It’s been quite a while since I was really afraid that there was a boogeyman in my closet, although I am still very careful to keep my feet under the covers when I go to sleep, because the covers are magic and if your feet are covered, it’s like boogeyman kryptonite. And I’m not as afraid of that as I used to be. The supernatural stuff doesn’t get to me anymore. So here’s the movie that scared me the most in the last 12 or 13 years. The movie opens with a woman in late middle-age, sitting at a table and writing a story and the story goes something like, ‘Then the branches creaked in the …’ and she stops and she says to her husband, ‘What are those things? I can’t think of them. They’re in the backyard and they’re very tall and birds land on the branches.’ And he says, ‘Why, Iris, those are trees,’ and she says, ‘Yes, how silly of me,’ and she writes the word and the movie starts. And that’s Iris Murdoch and she’s suffering the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. That’s the boogeyman in the closet now. … I’m afraid of losing my mind.
Steven King on the monsters we fear in adulthood.