We all remember our firsts: first kiss, first holiday, first best friend, first home but do you remember the first thing which truly scared you?
When I was introducing Women In Horror Month I said that Horror was a very personal genre, and what may scare one person will cause another to laugh out loud (much like when hubby laughs at the end of Titanic when Leo slips into the water whilst I’m reaching for my third box of tissues!). The monsters, serial killers, things that go bump in the night, we all have our own triggers and effectively tapping in to those is what ultimately links writer and reader.
My First Monster
Many UK readers will remember a comedy duo called ‘The Two Ronnies’. Their long-running skit show was a stable of weekend TV during the 80’s and I remember they had a long-running sketch featuring ‘The Phantom Raspberry Blower Of Old London Town’. I remember between the chatting farmers and endless stories from Ronnie Corbett there was a very dark sketch, loosely based on Jack the Ripper. The sketches followed the misadventures of a police officer trying to catch a killer who would ‘Raspberry’ his victims. It was all very tongue-in-cheek but I remember watching these skits through my fingers (much the same as others watched Dr Who from behind the sofa!). For years, the face of the ‘Raspberry Blower’ haunted me and doing a google search to find a picture for this piece, the terror returned. He reminds me a lot of the Babadook. What do you think?
My First Alien Encounter
I dontvremember the first time I saw ‘Alien’ or the sequels, although I did love Sigourney Weaver in all of them so I can’t say if I saw them before or after a movie which still gives me shivers today: Event Horizon.
This is a family site so I won’t share any of the gorier images from the film but the synopsis is that a rescue mission is launched when the space ship ‘Event Horizon’ reappears after going missing. Turns out it wasn’t caught in a black hole, but rather somewhere far more demon-filled. It’s not soon before the evil crew decide decide to remind the rescue team of their own inner demons, slowly driving team to madness. It’s gory, blood-filled and showcases a range of human emotions from guilt, despair and friendship. I remember being too terrified after watching this film I couldn’t drive home and I t’s still one of my favourite movies.
My First Serial Killer
I’d seen copies of ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ and ‘Halloween’ at friends houses and whilst they had creeped me out, none freaked me out the same way Scream did. I’m not a huge fan of serial killer movies, mostly because they follow the same format: a killer out for revenge slowly murders his victims one-by-one in ever more ridiculous ways until the sprightly protagonist overcomes him (and it’s usually a him) in the last act. However, Scream brought something new to the genre, highlighting the silliness of the genre as well as giving a number of Easter eggs for fans of horror. Yes, people die is impressive manners but I remember not being disapppointed when the credits started rolling and worse, I couldn’t answer the phone for weeks!
So, those are my most memorable ‘firsts’. Do you remember the first horror movie you saw? Do they still scare you now?