Saturday, September 26, 2009

Huge Angry Things: Universal Fear

As a followup to my last post about little creepy things that scare us, I thought I’d cover the most obvious fear—anything bigger than us.

My fear of big things comes from my height. That sounds weird for a 5’8” woman, but the truth is, I’m used to being taller than, not shorter than. My 5’1” ghost hunting partner adores horses and large creatures, but then she’s used to everything being taller than her. I, however, don’t like the sensation.

Humans are used to being the most powerful, top of the food chain, dominating creatures of the natural world. So, obviously, our greatest fear is something that sees us as a potential food source or so insignificant we’re like ants under their huge feet.

There are three really common scenarios for the large and angry creature movies:
1. The Japanese Godzilla genre--monster crushes big city.
2. Dinosaurs.
3. Radiation-induced large versions of earthly creatures.

There’s nothing that says “terror” like some gigantic monster trying to make humans into a tasty appetizer.

Here’s some great movies that involve enormous predators:

“Cloverfield” This reality-feeling hand-held camera movie involves and attack on New York by some kind of insane gigantic beast that won’t stop until the city is dead.

Huge beast attacks Japan and there’s no where to hide.

“King Kong” An island with a giant ape is found by a film group who decides to cash in on the big guy and take him to the city.

“Food of the Gods” 1970s classic about an island with toxic ooze that makes all the critters grow super larger—including the rats!

“Them” This is a classic from the 50s SciFi genre. Gigantic ants in the desert. It’s a must-see for everyone.

“Reign of Fire”
Dragons taking over the earth, oh my! I adore this film—one of my favorite ones of all time to watch in my home theater. The room rumbles while it plays. (It doesn’t hurt that the men are delicious—I love those hardened end-of-world kinda guys like the ones portrayed by yummy Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey). Girls warning: Best male shirtless testosterone fight scene ever!

“Jurassic Park” What if the dinosaurs came back to life? What if they got loose from their pens? What if you had nowhere to run?

So, what’s your giant fear? For me, it was always elephants stampeding people. If I even hear they’re showing film of it, I rush to change the channel. I can barely look at the beasts without freaking out at the zoo--and that's with a huge moat and fences between us! Forget the circus!!!


  1. ha!!! this is so funny. i am almost 5' 10" and when i am around someone taller than i, i feel weird! if you buy pre-made pizza shells this candy corn pizza is so simple and really good. this is the first time i bought pizza shells though they were from a good italian store that makes their own. everyone loved them and they took hardly any time at all to make.

  2. Reign of Fire sounds lovely:-) Matthew McConaughey is gorgeous (think i screwed up his name though) -I agree that this type of thing must be archetypal for human beings -I just watched a documentary on you tube about the Phoenix lights-and it brought up one thing I never thought of about that night (like i say-dangit I missed it being indoors!) that craft or whatever it was was enormous-and people were not wigging out!! and people were convinced almost to a person that they were seeing something not of this earth-10,000 people at that -some even said the lights calmed them in a way-sorry to go so off-topic -i just got done watching the documentary and was surprised wondering about a "panic" type reaction in response the size of the craft/ship whatever being a mile or over in size and that no one seemed scared. best to you as always Autumnforest and I hope you are having a great weekend!!

  3. Dev;
    I think I know you well enough to say that "Reign of Fire" would be a favorite. The story is amazing too. It's one of my top fav movies of all time. I agree about the Phx Lights. I live right behind South Mountain and managed to not look outside that night. Damn! I think what happens in that case is a feeling of community. We all feel strangely like we're seeing something magnificent and truly amazing but it's also silent and graceful. Nothing threatening about it. I think that would comfort people much more than a small silver fast moving disk. I also think that there's something deep inside our brains that recognizes truths--a sort of DNA memory that understands what it sees as familiar but isn't aware of why. Perhaps it was placed there long ago by some sort of DNA memory when we were genetically designed to recall our origins (fanciful, but I'm into theories).

  4. I love all the Jurassic Park movies but found Cloverfield a bit strange. Not sure if I like that movie or not. I did like the handheld Blair Witch approach to the movie but the creature, what was it a gigantic moth?

  5. I'm only 5'1" too, like your ghost hunting partner, so I'm used to being towered over. However, when we were in Alaska last year and ran across a moose on the path near our hotel, I gave it plenty o'space. Most animals don't really freak me out...except lions/tigers. Big cats that can rip you to shreds? No thanks! Then there's the stuff that comes with water. Like alligators/crocodiles. And anything that lives full time in the water, like sharks and even whales...GULP! Talk about feeling vulnerable. From the safety of a boat I'm okay viewing them, but swimming around with them? I used to want to be a Shamu trainer until I realized just how much bigger and more powerful they are. I respect that!