Top 5 Movies that Thrilled, Terrified and Inspired Me

Recently my seven year old son has been trying to sneak scary movies into his Netflix queue. Not just R.L Stine Goosebumps scary but real horror shows.

Cabin in the Wood

Cabin in the Wood (Photo credit: Ludie Cochrane)

Yes, that’s correct. As you can see by the image to the right, he thought I was going to let him watch A Cabin In The Woods. Nice try, buddy. A PG rating is apparently too tame for him.

So in an effort to steer him towards movies that will scare–rather than traumatize–him, I’ve been putting together a list of some movies that have mom’s “seal of approval.” Kind of tougher than I thought.

In trying to put together a list, I remembered shows that I had watched as a kid–and maybe shouldn’t have!–that influenced me (i.e., left me with images and nightmares for years and sometimes decades to come). There were probably about five that I watched as a pre-teen or younger that really scared me. Of those, only ONE will make the list of shows I’ll let my son watch. (Actually, I’ll let my son watch movie no. 3, but I don’t think he’ll take me up on that one.) As to the others…what the heck was I (and the adults around me) thinking?

5.  The Changeling

The Changeling (film)

The Changeling (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the first slumber parties I remember going to, besides the sudden freedom of hanging out with ten other girls from the class until all hours, I remember the movie the parents had approved for our viewing pleasure. Needless to say, images of antique wheelchairs chasing me down and little kids drowning in the bathtub haunted me many more nights than any pleasure I had from the party.

4. Silver Bullet

Before he starred in the terrifying and campy Vampire movie, The Lost Boys, Corey Haim had me checking wooden sheds for werewolves in this scary flick. Another coincidence that Corey was confined to a wheelchair–albeit an awesome wheelchair–that he used to outrace the werewolf in one freaky scene? (For all you Anne of Green Gables lovers, Megan Follows also starts as the sister.)

3. Rear Window

Cropped screenshot from the trailer for the fi...

Cropped screenshot from the trailer for the film Rear Window (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the first Hitchcock movies I remember watching and loving was this Jimmy Stewart/Grace Kelly vehicle. I admit I’m surprised that this movie kept my interest in the beginning scenes since we watch Jimmy Steward, confined to a wheelchair, moving about his apartment and spying on his neighbors. (See? These wheelchair movies seem to really have hit something with me.) But I imagine that Grace Kelly’s appearance as the sophisticated girlfriend decked out in beautiful dresses (and were there lots of handbags?) could explain why I kept watching. And man…the suspense and tension as we and Jimmy have to watch events, helpless to do anything to stop them.

Cover of "The Lady in White"

Cover of The Lady in White

2. Lady in White

Lady in White is one of those movies I think should be a mainstay Halloween movie for everyone. It is so darned freaking spooky (and yes, there are some cheesy scenes towards the end but I can overlook those). It’s also one of the five of the I am going to let my son watch, at least for a few more years. Although, now that it’s arrived from Amazon, he is actually refusing to watch it–I think because the title makes him think it’s a girl movie. Oh, just wait little one.

1. Poltergeist

Poltergeist is the one singular movie with the most terrifying moments that still manages to give me moments even to this day. How many of us have ever looked at a clown–or a tree or a static-filled TV screen–the same after? (Did I mention there was a large weeping willow outside my bedroom?)

Cover of "Poltergeist (25th Anniversary E...

Cover of Poltergeist (25th Anniversary Edition)

I can’t count the number of times my eyes have searched the room in a panic, swearing I saw something move–although I don’t think I’ve EVER brought myself to look under the bed. And of course this is another one of the movies my son wants to watch.

How about everyone else? Is there one movie that you remember watching as a kid that managed to haunt you long after the closing credits?

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3 thoughts on “Top 5 Movies that Thrilled, Terrified and Inspired Me

  1. Hey, Ashlee. I agree with you about Rear Window. To this day, I don’t like to see even the remakes. Castle did a similar thing to this on one episode last year. The suspense was off the wall! Always gets me more than the regular horror movies. LOL Maybe because I don’t go see those. I saw one as a kid, that I’ve later thought what were Mom & Dad thinking? It was The Thing. Think it’s been remade at least once. I have no trouble pulling a scene or two out of my memory. Wish I couldn’t! Again it was the suspense more than gore! They didn’t really do gore back then. 🙂 I’ll be FBing and Tweeting this. All Moms should talk. 🙂

  2. Hi Marsha! Thanks again for stopping by. I just happened to watch the Lady In White last night after many years and have taken it back OFF the list for by seven year old. For a couple more years, I think. Ironically, as I write this, the kids are watching a new episode of Goosebumps–just before bed. I love that suspense in shows like Rear Window too. Maybe that’s why we love the genre we write in, right? 😉

  3. Pingback: Retro Cinema: ‘Silver Bullet’ | The Queen of Scream

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