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[Remember This?] What Horror Movies Are You Afraid To Watch Again?

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Right now you’re looking at the People Under The Stairs header above and wondering, “what the hell is he talking about? It’s ‘People Under The Stairs’ not f*cking ‘Martyrs’!

While I’m sure PUTS has its fair share of startling moments, that’s not the kind of “scared” I’m talking about. No, I’m scared that if I saw the movie again I wouldn’t like it anymore. I can still remember the illicit thrill I felt when my friends and I were dropped off at the movie theater by our parents, bought tickets for some PG movie, and snuck into the latest Wes Craven film. I was in the 6th or 7th grade, and I emerged from the film thinking it was a masterpiece of horror. I’m sure it helped that it had a protagonist that was somewhat close to my age, and I imagine there’s an overstuffed quality to the film that kept my easily wandering mind engaged.

I don’t believe I’ve seen the whole thing since. Sure, I’ve seen bits and pieces. I may have even half watched a cable showing of it at some point (though certainly not in the past 10 years). I’ve caught wind of friends watching it via their twitter feeds, and those comments have run the gamut of positive to negative and everything in between. Now, I’m not assuming the film is objectively bad. I’m sure it has some strong points to combat what I’m fairly sure at this point would qualify as a painful approximation of urban dialogue.

But what’s the point of going back in this case? This is a movie whose poster still triggers a positive, almost thrilling, association in my brain. I’m not brushing up for the remake (which may never happen at this point), nor am I currently doing a retrospecitve of Craven’s career (though that may not be such a bad idea). So why run the potential risk of tainting the memory of one of my formative cinema going experiences? Even if it’s not bad – it’s certainly not going to be the movie that exists only in my mind.

There are several other films that hold this kind of designation for me. On the Craven front there’s Shocker (though I am perilously close to watching this soon due to Brian Collins’ allegiance to it). There are also movies like Dr. Giggles, where I don’t even want to tarnish the experience of my Blockbuster. I also remember liking Stigmata, which I think I went to see only because Billy Corgan did the soundtrack, but I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t enjoy going back there 15 years later.

What are some movies you love but are afraid to revisit?

  • Seal_Clubber

    Pet Semetary. I remember Zelda being terrifying and now I’m not sure how that movie would hold up.

    Also, “IT”. Everyone remembers Pennywise being terrifying (and so do I – I think I was 10 when I watched it) but wasn’t it a “made for TV” movie? And 6 hours long ? I think I would not remember it so fondly if I had a re-watch.

    • Evan3

      @Seal_Clubber

      You are right on re: Stephen King’s It. EVERY child in the late 80s was absolutely scarred by that film.I remember not using the bathroom without one of my parents being in there for a week after seeing It. Sadly, I am 100% willing to put all my money on the fact it sucks, but at that magic age, it terrorized me.

      For my money though, the film that qualifies for me is Anaconda. It was the first movie I saw in theaters without my parents and I remember loving every minute, particularly the Jon Voight regurgitation scene. I’ll probably watch it again some day with my kids, but I can’t imagine it will hold up as it does in my memory.

      • mobstar67

        i just revisited both Anacanda films and unfortunately the CGI plays out like a syfy original..however the cast is still excellent and J.LO’s ass is still a beautiful thing !!!

      • Discordia

        I think I might have been one of the few kids who watched IT over & over again. What can I say, I was a creepy kid.

      • joeshmo447

        Omg anaconda!! I saw that when I was like 8 and I remember me, my pops, and my sis all picked one character who we thought would survive the whole thing (back when I didn’t know the hot girl always made it to the end) and I picked Owen Wilson , and when he got swallowed whole by that thing I almost burst into tears! That shit was like jaws with a snake

    • itsnickkarcher

      I definitely have to agree with you about “IT”. I just recently finished the book so I wanted to go back and watch the movie, I hadn’t seen it since I was around 6/7 when it scared the shit out of me and it just wasn’t that scary today.

      Going into it a few weeks ago, I was sure and kind of hoping that it would scare me the same way it did when I was little but it just didn’t. I used to hate taking showers because of that movie but now it left my mind five minutes after it was over.

    • 905Justin

      Pet semetary the zelda scene scared the shit out of me and still creeps me out. pascoe standing at the foot of of louis creed’s bed always creeped me out too.

