Do You Remember The First Time?

Monday, May 14 2012
Do You Remember The First Time?

What was your first scary film experience?

It’s a teasing question, the kind that would provoke lively office or, more pertinently these days, office debate.

Given its 12 certificate – one element that helped it towards its record-breaking £21 million plus haul at UK cinemas – Momentum’s The Woman In Black will, for many teenagers, be the first time they have seen a bona fide horror film.

And, for older filmgoers (and children of the video nasty era, as we at The Raygun are), it’s also the start of a lengthy discussion about the first genuine horror we saw. It’s helped further by the fact that the homegrown horror, produced under the Hammer banner and due in June on DVD and Blu-ray from Momentum, is an old-fashioned ghost story, eschewing the gore and tasteless elements of today’s torture porn, preferring instead the kind of chills we grew up with.

That question, what was your first scary film experience, will inform one strand of Momentum’s PR and marketing activity for the forthcoming release.

And to prove just how potent a subject it is, we asked staffers at Momentum about their first time.

We’re compiling further selections from people in the industry and will be featuring another selection shortly, so please feel free to send yours to us at the usual address…

So, Momentum, what was your first scary film experience?

Kristin Ryan: It was Poltergeist for me when I was 11/12. The table lamp started flickering in the basement where we were watching it- at that point we were all hysterical. It’s one of my favourite films now so i wasn’t scared for life- I never looked at clown dolls quite the same again though.

Nick Smith: Salem’s Lot. I was 10. I shat my pants. 

Neil Williams: The Changling in 1980.  I have never owned a rocking chair or let anyone shove my head under water.

Louisa Mitchell: Definitely The Shining for me.  So many scary moments…REDRUM, the isolation, the twin girls, Jack Nicholson typing “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…” over and over, the “here’s Johnny” axe scene, the boy being chased in the maze in the snow… I watched it when I was a teenager and it remains one of my favorite films today…just talking about it makes me want to watch it again. 

Adam Eldrett: I remember seeing Stephen King’s IT and never quite being the same again.  I think it was the direct relation to kids, it felt like it was going to be closer to Stand By Me, but obviously takes a much darker road. It was that connection of a boy’s adventure, only this one was frightening and no pleasant adventure in the woods. Remember: DOWN HERE THEY ALL FLOAT…

Rob Bentley: I remember seeing Twilight Zone: The Movie and the first story with the bloke who picks up the hitchhiker – I literally shat myself

Scott Monahan: The Silence of the Lambs – I was eight years old when I saw it for the first time and cannibalism just freaks me out.

John Carey: John Carpenter’s Halloween.  The scariest frickin’ theme tune EVER! And Michael Myers just won’t stay dead! 

James Dennis: The first really scary movie wasn’t even a movie, just a TV trailer for one of the Nightmare on Elm Street sequels – it was the sight of Freddy that messed me up no end. Had horrible nightmares about his burnt face and bladed fingers for weeks. Put me off seeing it until my 20s but I now love the original.

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