Horror movies are responsible for a lot of specific fears in people. Petrol stations in the middle of nowhere are not to be trusted, booking a holiday at a cabin in the woods seems like a bad idea, and working at a summer camp has probably gone out the window.
For me, it’s weird parts of horror movies that stick with me. Scenarios that were particularly terrifying at the time, and that I find myself thinking about on a regular basis. Seemingly inconsequential elements of films that stick with me, and I can’t get out of my head once I start thinking about them, are the bain of my life.
I love horror movies so much, but I feel like they have pretty much ruined my life, as I spend a lot of time being creeped out by random shit.
Plugholes – The Blob (1988)
The Blob is a film that has stuck with me for years because it’s one of the first things I remember genuinely terrifying me as a kid. A horror lover even at a young age, one night my dad let me stay up late to watch it. However, I had to bail after a woman gets melted and consumed in a phonebox. When I went back and watched the full movie years later it still terrified me, so I stand by my younger self’s decision.
However, the scene that really stuck with me is when a diner worker gets sucked down the plughole of a sink in a rather grisly fashion. Whenever I used to hear the water gurgling down the drain in the bath, my dad would tell me it was the plughole monster coming to get me, and that’s a thought that sticks with you, even now I’m 31. Actually, maybe it’s just my dad that traumatised me… I’m giving The Blob a bad name for no reason.
Drain Grates – IT (1990)
Another one that I watched from a young age, the mini-series version of Stephen King’s IT was a firm favourite of mine. I used to sneak the tape round sleepovers, and then force my friends to watch as much as they could handle, considering it runs about three hours long. In fact, it was so long the ending was cut off due to the VHS not having enough space on it.
The scene with Georgie and Pennywise in the sewer grate is probably one of the most famous scenes from IT, and while Pennywise appears in some scarier scenes later on in the movie, the thought that he could be lurking anywhere when you’re walking down the street is not something I like to think about too much considering the number of drains that exist.
Attics – Black Christmas (1974)
There’s something about sticking your head up into the attic hatch in order to turn the light on that’s slightly unsettling at the best of times. There could easily be someone creeping about up there and you really wouldn’t know.
Billy manages to make his way in and out of the attic hatch in Black Christmas a number of times and take out half a sorority house before anyone notices anything is wrong. So whenever there’s a slight creak from above, most people might think it’s just the house cooling down, but my head definitely goes to attic-dwelling murderer.
Washing Lines – IT (1990) and Halloween (1978)
The thing about clothes on a washing line is you never know what’s lurking behind them. As the sheets flap in the wind, who will be waiting for you? Will it be a glimpse of Michael Myers before he mysteriously disappears? Or will it be a peek at Pennywise before he rushes at you and you get munched? I’m not particularly happy with either option if I’m honest.
Logging Trucks – Final Destination 2 (2003)
I don’t exactly remember how I felt about driving near logging trucks pre-Final Destination 2, but I can tell you precisely how I feel about them now, and it does not feel like a safe space. I will try to overtake them wherever possible because I do not want to be the person who gets a log to the face.
Showers – Arachnophobia (1990)
I mean, you probably thought this one was going to be Psycho (1960), right? But I tell you what; I am more scared of spiders than I am of a lot of things in life. And when I lock my bathroom door, I am pretty confident no one else is getting in, but spiders get fucking everywhere.
I’m sure the odds of a spider actively throwing itself onto my face as I shower is pretty slim, but I’d be lying if it didn’t cross my mind 99% of the time when I close my eyes to rinse my hair.
Wicker Baskets – Basket Case (1982)
To most, wicker baskets are probably quite quaint. You might think of picnics or puppies hidden under blankets, but for me, I’m always asking “What’s in the basket?”
Basket Case tells the story of Duana and his surgically-removed conjoined twin Belial who he carries around in a large wicker basket because he has a bit of a temper and is quite terrifying to look at! While Belial is quite happy to murder anyone he comes across, he’s especially violent towards anyone who gets a bit too nosey about his basket.
Public Bathrooms – Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
If I’m ever in a public toilet, especially a roadside one, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later forever crosses my mind. If there’s nowhere to hang your handbag, it inevitably ends up on the floor, and I can’t help but picture Michael Myers reaching under the stall and swiping it. So much so that I always immediately move it.
I can only hope if it ever does happen, Michael will be a nice as he is in that scene in the film and just steal my car instead of murdering me.
Horror Trivia – Scream (1996)
This is a weird one, but again one that goes through my mind quite often. I consider myself a bit of a horror geek, and I love a bit of trivia. It comes in handy for pub quizzes and can make for an interesting conversation topic with fellow horror lovers.
However, whenever I get a bit of trivia mixed up or give the wrong answer to a horror-related question, I can’t help but think that if Ghostface had been asking me that on the phone, I would have bit the dust Drew Barrymore style. Under pressure, I probably would have said Jason was the killer in Friday the 13th (1980) too.
Singing Along with the Radio – Urban Legend (1998)
Urban Legend is responsible for a lot of the things I do in my car. I check the backseat before I get in the car, and I worry about flashing my headlights at people in case they take it as an invitation to murder me.
However, one of the biggest ones is whenever I’m singing along loudly with the radio; I worry that I may be about to get axed in the neck. Am I singing so loud that I’m masking the sound of someone sneaking up behind me? Even checking the backseat beforehand does nothing to quell this fear, and I’d be especially terrified if Total Eclipse of the Heart (1983) came on.