Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Re: 100 Scariest Movie Scenes of All-Time
#60 PEE WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE (1985)
LARGE MARGE SENT ME
One wouldn't think you'd find anything too terrifying in a movie like Pee Wee's Big Adventure, but it contains one of the best cheap out of nowhere scares because you don't figure it'd be there. Pee Wee is hitchhiking at night, and accepts a ride from a grizzled old trucker lady, who tells him the following spooky tale:
"On this very night, ten years ago, along this very stretch of road in a dense fog just like this. I saw the worst accident I ever seen. There was this sound, like a garbage truck dropped off the Empire State Building...And when they pulled the driver's body from the twisted, burning wreck. It looked like this..."
#59 JAWS (1975)
WE'RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BOAT
This is such an awesome scary scene. Roy Scheider's character is busy throwing blobs of bloody chum into the water to attract the shark, while he's jabbering away. Suddenly, the huge great white pops up to eat some of it while he's in mid-throw simultaneously scaring the crap out of Schieder and the audience. As he walks to the captain in shock, he utters the classic line, "We're gonna need a bigger boat." Talk about stating the obvious.
#58 PSYCHO (1960)
TIME TO MEET NORMAN'S MOTHER
Throughout Psycho, you can hear Norman Bates arguing with his mother. The poor henpecked Norman is belittled consistently by her when he visits her in the house behind Bates Motel. Lila Crane is worried about the disappearance of her sister, who was last seen at Bates Motel. When a local tells her that Bates' mother died years ago, she's amazed since she heard him speaking with her just the day before. As her boyfriend distracts Norman, she enters the home, looking throughout the rooms trying to find some clue as to what the hell is going on. In the basement, she finds Mrs. Bates sitting alone with her back turned. Slowly the chair spins around revealing Mrs. Bates in a pretty horrible state.
Of course, Lila screams her head off and the lightbulb swinging back and forth overhead makes the shadows even scarier. And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, Norman makes his appearance, in drag, ready for some hot hot slashing action!
Slasher pictures were pretty unusual for the time, but slashers that dressed up like their dead mother were just plain mindbending. I can only imagine how screwed up and shocked the audiences from 1960 were that saw this for the first time!
#57 THE EXORCIST (1973)
# 56 PSYCHO (1960)
Perhaps one of the scariest scenes in The Exorcist was a small scene that most people can't even recall seeing. While Father Karras is walking up the stairs from a subway, and has a vision of his mother, there's a single frame spliced in with this scary face. You can barely notice it when you're watching the film, but you get a strange chill when you do.
Alfred Hitchcock employed a similar technique with Psycho, 13 years before. While the camera fades away from the institutionalized Norman Bates at the end of the film, you can see a skull superimposed onto his face for a couple frames of film.
#55 THE GODFATHER PART II (1974)
Betrayed one too many times by his brother Fredo, Michael Corleone realizes that its time to do away with him once and for all. Fredo knows his days are numbered, and begs to speak with Michael, before Al Neri carries out the hit. The scene that follows is extremely unnerving and powerful, as you can see how empty and evil Michael has become. Michael embraces his brother one last time, but the look in his eyes, is one of pure emptiness, as if he's said goodbye to his soul, once and for all.
CUT TO: Inside the house MICHAEL walks toward FREDO who's sitting in a chair, smoking.
CUT TO: MICHAEL looking at FREDO.
CUT TO: FREDO looking up at MICHAEL.
CUT TO: The brothers looking at each other.
CUT TO: MICHAEL moving close to FREDO.
CUT TO: MICHAEL putting his hand around FREDO's head.
CUT TO: MICHAEL and FREDO embracing.
CUT TO: MICHAEL looking down.
CUT TO: FREDO tightening his grip.
CUT TO: MICHAEL looks up at AL NERI.
CUT TO: AL NERI understands and looks at the ground.
CUT TO: TOM walks towards the Boat house.
CUT TO: TOM looking out at FREDO and ANTHONY.
CUT TO: FREDO explaining to ANTHONY how to fish.
CUT TO: TOM walking into the boat house.
Coppola almost does Shakespeare better than Shakespeare in this sequence. Just goes to show you that you don't need bloody hallways and an army of undead zombies to make a scary scene (not that I have any problem with that, mind you).
#54 THE CHANGELING (1980)
WHEELCHAIR AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS
Something so simple as a wheelchair on top of a staircase provides for a genuinely chilling moment in the 1980 film, The Changeling. The rickety old wheelchair chases a woman down the stairs, and shows up repeatedly in surprisingly scary moments. You'll certainly never look at a wheelchair the same way again. I get shivers when I look at the symbols on handicapped parking spaces because of this.
#53 THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974)
WELCOME TO THE BONEROOM
Marilyn Burns may be the best cinematic screamer in horror film history. The poor gal had to scream so much in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, its a wonder she didn't turn mute. While TCM gives her plenty of chances to wail like a banshee as Leatherface chases her, and the infamous dinner scene, the way she reacts while looking at her surroundings in the "boneroom" is amazing. The filthy random bits of human remains are a mind-bending look at the pure hell that awaits her. The way the scene is shot is fantastic, as she's thrust into the room, and slowly realizes the carnage that decorates the place at the same time the viewer does. Many will tell you that this movie was based on a true story, this moment is the only part even close to the story of Ed Gein, who took gruesome souvenirs from the local graveyard and made horrific decorations with them.
#52 THE RING (2002)
LOOK WHAT I FOUND IN MY CLOSET
Early in the film, during a wake, Naomi Watts' character is speaking to the mother of her deceased niece while they're in the kitchen. The domestic tranquility puts you at ease, as she comforts her in her time of grief. The mother then describes what it was like to find her daughter in the closet. The viewer is then shown a brief flashback sequence with one of the most disturbing looking corpse photos I've ever seen. Her blank eyes, and huge gaping mouth (that looks as if the bottom jaw was removed, leaving the skin to hang there like a deflated balloon), is nightmare material of the highest caliber.
#51 JAWS (1975)
SKINNY-DIPPIN' SHARK FOOD
What a great way to start out this classic! After a night of beach front drinking, a pretty gal flirts with a way too drunk dude and runs off into the water as she strips off her clothes. He's so blitzed he can't follow her out there, and just passes out in the sand. While she plays around in the gentle night ocean, something grabs her foot. Soon she's pulled under water, then chomped to bits, as bloody goo froths to the surface. The shark is barely seen, but it sets the tone for the rest of the film wonderfully. This scene may have scared more swimmers than any other moment in film history. Taking a cue from some of the great films of the early 50s, sometimes it's what you don't see, that's the scariest.
This screams from actress Susan Backlinie are extra realistic, since she broke her ribs on the harness that yanked her about in the water (which was pulled around violently on ropes held by the crew).
This is the Cal Ripkin Jr. of typos.
If you ask me to join your fantasy baseball league and I select Legolas in the first round, don't be angry at me. It's not my fault I've read up on the players and you haven't.