by Christopher Castro
When we were children, movies were a fantastical way to get the little gears in our head turning. They were also good for getting us to shut up and sit down for a little while. While most of these movies are quite memorable classics, some have remained as a distant memory that has been long forgotten. When looking back, some were actually quite disturbing.
Where the Wild Things Are
I remember when Where the Wild Things Are came out. At the time, I had never heard of the books and had no clue what the movie would be about. Thankfully, my parents assumed I would love it due to it being it a kids movie. I did not. I can’t exactly describe in words the horror I felt as I saw those creepy animal suits talking, but it froze me in my chair and from running out of the theatre. It’s the kind of madness to give you a drinking problem later in life. Overall, not a bad movie if I remember correctly. It had something to do with a deeper meaning about family I think, but who knows. The creepy talking sasquatches kept me enthralled enough.
Monster House is one of my favorite childhood movies of all time. It does such a great job of building proper tension and delivering not only the scares, but the comedy as well. The comedy doesn’t stop it from being strange to look back on. While Where the Wilds Things Are scared me as a child and only gave me a slight panic attack thinking about it now, Monster House wasn’t scary to me when I was younger. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized how twisted it really was. Picture this. An obese freak-show lady marries the one guy who cared about her and they begin to start their lives together with a home of their own. After some kids are messing with her, she tries scaring them off but then falls to her death through the floor of her still under-construction house. This leads to cement pouring on her and mummifying her body, leading to her damned soul becoming a part of the house and creating a, wait for it, Monster House. Then she promptly begins eating children, of course. Laying it out, it is really quite tragic. But, still, the main cast of kids not only running into her dead body in the basement, but also accidently destroying it and exposing her bones, was INSANE. But I can’t lie, I really did and still love that movie.
Wall-E is one of the most heartwarming movies ever created. It does a fantastic job of fusing a romance and a space adventure all into one. I actually rewatched it not too long ago and loved every minute of it. It follows a small little cleaning robot that is alone on the decimated Earth and his journey with falling in love with a robot from the last remaining human space civilization. What makes it creepy, however, is its accuracy. With the fat humans in chairs having to live in space after destroying Earth and having technology run and control their lives, it doesn’t seem to be different from life today. It just feels a bit different watching this movie now compared to 2008. Many of these plot points are fears of current day humans. Don’t even get me started on the rip-off of Hal from A Space Odyssey. The main AI of the ship is, of course, evil and has the demonic red eye to match. Sure, it might be a real boomer mindset with how they represented technology and social media, but is it really so far-fetched? I don’t think so.
The Spiderwick Chronicles
This movie only remained as a faint memory in my mind. I remember they had a Mcdonald’s toy run, but that was all that came to mind. After getting my memory jogged with a quick trailer, it all came rushing back to me. So, basically, these kids discover that little monsters are hidden around their entire world and are always watching them. The only way they can see them is through a tiny stone monocle. I remember when I was younger that this movie was actually quite good. I might not be rushing to buy the Blu-Ray, but it was quite a fun movie. Thinking back on it is quite strange, though. All these little monsters are living in your house and can physically touch you, all while being completely invisible. Nowadays I just think if the little creeps watch you in the shower. How would you even know? Seriously uncomfortable stuff.
Coraline is a great look at appreciating the people in your life, even when you wish they were better. Coraline’s dynamic with her parents was interesting and very grounded, even if I couldn’t connect with it as a child. I still understood and could feel for Coraline. But dang, is this movie creepy. I get it’s supposed to be spooky, but come on. For starters, having an alternate version of your reality through a small door in your house is not the most comforting thought. But, it doesn’t end there. These alternate beings have sewn-in button eyes that just stare into your soul. On top of that, once Coraline starts getting a bit too comfortable with her new parents, her evil doppelganger mother tries to replace her eyes with buttons. It is a touching gesture, but a big no for me. Seriously though, I didn’t even think of the actual process of removing one’s eyes and replacing them with a button until now. Seriously freaky stuff.
These films helped shape not only mine, but many other people’s childhoods. Should I have seen all of them? Probably not. But each one of these films influenced me in some way. It gave me a piece to digest and learn. A few of these films shaped the very core of my being. Where the Wild Things Are is not one of those films. It is still the worst.