Everybody has their own particular list of horror movie scenes that scare them the most. A look at anybody's list probably says a whole lot more about your character, personality or psychological makeup than it does about what makes a horror movie scene so scary. So feel free to psychoanalyze me. But first determine if these scenes are among the most unnerving, unsettling and disquieting horror movie moments for you as well.
The Shining Twins
Nothing else even compares. What is so scary about the ghosts of the dead little girls in "The Shining"? Heck, I recently wrote an article claiming that ghosts just aren't scary and are therefore more suitable to a comedy than a horror film. Hypocritical of me or just inconsistent? I think neither because I think what makes the scene where Danny Torrance arrives in his Big Wheel upon the specter of the Grady daughters has nothing to do with their being ghosts. After all, they don't appear as ghosts. They are flesh and blood and I think if they spoke in an American accent the quality of creepiness would be sorely missing. That scene from "The Shining" is not scary because they are ghosts and it is so unnerving that the flash cut to their bloodied and butchered bodies is superfluous. What makes the girls from "The Shining" so horrifying?
The Ring Brush Lady
I know a lot of people get totally creeped out by Samara, the onryo in "The Ring" and certainly with good reason. All those girls with the long straggly hair in Asian ghost movies are creepy, but Samara is neither the creepiest onryo nor the most unsettling thing in "The Ring." Many may disagree with me here, but horror is in the eye of the amygdala. Something unexplainably sinister lies beneath that image of the woman in the "death video" who is brushing her hair. If you don't experience the same kind of shiver down your spine when she tilts her head up to look directly at you as you get when Samara starts walking toward the camera, consider yourself lucky. It's not a good feeling.
Ten Minutes of Found Fear
Everything leading up to the last ten minutes of "[Rec]" makes this Spanish film the current holder of the title of best found footage movie ever. The last ten minutes of "[Rec]" succeeds in pushing you to the limit that your amygdala will take. The tension that knots up in your stomach over the course of what amounts to just one long scene of terror cannot be adequately described. Those who find blood spurting maniacally from a fresh wound or who equate torture with horror may not be psychologically evolved enough to fully appreciate the horror in the last few scenes of "[Rec]" and that's too bad. Gore has equated with scary for me. Far scarier than on-screen vivisection is the dread and terror inculcated by the claustrophobic darkness of the unseen that make up the last few minutes of "[Rec]."
- Arts & Entertainment