Traumafessions :: From the Makers of Frayed…


I can’t just name one particular film that scared me as a kid. It all took place in 1981, at the ripe age of ten. I saw THE EXORCIST, HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13th PART II. I’m sure my parents were pissed, because that was my year of nightmares and waking them up in the middle of the night scared shitless that Jason was after me. That year was the beginning of my fascination with horror. I think JOHN CARPENTER says it best as to why we love horror, “Fear is our most primal emotion.”

NORBERT CAOILIFRAYED Co-writer, Co-director, Co-Producer, Editor, Composer:

’70s and early ’80s horror movies definitely take the cake as having traumatized me as a child, forever burning horrific images in my brain that, to this day, I still can’t shake. When I’m alone at night in the dark, they creep back into my brain and make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. The one that stands out the most would have to be the ’70s horror movie BURNT OFFERINGS. This movie had it all – a haunted house, a chilling score, massive suspense, and two of the most unforgettable horror characters to ever appear on screen – KAREN BLACK as Mrs. Allardyce and ANTHONY JAMES, the sinister, smiling chauffeur. I was only 7 years old when I saw BURNT OFFERINGS on HBO and I still remember how I trembled in fear for many nights afterwards, hiding under the sheets, thinking they were going to come into my room at any minute and get me! I will never forget that end scene where Karen Black turns to Oliver Reed, creepily stares at him, with the most chilling violin strings since PSYCHO, and says “I’ve been waiting for you, Ben!” Then he jumps out (or is thrown out of) the window and lands face-first into the car windshield. A lot of movies lose their creep factor as we grow older, but, for me, this one does not. To this day, when I watch that scene, my heart starts beating faster and my body tenses up. The suspense in that film, like so many films of that era, was so gripping and agonizingly drawn out. It’s a style that sadly has been lost in the modern age of fast-paced, short attention span world we live in.

On that note, I have to give a shout out to HALLOWEEN (1978) – the granddaddy of slashers and one of my beloved favorites. I never knew how terrifying a white mask and an eerie piano soundtrack could be. It was the film that got me hooked on horror and made me want to become a filmmaker.

ROB PORTMANN – Co-Director, Co-Writer, Co-Producer:

“Creepy little girls in white dresses” movies scare me. The movie was THE HOUSE THAT WOULD NOT DIE (1970) starring BARBARA STANWYCK. I remember being about 6 or 7 and I couldn’t sleep. So I went into the living room to tell my parents. They were watching this “Haunted House” movie. I sat down and watched for awhile. I only watched about 10 minutes. What I saw gave me nightmares for years. It showed a family finding human bones under this house and a “creepy little girl in a white dress” calling in a ghostly voice from the other side of a misty creek. “Aimee, come home,” she called. I couldn’t shake that eerie image. It freaked me out!!!

THE EXCORCIST then took the “creepy little girl” thing to a whole different level. I will never get that nightmare out of my head, no matter how hard I try!!! That’s why, to this day, even though the “creepy little girl” is pretty much standard in every other horror flick that comes out now, it still does the job and scares the hell out of me!!!

UNK SEZ: Thanks guys, for the excellent traumafessions and for keeping the spirit of ’70s and ’80s horror alive with FRAYED! All you kids out there, FRAYED is being released on DVD tomorrow, make sure you pick up a copy or two (they make great gifts!) at better retailers everywhere. As for now check out this scary scene…

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12 years ago

Looking forward to seeing Frayed, Halloween is my perennial favorite and Burnt Offerings is decent…well that Anthony James as the hearse driver…he scared the crap me as a child as well. Jaws was scary as well as a child… when Quint was eaten, very scary, even more scary than him trying to talk with his mouth full of Saltines crackers, lol.