There were two films that really scared me as a kid – and both of them had one rather unusual feature in common.
‘The Witches’ and ‘Ghostbusters 2.’
Let’s look at ‘The Witches’ first. Remember the scene where the grandmother tells Luke about her first encounter with witches? If you don’t, just watch the clip below.
That clip ended a little bit sooner than it should have. After that, the grandmother told us that the girl in the painting would change positions from time to time but nobody ever saw her move. And freakiest of all, she got older and older, until one day she simply wasn’t there anymore.
Why did I choose the film over the brilliant book? Because in the film we got to see the painting. And in my parents’ house, we had a painting of a cottage in the woods just like that one, which you can imagine I was terrified of. I honestly think that the clip above is one of the most frightening scenes in cinematic history. Getting trapped for eternity in a lonely painting is such a horrifying prospect. It’s the stuff of nightmares.
Which brings me to ‘Ghostbusters 2’, which also had a person trapped in a painting at its core. Except this time, the person trapped is the evil ghost Vigo the Carpathian.
I loved everything about ‘Ghostbusters’ growing up; the cartoon, the toys, the first film. So I couldn’t wait to see the sequel when it came out. I went to the cinema with my mother and brother. I took the aisle seat and waited to laugh and jump in equal measures. And this was all going so well, until Vigo stepped out of the painting.
I distinctly remember that moment. It’s stayed with me more than any other cinema-gonig experience. Sitting there, in the aisle seat, I was convinced that Vigo was going to come walking down the steps from behind to get me. I even looked over my shoulder a few times to make sure he wasn’t there.
Thankfully he wasn’t. But even to this day, if I see a painting like the one in ‘The Witches’ or a poster with Vigo’s snarling face on it, I can’t help but swallow drily, avery my gaze and hurry away.
So with that, I’ll wish you all a HAPPY HALLOWE- Wait a second! There’s a painting over my desk I never saw before…
I think I’ll just take a closer look. Be right back…
What a weird painti-ARGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!