From a young age, Liam always found it hard to bond with his father, Robert Walker. While, Liam and his mother, Cherry, always had baking in common, it wasn't often that Liam found exciting things to do with his dad, especially when he was younger. Later on in life, Liam and Robert would connect over their love of art and painting, however, when Liam was a kid, finding a common ground proved to be difficult. As a child, around the age of 11, this had Liam experiencing his first known feelings of self-doubt and sadness. The thoughts of feeling distanced from his dad, depressed him greatly, knowing they didn't share the same type of friendship that he had with his mother. During a time when Liam felt at his lowest inside, Robert had an idea to help strengthen their relationship, but it came with one condition, don't tell Cherry.
One day, Liam and Robert were left in the house alone as Cherry was out with her girlfriends, doing some shopping and then planning to go out for a few late-night drinks. So needless to say, she wouldn't be back home until much later. This gave Robert lots of time to introduce Liam to the world of horror. Horror movies were something that Robert was presented with by his father and it only felt right to begin to pass down that torch to his son, Liam. If Liam was uncomfortable, he wouldn't push, but it was something he felt they could do together, just them. It was an early evening in Sydney and Robert called out for his son to show him his first ever scary film ꟷ Psycho (1960), directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Anthony Hopkins. Liam happily joined his father in the living room to see him holding a small DVD casing in his hands. "Dad, what's up? You want to watch a movie together?"
His father grinned and brought Liam over to the family couch in the living room, sitting him down. "Son." He began. "When I was your age, my dad would show me scary movies and well, it brought us closer together." Liam kept a raised eyebrow above his right eye as his father spoke towards him. "And I was wondering if that's something you might want to start doing together as well." As Liam processed what his dad was telling him, he still had the natural 11-year-old boy curiosity that any other kid would have. His eyes peered down at his dad's hands as he was still holding the DVD close to him. "Is that what you want to watch together?" Liam questioned as his eyes were pointed right at the thin plastic container. "Yes." His dad replied with a soft nod towards his son. "Can I see it?" Liam asked as he extended his palms outward in the direction of the DVD.
His dad nodded as he handed the plastic casing to his son. "Just, whatever you do, please don't tell your mother, not now, this can be our thing." Liam chuckled a little at his dad, wanting to keep this under wraps. Before giving his dad a straight yes or no answer, he flipped the DVD over, with the front facing down as he began to read the biography of the film, his eyes scanning each individual sentence. ꟷ A secretary from Phoenix, Marion Crane, is on the run after stealing $40,000 from her job in order to disappear with her boyfriend, Sam Loomis. Overcome with exhaustion after driving for so long, she checks in for the evening at a desolated motel, The Bates Motel. Here she meets, Norman Bates, a highly functioning adult, whom is a desk clerk at the motel, who has a love for taxidermy and a strange relationship with his mother.
After re-reading the plot of the film several times, Liam agrees to watch the film with his dad. Even if it was scary at times, the plot was seemed good and Liam thought he would focus more on that than the blood and gore, if there was any. Liam lifted his head up and nodded in his father's direction. "Okay, we can watch it." Liam said with a smile as he handed the case back to his dad, getting himself comfortable on the couch. Before starting the film, his dad went into the kitchen to make him and his son some horror movie snacks. He returned a few moments later with two cola's, a bowl of popcorn and some chocolate crackle for the father and son to share during the movie. As Liam got the food situated, Robert opened the DVD case and put the movie in the player, joining back with his son shortly after, waiting to hit play.
The film was 1 hour and 49 minutes long, although it felt like much longer for Liam. As he thought before, during the whole movie, he stayed as focused as he could on the sub-plot of the film rather than the murderous spree of Norman Bates. He didn't want to let up to his dad that he was getting scared, so he hid this fact by constantly stuffing food into his mouth. However, Robert knew that trick from doing it himself when he was a kid. Despite feeling scared and uneasy, he knew this was important to his dad and sat through the entire film with him, even through the iconic scene where Norman kills Marion. Liam's breathing increased as he used all of his will power to not scream or cry at the horrific scene. Soon after that scene, the film was over and Liam was able to rest his mind with ease, knowing that it was done. Liam had never experienced fright like that before and the feeling would last with him long after the completion of the film.
Liam kept his promise in not telling Cherry about the activity that him and his dad had shared together. However, the truth came out about a day or so later because of the nightmares. Because of the imagery that Liam was exposed to with Psycho, it caused him to have very intense and vivid nightmares. The nightmares weren't always related to the movie itself, but they were dark imaginations that caused Liam to wake up in the middle of the night screaming. Cherry and Robert would both take turns easing him back to sleep, especially Robert. After a week of the night terror's, Liam wanted it to end. There had to be something he could do to overcome this new fear of horror movies.
A week or so after watching Psycho, Liam was flipping through the television channels and saw something that caught his attention. It was a documentary about the movie, Psycho, a film that was still fresh in his mind. Internally, he was scared that the documentary might show clips from the movie but at the same time, he thought this might be good for him. Maybe watching the documentary would help him overcome the fear of watching other horror films in the future, as he thought he might have to do. He also thought about his dad. Horror movies were obviously very important to him. He wanted a strong connection with his dad at any cost, even if that very thing scared him, he wanted their bond to grow and to have something to share with him throughout his childhood.
With that, Liam made the choice to watch the 40-minute documentary on the 60s film, feeling much better after watching it. Watching the mini-movie really opened up Liam's mind to the idea of physical effects, acting and the history of real life killers. Believe it or not, after processing the film as people working and creating content for viewership, the nightmare's stopped and slowly but surely, Liam ventured out to watch more and more horror movies. Some movies he watched alone and some he shared with his dad. As the years passed, he found more solitude and comedy within the horror genre. Now, being a huge lover of horror, he's thankful that his dad showed him Psycho when he did. His dad just wanted a way to bond with his son but for Liam, he taught him that you can overcome your fears, even if it's hard sometimes.