Filmmakers Talk About the First Movies That Scared Them

Horror films can certainly leave an impression, and in this Academy Originals video, a number of directors and other crew members share the first movies that scared them:

While you might not think of it as horror in the traditional sense, and I'm sure it's a random choice, but Arachnophobia was the first movie that I remember scaring me, and has no doubt contributed to my irrational fear of spiders (I'm pretty sure I was traumatized for weeks). I'll have to give a close second to literally anything with a terrifying puppet coming to life.

Fear is certainly a powerful emotion, and it's one of the reasons horror movies are still such a successful genre. Even if you don't like horror movies, they definitely get your heart racing.

What was the first movie (or movies) that scared you?     

Your Comment

9 Comments

The Exorcist. One of the very few movies capable of scaring me. The one that scared me the most. Still does!

October 28, 2015 at 8:49AM

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David R. Falzarano
Director / Writer / Editor
1442

I hid behind the barcalounger when the flying monkey's would appear in the 'Wizard of Oz'. Then there was the fierce Abdominal Snowman in Rankin Bass' stop motion classic: 'Rudolf'. Both terrifying (when you're 3).

October 28, 2015 at 9:57AM, Edited October 28, 9:58AM

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Jeffrey Norman
Director / Editor
130

Tales from The Crypt, used to watch that a lot as a kid. But the film that convinced me to become a filmmaker was the Original Evil Dead.

October 28, 2015 at 11:41AM, Edited October 28, 11:41AM

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Nicholas Ortiz
Director/Writer/Stuntman
205

The original Haunting. Saw it at home alone, suffering from food poisoning, with some puking & hallucinating. Fascinating!

October 28, 2015 at 12:14PM

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Tom Montvila
TVProduction supervisor
288

The Shining. Stanley Kubrick can create an atmosphere of horror and suspense like no other. Everything about that film is terrifyingly excellent.

October 28, 2015 at 1:27PM

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Daniel Loggins
Filmmaker
8

When I was probably 7 I was next door at my older cousin's house and Night of the Living Dead was on tv. The scene where they drive a spade through a zombie's head is a very vivid childhood memory. Even though there was only like 30 feet between our houses I ran home as fast as I could.

October 29, 2015 at 1:02AM, Edited October 29, 1:02AM

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Jonathan Kennedy
Filmmaker/writer
167

The Frighteners, second half of the movie when Michael J. Fox is seeing the flashbacks in the hospital - scared the crap out of me when I was around 5

October 29, 2015 at 2:11AM

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Matt Nunn
Amateur
439

Without a doubt, The Exorcist. Scariest movie of all time. I'm in my 40's and even now I wouldn't sit in the dark and watch it by myself. There's something primordially frightening about it.

October 29, 2015 at 8:18PM, Edited October 29, 8:18PM

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Drew Staniland
Actor/Videographer/Writer/Director
264

Not my first but most memorable was Jurassic Park. I had dreams of being chased by raptors for a few nights after seeing it.

November 1, 2015 at 8:07PM, Edited November 1, 8:10PM

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Ryan Gudmunson
Recreational Filmmaker
947