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Cinema

Wanna see something really scary?

In the spirit of impending Halloween, Max of Lots of Co. links to two lists of the top ten scariest movie moments of all time (and there’s a longer 100-moment countdown here.) My own list would almost assuredly be topped by the Grady sisters from The Shining…Those two little British hellions were representing for Evil long before The Ring/Ringu‘s Samara ever got near a VCR. I also would include the Room 217/237 scene and even the opening moments – when the camera ominously follows the Torrances’ car winding through the mountains from a Cthulu’s eye view (spoofed so well in Treehouse of Horror VI.) In fact, when it comes to The Shining for me, it’s a bit like those Coors Light commercials: “I’m scared! Of bars open at all hours! Old corpse in the shower! Jack’s insane glower! And, and…and TWINS!”

Regarding other films, though, I think the first, pre-franchise Nightmare on Elm Street has some really frightening scenes — including the shots of Freddy stretching through the bedroom wall and walking with the impossibly long arms. The final scene of Carrie scarred me for years, the final scene of The Vanishing (Dutch version) gives me pause, the last moments of The Incredible Shrinking Man makes me wonder about it all, and the final scene of Prince of Darkness engenders a very uneasy feeling around mirrors. (John Carpenter’s The Thing is also a great scary/gory remake.) I thought the brief flashes of Captain Howdy in The Exorcist were pretty chilling, and of course there’s a number of awful moments in Alien, particularly involving Kane, Dallas, and Ash. The sequence in Twilight Zone: The Movie when the all-powerful kid banishes someone into cartoon world (and takes away his sister’s mouth) was so bizarre and unsettling that for years I’d thought I’d dreamt it. And I was extremely scared by Night of the Demon at a very early age (and to this day don’t take pieces of paper from strangers.)

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