In response to a wonderful post from our friend: dead finks don’t blog top ten scariest scenes I have comprised a shorter list below of six to commemorate Halloween:
What is a dream and what is real? This is a common ploy in horror movies and this scene from DePalma’s adaption of Stephen King’s book has become a cliché ever since. But DePalma used this trick first and it is effective because both the music and setting seem to give us a sense of security. Never will you be fooled again.
Hitchcock is a clever little fellow. After telling us what is going to happen and then constantly reminding us throughout: ‘don’t forget the bird will sing at 1.45’ we still fear what will be inevitable. We know that the bomb is in the delivery boy’s arm, what time it will go off and the thematic ticking indicates that this will be anytime soon. The build up of suspense and delay can only lead to dread.
4. The Shining
SPOILER ALERT: out of all the scary moments of the film this is perhaps the most haunting without and all without a hint of bloodshed. after all the what the fuck is going on instances going on in the overlook hotel the revelation of what is going on through this apparently innocent butler sends a chill down your spine. when you realize who exactly he is and the 1920’s music playing in the background we realize that our Jack Torrance must fulfill a mission that is not that pleasing .
The funny thing about this scene and the film as a whole is that it upends what we think of Japanese women in a Japanese society as the timid submissive beings. We have our doubts about Asami the woman that our hero has become infatuated who seems a bit too innocent and timid for our liking. But even though we are given clues that she is dodgy we would not expect what comes in this scene.
For inventiveness and the power to disturb this is one of a kind. Prior to this clip Argento has already set the scene for what is to come. Jessica Harper has arrived in Italy to enrol at a prestigious ballet school and is greeted by nasty weather and an unfriendly taxi driver. She sees a blond haired girl in the distance running in the rain through the forest… the same girl that is murdered in this clip. Note the use of bright colours in this clip and indeed the film it is as if Henri Matisse had directed a horror film
1. The Thing: major spoiler alert
SPOILER ALERT the scary thing about this scene and the film as a whole is the paranoia of all the proceedings. An evil monster hiding amongst us as a fellow man has developed more conflict than coming out to show itself and fighting man-o on mano. Our hero Mac has already killed his colleague Clark in self defence because Clark thought that Mac was the thing. Our own suspicions of who is the thing doesn’t hold up to the revelation in this clip because it is who we least expected.