Top 7 Films That Creeped the Hell Outta Me

We’re obviously into “Halloween” season as has provided a photo-slide show of the “Top 50 Scary Movies,” a completely arbitrary list that looks to entertain rather than distill a clear and accurate depiction of the best 50 scary movies. While the creators of this show have collected an interesting assortment, it’s just that; a quirky but largely irrelevant collection. They follow it up with the 20 Best Zombie Movies ever made. I’ve watched some 90+ zombie films in my life…trust me, there’s only about 20 good ones (and that’s stretching it) despite the hundreds that have been made. But the folks on the Horror Listserv  (a must for anyone who likes to talk details about horror films) are apt to rip it apart and deliver some 100 more films even better than what has.

The most striking and surprising on their scary movies but upon second thought, most agreeable, was Willy Wonka (The original; not the remake). Gene Wilder doing his eccentricity to the fullest; a bunch of Umpa-Lumpas with bad orange fake-n-bake skin tanning, and little children getting their EC Comics-derived “just desserts” and you definitely have something that is rather haunting and dastardly. However, by contrast, the list also included Open Water, a film that hovers in my (completely arbitrary) top 5 worst films ever list.

But we all like lists, so I’ve compiled the Top 7 Films That Creeped the Hell Outta Me. I chose 7, not because it was an especially evil number or to be different; but mostly because it’s 7:00AM and I’ve been up all night. These were all the films my diminished brain could conjure. Bare with me! (And spoilers for sure).
Image from a scene in John Carpenter's The Thing

The Thing (1984)

The concept is haunting and I certainly appreciate its attempt to be authentic to John Campbell’s “Who Goes There.” For me, there are just those scenes when the alien lets loose in unexpected ways that threw me for a whirlwind (and this is a film I didn’t see until my late 20s). I remember my eyes bulging when they go to deliver a second charge from the defibulator to the guy on the table and his chest opens up to chew off the guy’s hands. Equally striking and nerve-grinding, the thud-thud of the soundtrack that apparently is there throughout the entire film but sometimes just played very very low.

Saw 5 (2008)

I’ve been squeamish with the torture-porn run of the Saw films but I believe it is #5 where the last 2 survivors have to push their hands into a saw-blade. Yeah, I writhed in my seat; distorted my face, and fidgeted profusely…and kept watching. But even now as I type and recall it, I keep shaking and making faces.

The Exorcist (1973)

Image of Regan possessed in The Exorcist
A film I didn’t see until its theatrical re-release special 20th anniversary in 2000 or so. Overall, it was a pretty haunting and disturbing film, but ways in which evil played out on the young girl was impressively freaky. Of course, I think I slipped into the realm of the unreal and stopped remembering it was a film when Regan began to stab herself repeatedly with the crucifix, screaming that “Jesus wants to fuck you.” I know for a fact that I was completely disturbed and way more scared than my date. Probably why there was never a second date.

Blair Witch Project (1999)

The inability to actually see something clearly is a central part of my dreaming life. My dreams consist of all sorts of crazy shit going on (half the time at least) and me being completely incapable of opening my eyes or control them in any significant degree; so I’m continually battling and trying to see things and make sense of them; with increasing fear that bad things are going on (I’m driving into traffic, the killer is right behind me; I’ve arrived somewhere in the buff, but can’t see that I’m totally naked). Yeah, Blair Witch Project pretty much turned that into an on-screen experience for me.

Mother’s Day (1980)

It was just a strange and freaky movie to begin with. Two hillybilly brothers, living with their decrepit old mother; it was like Deliverance meets Psycho. Most horrific for me was the ending in which after the mother makes a return when the girl believes she has escaped. When I came back to it years late, and I realized the sexual violence involved; it made it horrific in a whole other sense. And they’re making a remake; I should be surprised.

American Psycho (2000)

Image of Christian Bale in the film American Psycho
I’ve seen this film no less than 10 times. And every time I watch it, I get to the end and can’t decide whether I really like it or really hate it. It’s filled with some of the most bizarre scenes and uncanny moments. I’ve since read the book and that doesn’t help me any better. I love Christian Bale because he can be a charming Newsis, a swinging Nazi-Youth member, Batman, and a complete and utter psychopath. His power to play charming, dominant, and axe-wielding executive is not to be missed, disturbing as it is.

