"Open the window. Open the window, Mark!"
by Michele Christopher

It’s October and my thoughts turn to horror movies.

Everyone’s got a favorite horror movie. Even if you don’t like the genre all that much - meaning you’re either a wimp or a film snob - you still can pick out at least one scary flick that does something for you.

But I’m not going to talk about that now. That’s something we at FTTW are saving for another day. I’m going to get more specific. Horror movie scenes. Those moments in a film where your hand is spread across your face and you’re watching a scene unfold through your fingers. You don’t want to look. But you do. And when you watch that scene again - because horror movies are always worth watching again - you know what’s coming and you’ll still leave that little space open between your fingers so you can see, but not really see.

Sometimes a particular scene will stay with your forever. You may forget the rest of the movie as time goes on, but that one scene makes a nest in your head and settles in for the long haul. And every once in a while, like when it’s 3am and you can’t sleep and you’re wondering what that noise in the hallway is, that scene will suddenly jump out of its nest and fly around your head.

Here’s a few of my favorite (I use that term loosely, as they are only favorite when I’m not alone in the dark in the middle of the night) scenes:

The Ring - I did not like this movie at all, but that part where Samara climbs out of the well is enough to freak me out if I think about it at night.

Blair Witch - Another movie I didn’t care for, but the ending with the guy standing in the corner gave me the creeps but good

salemslot.jpg‘Salem’s Lot - Oh, you know which scene. Face in the window. My sister used to try to scare me by going around to my bedroom window and scratching on it. That’s a good way to get yourself killed. By my hands.

Friday the 13th/Carrie - I put these two together because they are almost the same scene, different circumstances. Jason popping out of the water and Carrie’s hand coming out of the grave are really almost pedestrian in their simplicity. But something went right with these scenes where it went wrong for thousands of other movies. Because I know I screamed out loud both times. And I rarely do that.

Event Horizon - The woman with the black holes for eyes. This is an evil, evil, evil movie. The kind of movie that gets into your brain and makes your imagination turn on you.

Evil Dead - Tree rape. There’s something that will stick with you for a long time.

- We’re gonna need a bigger boat. Yea, I’m gonna need a change of pants.

The Shining - This movie wasn’t nearly as scary as the book. That said, the scene where Danny is riding down the hallway and meets up with the twins haunted me for a few nights.

- Does anyone besides me even remember this movie? It was a trilogy of scary stories. The one with the severed hand crawling around seeking revenge on the husband gave me nightmares.thefly2.jpg I was only ten at the time. What the hell was my mother thinking taking me to see that? Eh, I should probably thank her.

The Fly (original) - Holy shit. I think this was the first movie scene to ever really freak me out. I must have been about six or seven when I watched this with my mother. She was a huge Vincent Price fan and would make us watch all his movies when they were on tv (I think this was one of those “horror week” things on the WPIX 4:00 movie). When you see the human face on that fly and hear the tiny, pathetic “Help me!” - that’s damn terrifying to a little kid. For weeks after I would look in spider webs for human flies, just in case anyone was looking for help.

And my number one scariest movie scene ever, which I have written about here before.

Trilogy of Terror - Is there anything more terrifying than a made for tv Karen Black movie? Yes. It’s when Karen Black meets up with an evil tribal doll. I’ll let the pictures do it justice here.

Yea, I'll be sleeping with the light on tonight.

So those are just a few of my favorite/most terrifying moments from horror movies. Let’s hear about yours.

Michele writes the Gauntlet once a week and does Late Night Typing a couple of nights a week. When not on FTTW, she can usually be found in front of the tv yelling "Elf needs food badly!"



There's a handful of scenes that immediately jump to mind. Stuff that really creeped me out, but only one managed to give me nightmares. Guess which one ?

Lost Highway - The scene where Robert Blacke is telling Bill pullman that he's been to his house always does a number on me. Blake is flat out creepy and it's easily the best scene in that movie.

Doll Master - Mid budget Korean horror film starring hundreds of Asian dolls called Dollfies, that by themselves scare the crap out of me. Not to mention in a movie where they've supposed come alive and are killing people with 11 inch knives.

Audition - Here's the beauty of Takashi Miike, you forget that this is a horror movie. It's a love story (no, no it's not) and a tale of an older man looking for a wife to help care for him and his son. And the last half hour will make you grateful for every bad date you've ever been on. Absolutely terrifying.


Halloween. The original. John Carpenter soundtrack, directing, and writing. Michael Meyers scared the living crap out of me. The first time they killed him and he sat up, I was so done. The end when Donald Plesence looks over the railing and he's gone...fuck me runnin'.

Oh and Jamie Lee Curts? No one screams better.


Jaws was a horror movie?

In the case I can include one of the greastest scenes ever filmed. When the boat had sunk and there is a backshot of him on the mast with the shark coming and he is on the top of it slowly sinking.


I consider Jaws a horror movie. I mean really, it's like a slasher flick. Think of the shark as Jason. Notice how he went after the couple on the beach first, just like in a slasher flick where the killer goes for the people having sex.

Then the shark terrorizes a small town. Kills innocent people.

See? Slasher flick.


