Mentioned this in a past post, thought I’d write about it…
Looking at thepraise E.T. has got since its release since is release in 1982. The film is pretty much seen as a family film, gonna throw it out there. When I watched it when I was young, my mum and dad sat me down and watched it with me. Needless to say I was terrified. Traumatised by this little alien that was left on earth and proceeded to stalk a little boy at his home…. Well that’s how I saw it at the time. Some of the images in the film really got to me and made a lasting impression.
15 years later, being in a film making research mood I decided to watch every film directed by my favourite director Steven Speilberg. I realised I would have to man up and put my childhood fear behind me and just watch the film. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Which is not to say I still found some of the images Speilberg creates quite disturbing. I looked back at my childhood self and could pinpoint exactly what about this film scared me.
The scariest points in E.T. come when you don’t really see E.T. himself. It is more about what Elliot and the audience doesn’t see. The unknown is scary in films. The scene where E.T. is in Elliot’s back garden and Elliot is looking for him is full of suspenseand mystery. The reeds move but you don’t see what’s moving them. When Elliot and E.T. eventually meet it’s a quick moment in which both of the characters are terrified, which could scare any child.
The next bit I found to be disturbing is the scene where Elliot sits outside waiting for E.T. appear. This is terrifying because even when E.T. walks out his face is still obscured in darkness. A mixture of looking at the obscured alien body shuffling forwards with Elliot so scared he can’t scream his mums name… For a five year old this scene is terrifying.
The whole opening actof E.T. is the scariest one, not seeing E.T. but seeing his hand and his unknown alien presence is much scarier than if he had been introduced fully. I guess that’s what Speilberg was going for really. Build up the tension and the mystery of the alien character so it’s a good pay off when we actually do see him and what he can do.
I think the last disturbing thing in E.T. is the scene when Michael finds E.T. all dying and white in the river and take him home. The image of a dying alien body screaming alien sounds was too much for me as a five year old I think.
Anyways, what I’m trying to say is that E.T. is, in a way, a scary film. It put me off watching it for 15 years it had that much of an effect on me since I was a little boy. Just some food for thought really, that and revisiting a point I made in an earlier post. I love this film now by the way, E.T. is one of my favourite sci-fi films, I mean one of the songs is in my top ten sci-fi soundtracks right?
Apologies for the spelling and Grammar.
I like how I’m trying to add more related posts to my posts but for this one there doesn’t seem to be one.