I'm Not Scared (2003)

This Italian film was pivotal for me. It was the film that showed me, you could create pitched moments of fear, without gore, without violence, but with a well-developed and delivered plot. I’ve talked about the book by Niccolo Ammaniti elsewhere on here. The film did keep me anxious and uncertain and worried for the two boys and its use of the countryside works well to exhibit a childhood wonderland of exploration but also the danger and “edge of the civilization” that develops in the second half of the film.


What are other favorite horrorific movies do people have located in the dark recesses of their minds?  What stands out as a powerfully scary film (or film moment) for you?  

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  1. I think one horror film that defines my generation is 2008’s The Strangers. These were not supernatural spawns of Satan or bastardized abominations of science but regular, sadistic people with grotesquely creepy masks. Admittedly, I have never seen the entire movie, just clips, but what I have seen is enough for me to have a hard time opening the front door at night. What makes it so eerily frightening is that the Strangers themselves are not ravenous killers. They play with their victims and even when they get a chance to freely slaughter an unsuspecting character, they would rather stand there and watch them, enjoying the obliviousness of their prey. Even though it can be seen as just another cheap mechanism to get under the audience’s skin, I truly believe they are methodical in how they want to finish off their targets. A large part of memorable scary scenes from my adolescence are all dealing with Gollum’s scenes in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The gaunt, demonic face and that disturbing raspy voice still make my hair stand on occasion. It does not help that his overall appearance also falls into the uncanny valley, especially early on in the movies. To this day, I still always want to fast forward his transformation scene from Smeagol to Gollum because it is just too horrifying to watch. It does not help that the score for that scene sounds like someone is succeeding at drowning me in a vat of squealing shrimp.

  2. As much as I like being scared, I somehow can never find the motivation to watch horror films. Part of this is because my closest friends from home couldn't stand them; they would never investigate strange noises coming from the woods with me, either. But most of it is because I'm more into movies that have a deep plot, rather than movies that sell based on how many people die and how much corn syrup the producers waste on making blood. The most recent and most memorable horror film I've sat through was Devil. It has (arguably) a deeper meaning behind the murders, and a classic Shyamalan twist. There's a moment in the film when the previously dead old woman comes back to life to kill the last survivor, which scared the hell out of me and gave the film a little more meaning. Another films that stands out in my mind is Paranormal Activity. The idea that the brain will create something scarier than what is actually there plays a huge role in this type of movie; and my mind is a wanderer. Films such as this send my imagination into overdrive, and I end up freaking myself out. The scariest part in this film, for me, was when a demon's voice was superimposed under the woman's voice when she was lying on the bed. It's a subtle thing, but it has a huge effect for anyone who notices.

  3. To be perfectly honest, I am not a connoisseur of horror films. I am, in fact, a wuss to the largest degree. Over the years, my parents have discovered my weakness and exploited it whenever possible. Though I have caught on to their plotting, they did manage to get me to watch a few horror films in my younger days. One such film was The Ring. I couldn’t have been more than 10 or 11 when the movie came out, the perfect age to be absolutely appalled at the grotesque young girl Samara and that creepy-ass lighthouse. My parents said “Hey Jen! There’s a really cool movie on pay-per-view we’re gonna watch! You should join us!” Excited to be invited to this exclusive movie event, I ran down the stairs, expecting to be treated to a comedy or a thriller. It was that expectation, I believe, that made the first few scenes of the movie so terrifying. From the very first face distorted by the sight of Samara, I was unable to look away yet sick to my stomach from fear. The part of the movie I remember as being the most unsettling was when the horse goes crazy on the boat ferrying the heroine to the lighthouse island and jumps off the edge, only to be hacked up by the engine (which the audience discovers from the huge amount of blood coming from underneath the boat.) Perhaps it is my love for animals that makes this moment stand out, but I think that it is the idea that not even the animals are immune to the wicked little girl’s evil. I haven’t done any looking into the critical reviews of this movie, so I don’t know what Travers or Roeper would have said about it, but it lives in my mind as the scariest movie of all time- if for no other reason than I rarely can force myself to watch them! ☺

  4. It's nice to see a Saw film make this list, even if it isn't one of the better ones (I prefer III and II, in that order). I'm a huge Saw fan, but none of the "torture porn" of the series gets to me. I'm not even the tiniest bit squeamish, and I'm hard to scare. Despite that, I'm also a horror fan. Maybe I'm missing out on some of the fun of the genre as a result, but it's not like I can change that.

