This second part of my favorite scary movie moments series has sure taken a long time. As you know from previous posts, I’ve been very down lately. I’ve been trying to pick myself up though, and write when I can. Just because it isn’t published on here yet doesn’t mean I’m not writing anytime I get a dose of hitch in my giddy-up. I am. I might slowly but surely be coming back! As always, let me hear you! None of this means anything without you folks! This edition features a demon attached to a child, a psycho stalker with a knack for the telephone, a serial killer, and a vengeful British ghost. Hope you like the GIFS, but be gentle – it was my first time!
We all know that some people were bigger fans of Insidious than others. And while there were flaws in the film, there were quite a few startling, and unique scenes. Some were just plain brilliant, and the entire movie is visually innovative and appealing. It’s strange for me to say, knowing that this film was made by the people who created Saw (not scary – gory – but not scary), and Paranormal Activity (lame beyond lame, even refund-worthy). Not to mention, Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne are two incredibly sexy human specimens. Here are my favorites moments!
1. Gettin’ Down to Tiny Tim
Not only is it incredibly horrifying to have a turn-of-the-century dead ghost child dancing terribly in your house, he’s also groovin’ to Tiny Tim’s “Tiptoe Through the Tulips”, which is creepy in itself. Not that I’m not now addicted to that song, and classify it as one of my many guilty pleasures, but mixing the two together, especially in broad daylight, creates one scene none of us are likely to forget.
2. Creepy Demon in the Room
Anytime there is some kind of demonic creature, or any creature for that matter lurking in the shadows, especially one with elongated arms, pointy fingers, and what looks to be perhaps cloven hooves, it creeps me out. Obviously, it’s because it’s unexpected – it’s the jump factor – but you gotta admit, that creep standing there is enough to make you check your own room before jumping into bed!
3. Creepy Demon in the Room Again
Okay, so this scene is up for much debate, as some found it totally scary, and others simply saw a bad Darth Maul rip-off, but as before, the jump factor is present. While talking to his mother (a very nicely aging Barbara Hershey) and his wife about the weird goings-on, this cosmetically-pleasing, red-faced punk appears behind Josh, opening its mouth and revealing his, well, sort-of-razor-sharp teeth. As usual, the creature is only on-screen momentarily, and quickly disappears as Josh’s mother shrieks in horror and jumps up from her chair.
The Woman in Black (2012)
I did have serious misgivings going into this film, because most horror flicks these days, well, bite the big one. But I was pleasantly surprised! It’s nice to see Daniel Radcliffe in something else (HP is not my cup of tea, if you’ll forgive the British reference), but he is actually pretty sexy in this movie. Oh, he can act, too! Of course. As is usually the case, once we find out the motive behind the ghost’s vengeful haunting, it’s not so scary. But the build-up is the most important aspect, and this movie has it…..in spades!
1. The Marsh….Itself!
Does this really need any explaining? The setting of the movie itself is enough to scare someone, without even adding the ghost element to the mix. Just look at it! If you have to go through that, and that, and that, to get to that, it’s a bad idea. Just say no.
2. Bad Rocking Chair
This house is full of secrets, and of course, the usual creaky floors, awkward silences, and startling BANGS just as you put some delicious popcorn in your mouth (trust me, I know). But rocking chairs that move by themselves (or not….) have always given me the willies. There’s something about them, but I’ve never been able to put my finger on it. Not to mention, this chair rocks backwards unexpectedly far, which sort of looks like fun! Not so fun when we get a glimpse of the horrid witchy bitch causing the ruckus, and Harry Potter is none the wiser.
3. Dead Boy Returns
More creepy sequences in the house of doom, Harry Potter watches as the little dead boy rises from his mucky grave in the marsh, and books it to the front door. Well, he doesn’t book it, ghosts always walk, yet somehow get to where they’re going incredibly fast. So does Jason Voorhees. And Michael Myers. But I digress. The little dog who has been sent to keep our hero company begins barking at the door, as the knob begins to rattle. Dogs are smarter than people, how many times must I say this?! Upon opening the door, no one is there, but in the distance there appears several more young dead children, looking horribly soaked from the rain. Or just from being dead. The little boy pulls a jump scene, covered in mud, with his mouth open, a few short scenes later. So does the Woman in Black, several times. Why do scary characters always have to have their mouths open? I’m unclear on this.
