In case you haven't heard, Jurassic Park is being re-released in 3D this weekend to celebrate its 20 year anniversary (and make money). I know I'm aging myself here, but when I walked into a screening of the film last Tuesday, my thoughts were as follows: "just get through it." Because at age six, I ran out of the film before its conclusion, in what would be my first of many panic attacks. Why? Well A, because my parents shouldn't have been taking their six-year-old to Jurassic Park, but B, because of the terrifying raptor mess that ruined kitchens for me forever. It's why I tell my imaginary boyfriend I don't like to cook. Need a refresher? See below:
Now, 20 years later, that is still f**king terrifying. Thanks, Spielberg. I don't know how the man managed to convince a nation that T-Rex's aren't really that scary because as long as you don't move they can't see you (which, I'm pretty sure, is at least SOMEWHAT factually incorrect), but ever since JP came out it's been known that raptors are the dinos you don't want to mess with. Thanks, Lex and Tim, for learning that lesson for us. To feel better about being a grown woman who is afraid of a species that died out eons ago, I asked my colleagues to list movie scenes that terrified them both now, and way back when. Now, I feel much better about myself. Here's why:
Lindsey DiMattina is afraid of Bambi: "Watching Bambi run from the fire with his father was one of the most terrifying experiences I had as a 3-year-old. Since watching Bambi I have been horrified that a fire may one day destroy my surroundings and everything I love — and subconsciously, I think it has caused me to have OCD and neurotically check to see that my stove is off and that my curling iron is unplugged before I leave my apartment every day."
Matt Patches is afraid of Doc Brown: "Caught up in the cartoonish nature of a live-action movie (Roger Rabbit) blew my mind as a kid, with the flurry of cameos only adding to the glee. Then Christopher Lloyd showed up and killed a anthropomorphic shoe. I handled that fine, both now and as a kid. What I couldn't handle is Lloyd's "Judge Doom" pulling off his face to reveal he was actually the maniacal toon that killed Eddie Valient's brother. The voice, the eyes, the hair... horrifying. Still horrifying."
Aly Semigran is afraid of pink elephants: "Hey kids, wanna know what a PCP-fueled fever dream might look like? Sure you do! The menacing, nightmare-inducing "Pink Elephants" sequence in Dumbo is unnerving on so many levels: from that chilling, vaguely threatening song, the terrifying imagery, and the fact that these terrible spawns came from the young, sweet mind of Dumbo who wanted to do nothing more than blow a bubble. Hold me."
Abbey Stone is afraid of an owl with a monocle: "Nothing gave me more nightmares as a child than the horror that is Rock a Doodle. Don't let the chipper trailer voiceover fool you with its talk of "newfound friends," rock star roosters, and "magical, mythical, musical adventure for the whole family," this movie is f**king terrifying. A grotesque owl with a monocle and a maniacal laugh turns a real life boy into an animated kitten and then tries to eat him? No thank you very much. The transformation scene at the beginning is the stuff that therapy thrives on."
Alicia Lutes is afraid of brooms: "Cleaning. Non-stop cleaning. Always cleaning, always throwing away, no matter what. The thought brings fear, anxiety, and terror to the mind of many a child the world over. It's so BORING and takes forever and is totally not fun. Mops and brooms?! Those are parents' tools — not kids. Being that I was of the really-can't-be-bothered-to-pick-up-after-myself brigade as a youth, the thought of an army of mops and brooms come to life was a nightterror of the highest order. Looking back on Fantasia now as an adult still makes me uncomfortable, but mostly because it confuses me why Mickey — king of all things wholesome and child-like — would dabble in the seemingly-dark arts. And with such a menacing, ploddingly uptempo soundtrack? No thanks, my dudes. Plus who wants to be chased by a bunch of cleaning supplies you thought you could control but actually can't? It sounds like a story for a therapist's couch. Or an overworked housekeeper. Or, you know, the fever daydreams that ensure I keep a tidy home as an adult. Instill the fear young enough and you're guaranteed an anxiety-ridden but highly-tidy adult existence."
Kelsea Stahler is afraid of unicorns: Truth: The Last Unicorn still scares me. Other truth: This may or may not mean I'm a wimp. Living trees? Flaming red bulls chasing beautiful unicorns? Old hags? The "great unknown"? Christopher Lee playing the same character he plays in everything? And why are all these creatures trying to destroy that beautiful Mia Farrow unicorn? Admittedly, this movie is too much of a cartoon to be truly scary, but the memory of my childhood nightmares inspired by this movie (see: me as unicorn fleeing various barnyard animals engulfed in flames) are enough to deliver a spooky feeling at the mere mention of the movie.
Michael Arbeiter is afraid of Fred... No, not that one: "In the early 1990s, before I developed a taste for slapstick humor, I’d often find myself at odds with Drop Dead Fred. A family friend would play the video on repeat, delighting in the dark humor, while I amounted nothing but tremendous horror over the scene in which Rik Mayall’s head is squashed in a refrigerator. The clip isn’t quite as terrifying as I remember, but it does trigger vivid memories of intense anxiety…"
Christian Blauvelt is afraid of a cartoon pirate: "Everything about Captain Hook in Disney’s Peter Pan is terrifying. Everything. His protruding, Leno-esque chin. His Dalí mustache. His impossibly broad Captain Morgan hat. The fact that he imprisons fairies in glass jars. That one of his hands was severed and replaced by a hook! Peter Pan was the first movie I ever saw in a theater—back in the day when Disney actually used to re-release their classics for big-screen distribution. Hook scared the living daylights out of me. You can only imagine the sheer terror that overcame me when I first saw Hook “for real” at Disney World, shortly after seeing the movie. Just the memory of seeing this character seemingly leap off the movie screen and into real life is something I will never get over."
And, Finally, Kate Ward is afraid of David Bowie: "Labyrinth's sexual assaulting, ahem, "helping" hands were bad enough. But nothing quite burned into my brain like the movie's Firey characters, whose gangly limbs were only less terrifying than ability to decapitate one another… for fun. I still lose my head every time I watch it."
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[PHOTO CREDIT: Universal Pictures]