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What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?

MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

It's Friday, and I feel the need to take a break from the political and drift toward the superficial. Hence, this thread.

What movie have you watched that was shite-in-your-pants scary?  So many of today's horror and sci-fi movies depend on startling the viewer and providing seriously gory special effects.  Being startled is different from being scared. Being grossed out is different from being scared.

My pick? John Carpenter's version of The Thing.  First movie I ever saw that had a hopelessly apocalyptic ending.


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Mr.Tea
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Joined: Jul 9 2011

Interesting topic!

It seems lately that "horror" movies are really relying on extreme gore for shock value. That seems like a lazy way to do "horror" instead of relying on story, character, pacing, etc. I think what makes something "scary" in the suspense factor.

Personally, I don't know if it would qualify as a "horror" movie, but the scariest movie I ever saw was "Jaws". The pacing and that menacing music was just perfect and the suspense was great. Saw it as a kid and had nightmares for a week. I think it still holds up well after all these years.

More in the horror genre, there's a film from the 70s called "When a Stranger Calls" that I thought was great. It was quite unique and not formulaic like most of the horror movies in the 80s all based around Freddy or Jason or Michael or Chucky chasing people down and killing them. I found a lot of those movies more funny than scary.

Also, "Silence of the Lambs" is rather scary in a deeply creepy way. Anthony Hopkins performance in that was just awesome.


MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

Seen 'em all Mr. Tea - including the moronic and misogynistic slasher flicks.

Not the scariest, but the most entertaining, are the first two Evil Dead movies. One of those rare instances where the sequel outdoes the original (Alien franchise being another - every single one after the 2nd was a snore).  

I'm a huge fan of the horror sci-fi genre, so I've seen some of the best and some of the worst.  All of them, regardless of quality, say something about our Western society, our fears, our culture.


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Rebecca West wrote:

My pick? John Carpenter's version of The Thing.  First movie I ever saw that had a hopelessly apocalyptic ending. 

The first Night of the Living Dead left me with that feeling. Very effective, though I don't ever feel the need to see it again. LIkewise the 1978 Invasion of the BOdy Snatchers.

I'd give Blair Witch Project points, mainly because it manages to do so much with so little.

Island of Terror and Hell House were two that terrorized me as a kid, and I like Herzog's remake of Nosferatu for the way it takes apart the whole genre.

Actually, more of my favourite horror was on the small screen - Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and Night Gallery - and in literature.

 


MegB
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I was a huge Night Gallery fan.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005
The news.

voice of the damned
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Joined: Sep 23 2004

Not trying to sound like Mr. Macho or anything, but I tend not to scare easily. However, there are certain scenes in horror/suspense/allied genre movies that "creep me out", so to speak, and have actually put me off a second viewing. Not so much because I'll be scared by the scene itself, but because I'll edgy in my seat, knowing the scene is coming.

One thing I found particularly disturbing(in the best sense of the word), was Bob coming through Laura Palmer's bedroom window in Fire Walk With Me. Even though I never followed the TV series, and hence didn't really care about the back-story, there was just something really freaky about that particular shot. I actually think Lynch, much like Kubrick, was better at constructing images that can be appreciated quite well on an individual level, without having to worry much about how they connect to the overall plot of the film.

For some reason, I've never founf the much-ballyhooed Exorcist particularly frightening. Especially not the scenes that everyone raves about, ie. the so-called masturbation(really stretching the definition of the word there, imho) and vomit sequences. That stuff is more gross-out than horror. Father Karras' dream of his dead mother and the dog coming up from the subway is quite effective, but no one ever seems to talk about that one. Overall, I'll admit The Exorcist is a pretty good film, just not real scary in my view.

As you might have guessed, I'm a big fan of trippy religious imagery in horror films. The hallucination scenes in Altered States really work for me.

 

 

  

 

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Miracle On 34th Street. Tongue out


Jacob Two-Two
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A crazy old man can become Santa Claus by the power of his belief. Identity is a fluid construct! The self is a meaningless abstraction!!! Oh God, the existential horror!!!

