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Finding Nemo is the Scariest Movie I've Ever Seen.
Kept me up all night...
There are certain movies you don't watch when you're all alone on a stormy night. Even though you're feet away from a large TV, the images and sounds on the screen make you feel unsafe in your own home. I've asked many of my friends to tell me what movie it was that made them feel uncomfortable in their own skin.
The most common answer? "Children of the Corn", a 1984 film adaptation of Stephen King's short story of the same name, about a small town in Iowa where a group of small children have brutally murdered all of the adults. The corrupted innocence of children always seems to unnerve people, so I could sympathize.
However, as terrifying as that movie was, it was a different horror that managed to ruin one stormy December night back in 2003. Let me break the plot down for you.
Life is pretty sweet for our primary antagonist. He just settled down into a great new crib with the love of his life, who just gave birth to a few beautiful children. Sounds great right? Like a family friendly, Disney film?
Well. Life changes pretty quickly for our hero when a barracuda swims along and devours both his wife and 399 of their children.
If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm talking about Disney-Pixarssmash hit, "Finding Nemo."
Now before you click that charming "X" at the top of your screen, let me explain.
Unless you've been living under a rock or have an aversion to animated fish, I'm sure you've seen Finding Nemo. I'm sure you walked away, full of hope and love, thinking, "What a heartwarming tale about family and what a father will do for his son."
And that's cute! I can dig it, I like that concept... Except that isn't the movie I saw...
Really quickly, let me run through the plot from where i just left off for those of you have been living under a rock.
So there is one bright spot for our antagonist, an orange clownfish ironically named Marlin. Though he is wifeless and has 399 mini-fish-funerals to attend, one egg survived, albeit featuring a rather scary crack.
Eventually that cracked egg hatches into Nemo, an adorable little guy with an abnormally small fin.
Understandably, Marlin is extremely protective of Nemo. I mean, you watch 400 loved ones get devoured at once, and you might not taking anything for granted for a while, especially if it has an abnormally small fin.
Did I mention he has an abnormally small fin?
So, against his gut, Marlin allows Nemo to go to school... Where he's kidnapped by an australian scuba diver.
So. Lets Recap. Marlin gets married. Marlin has kids. Wife and kids get eaten. Except for one. Has physical disability. Gets kidnapped on first day of school.
Cool. Moving forward.
So, being a good dad, Marlin furiously swims after his son. Unfortunately, Marlin is not Michael Phelps and the boat holding Nemo and Nemo's kidnapper got away. Fortunately, the scuba diver, a dentist by the name of P. Sherman (Another reason I never trust dentists) drops his mask, which has his address on it. Because yeah, scuba masks are seriously valuable.
Without breaking down every single scene in the movie, he meets a Blue Tang, or a Paracanthurus Hepatus by the name of Dory, who has short term memory loss but can apparently read. Armed with Dory and the address of his childs kidnapper, he takes off across the Ocean. Along the way, they get chased by sharks and an anglerfish, dodge explosions, and nearly get stung to death by jellyfish. Meanwhile, in the dentists aquarium, Nemo is forced into a gang, and is nearly fileted and... whatever the opposite of drowning is, trying to escape.
So. Tell me if you've heard this before. A father does whatever it takes, traveling great distances, and fighting off bad guys to rescue a kidnapped child from a gang? Liam Neeson called. He has a very specific set of skills. He will find you, and he will kill you.
Eventually he meets up with poor Nemo and they "live happily ever after" but in my honest opinion, no kids movie should start with 400 casualties.
Its been nearly a decade since I've had a good nights sleep.
I try to close my eyes and I hear "just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."
© 2012 Ryan Smith