As children, we would tape films from the telly on our vhs. We’d record one film or programme over another, meaning we’d often see a few minutes from whatever was previously on the tape in between our kid stuff. One tape haunted me until this day. Just that one minute interlude, haunting me for 25 years. I never knew what the segment was from, only that it was the end of a film that my parents had recorded. To this day, it terrorfies me.
A woman is stabbed by flying daggers and pinned to the furniture in a crucifix position. Her eyes glow demonically. The camera pans out as the house burns down around her.
I would be captivated by that one minute of film, scared to take my eyes off the screen lest the drama concluding be changed. It’s returned to me in snatches of dreams, teasing me with the fear it unleashes. I never knew what the clip was from. Until this morning.
*** HERE BE SPOILERS!!! ***
A few weeks ago I Sky+d a few films to watch. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Independence Day and Carrie. Loved the first, haven’t got round to the second yet and started watching the third this morning. We are introduced to Carrie and told that her parents have strict religious beliefs. We meet her mother, a forceful preaching Christian who beats her child with a Bible to enforce her values. And that’s as far as I got.
As the mother walked through the house, there was a little piano riff. My whole being suddenly jumped? with recognition- after a quarter of a century being taunted by a frustrating clip, I knew exactly what it was. I had repeatedly seen the end scene from Carrie.
You’d think that with this sense of closure I would be able to watch the rest of the film knowing I had completed this puzzle. But I don’t think I can. I can’t tell you how quickly my hand moved to the stop button, how disturbed I was by that piano ditty. I also am unsure about the finality of seeing that pained face again after all these years.
For now it can sit on the recorder, waiting for me to be as brave as I was when I was a young child.