As Halloween is coming fast upon us I wondered, do you remember the first time that a film or a TV series scared the bejeezus out of you? You know the sort of thing, you’re utterly terrified but you just can’t tear your eyes away from the screen. I remember hiding behind the sofa when the Daleks ventured onto the set of Doctor Who but it was watching a film called the Medusa Touch which gave me my first experience with blind terror…
I was at home on my own so I must have been a teenager and I guess it was early evening when I started watching the film. It wasn’t a horror film per se as it was distinctly lacking in blood and gore but the suspense! Oh my God! As psychological thrillers go this was up there with the best. It played with my mind in such a way that every slight noise in the house made me jump and huddle closer to the dog for comfort. I should point out that the dog in question was an extremely anti-social miniature dachshund who had little or not interest in scary films or hysterical teenagers and was therefore no help whatsoever but still……
It was getting towards the end of the film and the suspense had built and built; I could not take my eyes off the screen, I’m fairly sure I’d stopped blinking altogether by this point.
“What was that?!” I asked the dog
He didn’t answer but gave me a withering look and wandered off looking for food, obviously thoroughly exasperated with my jumps and gasps. This time, however, I wasn’t jumping at nothing, I could hear someone moving about upstairs; I broke into a cold sweat. I tried to tell myself that it was my over active imagination but then I heard footsteps on the stairs; the second from the top creaked……and there it was……creeaaak.
My heart was was going like the clappers, my palms were sweaty; what was I going to do? I was all alone in the house, I didn’t have time to get a weapon and the dog was no bloody use. I’d forgotten all about the film. I was on my feet and staring at the frosted glass door that separated hall from living room, there was someone there. I was frozen with terror as the door handle turned with unbearable slowness….
And then my Dad walked in. I screamed at the top of my lungs which in turn scared the crap out of him so he yelled causing the dog to come hurtling into the room, frantically barking and snarling and looking for someone to bite.
After we’d all calmed down a bit I figured out that, I’d been so intent on this damn film, I hadn’t heard my Dad come in from work. It was only in a very quiet and mind numbingly scary moment that my brain registered a presence.
Needless to say there were a few nightmares after all this and I was banned from watching scary films until I was 18. At 16, I watched the Amityville Horror at the cinema which, predictably gave me terrible nightmares which, in turn, woke up my parents…I was not popular!
What was your first scary movie? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you