Throughout the summer of 2017, a YouTuber called Your Movie Sucks started a trend where people would reveal things in film & TV shows that traumatised them as children. I decided to step in this bandwagon at the right time. It didn't work but I'm still revealing what might've scared me as a kid.
1: Anyway, I better kick things off & what better way to start off than the most embarrassing.
I don't know why but I never liked the sight of somebody getting hit in the face with a pie or a cake. Nowadays, I think it's a waste of food but I didn't think that as a kid. It even got to the point where I would sometimes look AWAY from the TV. However, this mentality doesn't apply to cartoons because I could tell nobody was humiliated. I think I've calmed down as an adult, but I still don't consider wasting food by using them as projectile weapons funny.
2: A common addition to the YouTuber's trauma lists were spooky kids TV shows like Goosebumps & Are You Afraid Of The Dark? but I never watched these shows so don't expect any traumas for them. But don't lose hope because there was one spooky kids show I watched prominently & that was Grizzly Tales For Grusome Kids, a show that told stories about rotten kids who get all sorts of nasty commupances. I couldn't think of anything traumatic, but then I remembered one brief shot that gave me a little shock. In the episode "The Barber Of Civil," two misbehaving kids get a visit from a barber who trims their tongues in the end. The framing device in all episodes is a stop-motion segment with the narrator. Sometimes, he has a cheeky habit of shape-shifting into things relating to the story in the episode. Here was what he transformed into in this episode.
A giant tongue. Can you not blame me for wincing a little bit. The way it was animated was guaranteed to cause a jump scare.
3: In 2008, I became a fan of Indiana Jones & that would cause me to witness some messed-up imagery. I would mention the classic moments like the face-melting scene, the heart removal or the rapidly aging Donovan, but my most memorable shock reaction is from Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. I may have been excited to see it in theatres but I was not prepared for this.
My jaw dropped when I saw that for the first time. Bugs are normally common in the franchise, but I didn't know that a flock of killer ants were confident enough to crawl into your mouth. Don't worry, I still walked out of the theatre loving the film, but that visual would never leave my head.
4: But that wasn't the only trauma in the screening that day. I also remember a commercial that intended to spread a message about being careful when driving. In the commercial, a man is calling his wife whilst driving. He crashes the car & is possibly dead. The sudden loud crashing noise combined with the wife's concerns over the phone got me sitting really still.
5: Another common addition to the lists was the inclusion of an animated Disney film. I would love to continue that tradition, but I have something else in mind.
Yup, I got scared in the wonderful world of Disney's Animal Kingdom. This 3D attraction hosted by Flick from A Bug's Life starts off fairly light-hearted. A bunch of bugs demonstrate their abilities as an excuse to show off some cheap 3D tricks. But then, HE shows up.
Hopper gives a truthful speech about how dangerous humans are to bugs (he's right, you know) & then he gives us a taste of our own medicine. Some bug spray covers the room & then it goes dark. Suddenly, we're all cowering for our lives while we get stung by hornets & get greeted by spiders. Looking back as an adult, it's all part of the fun but I can see why I never wanted to go on this ride again as a kid.
6: If you thought my theme park troubles were over, you were wrong. Universal Orlando Resort once had a ride based on the 1996 disaster flick Twister. I didn't want to get on the ride after witnessing the pre-show. It's mainly an introduction by Bill Paxton & Helen Hunt (or their characters). But before that, bits & pieces of the opening scene played.
That was one of my first memorable experiences with tension. I don't blame myself for being terrified of what was going on in this scene. A family tried to protect themselves from a powerful storm & the father gets sucked away. I didn't go on the ride till years later. A year before it shut down for good, convenient.
7: I don't know why my dad taped Spirited Away but I'm glad he did because I got introduced to the wonders of Miyazaki at a young age. This also means that I was not prepared for the imagination that Studio Ghibli is famous for.
A family look around an empty village & the parents start eating food that's lying around. Their grumpy daughter, Chihiro, wanders off. The warning from Haku kickstarts the intrigue. Chihiro returns to her parents to let them know that she wants to leave.
Oh my god, they've eaten way too much. Look at how fat they've gotten.
If that wasn't enough, the spirits start showing up, Chihiro in a state of panic & she suddenly starts to slowly become transparent. So much WTF imagery in one scene.
8: As a kid, there were two cartoons that magnetised me to two of the big kids networks. For Nickelodeon, it was Spongebob Squarepants & for Cartoon Network, it was Ben 10. The latter of which had a ballsy moment that's on-par with the powerful scenes I've seen as a teenager & adult. In the episode Secret Of The Omnitrix, Ben, Gwen & two aliens travels to the far reaches of space to find the creator of the Omnitrix in order to prevent a deadly self-destruct countdown. When they finally arrive on the planet where the creator's hiding, this happens.
Now, action scenes are common in the series but there aren't much stakes since we all know that everybody makes it out OK.
Well that shut me up. There's no hope of rescue & she's presumed dead immediately. Don't worry, she makes it out later on but yeesh, my childhood self was not prepared for such a brace move. Looking back at this scene as an adult, I consider it the birth of Mature Ben from the first two seasons of Ben 10: Alien Force because I doubt that they'll be insulting each other after that.
9: Harry Potter was a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Because of this, there's so many opportunities for trauma, but my memories think about the mind blowing visual effects instead of freaky stuff. But there was something that legitimately scared me as a kid & it came in the form of these guys.
I can't remember when exactly but the Death Eaters were responsible for giving me the shivers as a young lad. I believe it was mainly in Order Of The Phoenix where they battle with Dumbledore's Army (led by Harry) & The Order. I don't know what kicked it. Maybe it was the fact that I saw it on the big screen where all the surround sound is. Maybe it was Bellatrix killing Sirius Black & proceeding to laugh about it. Maybe it was when Voldemort tried to invade Harry's mind in the final battle. Whatever it was, it freaked me out & as a result, I didn't want to see these specific faces on the big screen again. To this day, I regret my decision to skip seeing The Half Blood Prince & I'm glad my family persuaded me to see both of The Deathly Hallows films.
10: Deck The Halls with boughs of holly. Fa la la la la la la la la. Tis the season to be jolly. Fa la la la la la la la la
When I went to see A Christmas Carol in theatres, I was not prepared for all the gothic craziness. Don't get me wrong, I've seen Mickey's Christmas Carol & The Muppet Christmas Carol before this & I don't think I was traumatised by those. This on the other hand, I remember the jump scares being effective in a surround sound environment. The Marley doorknob is especially guilty of making me leap from my seat very briefly. But that's just the beginning. There's a lot more messed-up imagery in this movie, including those but not limited to:
a ghost with a snapping jaw........as if ghosts have the same physicalities of a corpse &
the Ghost Of Christmas Present dissolving into a skeleton. What the fuck, Disney?
11: The Simpsons was a part of my childhood for as long as I can remember. I tried my hardest to find a traumatic moment from the Treehouse Of Horror episodes, but I couldn't think of anything. Maybe the show's too funny. But, it turns out that I was looking at the wrong holiday? One scene that freaked me out a little bit was in a Christmas episode. In the episode Miracle On Evergreen Terrace, Bart sneaks down the house to open his presents & what could possibly go wrong?
Yup......he sets the tree on fire. It shouldn't sound like too much, but I was a kid who loved Christmas, this wasn't the kind of imagery I wanted to see. But I guess I missed the detail about the tree being plastic because when the tree melted, I was like............what?
Take a good look at that. The close-up with the inflating hose especially looked disgusting.
Mine was the werewolf transformation of An American Werewolf in London. It made me afraid of the full moon.