    I enjoyed the American adaptation of The Ring, which Jen mentioned above, but that was for the story and style; it didn't frighten me. The same goes for your selection of The Blair Witch Project. The one horror film that sticks out in my memory is a Japanese film, Noroi (The Curse), although I'm not really into J-Horror films as a whole. Most of the film consists of a very slow-burning investigation (in fake-documentary style) into the death of a young girl who was able to manifest psychic phenomena on television. There's some unfortunately conspicuous CGI that gets in the way of suspension of disbelief for a couple of scenes, but there's this one moment very near the end that made me jump in my seat. I could literally feel the blood rushing from my face. It's so good that I don't want to spoil it here for anyone; I'll just say an entity that becomes the focus of the case manifests in a particularly startling way, and the reaction to it is very, very visceral.

    I've shown this film to Brandon, and he also greatly enjoyed it. It avoids all manner of "cheap scares" (such as a sudden increase in the background music volume) that other horror movies often utilize.

    Also, your description of "Mother’s Day" reminds me of "Home," a season-4 episode of The X-Files. It's actually been banned from being re-run on normal TV time slots, and has been since after it first aired. Really good stuff.

    (comment by Amanda Batson)

  5. The types of movies that I feel define our generation as far as horror goes aren't the splatter or slasher movies of the past. Our killers aren't really that frightening in appearance or demeanor, and their methods don't usually involve a "signature weapon" or anything to that degree. The frightening thing about our generation's killers are that they're (for the most part) just normal people who are bat shit crazy. I saw American Psycho on the list above and was in total agreement with that choice, because the fact that a normal person can be that crazy really creeps me out. It makes me question a lot of new people that I meet and has instilled that fear in me that the people I'm surrounded by are homicidal nutjobs by night. Movies like that, Funny Games, and most recently, Human Centipede, as well as The Strangers like Cesar mentioned above, are able to put the fear of normalcy into your heart, and the fear of normal life is worse than a fear of pretty much anything else, because it happens every day, and there's no running from it.

    (comment by Jake Gilbertson)

  6. One zombie movie that I really enjoyed was Dead Alive directed by Peter Jackson. Although the movie was hilarious at many points throughout the film, there was still a sense of suspense and horror. During the entire movie you think the main character is about to die, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. But although scary, it did not really scare me like other films did.

    Another film, i think the most disturbing film in existence, is The Human Centipede. I saw this the opening night it came out and was actually one of the first(and now hopefully the last) horror films I've ever seen. the depravity and un-humanness of the film made me want to go and cry in my bed. The reason this movie, unlike a lot of horror movies really made me scared of the situations, is because of its lack of regular gore and guts. It had a developed and complex plot that was both disturbing and plausible. They took the most disturbing, dreadful, scary scenario, and made it into a movie.

    The movies I find most disturbing and scary are the ones that seem most plausible and possible in my life. This is why I can't watch torture-porn movies, because it just regular people like you and me, thrown into the most horrible situation, with no escape, but death.

  7. Well for starters, I do love horror movies and from what i've seen there's nothing like asian cinema and horror. Of course there have been American adaptations of The Ring, The Grudge, The Eye, etc. None of these capture the real horror and grotesque nature that the original films provided. Simply put, they come up with some fucked up shit overseas. For example, Ju-On 2 had the demon spirit being birthed from a pregnant woman....WHAT! I couldn't help but cringe and wonder what the writers were thinking when they came up with this stuff.

    In general, I believe that the better horror movies are foreign. One of my favorites is High Tension. A movie that revolves around a lesbians love for her best friend and her inability to cope that her friend doesn't feel the same. So what happens, do they talk it out? Nope. Instead she brutally kills her entire family. Whats great about this movie is that you don't figure this out until the end because the killer is portrayed as a grimy perverted truck driver that is giving himself a blow job with a decapitated head the first time he is seen. Way to go France.

    Another movie that is just as interesting as it is tapped is Ichi The Killer which is derived from a manga. Takashi Miike is known for his extreme films and Ichi The Killer is no exception. He does a great job exaggerating violence, blood and sex like the manga. Every character is psychotic and the sadistic Kakihara is a villain to remember.

