After seeing some people make cards about movies that terrified them for life, I thought I'd take up @buddyesd 's challenge and make one about the movie that impacted me most from childhood. And that movie is Twister!
I spent a lot of time at my grandma's house growing up. She had a cupboard full of VHS cassettes that I would sometimes crack open when she was busy baking bread, gardening and shooting groundhogs (and occasionally pools) in her backyard.
One day, when I was maybe 6 or 7, I decided to watch Twister! I can honestly say that the first time I watched this movie, I'm not sure if it actually scared me. I don't remember what I felt watching it. I'm not even sure if I made it through to the end; it's possible Grammy Dot found me curled up under her afghan when she came back inside, movie over and screen black. I can't remember the details, but I did remember that "tornadoes could be dangerous," and that would be a big problem later on.
Sometime around then, I went on a camping trip to Gettysburg with my older brother's Boy Scout troop. My whole family went, and we stayed in a big tent set up a few miles from the rumored haunted graveyards of battles that had happened decades before. Many other families set up around us in their big tents and we did "boy scout" things while I tagged along.
I don't remember much about the trip. But I do remember the night that the storms hit. Severe weather isn't uncommon in Pennsylvania, but tornadoes don't usually happen in Western PA, where I'm from. In the flatter areas around Gettysburg, though, it can happen.
When the storm hit, we all stayed in our tents just waiting out the rain. But then the rain stopped, so we all came out and started back at what we had been doing. At some point, an adult (I don't remember who) told us all to go to the bathrooms, go to the bathrooms now!
The campground had concrete buildings fashioned into bathrooms for these boy scout trips. The boys and men went into the boys bathroom; the girls and women into the girls'. I heard the sound of a tornado--the sound of a train plowing forward, forward, forward--for the first time in my life, and I cried and cried and thought that I would never see my dad or brother again. I imagined every scene from Twister happening. Us all scattering, some never to be come back again.
Nothing bad happened, unless you count having to through away my stuffed animal because he was soaked in the rain. The tornado touched down .25 miles away, and our campground was safe. We had some branches to clean up. We were lucky, but I was terrified.
My fear that started from a movie and moved to real life stayed with me. This wouldn't be the last time I had "close" experiences with severe weather. While fishing, a storm hit and there was a tornado about a mile away. I cried a lot then, too. When it would storm at night, I would move to the basement, or my parents floor. If I was at a friend's house for the night, I'd go home. My mom's new van got damaged from hail just outside the critical storm zone when my dad and I were driving home from my grandpa's farm. And every time, I was terrified.
Tornadoes weren't common enough to force me to get over the fear: they appeared only long enough to scare me, and then go away.
This movie terrifying me kind of did something great, though. I watched the movie many times as I got older, and I realized the reason while these storm chasers were still alive was not because they were crazy enough to drive towards the storm, but because they knew about how weather works.
So I watched the Weather Channel a lot. Enough that my mom banned it at our house during summer vacations, when I would call her anytime a watch or warning was issue and insist she come home from work. I read books about severe weather. I learned about the ways the leaves flip when the winds are right for severe weather.
I'll be honest when I say severe weather still terrifies me. Since I've learned so much about storms, they do not bother me anymore unless the conditions seem ripe for more severe weather. I'll happily watch heat lightning from my bedroom window, but I still pull my car over and cry and heave until the pounding on my windows stops and I'm sure I'm not just in the eye of a storm. I am still terrified of this movie!