I consider myself to be a huge horror movie fan and I’ve seen my fair share of them. Every year there are numerous new horror movies released and this year is no different, the issue I have with modern horror movies is that the vast majority depend on jump scares to scare us but has that always been the case? I decided to compile a list of the top ten scariest horror movie moments that not only scared me but in most cases haunted my dreams.
Number 10 – IT (Beverly’s Father)
If you’re scared of clowns then this probably isn’t the movie for you! In this scene Beverly returns to her childhood home, the home where her father abused her for many of her childhood years. Knowing that her father is dead she is shocked to still see his name on the door bell, out of curiosity she rings the bell only to have an old woman answer….You can see where this is going. The woman is nice at first, until she isn’t and then transforms into a zombified version of her father who torments her like he once did before. I have read online that in the book of ‘IT’ some of the things that he says are very graphic and were left out of the movie, after reading what it was I’m not surprised.
Number 9 – Poltergeist II: The Other Side (Henry Kane)
A sequel to a horror classic was always going to be a risk and although it didn’t exactly pay off there was still some damn scary moments to be had, many included a consistent character Henry Kane. Every single time this guy pops up on screen it’s terrifying, his frail appearance, his singing and just the way he talks so calmly and yet so menacingly gives me chills.
Number 8 – Event Horizon (“Where we’re going, we won’t need eyes to see”)
Event Horizon is a classic Sci-fi/horror that is seriously underappreciated, it has many terrifying scenes but it’s that moment when you I first see Dr Weir with his eyes torn out and he says those words, it gives me shivers just thinking about it. Who would have thought that Sam Neil could be damn scary!?
Number 7 – Dead Silence (Mary Shaw)
Every town has iitsown ghost story, and a local folktale around Ravens Fair is about a ventriloquist named Mary Shaw. After she went mad in the 1940s, she was accused of kidnapping a young boy who yelled out in one of her performances that she was a fraud. Because of this she was hunted down by townspeople who in the ultimate act of revenge, cut out her tongue and then killed her. They buried her along with her “children,” a handmade collection of vaudeville dolls, and assumed they had silenced her forever. However, Ravens Fair has been plagued by mysterious deaths around them after Mary Shaws collection has returned from their graves and have come to seek revenge on people that killed her and their families.
Number 6 – House On Haunted Hill (1999)
When an eccentric millionaire offer a group of opposites $1,000,000 to spend the night in a so called “Haunted House” with a murderous past, they figure it is a quick way to get quick money and leave. All of them are sure it is some made up story just to mess with their heads a little and test their courage. But, once they stay in the house they start to think about the mistake they made in coming there when mysterious things start to happen.
While everyone is upstairs one member of the party that just so happens to be a news reporter sneaks down into the basement and stumbles upon on of the operating rooms. To her eyes the room appears old and rusted but when she holds her camera up she sees a doctor and nurses performing surgery on someone, suddenly they all stop what they’re doing and look up at her, it’s very creepy stuff.
Number 5 – House (Big Ben Returns)
Roger Cobb is a Vietnam vet whose career as a horror novelist has taken a turn for the worse when his son Jimmy mysteriously disappears while visiting his aunt’s house. Roger’s search for Jimmy destroys his marriage and his writing career. The sudden death of his aunt brings Roger back to the house where his nightmares began. The evil zombies in the house force Roger to endure a harrowing journey into his past.
House (1986) is an underrated horror/comedy classic that seems to be fairly forgotten these days. After finally rescuing his son, Roger Cobb goes to leave the house when he opens the door only to find a zombified version of his old friend ‘Big Ben’ who he had accidently left to die during Vietnam. Ben’s sudden appearance is a big shock and comes out of nowhere; his decayed appearance is amazingly done and frightened me a lot when I was younger.
Number 4 – The Shining (Woman in the bathtub)
A man, his son and wife become the winter caretakers of an isolated hotel where Danny, the son, sees disturbing visions of the hotel’s past using a telepathic gift known as “The Shining”.”The father, Jack Torrance, is underway in a writing project when he slowly slips into insanity as a result of cabin fever and former guests of the hotel’s ghosts. After being convinced by a waiter’s ghost to “correct” the family, Jack goes completely insane. The only thing that can save Danny and his mother is “The Shining.”