    Of course, I also love zombie movies. I can't get enough and I wish i've seen more. Many are bad but some are just bad ass. Recently I saw Dead Snow, a Norwegian version of Nazi Zombies. A great film if you want to see cursed dead Nazis looking for their treasure. The violence is crazy and some moments are very terrifying. It has a great ending that really harnesses the horror genre...just when you think you're safe, you soon realize you're dead.

  8. As someone who would consider myself a film snob, I tend to turn my nose up at horror films. I am far more terrified by the tangible fact that girls talk behind each others back, as presented in "Mean Girls," than that of bloodsuckers or the undead. I am fully aware that movies are not reality, and am therefore able to tolerate any cinematic experience you wish to throw out at me. Or so I thought. About a year ago, I sat down to watch "A Clockwork Orange," a film with a premise that I knew somewhat, but not fully. Within the first ten minutes I was bombarded with images of brutal violence and horrific depictions of rape. I could stomach fingers bitten off in "Saving Private Ryan." I had no problem with appendages being caught in zippers as shown in "There's Something About Mary," but for some reason this triggered an almost sickening response, a response that after reading the book is quite ironic and similar to the rest of the story I could not stay tuned for.

    I was very happy to see that "American Psycho" made it to the list of scary movies. I watched this film for the first time this summer. I had the house to myself for the week, and for some reason I thought it might be a good idea to watch this movie late at night by myself. Big mistake. I have pondered about what I would do in a situation if I was matched against a killer. I often brush off these scenarios, because I don't do anything that would put me in this situation. The scene that cinched my fear was when he shoots the old lady in cold blood at the ATM machine. She wasn't confrontational, she was literally just trying to get money out of the machine.

    While I give horror movies a hard time, I recently saw one that didn't make me sigh in contempt. The film, "Let the Right One In," was quite poignant. Although it didn't scare me, it did make me reflect on what I would do if I had a friend had an innate instinct to seriously harm me, but then I realized I already mentioned that when talking about "Mean Girls" earlier.

  9. I can not help but be scared of exorcism movies. One that really gave me nightmares for months after viewing it was “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”. It came out in 2005, however, I did not watch it until I was about seventeen. Seeing ‘The Exorcist’ was scary to me, but not to the point where I refused to ever watch another movie that dealt with demons or the devil. It was not so much the fact that an exorcism took place during the movie that scared the hell out of me, but the way the movie depicted a nice, wholesome girl having a demon inside of her, causing her to do and say unthinkable things.

    During the movie, Emily progressively becomes more emaciated, more mentally exhausted as a result of the demon coming and going as he pleased. Not only could I not stand the thought of the devil being inside of a human being, but the way they did presented Emily as being a normal college student to whom this unlikely event occurred really put me over the edge. Emily Rose, as a person, had an uncanny feel about her. Even as a normal person, when the demon was not in her being, there was something unsettling about her, and about her nature. I still can not put my finger on just what made her so disturbing. I vowed, instantly, after seeing that movie that I would never again watch another exorcism movie. I have yet to break that promise.

    Kimberly Frost
    Making Monsters MW

  10. I love a great horror movie. Everything about the experience is taken into account when the filmmaker creates the film; the camera angles, the sounds, the music, everything happening on screen makes for an amazing horror film. That being said, movies with none of that can also be really great. Take for example, the film “Paranormal Activity”. This is a movie about a woman who is being terrorized by a demon and her friends and boyfriend are around to see and inevitably take part in the tormenting of this woman. The entire movie is shot with a handycam, there is no music, and there is a whopping cast of four or five people. There are three things that make this film really scary for me. The first thing is that my friends and I always talk about ghosts and we try to freak each other out with ghost videos and other paranormal things. Second, the movie is only shot from one camera so not everything can be captured on film. This leaves the viewer with a sense of ambiguity and their mind can fill in all the parts that they are missing. This is a lot like a “Blair Witch” tactic. Last, there is no music making this film a lot more realistic feeling. The second film that I love to scare me is “The Shining”. Everything about this film fits the horror genre perfectly. I always go back to the music of a film saying that the music of a film is such a powerful tool. This film has the perfect mix of music and on screen images, not to mention Jack Nicholson is a crazy mofo and those eyebrows do all the work, making his acting hard to match or beat. Director Stanley Kubrick really did an amazing job mixing weird with scary in this film. The last film that I felt was really scary was the 2008 remake of “Funny Games”. This film plays off the viewers’ obsession with violence. A lot of this film is left up to the imagination, but the thing that makes this movie really scary is the realisticity (yea, I made up a word. No big deal) of the film. It is shot a lot like a game show, where the killers will break the fourth wall and talk to the audience, a lot like a game show host will. Another thing that makes this scarier, but in the oddest way is that I found myself laughing at the most awkward things. When the wife is killed at the end it made me laugh because she is killed in the most non-schallant way. I found myself having a little chuckle when she died. I had to look at what was going on and tell myself that I shouldn’t be laughing. I feel like all of these films have something in common that really makes for a great horror movie. The non-Hollywood ending is something that really makes for a great film. I hope that more films utilize this technique in the future.

