By Maya Mabern
It’s “spooky season,” as some would call it, and as per the time of year, I’ve been thinking about the spookiest, scariest, campiest horror movies I can watch. Unfortunately, some of my favorites like “Scream,” “Carrie” and the “Scary Movie” franchise don’t seem to be streaming anywhere for free. This prompted me to dig a little deeper.
Here’s all the movies that scared me as a child and will hopefully satisfy your spooky needs.
- The Incredibles
It was (probably) a mild, overcast December day in 2004 when my father decided to take me to see the highly-anticipated Pixar release, “The Incredibles.” It was the most talked-about film in my kindergarten class. About 30 minutes in, or whenever the villain first showed up, I decided this was not the film for me and started crying in the theater, prompting my father to escort me out. It would be 10 years before I would see the full film.
- Finding Nemo
I’m pretty sure this film wasn’t just scary for me. It should’ve been scary for everyone. The premise alone is incredibly dark — a search for a missing son captured by a diver — but there is one aspect of the film that scarred an entire generation for life: the anglerfish. Though it didn’t get that much screen time or any real dialogue, the anglerfish — complete with giant, sharp teeth and pupil-less eyes, was enough to deter any weak children from seeing the film through. Much like “The Incredibles.”
- The NeverEnding Story
I’ll be honest: I don’t actually know what this movie is about. All I know is that I don’t want to. At some point in early middle school I was watching a VHS tape and it played a preview of this horrendous, nightmare-inducing film. The dragon-dog character, named Falkor, looks like a creature I would’ve created in a dream, looking just mythical enough to know it shouldn’t exist in real life and just real enough to wonder if it does. It kept me up at night for years.
- Mulholland Drive
One could argue two things about my opinions of this movie. First, I saw this when I was 15, so there is no validity to me being as scared as I was. Second, “Mulholland Drive” is a David Lynch film. All of his work is at least a little creepy, but not scary. I would like to dispute both arguments. I watched this film for the first and only time alone in my room in the middle of a rainy night. I live in Los Angeles, the setting of the movie, so I was able to really visualize the surreal events that happened in the film. Lynch heightened the very real fear I still have to this day: falling over the cliff on Mulholland Drive, which I would drive on regularly with my parents. This fear, coupled with nonsense dream sequences, has plagued me ever since.
- Every MGM movie that began with the roar of Leo the Lion
I grew up in a household of classic movie fans. Because of this, my mother constantly watched old movies and musicals produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, one of the oldest in the world. Besides its role in the innovation of modern film, what made the studio even more well known was its production logo, which featured a lion roaring at the top of its lungs for far too long a time. For years, I had to cover my ears during the introduction of any MGM movie. To this day, I turn down the volume or mute the television altogether.
Though my favorite horror classics may not all be accessible, I’ll be rewatching these from now until Halloween to see if I still scare as easily. I hope you’ll join me.