"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
‘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.
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.
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.