Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Re: 100 Scariest Movie Scenes of All-Time
#30 ALIEN (1979)
HEY...WHAT'S INSIDE THAT EGG?
Early in Ridley Scott's Alien, the crew of the Nostromo stumbles on a bizarre nest of eggs. A particularly curious member gets a closer look after one of the crazy looking things opens up. Like a fleshy jack in the box, a creature called a "face-hugger" jumps up and lives up to his namesake. And as you can see, he doesn't come off too easily. And when he does...things manage to get worse.
#29 PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925)
THE PHANTOM'S FACE REVEALED!
Lon Chaney is certainly one of the great actors of the early film era, and a godfather of monster movies, but it's his work as one of the greatest makeup magicians of all time that is is greatest legacy. The shocking scene where he removes his mask in Phantom of The Opera is a scene of horrific beauty. Chaney not only did his own makeup, but he devised many clever face changing effects like pulling his nostrils back with hair-pins. To audiences not yet used to something called a monster movie, Phantom of the Opera was a chilling masterpiece.
Chaney's reappearance later in the film at a ball dressed as The Masque of the Red Death is pretty damn spooky as well.
LON CHANEY TRIVIA!
Chaney was the original choice for Tod Browning's Dracula, and only after his death was the part given to Bela Lugosi instead!
Lon Chaney mentored the young Boris Karloff extensively, helping him to get his start in movies.
Chaney's parents were both deaf mutes, which may have helped him learn skills to be such an expressive actor in silent movies.
#28 THE SHINING (1980)
Jack Nicholson pulls off the greatest ad lib of all time, when he hacks through a bathroom door with an axe and screams, "Herrrrreee's Johnny!" According to the IMDB, set designers originally had a prop door that would be easier to hack through, but Nicholson became so good at swinging the axe, that the fake one would shatter to bits after a couple of hits, so a real one was finally used instead.
Nicholson's ability to get into the character and add things on his own have helped make Jack Torrance one of the all time great movie psychos. The scene where he's screwing around and throwing a tennis ball over and over again instead of writing is a great example of this, as the script merely said, "Jack's not working". Nicholson improvised the whole thing.
Of course, when you've got Shelly Duvall screaming in your ear, it's pretty easy to get the inspiration to be murderous.
#27 TWILIGHT ZONE THE MOVIE (1983)
WANNA SEE SOMETHING REALLY SCARY?
Twilight Zone The Movie had a built in notoriety to it before it was released, as a helicopter crash killed its star Vic Morrow and 2 children on the set. Perhaps with the audience focusing so much attention focused on that segment, they were taken completely off guard during an opening segment with Dan Akroyd and Albert Brooks yukking it up in a their car while driving in the night. As they reminisce about their favorite Twilight Zone episodes of yesteryear, Akroyd asks Brooks, "You wanna see something REALLY scary?" Of course, Brooks agrees, and as they pull over to the side of the road, Akroyd shows him. Needless to see the surprise definitely lives up to the hype.
#26 DRACULA (1931)
RENFIELD IS DISCOVERED ON A SHIP OF DEATH
Renfield is one of the all time great hanger-ons. Made in to a vampire slave by Dracula while visiting him on real estate business, the poor schmuck is enslaved by the count and forced to eat bugs to live. Though I personally find much of Lugosi's performance as Dracula laughable, there's a tremendously eerie scene when a ship carrying Renfield and the count arrives in England. Authorities find that every single member of the crew has been killed, and they stumble on the sole survivor, Renfield, who is at his creepy and maniacal best.
An interesting bit of Dracula trivia for you. This film was the first truly licensed version of Bram Stoker's classic novel. In fact, Nosferatu, which was made 9 years prior, was the subject of an intense legal battle from Stoker's widow which resulted in a judgment that required all existing copies of the film to be destroyed (luckily, they failed). Universal didn't have enough cash to do a very good adaptation of the book, however, so they opted to base the film on the stage version of the tale, instead.