Maybe we aren't talking about the same jaws here

I always liked that guy in the same sick way I like watching reruns on "227"


Great article. I agree with the Blair Witch final scene and The Ring.

Scariest scene for me would be in The Exorcist, and I think it was a deleted scene. I just remember watching it on a new DVD, and seeing her come down the stairs in that fast-forwarded crab walk upside down. Good lord that scared the shit out of me.


the coolest thing about the blair witch was how no one said anything in the theaters. Usually people talk when they leave, but this was the opening night and no one knew what was coming. That's when I thought "this is good".

"The Thing" with the upside down head sprouting legs and walking away. That still sticks with me


Say what you will, but I think the original Terminator movie was a horror movie -- it was too damned low budget to be action. That being said, when Ahnold cuts his eye out? Yeah.


The Changeling, 1980, George C. Scott. That wheelchair chasing the lady down the hall. The kid drowning in the bathtub.


Blair Witch... was the first movie I ever walked out of. Not 10 minutes and just walked right out. I just couldn't watch it. The video made both me and the wife physically ill. It was like a bad motion sickness ride.

When we finally watched it on video a year or so later, I wasn't upset that I'd walked out. That movie, even the end, did absolutely nothing for me.

You took a couple of mine: Event Horizon (my all-time favorite horror film) and Trilogy of Terror.

But I've got another, and this is kind of embarrassing: There is a scene in Hous that has stuck with me ever since I first saw it. The scene where the severed hand comes up out of the toilet. Very disturbing. I have issues with any movie where stuff comes up out of the toilet.


The scene in Night of the Living Dead where the zombie daughter takes her Mom out with the garden tool spade thing. Ug. There are some things I wish I could get out of my head.


the corner guy in blair witch keeps me out of my basement some nights...


"Prince of Darkness" - the entire movie gives me the heebie jeebies, but the two worst are the demon hand coming up through the other side of the mirror, and the heroine coming back as the demon in the last scene.



I'm trying to remember the name of this movie (and it sucks that I can't because it was just on two weeks ago) - where this summer house these people rented is haunted. The wife (I think) goes in the swimming pool and goes underwater and when she tries to come back up there is an invisible cover over the pool so she can't get out.

I hate that scene because I'm afraid of water. So that always stuck with.

Fuck if I can remember the name of the movie though.


I know that movie Michele, can't remember the name either. Thanks for infecting me.

I'll get it yet


Got it.

Burnt Offerings.

It's one of those movies that was good at the time you saw it, but you see it now and think...meh.


Mmm yeah, it's been a while but you're right. At least I can sleep tonight though. Thanks.


Oh My God. The Changeling!!!! I still hear the sound of the boys fist on the side of the tub *shudder*

Also - Nightmare on Elm Street, the third one I think. Where they're at the asylum? Girl leaves her door open a little and a kid’s bike rolls in on its own, leaving trails of blood? The faucets becoming Freddie’s hands and the one girl (guy?) being made into a marionette with his veins as the strings...

Jaws - I still won't go in the ocean unless I can see for a few miles around me - I can also work myself into a panic attack in a pool. Sharks scare me period.

And finally...

That episode of Little House on the Prairie where Laura and Mary think that Mr. Olsen killed Mrs. Olsen. Freaked me out as a kid. now Iknow she would have deserved it.


Oh Man I Have to Side with Dan, "The Changeling" has got to be the scariest movie without ANY real use of blood or anything.. I get shivers whenever I put it in.. Delicious! The Seance Scene is one of the best in Cinema! they don't make 'em like that anymore!


I also have to add the "Wonderful World of Disney" TV movie called "Child of Glass". First shown in 1978, I think I saw the original showing of it. FREAKED ME OUT.

There's a Ghost, a riddle, a psycho (drunk) handyman and priate booty.

Too bad Disney hasn't released it on DVD - I may have to check out my local video store to see if they have an old VHS copy...


Pet Sematary. There's a scene with Fred Gwynne that made me nervous around beds for the longest time.

Serpent and the Rainbow. The scene with the, uh... "piercing".

The end of Don't Look Now was scary, though I didn't like the movie as a whole.


And the way the guy kills himself in The Dead Zone makes me cringe.


The scene in Lady in White when the little girl is singing, "have you ever seen a dream walking..." (at least I think those are the words). Even just humming it out loud freaks me out and makes me get whip lash from looking all around me for dead little ghost girls.


I love Event Horizon. It is a horribly, horribly disturbing movie. In fact, I need to buy it tomorrow and watch it.

I remember going to see Blair Witch a little before it became crazy popular and I agree that the basement scene was really fucking creepy. I actually have the dvd, which is vaguely embarassing at this point. But whatever. I still think the movie had its good points even though it's now basically a joke.

Evil Dead: I love it. In fact, despite the low budget and general cheesiness, it really is a kind of creepy movie. Most people love Army of Darkness or Evil Dead II because of the bigger emphasis on humor, but I'm a sucker for the attempts at more straight up horror in the original.

Did you see The Descent, by any chance? I thought it was a great horror movie. Plus, it has a fantastic reveal of the creature. Definitely a great scene. Probably not good if you're claustrophobic, though.


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