I have a trauma that I've been unable to escape for twenty-three years of my life, and I still can't watch the movie where it originated: the 1988 remake of The Blob.
I was three years old, and at the time the only TV we had was in the living room, so if my parents wanted to watch a movie they would kick me off of cartoons and watch whatever they wanted, barring the consequences. One of our local channels would run a movie every Friday night, and one night they were showing The Blob.
Now, I was into creepy stuff back then. My dad was a fanatic for old sci-fi movies, so I had already seen stuff like Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers and IT! The Terror From Beyond Space. I foolishly thought that if I could handle those movies, I could handle this one, so I snuggled up next to my dad in his armchair, prepared to be entertained.
And then along comes Paul (I think that was his name…not going to look it up for fear of coming across pictures) getting melted into a screaming, thrashing gooey mess, and my childlike innocence is forever marred. I don't think I've experienced real terror from watching a movie before or since. I had nightmares for FIVE YEARS afterward. Five years. And I still can't watch that stupid movie without reverting back to my three year-old self; I tried when I was fourteen, thinking that I could probably handle it now, since I loved movies like An American Werewolf in London and John Carpenter's The Thing. I WAS WRONG. The whole time I was waiting for that scene to come on, my heart was racing and a rising sense of panic was growing in my chest. And when it finally reared its gruesome head, I ran crying from the room, covering my ears so I wouldn't be able to hear it, while everyone else in the room laughed at how goofy and schlocky it was.
So, now I'm forever afraid of a relatively silly gorefest from the '80s with moderately good special effects and somewhat goofy acting. Thanks, Dad.