Warning! Lots o’ spoilers if you haven’t seen the movies.
10. That chick from “Saw”
I don’t watch many horror movies, because they still scare me, and because I really don’t like gore. It’s one reason why “Poltergeist” is my very favorite horror movie, but I still to this day can’t watch the scene beginning with the chicken, and ending with the bathroom mirror. More on that another time, but all of which is to say that I do love to be scared, but I really don’t like too much disgustingness, which is why I can’t even bear to include “Hostel II” in this list. However, “Saw,” though disgusting, did a really good job at being genuinely scary, and I see it as mainly a psychological horror movie, with lots of grossness kind of thrown in as a distraction. That’s sort of what I believe Jigsaw’s whole point is. I like him. But anyway, the scene with Amanda in the headgear was the first scene to really get to me in the movie (series).
9. Elijah Wood Gets Eaten by a Wolf
“Sin City” really disturbed me. I kind of hated it the first time I saw it. Then I watched it again, and now appreciate its really dark artistry. Still…*shiver.* This scene had the whole element of being trapped which always freaks me out, as his limbs have been cut off and he can’t move, as the wolf comes to get him. But the scariest part of the scene to me is the utter lack of remorse or any emotion at all in Elijah Wood’s eyes, as he stares into his final moments. Chilling.
8. The Rancor
“Return of the Jedi” has its many flaws, but the first half of the movie was awesome. And I remember sitting in the movie theater as Luke got thrown in the pit with the Rancor, and…horror.
7. Carrie Gets Pushed Too Far
Of course, I decided to watch “Carrie” while all alone one night. I couldn’t stop watching. And the prom scene…wow. Sissy Spacek is so creepy, and this whole scene just really makes me feel trapped, which (let’s all say it together), I hate. But it’s good for a horror movie. And watching this scene is extra-creepy after reading the book. And as many of you know, regarding my dreams and blood, I’m particularly fascinated by the blood imagery in “Carrie.” It starts out with Carrie cowering in the shower, knowing she is different and probably scary, yet not understanding that she’s gotten her period, and really everything is okay right now.
The movie ends with Carrie yet again covered in blood she wasn’t expecting. Carrie is someone who needed to somehow learn that her powers needed guidance, but never did, and ended up a dead murderer. Extremely sad.
6. “What’s in the box!”
Not only is it my favorite improv game, but it is the creeeepy, increasingly desperate question Brad Pitt asks at the end of “Se7en.” And of course, the answer is Gwyneth’s Paltrow’s head. This is another movie where the creepiness and awesome acting completely gets me to watch it, despite how very very disgusting it is. This movie made me really care about Brad/Gwyneth’s characters’ marriage, and…wow. I am hardpressed to think of a man who looks more alone/on the verge of going insane than Brad Pitt at the end of this movie.
5. The Amityville Horror House Attacks the Child
Specifically, the scene where the window slams shut on the kid’s fingers. I live not too far from Amityville, and although many people say the movie is pretty boring, and although it kind of is, I think it is also underrated. There was a real creepiness to the movie. I felt it did a good job capturing what a summer was back in those days. And when you’re a kid, you don’t expected to get accosted by your house. Especially with so little mercy.
4. The Clown from “Poltergeist” Attacks Robbie
I saw this movie on TV one day when I was seven. It just creeped me out entirely, yet it was so compelling. I couldn’t stop watching. And the clown…brrrrrrrrrr. The tree was really scary too, but that clown terrified me to the very core. Because really, just the whole process of trying to sleep is an ordeal in and of itself.
3. Samara Comes Through the Television
Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Some people didn’t like “The Ring.” I am not one of those people. I thought it was absolutely terrifying. All my brother Eric used to have to do to get me to scream in horror was to crawl next to the TV and pretend to be Samara. And this scene of course terrified me the most. What I thought made it extra scary was that it was all happening in a bright, sunny studio in the middle of the day.
2. Daniel Plainview Truly Becomes a Monster
Critics of “There Will Be Blood” call the film’s performances, Daniel Day Lewis’s in particular, histrionic and over-the-top. I agree with the words, but disagree wholeheartedly with the sentiment. Daniel Plainview was a man who started out a hero, and in an epic movie, disintegrated into a monster. That, to me, is the scariest of the scary. More on that when I write about television horror. But the scariest thing, to me, about Daniel Plainview in “There Will Be Blood,” is that although some really bad circumstantial shit happened to Daniel Plainview, there were so many chances he had, so many places to make better decisions. Sometimes he did, which makes the ending all that more tragic. My personal opinion? He should have just let the preacher bless the well. The preacher was not the greatest dude, but I believe that he really felt a pull for some reason, to bless the well. Daniel Plainview saw that — the preacher’s urgency. I think that if Plainview had just let the preacher bless the well, no matter what, this last scene never would have happened. I think that as Plainview watched his humanity shrink with each tragedy, he saw with increasing helplessness, that one moment where he could have done things differently, and blamed all of his failures on that one moment. Hence, the preacher as worthy of his final beating. The preacher ends up beaten to death on a bowling alley, while his murderer foams over him, fully a monster now, and where exactly did that original long-haired hero go who climbed literally hand over fist, with broken limbs, out of a really deep hole? Where is the father who ran into a fire to save his son? Those people are right there; they are heavily breathing over the man they(?) just murdered. How does one transform from the hero to the killer?
1. The Little Brother Vampire in “Salem’s Lot” Appears at the Window
One day in Spring 1982, I was supposed to go to Adventureland with my best friend and some people. But it rained, so we watched movies instead. Including “Salem’s Lot,” and I would never be the same. This movie filled me with terror. I literally had to sleep in my parents’ room for a week. The being afraid to sleep came mainly from the scene with the brother at the window. I still get scared if something scratches at the window.
I agree with #2. I drink your milkshake.
Yes! I’d heard that phrase bandied about countless times, always jokingly, and was surprised at how terrifying it was!
LOL you get scared too easy 🙂
(This is Judi)
Brilliance for free; your parents must be a sweetheart and a certeiifd genius.
It’s a great film, and I do think it’s a modern mriteapsece (see, I used the word , but I qualified it!). I think I preferred it to No Country for Old Men. Day Lewis is amazing really, but I think this film has two stars. The cinematography is just so beautiful it’s hard to put into words, but even harder to look away and, for a three hour film, that’s something.
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Thanks Debra! I just saw your comment!
most traumatizing scene for me: Saving Private Ryan, in the final battle, when that German slides the knife into that guy’s chest real slow while the guy pleads with him.
Omg, I only saw that once, on March 8, 1999(!), but I think I remember that. That’s so sad.