I think the reasons why horror movies have had such an impact on me is that the individual moments of terror stay with you emotionally. These are the memorable events that have stuck with me all these years. It’s why I keep coming back to see what new ways that these films will try and make me pee my pants. Though many of these moments come from my favorite horror films, not all of them are.
Spoiler Alert! Read this after you listen to Podcast Episode 2.
10. Glen (Johnny Depp) gets pulled into his bed by Freddy and spit out as a geyser of blood in Nightmare on Elmstreet. So much blood! This is my favorite moment from any conventional horror movie franchise, and perhaps the best sequence from any of the Nightmare on Elmstreet movies.
9. Ash smashing dishware on his head in Evil Dead II. Manic possession madness! Sam Raimi has stated that he relished having Bruce Campbell beat himself up in the production, and Bruce went full tilt Looney Tunes for this sequence. So much fun!
8. The opening shark attack in Jaws. Buh dum… buh dum… this sequence changed the way I behave when swimming in the ocean. Raw panic and confusion.
7. Kane and the chest-burster from Alien. Unforgettable and genre changing moment. Ridley Scott’s lighting, the cast’s total surprise at the amount of blood, and John Hurt bringing the full thespian makes this an all-timer.
6. “Choke on it!” Captain Rhodes gets devoured by zombies in Day of the Dead. In a series full of gruesome killings, this one is one of Romero’s toppers. And, it was wholly satisfying. The movie was pretty good, but the final closure to Day of the Dead is about as gory as the genre allows. My favorite individual scene from any Romero movie, though this movie as a whole isn’t as good as Dawn or Night.
5. Norris pops open like a bear trap and turns into a spider creature in The Thing. The Thing was my introduction to true horror as a young teenager, as this was the first rated R horror movie I ever saw, and what a terrifying introduction. From this point forward, I was a horror movie fan.
4. The opening home invasion sequence High Tension. The best opening sequence to a slasher movie ever. Move and countermove between villain and heroine. The cat and mouse in the first half hour of this movie were so smart and intense, that even a convoluted twist in the end of this movie couldn’t dampen what a brilliant first act it had.
3. The Blob drops on Paul in the 1988 Blob. Paul proceeds to dissolve in the blob! Meg reaches out to try and save him and pulls his arm off! So gross, so crazy, and I loved it. And all done with practical effects. Winner!
2. The ending of the Mist. A horrific downbeat and unforgettable clincher, with a brutal revelation for poor David Drayton. This sequence had the audience leaving with their heads down and mumbling. It was the ultimate downer ending, and I thought it was perfectly executed by director John Darabont.
1. The elevator doors open, unleashing a flood of monsters in Cabin in the Woods. Pure horror chaos and mayhem. I was squealing with joy in the theater when watching this sequence. This was self-aware, postmodern horror of the highest order. Almost too much to take in… almost.
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