  11. Before I start this, I’ll be honest. I do not watch a lot of horror movies. Personally, I have never been a fan of being scared out of my pants and lying in bed at night wondering what is going to climb out of the dark and eat my face off the second I let my guard down. However, I am starting to transition into an area where I am more comfortable with horror movies, and I am slowly starting to cross the threshold into watching some of them. Any day now, I’ll watch Saw or Hostel. For now, the most I have to work with for horror movies is a few oldies that I have looked at for their academic and intellectual elements, and movies so bad you can’t help but love them.

    One horror movie that I will agree to watch again and again is an obscure title: “Mr. Jingles”. My older sister happened to find this random DVD in the back of a small town store, and bought it off of them for a cheap price. This is the lowest budget “horror” movie I have ever seen, about a demon clown who comes back from the dead because he was falsely charged with inappropriately touching a little girl. The main idea behind this was not bad, and the fact that in the end the clown gets his revenge by making it look like the girl snapped and killed all of her friends and family could have been phenominal, but the badly placed puns throughout the entire movie, horrific “home video camera” effect, and obnoxiously terrible acting with crude “sex scenes” made the whole thing dive into the realm of laughable. Not scary, but I love the comedy it brings.

    I have seen horror movies that I genuinely like because of how good they are, though. One movie that I enjoyed and was even slightly scared to watch was “The Shining”. This is a horror classic. The movie twists around reality and creates moments of tension, and even disturbs its audience by changing a beautiful woman into a rotting decomposing naked corpse. It had elements of the realistic, with a husband going insane and going after his own wife and child, along with elements of the supernatural with the ghoulish characters that appear. Those two little twin girls scared the bejeebus about out me, with their emotionless faces and sudden flashes of showing their bodies thrown about brutally murdered.

    My friends watched one movie “The Descent”. They normally do not get freaked out by horror movies, but this one scared their socks off, apparently. They told me the story line to it, and I automatically knew I am very far from being able to handle something like this. Darkness? Creatures slithering around where you can’t see them, just waiting to pop out at you? No thanks, man.

    Sarah King
    Making monsters MW

  12. Horror is not my favorite genre of any creative media, be it film, comics, books or otherwise. In retrospect, I notice that this has more to do with my frustration at the fact that, while I do enjoy being scared as much as the next person, the horror movies of my generation that receive critical acclaim aren't so much 'horror' movies as 'gorn-o' snuff films. SAW, Hostel, Wolf's Creek, My Bloody Valentine - the list of movies, both originals and re-makes, that get classified as horror films tend to try to kill characters in as gory a way as possible while still trying to make it look sexy, a detail I find more then a little disquieting.
    As I said above, I do enjoy being scared as much as anyone else. But I would rather be in suspense watching a murder mystery film like 'Mindhunters' or "Se7en" or a creature/ghost/unknown horror films like 'Jaws' or 'The Cave'. In other words, I enjoy scary films where you either don't know who the killer is or where you know what's killing everyone, but it isn't just some crazy person. If the selling point of the movie is that someone is chopping up naked people who seem to have two or three times the amount of blood as the average adult human body should have, it’s probably heading for my ‘do not watch’ pile (a pile that seems to be growing at a frightening rate).
    Suspense should be the selling point of a movie that’s trying to scare you. Not knowing what’s going on or what’s around the next corner is always more frightening than watching a torture scene that is grotesque simply to be grotesque. Can some gruesome scenes be used? Absolutely! They can and should be used. But they shouldn’t become the sole driving point of the film. All things… in moderation.