When a Stranger Calls (1979)
This often-quoted, frequently criticized gem from 1979 is part cheesy detective story, part psychologically horrifying thriller. The latter is the reason for its mention on my list. The opening sequence is a classic, even if most of us could totally do without the rest of the movie! The “Babysitter and the Man Upstairs” urban legend comes to life!
Ahh, the classic opening sequence, which still stands the test of time today, is absolutely terrifying. First of all, the phone ringing constantly is just plain annoying. Not helping matters is when the caller is taunting, tormenting, harassing, and scaring the receiver half to death, after having killed the two children upstairs sleeping in the babysitter’s care. Carol Kane delivers an Earth-shattering performance, and really portrays fear well. The calls are coming from upstairs (somehow, I’ve yet to figure this out), and Jill is saved only because the operator was able to trace the call, and warn her to leave the house, just as killer Curt Duncan emerges from the shadows. Phones are creepy, don’t you agree?!
2. Psycho Stalks Another
When the killer escapes his confinement in an insane asylum, he approaches a woman at a bar. I mention this scene because, as a woman, well, even just as a human, I know the apprehension and fear of being around someone who is not all ‘there’ in the head’. We have gut instincts for a reason, and this woman, Tracy, followed hers by pacifying the creep when he follows her home, lets himself into her house, and sits down on her couch for a spell. She convinces him to come back another time, which grants her a temporary reprieve from his wily charms. That was not a compliment. Later, he comes back to kill her, but is finally stopped by the detective who has been hunting him since his escape. Whew, that was a close one!
A David Fincher masterpiece, Zodiac is one of my favorite movies. It’s one of those few near-perfections in life, and the psychological thrills have definitely been burned into my mind. Chasing a killer that to this day has never been apprehended is scary to begin with, but the way it consumes cartoonist Robert Graysmith’s life is inspiring, mind-numbing, and depressing all at the same time.
1. Lake Berryessa Terror
I have referenced this scene before in other posts, but when Cecelia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell are tormented and stabbed at the lake, it goes through me like few other things have. Cecelia’s screams are enough to give anyone the chills, as she watches her date being stabbed in the back repeatedly, dreading her own turn at the hands of the Zodiac Killer. Utterly horrifying, because it isn’t demons, or ghosts, or any other supernatural being, it’s a human doing this to another human, on purpose, and enjoying it.
2. Arthur Leigh Allen’s Interview
After incriminating tips from a former friend lead Inspectors Toschi, Armstrong, and Sgt. Mulanax from San Francisco and Vallejo to pay Arthur Leigh Allen a visit, we get a wonderfully crafted and chilling scene, which, if one did not know any better, would absolutely convince us that he was the Zodiac. Though DNA “cleared” him decades after the murders and his own death, I myself am still convinced he was involved somehow. Too many coincidences. Anyway, John Carroll Lynch portrays pedophile creepster Allen with quiet but menacing calmness, even proclaiming, in a deeper voice, “I’m not the Zodiac, and if I was, I certainly wouldn’t tell you.” Shudder.
3. A Visit to Bob Vaughn
After years of indirectly being around the Zodiac investigation at the San Francisco Chronicle where he worked as a cartoonist, Robert Graysmith plays detective, and decides to put an end to the mystery once and for all. He never officially succeeds, as the case remains open, but in one such instance, he happens upon some movie posters that contain handwriting strikingly similar to the Zodiac’s. It turns out the man he goes to speak with about the suspected killer, Rick Marshall, Bob Vaughn, drew the posters himself. This causes Graysmith to automatically suspect him in the crimes, and when he ventures to the basement to find out when his theater played The Most Dangerous Game, Graysmith hears footsteps and creaking from upstairs. He questions several times if anyone else is in the house, and Vaughn (Charles Fleischer) is quietly creepy throughout, adding to our own suspense and tension. We begin to question him ourselves! This scene always freaks me out – it is so wonderfully filmed. It also gives us a different perspective on the murders. Perfectly brilliant and nerve-wracking.