lisp, Reece’s Pieces, stuffed animals, flying bikes, asshole older brothers…what’s not to love???
Well, there’s this…
Yeah, it’s not so happy anymore. Turns out E.T. is actually dying, which makes adorable Elliot also start to die. Elliot starts to recover, but E.T. totally dies until Elliot suddenly finds a magical flower, which brings E.T. back to life. And then E.T. tells poor Elliot that he has to go back to his home planet, leaving Elliot and every kid in America crying until snot covers their face, and then he leaves. GONE.
“I’ll be right here”…well, not really, because I’m totally going back to my home planet without you.
This movie really messed me up. I was really young when I saw this, and I don’t think I was emotionally ready to handle the issues this movie covered. Evil government, scary aliens, Reece’s Pieces, crying boys…IT WAS ALL TOO MUCH.
I haven’t been able to watch the whole thing since.
The Dark Crystal / Labyrinth
I lump these two movies together because they both emit equal amounts of 1980s puppet fantasy horror. I don’t know why movie people thought using scary-ass puppets in their movies was cool, because all it did was evoke horrifying images, such as this:
And no less frightening…
Seriously, people? This is your idea of fun, family-friendly entertainment? Because you might as well have blood dripping from their massive teeth.
Evil puppets aside, the storyline of Labyrinth is pretty disturbing itself: A girl named Sarah can’t find her stupid stuffed teddy bear so she blames her little brother, telling him that she wishes goblins would take him away. The next thing we see is that her little brother actually does vanish, and Sarah spends the rest of the movie trying to find him. Of course to find him she must go through this insane maze where she solves logic puzzles, almost gets beheaded, dances in a drug-induced masquerade ball, and gets distracted by David Freaking Bowie when he tries to get jiggy with her.
Unlike Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal doesn’t contain any humans. It’s ALL puppet, thanks to the evil mind of Jim Henson. It’s about an elf-like creature called a Gelfing named Jen who embarks on a quest to find the missing piece of The Dark Crystal and restore the balance of the universe.
But the plot is not important. The only thing that you should be worried about is this:
Just tell her she looks pretty, if you value your life.
Seriously, Gelfings…get a room.
The sad thing is, being a lover of fantasy books and movies, I would love these movies if it weren’t for the puppets. The atmosphere and effects of the movies are amazing, but the puppets are diabolical dolls that should not be allowed on film.
Which brings me to another character that should never be allowed on film:
Let’s clear something up first: I actually like this movie. Some of Stephen King’s stories are actually kind of fun, and this made-for-TV version of It is one of them. But there’s the issue with the main character of the movie.
The f***ing clown.
His name is Pennywise the Dancing Clown, and he is the reason why every child of the 90s hates the circus. “It” actually personifies the greatest fears of all the characters in the story, but mainly takes the form of this f***ing clown, who lures children away from their safe homes and then kills them.
Please, for the love of clowns, do not go into the sewer.
The plot of the story is actually pretty interesting, which is why I like this movie. But after twenty years, I still can’t get over the f***ing clown.
AND NEITHER WILL YOU.
One Magic Christmas
For some reason my parents loved this movie when I was a kid. It was about a family at Christmastime who has no money because the dad has been unemployed since June, so the mom takes a crappy job at a crappy grocery store and becomes a total Scrooge because of it, and her poor kids are expecting all these presents for Christmas because they still believe in Santa Claus, but in reality all they’re getting is a loaf of bread from the crappy grocery store where Mom works.
Then the little girl meets Gideon, a “guardian angel”, or maybe one of Santa’s elves, who knows. Mom becomes grumpier and grumpier, hates her life more and more, until Christmas Eve when she gets fired from the grocery store, a crazy gunman shoots her husband and then steals the car her children are in, and then Mom watches as the car falls off a bridge and into a frozen river.
But then it turns out that Gideon the Magic Elf Angel saved the kids from the car, so they’re still alive. The little girl asks Gideon to bring her dad back, but Gideon tells her that only Santa Claus can bring him back.
Gideon then takes the little girl to the North Pole to meet the man who can bring back her deceased father, who then gives her a letter her grumpy mom wrote to him when she was a little girl. He thinks this letter will help her mom suddenly cheer up or something.
So when the little girl comes back home and shows her mom the letter, Mom suddenly realizes the true meaning of Christmas. It’s not about presents or loaves of bread or ugly corsages, it’s about family. And as soon as she realizes this, she gets to re-live her horrible Christmas Eve. Instead of shooting her husband, the crazy gunman wishes her a Merry Christmas, she doesn’t get fired from the grocery store (but she still has to wear the corsage), and she meets the real Santa Claus, who’s busy sticking presents under the tree. THE END.
This movie depressed the hell out of me when I was kid, and not the good kind of depressed you usually feel when watching a sad movie. This was the kind of depressed you feel when you think the world is ending and all you want to do is throw up.
If there is one movie I will actively keep my daughter away from, it is One Magic Christmas.
What is it with Stephen King creating characters that mess with my brain? If Pennywise the Dancing Clown wasn’t horrible enough, he came out with Zelda Goldman in Pet Sematary. “Zelda” isn’t a clown, nor is she a puppet. She is in fact a human being…that is if you want to call an emaciated skeleton with a voice like a Devil Frog a human being.
Zelda died of spinal meningitis as a child, and now haunts the memory of her sister Rachel, mainly because Rachel is filled with guilt over the fact that she let Zelda die by choking on food. She was so terrified and disgusted by Zelda that she just let her die. And now she – and the poor people that have to watch these scenes in the movie – is paying for it.
I came across another WordPress blog post about Zelda here. It makes me happy to know that I’m not alone out there, that’s there are other sane people completely terrified of a woman who screeches “Raaaaaaaachel” while twisting around on her bed.
This is just unnecessary and should never be looked at again.
If I’m ever watching Pet Sematary on TV, I’ll usually change the channel when the Zelda scenes come on. Because I can’t. I just can’t.
So those are the movies that are not allowed in my house. What are some movies that have affected you in negative ways?