I'm not sure what normal kids are afraid of when they're young. I grew up on a dairy farm, so you'd think my nightly prayers would include "please don't let a herd of cows stampede our house, please don't let the bull get out, and please don't let the geese corner me near the pig sty tomorrow and peck me to death." Strangely, I was afraid of none of these things. In my mind, these things were ludicrous. The cows were too content to stampede; there were solid iron bars and cement around the bull pen; those geese may as well have had a restraining order against me, because I would never get within 500 feet of them. No, what kept me up at night was this one thought: what if a dinosaur comes along and eats our house?
In my mind, it made sense. First of all, look at the coelacanth. Everyone thought it was extinct, and then BOOM! Someone caught one. It seemed logical to me that a dinosaur could live quite happily in the woods behind our house, undetected. Until he ran out of deer and other woodland snacks, and started hankering for some human treats.
So when Jurassic Park came out, my sister, father, and I sat in our seats, jaws hanging open and eyes popping out of our heads. I don't know what they were thinking (Dad was probably thinking about how much he hates uncomfortable theater seats) but I know I was thinking Oh. My. God. That right there is a REAL dinosaur. We're all going to die. And I was no longer even a teenager when the movie came out, so clearly, the velociraptors were scary enough to give an adult nightmares.
I'll admit Jurassic Park still gives me a thrill when I watch it; that occasional that's so cool! moment. I get that it's CGI. I get that that lawyer wasn't really eaten by a dinosaur as he sat on the toilet.
But to this day, whenever I see ripples on water, I think uh-oh. T-Rex.
Now that's movie magic.