Thursday, July 25, 2013

I Wasn’t the Only Kid Who Was Scared of E.T.

Today I was asked to write a piece about unintentional horror movies. You know – movies, usually aimed at children, which were meant to be funny or cute, but got lost in translation and wound up fucking horrifying instead. There was only one I could think of.

Gah!
Image credit: Juancho20002000

That’s not true. There were several I could think of – Labyrinth, for example, or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, or The Wizard of Oz, or Beetlejuice, which probably wasn’t for kids, not to mention that one Winnie the Pooh where he eats the bad honey and the heffalumps come for him.

But those weren’t so bad. Even adults could see why Labyrinth is scary, for example; I mean, it’s David Bowie for Chrissakes, and as if that weren’t bad enough, at one point some of those goblins actually pull their own heads off. Also, a kid gets kidnapped. That’s the exact thing they were always warning us about. Eep.

No, E.T. the Extraterrestrial was the one film that scared me so badly I had nightmares for years. The worst part was, everyone kept gushing about how good it was and it won heaps of awards, so all the grownups insisted on watching it over and over, even as I cowered in fear.

“What’s the matter?” they’d say (as if it weren’t fucking obvious). “Don’t be afraid!” they’d say. “He’s a friendly alien!” they’d say.

My ass. There are no friendly aliens. Well, Superman, but that’s it. Look at the aliens from Close Encounters of the Third Kind – they kidnapped people and held them captive for decades. You can’t tell me that’s an act of peace. That’s what they want you to think.

This guy is in cahoots with them.
Image credit: Romain Dubois

As my friend Page pointed out on my Facebook today, E.T. “looked like a dog turd that talked.” And he turned white like a dog turd too. WTF was up with that? I’m pretty sure if Elliot hadn’t gotten E.T. back to his home planet in time, he would have pupated or something. Then we would’ve been fucked. I mean, if he was so harmless, then why did all those government guys need hazmat suits and rifles? Oh yeah, they replaced the rifles with walkie-talkies in the 20th anniversary re-release, but I was there in the 80s, you guys, I REMEMBER THE RIFLES. I am certain he used that red laser-finger to steal kidneys. Certain.

So, about the nightmares. For years, as a child, I was plagued by nightmares that I was trapped in a supermarket at night, and E.T. was chasing me, making that weird little grunting sound he makes. He was a lot more agile in my dreams than he is in the film. In order to escape, I’d have to make it to the candy aisle, find the Reese’s Pieces, and fling them at the monster. Only then would he leave me alone, to go after the candy.

I didn’t eat Reese’s Pieces as a kid. I still don’t eat them today.


Gross.

22 comments:

  1. Yes, ET was always gross looking. Didn't have the nightmares, but certainly always had a bad feeling about him.

    Also, dog turd. Hahahaha.

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  2. And it's still terrorising kids today. My friend's three year old is terrified of E.T.

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    1. I hope the poor kid's parents are more sensitive about it than mine were.

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  3. I found parts of it horrifying in the theatre (though I did like it in the end) and still haven't rewatched it to this day.

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  4. I still remember everyone telling me how "Cute" ET looked. Never saw it. Plus he sounded creepy.

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  5. Terrified me as a child. Didn't see the remake. Even the thought of seeing the little creep redone for the big screen made me shudder.

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    1. there has been no remake ET is a stand alone film they tried to make a sequel but it didnt work and as long as spielberg is alive doubtful a remake will happen

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  6. THANK YOU. This movie RUINED me as a child. That monster is terrifying.

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  7. I had recurring nightmares too. I saw it in the theaters when it first came out. He would come out from underneath my bed and eat my stomach. Still petrified of him.

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  8. Oh I used to have terrible nightmares about e.t... it DOES look like dog turd even though when I was a child I used to think he was a talking hamburger. That creepy little monster with those horrible long fingers, wrinkled skin, fat feet and stomach, extending neck... the scene that terrified me the most was that in which he's hidden among the stuffed animals. From the day I first saw that scene I had to check my plushes before going to bed

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  9. This is old but i'm compelled to post this..i've had extremely similair dreams dealing with E.T. and using reeses pieces candies to distract/pacify him. In one of these dreams i was in the supermarket at night time. Undoubtedly, this strategy comes from the scene where the kid left them for E.T. I was terrified of E.T. as a child. The aliens from the "Alien" movie and other horror movies like "Chucky" made me laugh..but e.t.?..god help me. I had dreams he was under my bed as well. Fuck E.T...

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  10. Our son (preschool age) needed therapy after watching it. Biggest parent mistake ever!!

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  11. it was the voice that terrified me most i still cringe to this day when i hear it and please quit telling us all thats debra winger's voice um no lol

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  12. Traumatized me. Five years old and ran out of the theatre. Only made it to the long grass scene and that. Was. It. I hate that alien. Terrified my nightmares for years. As an adult I still have to look away and I agree, can handle alien and everything else. But E.T. That is true horror

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  13. OMG i love this article! It's so funny and YES I absolutely thought E.T was scary! I also found the space government dudes at the end creepy a f especially when the creepy intense music comes on & they're barging into the house. As a child, I didn't understand who they were or what was going on.

    I never watched it again because I was always scared to, up until recently.

    I saw that Netflix added it and I agreed to watch it if my boyfriend watched it with me. So I did and E.T did NOT scare me at all! It was crazy bc I was actually super nervous to watch this but sucked it up & did anyway.

    Anyways E.T was not scary even once to me and it is a really awesome movie. As an adult you see & interpret things differently. The story is so good, the acting is phenomenal ( that kid that plays Elliot is so awesome! But the whole cast is too).

    Soooo.. if you do ever muster up the guts to watch it I don't think you'll be scared anymore and you'll actually get to enjoy the movie too!

    xoxo

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  14. the kids probly fucking 2 u guys stop being fucking dramadic and dicks about the fucking awsome movie so SHUT THE FUCK UP

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  15. E.T. is a great movie. But it scared the shit out of me for most of my childhood.

    My parents were always very careful about what I watched. But when I saw E.T. when I was 3, I was completely terrified - his appearance, his movements, and maybe worst of all, his horrific squealing and grunting.

    I remembered it all vividly as I grew up - when I was 7, I tried a second attempt to watch the movie, but I had to stop the tape. Only when I was eleven was I finally able to muster up the courage.

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  16. Omg and I thought this was irrational, I'm mainly scared cause 3 year old me was channel surfing and on came the cornfield (long necked) scene, I got over it this year when I stared at his ugly ass face for 5 minutes, i always had a friend who actually thought he was cute, so I came up to her and said "know what, he is kinda cute, lol jk he's still ugly as fuck I'm just not afraid anymore"

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  17. E.T scared the crap out of me as a kid, I'm glad I'm not the only one who was experiencing fear from the movie

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