Why are so many movies trending on Twitter? It’s all about childhood trauma

Tons of old movies ranging from cartoons like Watership Down to thrillers like Jaws and the supernatural Salem’s Lot were trending on Twitter Wednesday morning thanks to one user asking about childhood trauma.
Twitter user Ashley Bower asked what movies traumatized people as children, prompting a deluge of responses and a spattering of old movies to trend on Twitter on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.
Twitter user Ashley Bower asked what movies traumatized people as children, prompting a deluge of responses and a spattering of old movies to trend on Twitter on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. [ Ashley bower ]
Published Feb. 19, 2020

What movie traumatized you as a kid?

That question, posed by Twitter user Ashley Bower Tuesday night, had amassed nearly 30,000 responses by Wednesday, along with thousands of likes and retweets. The gifs flowed like a bucket of prom night pig’s blood pouring in slow motion over an unsuspecting Sissy Spacek and likely prompted a number of emergency FaceTime calls to equally unsuspecting therapists across the globe.

Bower herself led the fray with Jumanji, the ’90s Robin Williams classic where he’s sucked into a board game as a child and spends decades trapped in an isolated jungle until he’s dropped back into reality 26 years later as the game takes over his New Hampshire town. There are some very aggressive monkeys and a police cruiser and a shotgun and it’s a whole thing. Also, a young Kirsten Dunst.

The question led to a number of old movies trending on the social media platform as users responded. Some, like Jaws or Mars Attacks, were to be expected.

“Definitely Jaws,” Brent Burrows responded. “I was way too young when I saw it and even panicked going in swimming pools for a while. To this day I get freaked out just being in a lake and I won’t go more than a few feet out into the ocean.”

Lots of choices seemed to have to do with people seeing movies that might not have been age appropriate at the time, like the 1976 film Helter Skelter that told the story of the Manson Family murders.

And, of course, there was a host of children’s movies or PG-rated films that make you wonder what the devil filmmakers or the Motion Picture Association of America were thinking. Some highlights included the scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit where Christopher Lloyd’s Judge Doom gets flattened by a steamroller, only to re-inflate himself and come back with bugged-out red eyes.

Or the Witches, the Angelica Houston-led ’80s flick that featured some mild child torture and frightening prosthetics.

“How this was a kid’s movie still baffles me,” user Zen Zooma wrote.

And then there’s the whole Nazi’s-getting-their-faces-melted-off thing from Raiders of the Lost Ark that prompted Jake Dunand to wonder how that first Indiana Jones film got a PG rating at all.

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Some came from expected movies in unexpected ways, like user @CeeLaKay, who said the guy who owns the creepy truck from Jeepers Creepers lives in her town and often winds up driving behind her. You know, just like before the villain steals your skin in the movie.

So, Tampa Bay, what movie traumatized you as a kid?

And, if you’re wondering what traumatized this reporter, I can assure you it has nothing to do with the original film adaptation of Stephen King’s It and my mother dressing as a clown for children’s parties in an outfit eerily similar to Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise and years of complicated feelings.

Nothing at all.