  13. Nicolas Pasquale-RiveraNovember 2, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    Not gonna lie, scary movies aren't my thing. But at the age of 14 my uncle decided to introduce me to the movie "13 Ghosts". To this day, I’ve been trying to work up the courage and watch the movie once again. From what I can remember, this movie scared the hell out of me and caused nightmares for days. Possibly even weeks. This was one of those movies that kept you hiding behind the pillow, but continuously peeking over it to see what happens next, then sooner than later realizing that it was in your best bet to stay behind that pillow. Or to be even smarter, not sit there and watched the movie. What stands out to me from what I can remember in the movie, is how one minute of the movie would be calm and sought not to be an extremely scary film, but as soon as you buy into it, something comes out of nowhere and scares the daylights out of you. There are some people that enjoy the thrill of a horror movie, and will go and watch the scariest movie just to get that adrenaline rush. Personally, I’ll stick to my comedies, laughing while you people sit in the movie theatre with racing hearts.

  14. Why is it that I am not surprised that “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is number forty seven on the top fifty scary movies of all time? Maybe this is because the first time I saw this movie I was around the age of eight. I was terrified, after seeing just a little of this film as an eight year old. I used to hate the sight of the movie box and the theme song, I was not a fan. The scariest part of the film was Oompa Lumpa’s coming out and going down the water fall. Now looking back at it yes for the audience of younger kids, this children’s movie is one of the top scariest movies and should be on the list. I agree.
    Texas Chainsaw Massacre comes in at number 21. I am excited for that because I am a fan of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I absolutely love the fact that the movie is based on a true story. There are some parts in the movie that I disagree with, but I disagree with all scary movies is how stupid and unaware the characters are and can be. Some it’s a turn of the head and they wouldn’t be dead or some like in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is that why would a character go explore alone a dark scary a banded house?

  15. If you think about it, fear is much like beauty: no matter what measures are taken to achieve it, it is in the eye of the beholder. As a preschooler, an on- screen run-in with the wolves at the beginning of "Beauty & The Beast" gave me nightmares. The Wishbone episode containing and interpretation of "The Hound Of Baskerville" triggered chronic nightmares. So, am I afraid of vicious canines? Not at all. My ultimate fear belongs to aliens.
    Signs made the biggest impression on me out of all horror movies. At age 13, I experienced recurring and vivid nightmares involving signs aliens gassing and dragging me through cornfields. It was recommended by, of all people, my grandmother. Apparently she REALLY appreciated the religious themes, so much in fact that she neglected to mention it contained terrifyingly effective suspense sequences about alien invasion.
    The suspense is what killed me: kind of like the effect that Mr. Eaton describes in Blair Witch Project. It's terrifying to not be able to clearly see the danger, and slowly be shown it over the course of the movie. That scene, where the alien's hand reaches under the door... good god.
    Also, I have to weigh in on Willy Wonka being in the top scary movies of all time.... the remake, in my opinion, is the most terrifying thing of all time. I felt molested by Depp's presence throughout. I know that the book was supposed to portray Willy Wonka as a total pseudo-pedophile, but seriously? It should have been rated R.

  16. Possibly my favorite movie that scares the crap out of me is Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. It has few moments which are absolutely horrifying, but, the overall premise of it is also very morbid.
    The fact that in the end it is not a ghost or a monster trying to kill the wife and child, that it is the father is quite scary. Stephen King does this a lot with his stories. He may introduce a monster or a haunted hotel, or whatever. But, in the end, it is not even those things that are a real threat to the main characters. It turns out to be other humans that are threats to them. And this is horrifying since humans are of course everywhere. Along with the fact that by using this technique King examines the lengths of human sanity.
    Speaking of sanity, Jack Nicholson’s acting is amazing when his character finally loses it and turns insane. His crazy face is really quite stellar. Seeing Nicholson walk up the hotel stairs approaching his wife may be the scariest part of the film for this is a character that at the beginning of the film you probably liked and maybe trusted. Now he is the monster.
    Another iconic part of Kubrick’s The Shining is the twins in the hallway. The way Kubrick makes something that could possibly be very cute and innocent (toddler twins dressed in identical clothing) into something so gruesome and monstrous is superb. Just the way they talk is uncanny (they talk with a rather unnerving monotone machine like voice) and of course the fact that an innocent image like twins is spliced with images of chopped up parents.

