I know more than a few people who, now that they’re too old to go trick-or-treating, spend every Halloween watching horror movies. I honestly can’t imagine anything I’d rather do less. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a total wimp when it comes to that sort of thing — I don’t like to be scared… heck, I don’t even like to be surprised. I get queasy not only at the sight of blood, but also just at the thought of it sometimes. I have a very active imagination and don’t need any more fuel for nightmares.
But despite all of that, I still have seen a handful of scary movies. Why did I ever allow myself to be taken out of my comfort zone enough to sit through these fright-fests? Usually it was because someone coerced me into it, or because the film was somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon at the time I watched it.
I’m sure many of you out there won’t even consider all of these five to be worthy of classification in the horror genre, but they have each viciously haunted me for years.
And so, without further ado, here are the Five Scariest Movies I’ve Ever Seen:
This one gets fifth place only because I was in high school when I saw it, and therefore I just don’t remember much about it, except for the fact that I didn’t know what had hit me after its credits rolled. While I’ve blocked from my memory exactly where I was or who I was with when I watched this one (though I know it was on a VHS tape at a friend’s house), merely hearing the name of one of its characters scares the living daylights out of me to this day. You know who I’m talking about! Yes, it is the evil Malachai. (Isaac was pretty horrifying, too, but his name doesn’t carry the same spookiness.)
As soon as the first creepy scene hit in Children of the Corn, I immediately knew that I was never going to be a fan of this type of film. What’s more, I couldn’t figure out why anyone would ever willingly subject themselves to such disturbing story lines and scenes. I still don’t understand it!
About five years passed before I saw my next scary movie, which earned the fourth spot on my list because of its nauseating opening scene that ends badly for Ms. Drew Barrymore, among others. If I hadn’t been trying to be cool while on a date, I would’ve left the theater right after those way-too-intense first minutes. Don’t let its star-studded cast, its moments of levity and the fact that David Arquette is in it fool you — Scream is no joke!
A friend and I saw The Ring after feeling left out because there was so much buzz about it when it premiered. Neither of us were into horror movies, so I really have no clue as to why we thought we could make it through this movie unscathed. There is a scene near the beginning of the film where the audience is shown the evil video tape’s first victim, and it shocked the you-know-what out of both of us. I remember (very vividly) my friend turning toward me with her jaw hanging open, and I’m sure my eyes were about to pop out of their sockets. Needless to say, we spent the next two hours shielding our eyes and huddling together in our seats.
2) The Blair Witch Project
I’m sure a few of you are snickering right now, but you must understand that I saw this movie on its opening night — BEFORE it was totally overhyped and the subsequent backlash from the public ensued. A lot of people standing in line with us actually thought the movie was made up of real footage (at least I knew that that was just part of the ingenious marketing plan). The closing scene still flitters across my mind every now and again — ugh! I get shivers just thinking about it.
What was brilliant about this movie was that it unleashed psychological terror — from what I recall, hardly anything gross was actually shown on screen. It was more the fear of the unseen that freaked out the masses right after the film debuted.
My husband (who was my boyfriend at the time we saw Blair Witch together) and I walked home from the theater that night and were both constantly looking over our shoulders and jumping at the slightest shadow. And we lived in the middle of a major city — nowhere near a haunted forest!
That brings us to the movie that I wish I had never seen…
1) The Shining
First off, I totally can’t deal with freaky little kids (see the Children of the Corn entry). There was not one, not two, but three in The Shining! You have the main boy who talks to his finger and shouts “Red rum”… and then there are the two most evil-looking twin girls in existence who appear in psychic flashes. Forget Jack Nicholson and all his craziness in this movie — those three kiddies did me in. I watched this Kubrick classic with a friend on Halloween 1998 — if peering through holes in a quilted blanket covering our heads counts as “watching.” Seriously, I am getting very disturbed remembering the scene with the twins… so if I have to suffer, so do you…
That’s it, I can’t take it anymore… no more writing about horror movies. While we’re on the subject, I don’t think I’ll ever be seeing a scary movie again, either. Five is enough! And don’t try to convince me that I just really have to rent, say… The Exorcist. I will have none of it — I will not be fooled again!