The movie that disturbed me the most as an adult was The Vanishing, a Belgian film about a man's obsession with his girlfriend's mysterious disappearance. Don't watch the Hollywood remake.


MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001
The Vanishing is definitely creepy. The Hollywood remake, not so much, as per usual. @VOD, wasn't that Twin Peaks? I watched a few episodes, which I really enjoyed, but lost interest.

Boom Boom
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Jacob Two-Two gets it! Laughing


voice of the damned
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Rebecca:

Yep, Twin Peaks. I also enjoyed a few of the first episodes, and then lost interest. After a while, it seemed as if Lynch was more interested in basking in his own(admittedly considerable) talents for surrealism, rather than tying things together in a meaningful narrative. "Playing tennis with no net", to quote Robert's Frost's put-down of free verse poety.

Jacob:

Actually, I would seriously argue that Miracle On 34th Street reflects a certain revolt against the supposedly conformist agenda of the mental-health professions, that was beginning to creep into popular culture in the late 40s/early 50s. Harvey a few years later being another, more directly satirical, example.

I think it was Fredric Jameson who wrote that One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, made in the mid-70s, is actually more of a throwback to that 1950s critique of mind-doctors, than it is a post-60s film.


onlinediscountanvils
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Zodiac. Or perhaps even the documentary, Paradise Lost.


MegB
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onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Zodiac. Or perhaps even the documentary, Paradise Lost.

If you're talking a documentary on Milton's Paradise Lost, you'd need to doctor it with tons of sex and violence to get my attention.  Kind of, like, Chaucer style.


onlinediscountanvils
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Rebecca West wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Zodiac. Or perhaps even the documentary, Paradise Lost.

If you're talking a documentary on Milton's Paradise Lost, you'd need to doctor it with tons of sex and violence to get my attention.  Kind of, like, Chaucer style.

 

No, I'm referring to the documentary about the West Memphis Three.


David Young
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Joined: Dec 9 2007

Showgirls!!!

It sure scared me...to think I paid to watch that trash!

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Bowling for Columbine.

 


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Mad Max. I forget which one it is, but the beginning of the movie begins with a description of what I think is a most plausible end of civilized society after world leaders fail to deal with dwindling global energy reserves. I think a nuclear war is the end result of the failure of international diplomacy, and breakdown of society is what they left to deal with in the sci-fi scenario which doesn't seem too far fetched given past and present manipulation of western world "governments" by warfiteers, multinational energy conglomerates and now most obviously by big time bankers and banking oligarchies in general. Economist Michael Hudson says Wall St banks are basically criminal gangs looting countries today. It's as if they are new age Romans looting what they can while their bought and paid-for senators look the other way. There are no Gracci brothers today to fight for the people. Big money is making darn sure that no one like that ever gets near the halls of power to raise a ruckus. It's as if we are slowly descending to the point when hard choices will have to be made. Chaos rules. Central planning may not sound too sexy to some, but I believe it is our only way out of the current mess. Strong leaders will surely rise to the top, and I think it's the general plan for left and right alike. They aren't even trying to cover their fangs now. Their end game is to create a new dark ages.

"There is no such thing as society." -  Margaret Thatcher.


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Ever seen Seconds? Rock Hudson, and Will Geer, long before the days of The Waltons.

Very creepy on lots of levels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seconds_%28film%29


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

The 1947 edition of Miracle On 34th Street has someone winking at the judge from the back of the room, subtly advising him how to rule - and even the judge takes a break during the proceedings to confer with this guy - a political adviser perhaps - and announces back in the courtroom that he has consulted "with a higher power". I saw this movie as a little kid in the 1950s, as a teenager in the 1960s, and many times as an adult, and that scene has stayed with me my whole life. It's scary because it confirms that the whole system - law, business, etc... -  is based on lies and manipulation. I've rebelled and questioned virtually everything since I saw it first around 1956.


