Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Horror Movie That Traumatised Me For Real

I'm not a big fan of horror, I've said it before and I'll say it again and again. But I would never discredit the genre as rubbish since they are known to have actually cause real-life scares. Most are blown out of proportion, but all the same the consequences are real. For example, as I'm sure you've heard, Spielberg's Jaws [1975] got so many people afraid to swim in the ocean but worse still, caused fishermen to mercilessly kill sharks until they are now facing extinction.

Of course, it doesn't help that they don't look anything like Koala Bears...
But still, if sharks are really Death incarnate, then that diver is fucked!
So what I'm saying is, while most horror movies are laughable (like Friday the 13th, etc), the ones that are really well-written and effectively play out our deepest fears can really traumatise you. Oh, mine's not Jaws [1975].

It's The Dentist [1996].


I don't know how old I was when I saw this movie, but holy cow I got so afraid of dentists for God knows how long I didn't want to have anything to do with them throughout my entire teenage years. The worst part? Even then I knew it was just a movie and there's not a dentist in the world who would do anything remotely close to that and risk losing their license.

This is standard procedure, sir...
But still, it didn't matter. The fact that the movie was inspired by a real-life dentist/serial killer certainly helped raise the panic meter, but even on its own, the movie effectively played with our fears... Well, my fear perhaps. Just looking at those utensils dentists work with made my imagination run so wild that even a mouth mirror freaked me out. Needless to say, I gave plenty of dentists headaches that my parents simply gave up forcing me to have regular dental appointments. But hey, I compensated by brushing my teeth three to four times daily, even to this day.

Anything to avoid having flashes of this image every time dentists peer over my face...
Looking back on the movie as an adult, I can't help but chuckle seeing how relatively tame it all suddenly became. Heck, the guy playing the dentist was none other than Corbin Bernsen, one of the friendlier faces in Hollywood cinema. So suffice to say, I'm not afraid of dentists anymore, but some of the fear remains; I cringe every time I hear a spoon clank against one's teeth.

Is there a horror movie that traumatised you for real?
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