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My Kindertrauma: Fast Forwards

I missed a few things during my Kindertrauma run that I didn’t think of at the time and/or didn’t think worthy of an article. But time passes and hey, it’s Halloween anyway.

The Neverending Story – Gmork

Gmork is an interesting character. He’s really not in the film much and wolves can be as cute as scary. They’re just older uncles of dogs. They’ve been in the war, they’ve seen some shit, but they keep it to themselves.

But Gmork is a personification of dread. The first time you see him is when he’s chasing Atreyu in the swamps of sadness. In that shot, he’s just a blur. You know he’s out there, but not how big a threat he is. Until the end.

The world is crumbling around everyone and then Atreyu comes upon a cave. He has nothing– no luck dragon, no horse, no weapons. And then this big ass wolf starts talking to him. It’s a fear worse than any Jason or Freddy movie because he can see you, but he’s not killing you. But he’s going to. You’re just not the guy he wants to kill. Except you are the guy he wants to kill and he doesn’t know it.

Also, you can barely see him in the cave. I’m sure they did this because of the bad puppet effects (although there’s something to be said for the uncanny valley). But it also means you can’t see any telegraphed moves. You can’t tell if/when he’s going to spring. And then he does and it’s way faster than you expect thanks to his slow “Disney ride” animatronics.

Ghostbusters – Library Ghost on Twitter: "Ruth Oliver, who played the Library Ghost in # Ghostbusters, was born 104 years ago today."

I don’t like jump scares. Especially when I was a kid. Even jump scares I know are coming. So when I watched Ghostbusters, which was often, I had to fast forward through this part, from when they’re about to scare the ghost until I can see them running out of the library.

Also, the hands coming out of the chair grabbing Dana wasn’t my cup of tea. Also played on my fear of being restrained. (Or maybe this created that fear?)

Poltergeist – Clown Puppet/Toy

There’s another jump scare here. When the storm is raging outside the window and he’s looking around for where that bumping is coming from. At some point, he looks under the bed, and you expect the jump there, but no. Thinking there’s nothing there, he leans back up.

And there’s the clown in the same cut. (And it’s now it’s a freaky clown.) And it wraps its freakishly long arms around him and starts to choke him. And I forget what happens after that. I think I left the room.

The Brave Little Toaster – General Feeling of Malaise

THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER | GenreVision — GenreVision

This is one of my all-time favorite movies, but man, it’s a study in mood whiplash. You’d think it’s about cute little Disney-fied anthropomorphic appliances. But this shit’s for real. First, the air conditioner suicides/self-destructs. That’s a thing in this universe? You can get so angry you die?

And then the flower falls in love with the toaster. (I think it’s falling in love with it–it might be falling in love with its reflection.) Either way, the result is the same. When the toaster checks back on the flower, it’s dying of loneliness. The hero did that.

Then, of course, there’s the firefighter clown. Everyone’s scared of that motherfucker so no need to go further. (I still think the Poltergeist clown is scarier.)

But most of the malaise comes from two big scenes. One is the musical number in the junk shop and the other is the musical number in the junkyard. Both share the same theme of mortality. One has more of a horror vibe, of sudden random death. The other is about death after a full existence. Each car tells about what they did in their life, the roads traveled, the events experienced. But each one is taken by the grim reaper magnet and compressed into the same cube. Pretty heavy stuff for a children’s movie. I wonder if that’s where I got my crushing fear of death.

Oh, “crushing”! I see what I did there.

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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