Toy Story is a terrible film for children, no matter what the “G” rating would suggest.


When I tell people that watching Toy Story was a traumatic experience for the four-year-old me, they always think it’s ridiculous. If they are feeling particularly sympathetic, they may entertain the idea that Sid and his sadistic manipulation of toys could be a little scary if his victims weren’t still just toys.


But it wasn’t Sid that I had a problem with. I was most disturbed by the idea that toys could come alive at all. I’m not sure why it came as a surprise to me that Toy Story involved living toys. Maybe I had to watch the film to truly grasp the profound implications.


Toy Story made me cry so much that my parents had to take me out of the theatre. With the immediate terror having been dealt with, an insidious paranoia soon replaced it.


When we arrived home, I announced through sobs that every toy that might ever think about eating meat had to be imprisoned in the basement. This dietary discrimination included almost all of my dinosaurs, which I had, up until then, loved dearly.


But I had become wise. I would not be the late-night snack of a miniature raptor. This kind of thinking is both absurd and annoyingly logical in a way that only children can be, but apparently I didn’t stay in the theatre long enough to see that the dinosaur in Toy Story is so sensitive that he actually needs lessons on how to be scary.


The one exception I made was for my grey teddy bear named Tippy. I’d had Tippy since I was born, and we had been through too much together for him to turn on me. We were brothers. I thought I could trust him. But that trust was put through the toughest challenge it would ever face.


I awoke the next morning (assuming I had slept at all, which is questionable) without even a single bite mark. I felt bad for ever doubting him. Slowly I learned to give my trust back to the rest of the meat-eaters.


Scary stories affect us in ways that normal stories just can’t. As we grow older, we know that the images of a horror movie aren’t real, and yet they still have an incredible power to terrify us. Or make us laugh, when an attempt to be taken seriously falls flat. Maybe the appeal of scary stories is that they allow us to feel like children again, where there are big, bad and scary things in this world that we don’t understand but that we allow ourselves to believe in for an hour and a half. Or maybe it’s the exact opposite, and we like to feel that we are mature enough to handle anything.


In honour of all things scary, we present you with ANDY’s annual Halloween issue. We’ve got more stories of people’s first experiences seeing scary movies, what makes a good scary video game and a couple of reviews of new horror films. ANDY is all treat and no trick.


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