A movie came out the year I was born. That movie was THEM.

This movie starred James Whitmore, Joan Weldon and James Arness and is all about giant ants.. giants because of nuclear testing or some such thing.  But when I was a child, I didn’t CARE why they were giants.

In the beginning of this movie, the policeman {James Whitmore} finds a little girl about 6 years old wandering the desert in a catatonic state. 

THAT first scene with that little girl terrified me as a child.  That little girl was wandering all alone out there and if those policemen hadn’t just happened to be checking out a call, and if they hadn’t just HAPPENED to glance out into the desert as they were driving, they might never have seen that tiny little girl and she would have died. 

I don’t know how old I was when I first saw this movie, but I remember how it made me feel. I remember thinking how scared I would be if I were to be alone somewhere like that. I remember how terrified the little girl was when she caught a whiff of the acid smell given off by those giant ants.  I remember how I kept thinking she was completely alone because here parents were gone. 

I consider that I was very young at the time, but still was thinking about things that were never really addressed in that movie… her parents being killed, the silliness of the basic premise of giant ants, etc., but I also remember being deeply affected by her fear and by her being alone, and why, now that we mention it, were they camping in the middle of the desert with no water or electricity or anything nearby?

Now, as  and adult, I always seem to watch movies and ponder the questions most others probably don’t.. for instance, one of my favorite movies is The Last Starfighter.  What happened AFTER Alex and Maggie left for the stars?  Did Louis grow up to be like his brother?  Did they ever catch Zur?

Or even in Star Wars-Leia and Han and Luke had barely met and they were already addressing one another as though they had known one another forever.  Anakin built C3P0 and yet, Darth Vader doesn’t seem to recognize him at all.  Uncle Owen BUYS him from the Jawa and doesn’t recognize him OR R2D2.  What is in the water in that galaxy?

Or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone-when Snape is putting Harry down for not paying attention the first time they meet, why didn’t Harry just show him his notes where he was copying down what Snape was saying?

Yes, I get that I am seeing all this through an adult’s eyes now, and I DO tend to be logical and practical and “persnickety” about details, but all those things go through my mind.  I find myself attempting to rewrite various scenes in many movies I watch.  I find myself trying to accept plots which are too ridiculous for words..  then I remind myself I love Harry Potter and I love Star Wars and I love science fiction for all their unrealistic and nonsensical ideas and plots.

But NONE of them has hit me where I live..deep in the heart of fear…like THEM.

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