Andy Gray asks, “What was the first movie you ever saw? And the first time you experienced terror in a movie theater?”
I remember wanting to see a movie in the theater, and not being able to, but I don’t know if I had seen a movie before that time or not. I think the movie was Snow White, and Mom and I (and the boys, probably) were walking in a mall, and I saw a poster for the movie and asked if we could see it. It’s hard to remember exactly what the place looked like, but I think we were in Turfland Mall, because Mom used to always take us to the Walgreens there.
She said no, and I thought it was unfair, but the truth was we really couldn’t afford to go to the movies, and we probably didn’t have time, either. What with Mom’s 36-hour weekend work schedule and Dad’s inconsistent journeyman wireman jobs, it was hard for us to get out a lot.
I do know that one time we managed to see E.T. at a drive-in. I think we had the station wagon at the time, because I remember lying on blankets in the back. You could lower all the seats behind the driver into a flat surface, so I think that’s what we did. It was late at night, and I fell asleep. Years later, I finally watched E.T. in its entirety on TV.
There is one other movie memory from my youth that is also my scary movie memory. Mom took us to the theater to see Baby, a movie about a baby dinosaur. Only there were dinosaur hunters in the movie, and during one scene they attack and kill the baby’s mother. The scene was so upsetting that we left immediately; I have never seen the whole movie, nor do I have any desire to.
I was always the type to be very sensitive to what happened in the story. Many things scared and upset me. As such, I have avoided standard horror movies into my adulthood.
It’s only in recent years that I’ve seen films like Carrie (and not in its entirety), Event Horizon (terrible–and not because it was scary, it was just stupid), and Piranha (which was hilarious). As longtime readers know, my attempt at watching Pulp Fiction was unsuccessful.