Left Turn
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Joined: Mar 28 2005

I'll put forward the following three candidates as the scariest movie I've ever seen.

Lord of the Flies -- Bear in mind that when our grade 5 teacher showed us this movie, we hadn't read the book, so we didn't know how it ended. When I saw it again in Grade 11, after reading the book, it didn't have the same scary effect.

Dracula (1931 version starring Béla Lugosi) -- When I saw this movie at age 10, most of it seemed downright boring, but the opening scenes in Transylvania are just about the scariest thing I've ever seen, especially when the coach driver turns into a bat.

Blair Witch Project -- Agree with 6079_Smith_W on this one, it does so much with so little. From the mid-point on, it gradually gets scarier and scarier, as the characters get more and moe lost. Though I found the ending anti-climactic, both because like everyone I knew how it ended well before I saw it; and because I don't believe in the supernatural and know there has to be a rational explanation.


DaveW
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Joined: Dec 24 2008

in the late 1960s, Wait Until Dark had a huge reputation among early-teen viewers; one quite shocking scene, which made the whole film;

but since then, been through high school campy evenings to see Night of the Living Dead (many times), and I agree that Twin Peaks was haunting (before going downhill), and Silence of the Lambs opened the door for the forensic-horror, serial killer TV shows of the 2000s, all scary because true

the act of consciously deciding to kill is always deeply disturbing, from Cane and Abel onward

 

 

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

DaveW wrote:

the act of consciously deciding to kill is always deeply disturbing, from Cane and Abel onward

Strongly agree. Which is why, in my view, the film industry has a long way to go if it wants to out-terrify real life.

 


MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Zodiac. Or perhaps even the documentary, Paradise Lost.

If you're talking a documentary on Milton's Paradise Lost, you'd need to doctor it with tons of sex and violence to get my attention.  Kind of, like, Chaucer style.

 

No, I'm referring to the documentary about the West Memphis Three.

Man,I gotta work on expressing my sense of humour online ;)

 

 


onlinediscountanvils
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Joined: Jun 7 2012

Rebecca West wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Zodiac. Or perhaps even the documentary, Paradise Lost.

If you're talking a documentary on Milton's Paradise Lost, you'd need to doctor it with tons of sex and violence to get my attention.  Kind of, like, Chaucer style.

 

No, I'm referring to the documentary about the West Memphis Three.

Man,I gotta work on expressing my sense of humour online ;)

 

Haha! Nah... chalk it up to my lack of familiarity with the works of Milton and Chaucer.


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

I know it's cliche, but The Shining was deeply creepy, and of course, The Exorcist.  Those movies both really stayed with me for long after I saw them.


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

Regarding Miracle on 34th Street - rr and I just watched the remake on TV a couple of nights ago.  And they make that bribery of the judge even more clear in the remake, where they have a whole scene about it before the trial starts.  I haven't seen the original in a while, but I think they did the remake pretty well.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Yeah, both of those (The Exorcist, The Shining) were my first exposure to really scary movies without any redeeming messages at all. The Exorcist really creeped me out.


Boom Boom
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Michelle wrote:

Regarding Miracle on 34th Street - rr and I just watched the remake on TV a couple of nights ago.  And they make that bribery of the judge even more clear in the remake, where they have a whole scene about it before the trial starts.  I haven't seen the original in a while, but I think they did the remake pretty well.

Yeah, the remake was good. There's an American channel showing the 1947 version 24 hours a day.


mark_alfred
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Joined: Jan 3 2004

Don't Look Now, with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, was a pretty scary movie.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Boom Boom wrote:

Yeah, both of those (The Exorcist, The Shining) were my first exposure to really scary movies without any redeeming messages at all. The Exorcist really creeped me out. 

The Excorcist part whatever with George C Scott really fucked me up at the time. All images of nuns rilly creeped me out after that. I tended to be a little quicker down dark alleys and lonely bush trails from that point on.

And The Shining? OMG! Little pigs, little pigs, let me come IN! Nooo! Not by the hairs on our chiny chin-chins 

 


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