    • Kirkio

      Agreed on IT, that’s the first one to spring to mind. As I kid I saw it a couple times, once only getting past the part where Georgie is killed, and the second time the last part I remember is the sink belching blood. I was absolutely terrified of it.

      Returning to it years later (when I stumbled across the DVD in a sale) I enjoyed it and still found it pretty damn creepy, but when the big reveal of the giant spider-type-thing at the end popped up it totally killed the film for me.

  • Amaranthine

    I was always afraid of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. I believe I still would, something about Freddy just gives me the chills.

    • macguffin54

      So… I guess you didn’t bother to read the article?

      In regard to PUTS, I really liked it as a kid, but re-watching it shows it was laughingly bad. Just terrible. But I recall my mother liked it, too, then, so not sure it had anything to do with age (unless my mother is mentally a child. Which, now that I think about it…)

      • macguffin54

        Sorry, after having read more comments, I see most people didn’t read the article (or didn’t understand it.) It’s not fair you should be singled out for something so many people also did.

  • Skull-And-Crossbones

    I’m afraid to watch Halloween: Resurrection again because it sucked so bad

    • ill_mindedd

      you sir, made my night.

  • divisionbell

    The Raft segment in Creepshow 2 still disturbs me to this day for some reason.

    • Kirkio

      Oh wow, you just reminded me of another! I used to hate that part too, particularly where the girl wakes up from being molested by a combination of a horny frat boy and a toxic skin melting oil slick. Eugh.

      The cockroach segment in the original always disturbed me too but watching it back recently, it still does

  • violentdope

    Pet Semetary is still great.Just watched it and still holds up.great film.It I watched recently and ya that movie does suck when pennywise isnt on the screen.I still think people under the stairs is a good movie.not great but still a fun movie.

  • joesey

    Haha! I snuck into this movie too. I bought a ticket for Robin Hood: Men In Tights but snuck into People Under The Stairs after. It’s still one of my fav. movies to watch when I get smashed. Alice aka Rayanne Graff from My So-called Life did a great job in that film. I love A.J. Langer. I hope they still do a sequel/prequel? to this. I don’t like to watch Romero’s or any early zombie movies b/c they freaked me out as a kid but now that I’m older I wouldn’t be; especially after seeing The Walking Dead.

  • jackmeat

    My first thought was The Exorcist. I am not afraid to watch it but I am sure mommies would attest to that being scary as heck

  • Robert Anderson

    Not a movie but “The Empty Child” episode of Dr Who seriously fuck that episode for that sleepless night

  • wachuseh

    Wes Cravens New Nightmare. It was my first Freddy movie and bc of it I saw the rest. I don’t think that it would inspire me in that way now.

  • dangerzone79

    I’d say The Stuff & the 80′s remake of The Blob. Probably The Gate too. Each had moments that freaked me out as a kid, but now I bet I’d chuckle.

    • EvanDickson

      @dangerzone79 THE BLOB is still fantastic.

      • mobstar67

        agreed.. i just revisited The Blob 88 and it actually held up nice… surprise surprise

  • HercZanzibar

    House with William Katt. Richard Moll still scares the crap outta me.

  • anthonyd1

    The original Salems’s Lot from 1979. My family showed me that when I was four and I was terrified of the little boy who knocks on the window and asks his brother to let me in. It gave me nightmares for years. I haven’t watched the movie in years and I am waiting for them to release it on blu ray because I really would love to buy it. I know it probably would not have same effect on me now if i were to watch it but damn that movie creeped me out through my childhood

  • WalkWithMeInDarkness

    It’s not really a matter of being afraid to watch it again, but when it comes to The Exorcist, I’ve never watched it alone and God knows if I ever will. I know what a standard choice that is but I guess it just goes to show how powerful that movie is. I can deal with the make-up now, but the voice and the things Regan says and does just really freak me out. I truly believe I’ll never see a scarier film.

  • Nothing333

    I think it sould be sort of satisfying to have grown out of a movie. It indicates maturity and a refining of taste. It’s would be much more horrifying to stay the same intellectually as you were as an adolescent.

  • ClericMarshall

    I can remember 3 things that freaked me out, I don’t remember which NOES movie it was but there was a body bag being dragged in a school, Candyman the part where he was made and the puppet segment in a movie called Tales From The Hood.
    Those 3 parts freaked the shit out of me.