#25 HALLOWEEN (1978)
MICHAEL MYERS DRESSES UP LIKE A GHOST
I never found Michael Myers to be all that scary. His emotionless unstoppable killing machine persona wears a bit thin rather quickly. But you have to acknowledge the fine work John Carpenter did for launching the modern slasher genre in 1978 with the classic, Halloween. There's plenty of "is he really dead yet?" moments that fuel a bunch of the movie's scares, but I particularly enjoy when Michael puts on the old fashioned ghost sheet while wearing glasses, before he chokes a poor lass to death with a phone cord. I think it would have been cool if he kept his look for the remainder of the film, as well.
#24 SUSPIRIA (1977)
THE MOST ARTISTIC ON SCREEN DEATH OF ALL
Suspiria is one of the most atmospheric horror films of them all. Made by genius Italian director Dario Argento, the film starts off as a ballet dancer from New York arrives in Italy on a stormy night. She's driven to the dance studio by a creepy cab driver, and is mysteriously turned away by the proprietor via the intercom on the porch. Suddenly, we shift gears to a completely different who runs to a friend's place, in a panic. We don't get the whole story, but apparently she needs to leave first thing in the morning because of some unspeakably disturbing events she's been through.
She seeks refuge in the bathroom and keeps sensing something is outside the window. She's about 3 stories up, so even as the viewer, you think she's pretty safe. Out of nowhere a set of creepy eyes appear in the night air. A hand grabs her through the glass and begins smothering her face against the pane while her friend struggles in vain to get in the room to help.
She's then dragged to the top of a stained glass window, and stabbed repeatedly, at one point with her heart fully exposed, you have to see th blade plunge directly in. A noose is wrapped 'round her neck, then she's kicked through the window, falling down, killing both her and her friend who watches it all unfold underneath.
Argento's use of color and artistic eye makes this one of the more beautifully composed death scenes ever filmed.
#23 A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)
FREDDY KRUEGER'S LONG ARMS
The Nightmare on Elm Street series is actually full of high comedy. The creative death scenes and gruesome effects galore, coupled with Robert Englund's witty delivery make for an amusing as well as thrilling horror franchise. But there's a scene in the first film where Freddy Krueger is walking in the night with freakishly long outstretched arms that is one of my favorites.
Cajun wrestling phenom Lash LeRoux wrote to us, "Without a doubt, one of the scariest movie moments for me, was in 'Nightmare on Elm Street,' when Freddy chases his first victim. For some reason, I remember his arms being a lot longer than they should have been, and the way they swung back and forth while he was running made the experience that much scarier. It was like his arms could reach forward and grab you at any moment he wanted them to!"
#22 THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (1988)
BURIED ALIVE WITH A TARANTULA
The Serpent and the Rainbow is a nice change of pace from your typical zombie movies, as it discards the comet or secret army gas type source of creating the living dead, and explores the true origins of the zombie mythology within Haiti. Based on a true story from a book of the same name (and highly fictionalized in the actual movie), it's full of some creepy funky voodoo action. In real life, a researcher found that a poison made from a local blowfish could be used by a Voodoo Priest to bring someone to a near death state. The funeral would be held and the subject subsequently buried. The Priest would then bring the subject back to life, still drugged and zonked out of his mind, and the poor victim's families would soon be hit up for cash by the Priest so he could finally put the man's "undead" soul to rest.
Wes Craven adapted the book to film, and it starts with tremendous promise, but devolves into your standard cookie cutter kill the unstoppable bad guy flick at the end. Regardless, the movie has one of my personal favorite scary scenes.
Bil Pullman plays a scientist named Dennis Alan who gets in over his head. Alan eventually becomes victim and is paralyzed, and while he's laying down in a coffin, about to be buried alive, a tarantula is dropped on his face while his eyes are wide open. He can't move as the creature crawls and then stays there. Soon the coffin lid is shut leaving Alan to suffer with the hairy companion on his face, unable to get it off, or escape.
#21 INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978)
While the ending of the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers had a horribly dismal ending in which the main character is left all alone, knowing that the entire earth has been taken over by pod people, the ending of the equally chilling 1978 remake goes out with a nice twist on the first version. If you've seen it before, you know exactly what I mean, and if you haven't, it'd be criminal to tell you. I was able to pick up the DVD for a paltry $7.99 at the mall, so I'm sure you can find it on the cheap as well.
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.