Growing Up Scared… 80s Horror
Welcome to October Fear Fest here at The Midnight Society! It is our favorite month of the year when all the ghosties and ghoulies come out to play. Mwahahahahaha!
Horror history week! I give you a glimpse of 80s horror. I remember the horror in my history. I am a child of the 80s and there are a few movies I watched as a kid that stuck with me, that still give me chills, that left images permanently burned into my mind.
I can’t say that I knew I liked horror back in the good ole days. I only knew that if my dad was watching it, it must be cool. And no matter what appeared on the screen, I stayed, my gaze glued to the flickering images of weird. THANKS, DAD!!!!!!!! <3
In 1985 for my 13th birthday (yes, a slumber party!), I requested two movies.
The Watcher in the Woods. 1980.
This was my first haunted mystery, my first ghost story. I loved this movie. I still do. At times the word NAREK echoes in my mind as does the scene in the burned church where the story of the dead girl unfolds. This movie planted the idea that ghosts haunt the world for a reason, to tell their story.
Gizmo! What 13-year-olds don’t want to scream and giggle all at the same time? Laugh one minute at the silly antics of the little demons, then hide behind slightly spread fingers as people die terrible deaths. And boy did this movie make me want to follow ALL THE RULES!
At another friend’s slumber party I was introduced to…
A Nightmare on Elm Street. 1984.
Dude. If you die in your dream, you die. Freddy Krueger was the king of the 80s. Those claws…
I’m not sure where I stumbled upon these next movies… at a friend’s house, on TV… somewhere. All I do know is I will never forget them.
A collection of stories, but one sticks out in my mind. The Crate.
It’s evil. It kills. At the end of the tale… it’s free.
Cat’s Eye. 1985.
Once again, a collection of stories all linked by the wanderings of a cat. Quitter’s Inc., anyone? Missing a finger, anyone? But the one that really got me was the tale starring Drew Barrymore titled “General”. The cat is the only defense this little girl has against the breath-stealing troll that comes out at night.
I’ll never forget the parents finding that little knife at the end… and all the pieces of the troll after the cat destroyed it.
This one mixed humor into the scary, but the scene where he opens the medicine cabinet and falls into the darkness behind… creepy-awesome.
The Gate. 1987.
The demon hands reaching from under the bed… is the reason why I jumped from my door to my bed for years! And these little demons?
They freaked me out!
Remember drive-in movies? Mom always said we should be asleep for the second movie. Well? NAH! I might miss something.
An American Werewolf in London. 1981.
My first werewolf movie. This one had humor mixed into the maiming and dead people. Now, the special effects transformation scenes would be a bit out-of-date, but then, to me, it was terrifying! The song “Ebony and Ivory” played at the end of this movie and, whenever I hear it, the terrible dark sadness from this movie floods back into my mind.
And finally, when my dad leaned out of the car to tell my sister and me that we might not want to watch, I did and witnessed the fabulous terror of…
Which explains my fear of dolls, why I watched the huge, creepy tree that swayed and groaned outside my window., and, hey, don’t get sucked into the closet or sit so close to the TV.
And this leads me to the fun we will have on Saturday, October 10th at 9 EST! Join me for a live-tweet of Poltergeist (the original 1982 film, not the new one, though I know it’s out on DVD now). Heck, join in for all the creeptastic stuff here at The Midnight Society!
Anyway, I’ll leave you with those tidbits from my childhood, hopefully giving you a glimpse of why I’m the way I am. Please don’t run away…
What about you? What horror lurks in YOUR history?
Movies brought to you from the past. Go watch them.
Pics from Google Images.
I love that you picked Poltergeist from your tweet along since it had such an impact on you as a kid. 🙂
Kathy PalmFaith McKay
Those are all fantastic picks! Movies that gave me nightmares because I saw them at a young age: Poltergeist, Ants, Food of the Gods, The Final Conflict, Creepshow, The Shining, Jaws.
By 1985 I was 11 and fully into horror, so I got to enjoy most of the ’80s stuff when it came out. We had a video store that would rent anything to anyone, so my friends and I spent entire summers watching horror movies. From Faces of Death to Chopping Mall, I’ve seen almost every movie made through about 1992.
Growing up with my mom, horror wasn’t something I got to see a lot of. Poor me. So I missed lots! I didn’t really get into horror until my late teens. However, I found enough to scar me for life and that’s all that matters.
And… when I was 12 we went to Universal Studios in CA and Jaws came out of the water to attack the train we were on. It. Was. Awesome.