  17. I think a moment that stood out to me as frightening was the few seconds where you saw the alien in the Brazilian birthday party tape from Signs. First off, let me just say that while I love aliens, I find myself really disturbed by a particular class of alien--the Gray. Something about the fact that they're so similar to us yet so not just gets under my skin. Those unblinking, glassy, pitch-black, massive eyes, coupled with the slit mouth, and slit just creeps me out. I think it's worth noting at this point that when I saw the trailer for The Fourth Kind I was thoroughly disturbed by the connection they had made between Grays and owls. The faces are so similar. If nothing else, the very thought was enough to actually keep me up for an extra half an hour a few different nights. I just couldn't get the eerie similarity out of my head.

    Getting back to the point, the alien from Signs is essentially a Gray on steroids. It's tall, menacing, ominous, and while it has little screen time compared to the actors, it manages to establish a presence that inspires dread. It doesn't help that the thing is black, so it blends in easily in the night. I remember watching Signs when I was fairly young. I was sucked into that moment, so when the camera panned over to the alley and the alien just strides right past, looking straight at the camera, I freaked the hell out. My hairs stood on end. It eerie movements, combined with the face that was so dark it was impossible to discern its features on the grainy camera feed, just disturbed me. My reaction pretty much mirrored Mel Gibson's. Also, the mere fact that the alien walked right past a house was scary in itself. No longer was the alien confined to a field, forest, or some other similarly isolated area.

    This past summer, when I was up in Maine, at a private residence my grandparents own, my cousin and I talked about aliens. Now, something that increased the creepiness of the alien in Signs was the setting of the movie. They were in the middle of a wheat field--mind you, the alien was tall enough to see over the wheat, but if you were standing there all you would see is wheat. It was also an isolated location, pretty much in the middle of scenic nowhere. While Georgetown, Maine, is not scenic nowhere, when you're in a cabin, and when it's so dark outside you can't see past the porch, it may as well be. My cousin instructed me to look at the window and imagine the face of the alien from Signs staring at me. I won't lie, I mentally reverted to my childhood for an instant there. I wanted to look away from the imagined face, and I shuddered, as she had. Needless to say, we shut the blinds.

  18. When I was a young lad, my father would love to scare the crap out of me by watching scary movies, and he thought it was an especially good time when The Shining would come up on the TV guide or on the random movie channels we had. Up until the end of the summer, I still did not have the courage to watch the movie all the way through. Knowing that I would be already out of my comfort zone and taking a horror class titled “Making Monsters”, I felt it was most appropriate to finally watch The Shining when it was on TV at my friend’s house nearing the end of August. I would have to say that the scene in The Shining where Jack Nicholson’s character Jack is chasing the little boy through the maze of hedges in the snow is the absolute most chilling and terrifying scene to me. The scene makes me just feel helpless because the point of a maze like that is to get lost in it and try to find your way out, but a little zest is added to the mix when a crazy man wielding an axe is brought into the equation. It is especially scary to me that you cannot tell where the boy is in the maze because everything looks the same. It adds to the suspense that Jack could be right around the corner at any moment. The blue lighting doesn’t help the mood either. And if any of you are just as terrified of The Shining as me, take a look at this spoof of the film in the form of a Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror:

  19. The most iconic film moment for me must be in “The Shining” when the twins are in the hallway of that hotel. Overall “The Shining” remains to be one of my favorite movies of all time, and number one movie in the horror genre, but that part where the twin girls stare at the kid, Danny, and say “come play with us” gives me chills every single time. What I absolutely love about this movie is how thrilling the plot line is. Some movies count on gore, while others count on special effects, others with acting, “The Shining” pulls together an intense plot and intertwines it with a solid performance. The one film that scared the hell out of me as a child was “The Ring.” That girl coming out of the television set is the freakiest idea to this day to me. Mainly because when I watched it with my sister we were in a hotel room and actually went against my mother’s request not to watch it. So when my parents left us we ordered it on that pay-per-view channel and were so freaked out that when my parents opened the door that night we screamed our heads off. I continue to enjoy watching “The Ring” today with my sister as a tradition.


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