When I was young we didn't watch many scary movies. I didn't even watch Gremlins like all the other kids because I was sure I would never sleep again. I didn't even let my cat, Kitty, sleep with me because of the dream I had in which she morphed into a demon.
I did find myself fascinated with the things that did scare me though, they held some sort of mysticism or power to be able to cause such fright in me. As Jezebel pointed out before Halloween, it was often the things from movies that weren't billed as being scary that had the most terrifying things to hide. Maybe because they were less expected?
I know I wasn't expecting to have the living flying-monkey-crap scared out of my watching Return to Oz, the all-around scariest non-scary movie ever in my opinion. Every single thing about this movie was frightening. Everything in Oz is now backwards and mean, and the scarecrow looks like a demonic circus clown. Oh I could stop there but then I wouldn't get a chance to mention the Wheelers, or the fact that the movie starts with Dorthy receiving shock treatment to erase Oz from her memory. (So kid friendly.) Ahh... see, but the part of the movie that starred in my nightmares was when Dorthy followed the queen past the mirrored rows of severed heads that the she would choose from to exchange with her own head. I believe there was even a part when one or all of them screamed due to a chicken. Long story short I could never own one of those Barbie make-up heads. Fuuuuuck that.
The movie that really mentally gripped me with unending fear was something that I have never watch since early childhood when it did it's damage, so I'm not really even sure if it's laughable or not. It is the TV version of Alice in Wonderland from 1985 featuring Carol Channing. Sounds terrifying right? NO seriously, parts of this may have been charming, I even vaguely remember them as such. But mark my words, when that Jabberwocky comes, you will wet yourself and run from the room screaming as any reasonable person would. This shit is off the charts evil. I distinctly remember Alice being trapped in a looking glass unable to reach her life beyond it no matter how hard she tried. Do they know what that kind of shit does to the mind of a child?? I thought for sure I was going to be trapped inside a mirror at some point in life and tried to figure out ways to prepare for it. I have to admit that that bit was one of the things that fascinated me the most though. It was scary in an existential way, that sort of thing is fun to mull over.
And Jesus - What about G'mork?! Damn you Never Ending Story!!
Yeah I guess it turns out I am still fascinated with the things that scared me, even some of the things that scare me now. I just have to try and remember I find them fascinating while they're in the process of scaring the crap out of me.