As I prepare to embarrass myself in a crowd of people by screaming my lungs out and possibly hiding behind my bucket of popcorn, I’m reminded of my first experience with a horror movie.
I don’t remember my exact age, but I was somewhere around 8-10. My mom had left town for the weekend prompting a boy’s night with my dad and little brother, which meant movie rentals and all the fish sticks we could eat.
We headed to the local movie rental place and I remember picking out “Spy Kids,” a reasonable choice for an 8-10 year-old.
My brother chose the movie “Child’s Play”, thinking that it was a movie about children playing.
What “Child’s Play” is actually about is a doll named Chucky possessed by a serial killer who murders a whole bunch of people to try and get his body back. My dad knew this, and thought it would be hilarious to let us watch it.
So we went back home, threw some fish sticks in the oven (side note: any meat that can be cooked as quickly as fish sticks should not be trusted) and put in a movie.
Now my dad wanted to set the tone for our first horror movie experience so he waited until it was completely dark outside and turned all the lights in the house off before starting the movie.
Those who have seen “Child’s Play” know that even without the killing it is in no way suitable for young children; never fear. My dad fast-forwarded it through all the parts that didn’t involve the doll murdering somebody. He didn’t want the bad language and sexual content to ruin our young, innocent minds, just the senseless acts of violence.
I can remember begging my dad not to leave the room after the movie was over. I can also remember putting “Spy Kids” in hoping that it would make me forget Chucky the doll. What I most remember, though is not sleeping a wink that night.
I convinced myself at one point that if by 4 a.m., Chucky hadn’t jumped out of the closet and killed me I would be all right.
Chucky didn’t kill me that night, which I was very thankful for at the time, and my first taste of horror movies left me only mildly traumatized.
Now this weekend, I’ll go see IT because I’m a huge fan of Stephen King and can’t pass up the opportunity.
Whether I’ll sleep on the couch with the lights on gripping something that can be used as a weapon or not remains to be seen. My guess is that I will.
Jacob Smith is a staff writer for The Democrat. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @wilsonnewsroom.