So take it away, Kris...
Alan Spencer had the idea that since Samhain Publishing will be releasing our newest books this month that we swap blogs and talk about a movie that legitimately scared us. This was a wonderful idea, yet also the most terrifying idea I’d ever heard. In fact, I could probably fill several pages about why picking something that scared me is just as frightening, but I digress, I will not bore any of Alan’s readers with those arguments.
I grew up watching horror movies, literally grew up watching them on the weekends as kid and then throughout the week until one day when I began consuming them on a daily basis. I saw Friday the 13th (original) for the first time when I was five years old on Commander USA on the USA network. I drew pictures in crayon of young Jason Voorhees leaping out of the water and pulling poor Alice into the murky depths of Crystal Lake. My Mom, always the supporter, hung those same drawings on the fridge proudly, for everyone to see. Family members who came to visit had mixed reactions about what little Krist was getting in to.
I guess those could be considered my first dips into the world of horror, and my first critics.
But did Friday the 13th scare me? Kind of, but I was more amazed than frightened. I became obsessed with Jason Voorhees and watched as many slasher movies as I could. Masked and unmasked madmen (and Madman Marz) brutalizing people desensitized me to extreme scenes of violence in horror movies, so it was hard to “scare” me.
So, what did it, huh? What was the movie that scared me?
Actually, it wasn’t a movie at all. It was a movie trailer.
And that movie was Child’s Play.
I remember watching Halloween III: Season of the Witch on television. It broke for commercial, and this trailer began rolling of this little boy trying to convince an older man that Chucky was real. Of course the man didn’t believe the kid, and was, in return, trying to convince the kid he was imagining it. Then we get a flurry of images of people being stalked and slashed. The clip that did it for me though, was the low tracking shot behind Chucky—when he’s walking up the hall, the voodoo knife just in the corner of the frame. I’m not sure why but the stiff movements of Chucky’s arm, and the twisting lines on the knife’s blade scared the hell out of me. I tried not to show it to my parents, because if they were to know the movies were scaring me, they wouldn’t let me watch them. The only reason I was allowed to view them was because I watched them for what they were: Make-believe.
But that autumn night, it was me waking up from a nightmare, slicked in gelid sweat. I had to use the bathroom and was so terrified of Chucky’s knife bursting through the A/C vent while I was peeing that I almost cried.
Something coming through A/C vents stayed with me all my life because of that. I finally used it in The Lurkers. It’s a short moment where Haunchies are coming from the floors, but to me it has an extreme impact.
When I finally saw the movie Child’s Play I thought it was wonderful, a good time, and I knew that Chucky was going to stick around. Did the movie scare me? Nope. Not like that trailer had. But, I still consider that shot of Chucky woodenly stalking through the hall to be one of the best shots in cinema. Since the movie was directed by Tom Holland, who also directed my favorite movie of all time, Fright Night, memorable shots like that wasn't surprising.
Thanks Kris! And don't forget to swing by Amazon, Barnes&Noble, or Samhain Publishing's website to check out his novels. They're horror fan approved!