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From ‘The Exorcist’ to ‘Bambi,’ These Motion pictures Messed Us Up as Children

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“My earliest and most vivid encounter with sheer terror came about in a movie show after I was 3 years previous. It was on the Recent Pond Cinema in Cambridge, Mass., not throughout a displaying of ‘Cujo’ or ‘It,’ however one other canine and clown horror traditional (masquerading as a youngsters’ film), ‘Air Bud.’ Nonetheless indelible in my reminiscence is a selected scene through which the sottish, spiteful clown re-emerges intent on snatching Buddy, our endearing, basketball-dunking canine pal, away from his newfound, however type, younger companion. Even now, I’m undecided what was scarier: watching the clown reappear on the display, or the deafening, collective cry of concern that erupted from me and the remainder of the viewers of toddlers.”

— Clare Goslant of Cambridge, Mass., on seeing “Air Bud” at age 3.

“The depraved witch was essentially the most terrifying factor I had ever seen. I screamed and shut my eyes each time she appeared. That very same yr, after I had watched ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ I used to be solid as a depraved witch in my second-grade play. I cried and cried after I got here residence. I had needed to play the fairy princess. My mom taught me how one can cackle. And she or he mentioned I’d be the star of the present. She was proper.”

Cathy Arden of New York, on seeing “The Wizard of Oz” at age 7.

“It was purported to be a youngsters’s film, however the scene of Bambi’s mom dying in a forest was one thing I discovered terrifying!”

Carter Bancroft of Huntington, N.Y., on seeing “Bambi” at age 5.

“My older sister and I have been dropped off on the massive movie show for the Saturday matinee. She left me all on my own and went off together with her girlfriends. This was earlier than parental helicopter-ing. ‘The Wizard of Oz’ would later be broadcast yearly on TV. Children have been in a position to cuddle with grown-ups within the security of their very own residence, with the completely happy songs, cute little Munchkins and Dorothy’s humorous associates. There’s no place like residence. That’s an entire totally different course of than I skilled, and it was an entire totally different image for me. It was not a lot my younger age, however watching a household film in that wild setting, having such a strong impact on my senses, made it my first scary film. I used to be scarred for all times.”

Don Feiler of Mattituck, N.Y., on seeing “The Wizard of Oz” at age 5.