My mom and dad hardly bothered to do any parental guiding when it came to films and I basically grew up watching whatever they were watching. This opened up a world of anguish and beauty for me from which I cannot wake up even today. Here are some fears, anxieties and phobias some of these movies introduced me to.
This great 1978 suspense film has acquainted me to hypnophobia, the fear of sleep or of being hypnotized, followed by a fear of organ theft. Also, it exposed me to the sanitary aesthetics of hospitals, the undeniable beauty of patterns, however disturbing their building material might be, and to ambiance lighting.
Soylent Green made me more thanatophobic than phagophobic, actually. While the latter is the fear of being eaten, this movie made me primarily afraid of dying. The fact that in the end we are no more than a pile of organic matter that can be repurposed made it too clear there is finality to sentient existence. The film also demonstrated that we can voluntarily choose to become pâté if shown a nice nature video.
Well, pediophobia, the fear of dolls, obviously. Also, I was introduced to automatonophobia, the fear of ventriloquist’s dummies and animatronic creatures. And to whatever the fear of playing with something all day long and then realizing that is has been working with no batteries is called.
Looking for the different names of fears Alien tapped into I have learned that what this movie made me is polyphobic (frightened of many things). There is pnigophobia, the fear of choking or being smothered. Then, there is parasitophobia, the fear of parasites growing inside your body. Teraphobia is the fear of monsters, of course. And there is the anxiety that the Xenomorph will continue to be my go-to response when thinking of what my first tattoo should be.
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Coulrophobia is what Tim Curry gets when he looks at the unemployed numbers in the clown industry.
Maelzel’s Chess Player
– a fraudulent automaton from the 19th century that watches movies to fill the void.