There's an ultimate conclusion I've reached here recently in thinking about film and my childhood and life in general: nearly everything I'm afraid of or that torments me can be traced back to a Steven Spielberg film.
I have a rather deep, abiding fear of velociraptors which can only stem from one source - Jurassic Park, the first Spielberg film I think I ever saw. I think I somehow saw it when I was at the ripe old age of five or six (and by ripe and old I mean highly impressionable and deeply swayed). Realistically I have no reason to be afraid of velociraptors considering they've been extinct for hundreds of millions of years, and yet ever since Sam Neill explicitly described how velociraptors feed at the beginning of the film, I have a certain anxiety about their former existence on Earth. It's also one of the most quoted movies in my family - especially the line about blood-sucking lawyers (why? I have no idea. Funny now that I'm going to be a paralegal).
I am not directly afraid of sharks but thanks to Jaws I often wonder about what's swimming beneath me when out in a lake. Especially because Minnesotan lakes have Northern Pike... and they have a lot of teeth. I don't care that they are not interested in nibbling on humans - it's the fact that they could, ala Jaws, that is worrisome. Also, without Jaws, would a film like Sharknado have been possible? Would Discovery Channel's Shark Week be as popular?
|A northern pike, just in case you don't believe me when I say they can be terrifying. (http://24.media.tumblr.com/)|
Then there's Poltergeist. I saw part of this film when I was pretty young and have been forever scarred by it. Snowy television screens, paranormal activity, the dark, building on burial grounds - yeah, this film is chock full of things to give me nightmares.
Indiana Jones made me nervous about snakes and aware of Nazis long before I understood anything about WWII. Close Encounters and E.T. gave me a lot of feels about aliens. And War Horse... basically, if there's any one film that I particularly blame Spielberg for ruining my life with, it's War Horse. He put two of my favorite actors in the same movie, in the same scenes. I got really excited when I saw the stills on Tumblr because I thought it seemed like Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston were in a large chunk of the movie. And then I saw the film...