After being informed by his wife that their son had been attacked by a woman in a bathtub Jack goes off to investigate the room. He arrives to find a naked attractive woman who then seduces jack, he catches a glimpse of her in a mirror and realises that he is no longer kissing an attractive woman but an old rotting woman who then proceeds to laugh creepily while he flees from the room.
Number 3 – Evil dead II (Henrietta)
Ash has been thrown and locked in the fruit cellar by Annie and her friends because they think he killed Annie’s grandparents. They listen to a recording by her grandfather and in it he describes how his wife Henrietta had gone a little crazy and he had to kill her, any guesses where he just so happened to bury her? Yup in the cellar with ash, she explodes out of the ground with the words “someone’s in my fruit cellar” when I first saw it I was absolutely terrified of Henrietta, something about old women zombies scares the heck outta me.
Number 2 – Hellbound: Hellraiser II (The Doctor is in)
Doctor Channard is sent a new patient, a girl warning of the terrible creatures that have destroyed her family, Cenobites who offer the most intense sensations of pleasure and pain. But Channard has been searching for the doorway to Hell for years, and Kirsty must follow him to save her father and witness the power struggles among the newly damned.
In this scene a resurrected Julia has taken Dr Channard into the Labyrinth only to trick him and transform him into Cenobite in a very gruesome torture scene. I watched this movie at a very young age and the entrance of Dr Channard’s new Cenobite form gave me nightmares, even if his puns were awful.
Number 1 – Pet Sematary (Zelda)
The Creeds have just moved to a new house in the countryside. Their house is perfect, except for two things: the semi-trailers that roar past on the narrow road, and the mysterious cemetery in the woods behind the house. The Creed’s neighbours are reluctant to talk about the cemetery, and for good reason too.
Pet Sematary is a very scary movie that holds up very well, it gets away with things that modern movies wouldn’t such as; having a small child get hit by an 18 wheeler only to be buried and come back to life as a murderous psychopath. This is another movie that I watched at a young age and one particular scene and character scared me more than any other and it still bothers me today. Throughout the movie Rachel Creed is haunted by the memories of her late sister Zelda who died of spinal meningitis, we get to see scenes of Zelda struggling to eat and looking insanely thin. Later in the movie Rachel hears her sister calling for her from another room (Zelda has been dead for 20 years) she goes into the room only to find Zelda who threatens her with the words “I’ll twist your back just like mine and then you’ll never leave bed again!” I can tell you that for a time those words haunted my dreams. I read online that the actor who played Zelda was actually a man as they couldn’t find anyone thin enough for the role. Zelda is widely considered to be one of the scariest characters in movie history. I couldn’t manage to find the scene on YouTube but I did find a host of images from Google of Zelda just in case you’re lucky enough to have never seen her….Until now anyway. This bitch haunted my dreams for many years, can you see why?
Number 0 – A Tale Of Two Sisters (sorry for cheating but I just couldn’t leave this out.)
This is a scene from the J-horror classic ‘A tale of two sisters’ a movie that is not only terrifying but also quite beautiful at times. Anyway, both sisters lay in bed (I don’t recall their names) and one is struggling to sleep and sees a dark figure in the corner of the room that begins to slowly approach her. We as the audience get to watch as she attempts to ignore the figure but it gets closer and closer regardless and even mounts her bed and stares at her while she lays terrified. This scene plays on a very common fear and it will make you think twice before you look into the darkness of your room at night, damn Asian girls with long black hair draped across their faces are scary.
What have we learned from this top ten? Well, one things for sure I watched far too many horror movies at a young age and I seem to have a phobia of old creepy women or just old people in general. All of those scares over the years have somewhat desensitized me towards horror and it’s rare for a movie to actually scare me anymore. Which scene from a horror movie or otherwise scares you the most?