Growing up in Michigan, we had a local Detroit channel that ran B-rated horror movies every Saturday afternoon. Hosted by Count Scary, it was my first introduction to questionable classics like The Fly, House of Usher, The Howling, Blackula and the like. In retrospect, the production value of these films was terrifying in itself, but it got me thinking about all the movies that kept me up at night (that I now roll my eyes at when I inadvertently come across them on my TV).
Curious, I polled the staff of StyleCaster to see if there were any consistencies in our group psyche. While the Exorcist and Jaws still freak most people out, the rest was a mishmash of personal phobias, silly irrational fears and questionable parenting skills (why did our moms and dads ever let us watch this stuff?!?).
Click through the slideshow above to see which scary movies damaged us most as kids and have now left us with some seriously weird habits (zombie contingency plans, sleeping with our faces under the covers, etc.).
Buffy the Vampire Slayer -- The movie that eventually launched the critically-acclaimed TV series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, I can safely say the bad acting and silly plot takes campy horror to a whole new level. StyleCaster account executive Brette Allen describes it as "epic" -- I say the most horrifying aspect to this forgettable flick is Luke Perry's 90s sideburns.
Birdemic -- Does it strike me as odd that our director of marketing acquisition would pick THE worst rip-off of The Birds ever? Coming from a man that wants to ride a unicorn at his upcoming wedding, you can sort of sense a theme here...
Tales From the Crypt -- Fearless leader #2 (a.k.a. the much adored David Goldberg) admits he found the Crypt Keeper totally terrifying when he was little. I could see how this could be a little unsettling considering the ghoulish puppet liked to cross dress from time to time and introduced us to more ridiculous puns than our little brains could possible process.
The Exorcist -- Universally feared by most people in our office (including fearless leader #1, Ari Goldberg), this film is no joke. Fact: I snuck and watched it when I was seven and was so terrified, I slept under my bed for the next week.
Gremlins/Critters/Cat's Eye -- Seriously, little monsters with sharp teeth were my downfall as a kid (thankfully, Death and Taxes editor Stephen Blackwell shares this same phobia). So much so, I trained myself to sleep with my face under the covers (in attempt to avoid that troll monster thingie in Cat's Eye that sucks the breath from little kids), still refuse to eat after midnight, and now own a cat as a first means of defense.
Hocus Pocus -- Both our publicity director and Ari's executive assistant cited this as their most terrifying movie as kids. Weirdly, if you knew them this would totally make sense.
IT -- Face it, most people get freaked out by clowns, and Beauty High editor Rachel Adler is one of them. A recent study even indicated that 1 in 7 people have coulrophobia (clown phobia). Seriously, it's just not normal to pile that many people into one car!?!
Nightmare on Elm Street -- Lifestyle writer Jessica Hoppe claims her sister forced her to watch this and Silence of the Lambs when she was a child by telling her they were Disney movies. (Fun family, huh?)
Toxic Avenger -- Hipster photographer extraordinaire Spencer Wohlrab "claims" this movie scared him as a kid, though he says Linda Blair's movie and TV choices following The Exorcist is way more terrifying.
The Ring -- StyleCaster associate fashion editor Jessica Rubin insists she was scarred by this film. (Personally, I'm still scarred by the fact that she finds faux turkey sausages to be a great post-bar meal, but hey, to each his own.)