“Your Scaredest Moment”

That’s the hedder on Father Komonchak’s post at dotCommonweal, asking about readers’ scariest movie memories. His Oscar-week post was prompted by stumbling on the original “Alien” movie again while channel-surfing. That’s a good choice. Mine is below. Saw it in the theater when it came out. 1975. What a year, start of the serious blockbuster. Ruined the surf for me forever.
BTW, in searching for “Jaws” info I came across this excellent post from last year by Beliefnet’s Movie Mom, Nell Minow, discussing scary movies and the difference between scary and gory and violent. Read on…

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Nell Minow

posted February 20, 2009 at 11:57 am

Thanks for the kind words! A psychiatrist once told me she could tell a lot about people from their answer to one question: “What is the scariest part of ‘The Wizard of Oz?'”
Some people say the flying monkeys. Some people say the fireball or Agnes Gulch taking Toto or when the Wicked Witch appears in the crystal ball or when the Wizard flies off in the balloon without Dorothy. For me, it was when the witch said, with meaning “The last to die will see the others die before her.” Still gives me the shivers.
As interesting a question as what scares you is why people like to be scared. There are always long lines at roller coasters and haunted houses. And of the top 20 top grossing movies of all time, all of them are scary at least once or twice and most are scary throughout.

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posted February 21, 2009 at 8:51 am

The Jaws movies are my favorite. I will not go into the ocean; unless I can see the bottom.
After going to the first movie at 15 my family went water skiing. I told my Dad I wasn’t getting in because there may be a shark. He laughed and told me there were NO sharks in the lake, only in the ocean. I really didn’t care at that point and stood on the boat looking in the murkey water and He pushed me in the water!!
That is the scaredest moment.

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posted February 21, 2009 at 10:45 am

Hello, Jaws, Friday the 13, Children of the corn, People love these movies, why???? I have no clue, watching the news is a nightmare, Yvonne

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posted February 21, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Jaws and The Exorcist. Didn’t they come out the same year? I saw them both.
I was a very stupid teenager! Let me tell you. If I let myself really remember just how scared I was by those movies I can literally scare myself silly (and not in a good way) all over again. 34 years later, just like it was yesterday.
I get the shivers even thinking about it.

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Your Name

posted February 22, 2009 at 8:30 am

The scariest movie I ever saw as a small child was Frankenstein. I can’t remember the exact particulars because I think that there were several of the “old” 1930’s Frankenstein movies. I am speaking of the one where “Mrs.” Frankenstein was created. Her hair was about a foot hight, and her eyes were as wild as a wild animal. She laid on the table and Dr. Frankenstein push all of these buttons. Lightening flew wildly from the sky! My mother had to sit on the couch with me and hold my hand. Then, she had to sleep with me and tell me everything was all right. As a child, I relished all of those scary movies. I guess I thought the happenings were real. Back then, a movie had to be out for several years before it could be shown on TV. I would have been between the ages of 9 and 12. The second scariest movie I’ve ever seen was the Exorcist. Remember when her head turned completely around? I believe she also vomited (and I am sorry for that word so early in the morning) all of that horrible green stuff. Believe it or not, I took my precious daughter to that movie. She was approximately 10 years old. I was so stupid when I was young, and I don’t mind telling you so. Perhaps, some young person will read this and take heed. Do not take young children to scary movies! She had nightmares, and I had to sleep with her and comfort her for several nights!

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Your Name

posted February 22, 2009 at 4:24 pm

It was a made for television film, “The Day After”. This film depicts the leadup, and aftermath of a full nuclear exchange between the United States and the former Soviet Union.
One very interesting thing about this film is that it actually had an effect on foreign policy. See
I will quote the relevant section below:
Reagan wrote in his diary that the film “left me greatly depressed.” and that it changed his mind on the prevailing policy on a “nuclear war”. [2] In 1987 during the era of Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika reforms, the film was shown on Soviet television. During the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty at Reykjavik, Meyer received a telegram from the Reagan Administration that said, ‘Don’t think your movie didn’t have any part of this, because it did.'[3]

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bill bannon

posted February 23, 2009 at 10:47 am

Those afraid of the ocean click my homepage where it is safe and shark free.
“Monk” and such shows though they include violence and include the scarey, manage not to firghten and often contain humor even though a murder is almost always involved.
My brother had a college professor whose lost his wife at one point and he found that eventually not right away….that reading mysteries gave him relief from the sorrow involved…the opposite of your scarey movies theme but mysteries always include violence but somehow it is greatly sublimated by the nature of mysteries.

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