  • Swinny

    People Under The Stares is a masterpiece, just recently I brought the Arrow Video edition of this film, the booklet included gives some absolutely fascinating insight from Wes himself on this film. Its much deeper and thoughtful than it may appear to be on the surface, with the ‘Man’ and ‘Women’(the two antagonists who are never named) representing upper class/wealthy people, and the people under the stares/in the walls representing the lower class/poorer people.
    It was fascinating to watch the film after reading this insight, its like the rich people are walking over the poor people, the people under the stairs.
    I highly reccommend Arrow Video’s edition of this film ;-)

  • 905Justin

    Candyman scared me a lot as a kid and I haven’t really rewatched it since I was kid. I’ve seen little clips online of it here and there though

  • 905Justin

    also ghostbusters 1 and 2 are my favourite movies. i’ve watched them many times since i was kid… but the part where yanosh was a ghost flying with a carriage with red eyes scared the shit out of me as a kid

  • WalkWithMeInDarkness

    Fuck, a lot of us did take this the wrong way. Sorry, I had something unmentionable in my system. Anyway, I’d say the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers Movie. I loved it as a kid but I’m certain it’d be fucking terrible if I went back and watched it.

    • WalkWithMeInDarkness

      And Gremlins 2. I’m worried about how I’d react to that one now. In recent years I’ve heard bad things about it.

  • Nurse Derpusheen

    I know this is SOO corny, but It. It terrified the hell out of me. I cried when I first saw it. Never EVER again…

    • Nurse Derpusheen

      Oh god, I cant stop laughing at the GIF *covers my face trying not to laugh*

  • themadbomber187

    Night of the living dead remake was really scary, it’s very dark and gritty with creepy music. The atmosphere took the film to a new level and the zombies scary. The only film that comes close to Night of the living dead remake is THE THING(original).

  • mobstar67

    I remember liking Lord Of Illusions but i havnt gone back there since it ran on cable a few decades ago… How can this film like this lose its prestige with an icon like Scott Bakula as the lead actor..
    Theres a reason i havnt gone back there..

  • http://mitchmacready.blogspot.com/ Zombie-Killa

    I’ll go with a more recent pick for The Conjuring.

    I LOVED it the first time in theaters, but I haven’t bought the DVD yet, and truth be told, I’m avoiding it, because I’m afraid I’ll HATE it, when I see it again.

    The Conjuring is one of my favorites from 2013, but a lot of the scary stuff is all about jump scares. Problem is, once you’ve seen them, and you know what’s coming, jump scares lose all their shock factor.

    And I’ll add Texas Chainsaw 3D to the list. I gave it a timid guilty pleasure pass in theaters, and I was suckered into the 3D effects, but I’m avoiding it now. I enjoyed it as a guilty pleasure, but now that I think about it, I can’t remember one true redeeming (directing, acting, etc.) quality from the movie, because the 3D effects were run of the mill gimmicky stuff.

    • Primeus

      Texas Chainsaw 3D was a terrible movie and I saw it in the theater. I just watched it again on Netflix and it was far more enjoyable this time around. Not for the scares (because there were none) but for how laugh out loud bad it was. The characters are terrible, the kills are boring, and the plot is beyond stupid, and has more holes then swiss cheese.

      There are a ton of movies I have revisted as of late that I thought I loved but realize I don’t because they suck.

      Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (not scary just stupid gore fess)
      Halloween 2 (not scary, totally boring, and one of the worse sequels of the series. Halloween 4 is 10x better then this movie)
      NMOES: Dream Warriors (this movie is the best sequel in the series but it isn’t as great as i once thought. It definitely isn’t on par with the original but I still love it.)
      Devil I liked not loved it when I saw it in the movie theater. I watched it a week ago on Netflix…omg complete dogshit.

  • thi86

    Not matter how much time will pass, The Exorcist will always give me serious chills.

  • viking1983

    I am gonna go with reanimator, IT and candy man

  • kNalledge

    PUTS is one of my all time favorites. I watched it on TV when I was 5 or 6 and the image of Roach’s tongue is tattooed on my brain. Fun fact (which I’m sure most people know anyway): Everett McGill and Wendy Robie also play a married couple in Twin Peaks: Big Ed and Nadine Hurley.

    Darkness Falls, Speed 2, and the original Mortal Kombat. Also Strangeland. Went back and watched Pet Sematary recently and Jud still scares me more than Zelda ever did.