Post Childhood Traumafession:: Mickster on The Strangers (2008)

I was still married when I first saw The Strangers (2008). The movie really scared me, and I was not anxious to watch it again. The thought of random killers invading the sanctity of my home with the intent to murder me was truly unsettling. My niece had her own traumatizing experience watching the movie, so sometimes we taunt each other about watching the movie again. We generally have the same response of, “Not just no, but Hell no!” each time. Fast forward to the fall of 2011, I was in the midst of turmoil as I was going through a divorce. Due to the uncertainty of my situation, I was already on edge and as a result, I stopped watching horror films. One particular Friday night, I said, “The Hell with this,” and decided I was going to watch a movie from my favorite genre. As my status on Facebook, I said I was going to watch a horror movie and did anyone have any suggestions as to which one I should watch. My niece, of course, taunted me with The Strangers.

So, I decided that perhaps I would watch it again. I set about doing my evening chores; so I could sit down to view the movie. I was almost done when my doorbell rang. It did not just ring once; it was a double ring. I was startled because I was not expecting any visitors. I quietly peaked out my front window to see if there was a car in the driveway. There was nothing in the driveway, and it was completely dark outside. I, of course, did not open the front door, and I immediately set my alarm system to instant. The doorbell did not ring again, but the damage was done. I was completely unsettled and spooked. I did not watch The Strangers that night; in fact, I did not watch any horror movies that night. I have since told my niece that if she wants to me to watch the movie again she will have to come to my house to watch it with me and spend the night otherwise my response will be a definite, “No way in Hell!”

UNK SEZ: Thanks Mickster! What a great idea to write about a movie that traumatized you as an adult! I have a few of those myself! If anybody else out there was freaked out by a film that they saw when they were fully grown we’d love to hear about it! Who says you have to be a kid to be traumatized?

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mickster (@mickster)
8 years ago

I think you are right, Unk! It really is a creepy feeling! I’ve watched enough of these movies to know that I shouldn’t open the door to investigate.

Chuckles72 (@chuckles72)
8 years ago

Mickster – I ALWAYS investigate! Yeah, I’m that guy. Strange noise in the middle of the night? I’m outside with flashlight in-hand snooping around.

We live on the edge of THE WOODS and last summer my neighbor across the street comes over at 11:00 pm or so, a little toasted and totally freaked out. He heard some kind of screaming in the woods and needed to consult – I confirmed that he needed “some backup” and out we went.

If Jason Voorhees had jumped out with a machete, my last thoughts might have been “You know, I really had this coming” but all we found was evidence of some animal, probably a “fisher” (a giant weasel).

No doorbell incidents but my power went out 2/3rds the way through “The Innkeepers” and I was in my basement at the time – utter darkness. I’m a rational guy but there was a moment of controlled panic as I navigated by feel to the stairs up the the main floor. That film depicts some things that you don’t want to bump into in the darkness.

bdwilcox (@bdwilcox)
8 years ago

“Who says you have to be a kid to be traumatized?”

On this site, I’ve always referred to these as ElderTraumas even though I’m not ‘old’ in the general sense (at least I keep telling myself that as I make references to Battlestar Galactica and Mork & Mindy that none of my co-workers understand).

Anywhoo, I used to live on a farm in rural Flemington, NJ. We had tons of wildlife of every stripe including wolf spiders so big they would make audible footsteps when running along my kitchen counter.

I used to work late and come home in the dark just about every night. One night I came home about midnight and there was screaming in the woods like a young woman was being murdered with a rusty spoon. Considering my landlord used to refer to our lonely dirt farm road as ‘Humpty Dumpty Lane’ because people used to use the road for either disposing of junk or, um, putting their ‘junk’ to use, a murder in this remote area wasn’t a real stretch for the imagination.

As much as a I wanted to write it off as a prank or some strange swamp gas phenomena, I couldn’t just ignore the screaming without doing something (Flemington police were useless). So, flashlight in hand, I boldly stepped into the murky black woods toward the screaming. Yeah.

As I stumbled around, alders whipping me in the face and roots reaching out to trip me, the screaming finally stopped. Unlike most sane people who would brush their hands like, “Oh well, my job here is done” and run inside, I needed to find the person in case they were still alive. Hands shaking, I searched for any signs of struggle, blood or body but came up empty. After about an hour of being completely freaked out and spooked, I went inside for a night of restless sleep. The next morning, my landlord came home and I asked him to help me search the woods in case someone was out there. He laughed and said the screaming was either a fox or a saw-whet owl, both of whom make cries like a screaming child or woman. He had heard it before and, sure enough, a few nights later I ran across foxes chasing each other across the road. Will never forget that cold fear of possible finding a mutilated body in the woods.

mickster (@mickster)
8 years ago

Chuckles72 & bdwilcox,
Oh man! Thanks for reading my post and thanks for sharing your creepy stories! This is why I love Kindertrauma so much!

Apocalypsejunkie (@apocalypsejunkie)
8 years ago

The re-make of Black Beauty. I can’t even be in another room and hear that movie. Anything with animals being abused is a no-go and a definate adult trauma inducer.

mamamiasweetpeaches (@mamamiasweetpeaches)
8 years ago

One of the only movies to mess with me as an asult was REC. I watched it alone in my house and then when it ended went to mail it (it was a NETFLIX copy) and the whole walk to and from the mailbox in the dark i thought something was gonna pop up and grab me. Perhaps a seemingly normal neighbor who unbeknownst to me had been affected and was now a zombie.
Suddenly the whole notion of zombies seemed VERY real to me.

* I was just talking about THE STRANGERS the other day and the reason I have never watched it … SPOILERS: I remember right after the movie coming out reading a blurb about who had agreed to return for the sequel, and thinking “Well, I guess THAT jsut told me who lives through the first one!” END OF SPOILERS

mickster (@mickster)
8 years ago

Apocalypsejunkie, I am the same way about those Sarah McLachian animal commercials!

mamamiasweetpeaches, I don’t know if I could have walked to the mailbox after that. You are braver than I am.

carol (@carol)
8 years ago

oh, i’ve got a few i could write about!! just call me scaredy mcscaredypants.

i haven’t submitted anything to you guys for a while so i’ll work on something.

MandyBear (@mandybear)
4 years ago

Ohhh my god! I totally understand why you were creeped out and why you didn’t watch the movie that night. I rented this movie for the first time back in 2008 and watched it at night alone in my apartment before going to work (I worked nights in a residence home at the time). It creeped me out so much! This is the kind of thing I’m really afraid of; stuff that can actually happen! I love most horror movies, but the ones that actually scare me deal with real life things, like kidnappings, home invasions, stuff like that. I recently watched Megan is Missing and that movie has stayed with me for weeks! O_O.