As a child I remember thinking to myself that I would never be one of those adults that would say, “When I was a child.” As I find myself writing this I realize that I was just lying to my future self. When I was a child movies were an epic event. Netflix, Pirate Bay and hell, the internet hadn’t been invented, so back then if you didn’t see a movie in the theater you had to wait a year or two before it came out on VHS. You made it a point to have your ticket for the Friday night screening because if you didn’t, the kids on the playground would make fun of you because you didn’t see the movie. At least that’s what I tell my therapist.
As I walk down memory lane I realize that movies that were either directed or produced by Steven Spielberg have emotionally scarred me for life. Not the kind of scarring you can laugh at it now, but the kind of deep scarring preventing me from buying a house because it could be a money pit. Now Steven Spielberg has a new apprentice, JJ Abrams, to teach his childhood destroying, therapy inducing jujitsu to. You can see the time before Spielberg got to him. JJ used to go by Jeffrey Abrams and wrote such innocent, heart-felt movies like Regarding Henry and Gone Fishin’. But like Spielberg changed when he stopped going by Steve, the same happened when Jeffry switched to JJ. JJ created Armageddon, Lost, and Fringe. All dealing with subjects whose sole purpose was to frighten little children. And like what Spielberg did to me as a youth, I fear that JJ Abrams has the same intentions with today’s generation. He’s even quoted in New York Magazine as saying that his new movie, Super 8, is “a tip of the hat to [Spielberg’s] movies of the seventies and eighties.” So be warned and if it’s anything like Speilberg’s older movies don’t be surprised when your children can’t sleep at night. Here are the Top 6 Reasons Why Steven Spielberg Terrorized My Youth.
I stopped standing so close to the microwave after I realized the power that it had. I figured that if something would explode while being in it, how is a piece of glass going to stop those very same rays from doing the exact same thing to me? Also, how could something so cuddly like a Mogwai turn into something so evil like a Gremlin by feeding it after midnight? How is that even scientifically possible? Is it’s body aware of different time zones and daylight savings? Is this the reason why my last girlfriend was such a bitch?
Not only were there aliens secretly spying on us – which is creepy when you think about it – but it was the first time I saw the government portrayed in a negative way. While I was watching the movie in the theater, my two brothers had moved to other seats without my knowledge. So at the end of the movie, when E.T. went home, I noticed that my brothers were no longer sitting next to me. I ran up and down the aisle crying because I thought E.T. took them home with him. This is when my abandonment issues began. Maybe this clip from the movie is also the reason why I get antsy in large groups of yelling people.
4. The Goonies
If I have to explain it’s time to head over to laughingcat.com
3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Cartoons were meant for children to escape to a place where pain did not exist. To watch the Road Runner get one over on Wile E. Coyote without any physical damage was comforting. Cartoons weren’t meant to have real fear or even die. So when I watched Judge Doom disintegrate into a pile of green goop, so did that innocent notion that not everything dies. Everyone and everything has a limit self-time, even cartoon shoes that can squeak.
I grew up in the great state of Michigan. A state surrounded by the largest fresh water lakes in the world. So at the time I didn’t have to worry about sharks attacking me. Any desire that I had left to swim in the ocean after watching Jaws left when this movie had a real-life experience to back up the notion of why you shouldn’t swim it. A substitute teacher told me in fourth grade about a trip she recently took to Florida. She told me that the man next to her went into the ocean and when he returned his big toe had been bitten off by a shark. It took me 20 years to swim in the ocean and I had enough liquid courage in my system where I believed I was swimming in a bathtub filled with God’s tears.
1. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
I don’t think any child wants to be taken away from their parents. Not by their grandparents or a babysitter, but especially not by aliens with black eyes and long fingers who listen to the same few notes over and over again. So when the house in Close Encounters of the Third Kind looked exactly like mine, it was safe for my child brain to assume that it was only a matter of time before I would be taken. I lost a lot of sleep in the weeks to follow. I waited on the stairs every night until I heard my older brother heading to the bedroom that we shared. I’d rush into bed and pretended I was sleeping. It wasn’t until we were older that he found out that I did that. He asked me why I waited and I told him, “There was no way that they would take two of us. If I waited for you I had a 50/50 chance for survival.”