My grandmother moved into a flat to be closer to my parents, and occasionally, at weekends I was allowed to stay overnight, as my parents also had a 3 year old toddler to contend with, who was a bit of a handful. I used to like staying overnight because my grandmother doted on me and spoilt me, cooking me porridge with sugar and jam in for breakfast, warming my clothes on the radiator before I put them on in the morning, and best of all letting me stay up late to watch tv, way past my usual bedtime (which was about 7.30 pm)
During one of those late night bouts of tv I watched The Hammer House of Horror on ITV (the one where Diana Dors is matriarch to a family of werewolves). And during another, I saw a short Spanish film called La Cabina on BBC2. Everyone I know who saw it was really affected by it, for years and years afterwards. It is probably the most disturbing thing I've ever watched. It's very simple to explain the story. A man enters a telephone box which doesn't work. The door quietly closes behind him, and he realises he is trapped. A crowd of people gather to watch, laughing at him and enjoying his predicament. Various people try to break down the door but none of them succeed. Eventually some men from the telephone company come, load the box onto the back of a truck and drive off with him. They drive through the town and into the countryside. On the way he witnesses various incidents - a funeral with a glass coffin, some sad clowns holding a ship in a bottle, another man trapped in a telephone box, on top of another van. Eventually he is taken into a huge underground factory, the box goes along a conveyor belt and is left in a room - full of other telephone boxes, all containing dead bodies. The man sinks to the ground in despair. The film ends with another telephone box being set up in the same place.
This film and seeing my dead grandfather are both linked in my mind as two of the most horrible things that happened to me as a child. Of course, now as an adult I can appreciate all the subtleties and metaphors in the film - how it has a lot to say about the human condition, communcation, isolation etc. But with that said, it still disturbs and upsets me to watch.