« World of eQaedaCraft | Main | »

September 30, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Stephen Downes

Only one pick...


I saw it when I was in high school. I had dreams about it for weeks after. I swore never to watch a horror movie again, which, basically, I haven't (though I've noticed disturbing elements of horror creeping into mainstream programming, which leaves me very unhappy, because I do *not* want those images in my dreams).

Ed Webb

I prefer my horror delivered in text, where Frankenstein remains one of the most powerful statements. In Stephen's category of 'please don't make me see that again' I'd put The Shining. Just please don't, OK?

Andy Havens

The Shining, Videodrome, Alien, Silence of the Lambs, Texas Chainsaw Masacre

Steven Kaye

This is trickier than I thought - a lot of modern US horror is jump cut stuff. And there are single scenes I can isolate from a lot of movies (the revelation scene in Onibaba, for example, or the "Burke" scene from The Body Snatcher).

Deathdream (aka The Night Andy Came Home) builds up unease over the course of the movie, so I'd add it to the list.

Halloween, maybe (the original, of course).

The Other, again for the mounting sense of dread.

I'd have to think on the other two.

Steven Kaye

Er, not jump cut - jump reaction, I meant.

brenda landis

Man, that clip just makes me more annoyed that I can't figure out Lost Highway. I can watch Mullholland Drive over and over again and feel like I understand a bit more of it each time but Lost Highway baffles me. Your right though...it is super creepy.

Jesse Walker

Much as I like The Body Snatcher, I'd be pressed to put it on a list of the five scariest films ever. Or even the 50 scariest. It's more an example of solid storytelling than bona fide chill-inducement.

If we're going to pick a Val Lewton movie for the list, I'm voting for The Cat People.


I think it would take me months of research to come up with a Top Five that didn't feel forced. Like Jesse said, The Body Snatcher doesn't jump out as a top-five pick, but I really enjoyed the reveal in the carriage near the end.

That's part of the problem for me -- I enjoy a good scare too much to qualify it as "really scary," as in disturbing.

The last film that "scared" me in the classic sense was Miike's Audition. And I think part of that was the way he set up the first half of the film as a romantic comedy.

I think it's important to remember that fear and horror* are two separate emotions. If you asked me to pick the top five horrifying moments in cinema I'd have an easier time. #1: The woodsman carrying his wet, lifeless daughter through the streets of Ingolstadt in Whale's Frankenstein. It's not scary, but it is truly horrifying.

I mostly watch horror movies, so I'm probably not the best judge. For me, the really scary scenes are in straight dramas, where people are going about their daily lives, and then -- wham! -- there's a car accident, or a diagnosis of cancer. That's scary. Monsters and madmen? Not so much.

* The TCM clip in the New Yorker piece, for example, is not scary at all. It is horrifying, but that's not the same thing.

Bryan Alexander

Stephen, once, when teaching Psycho to a seminar, there were a few students who hadn't seen the film. Some minutes in, one asked to be excused "to use the bathroom." She seemed confused by the evil laughter from classmates.

Ed, you should see the bunnies do Shining. I assume you've seen the trailer mashup.

Very nice list, Andy. What would you pick from the previous generation of film, if you had to?

Steven, did you mean The Other (1970s) or The Others (1990s)?

Brenda, the co-author of Lost Highway said he wanted to do a script as Moebius strip. That helped me a bit.

Jesse, if I had to do Lewton, I'd be tempted to _I Walked With A Zombie_. From that period? eh, Black Cat.

Bryan Alexander

HP, I think we agree on Audition. Which makes for a fine date movie.
(Did you listen to Miike's commentary? hilarious)

I would need to agonize over picking 5. It would be much easier to choose 5 for a particular approach to horror - 5 not from the US, or 5 before 1970, or 5 gory ones, etc.

Steven Kaye

I mean The Other (1970s).

For me, Lewton's Seventh Victim. Sure, it has its bungled moments, but that chair drop.

Ed Webb

The Bunnies Shining is excellent. For the true heart of darkness, I await Hello Kitty does the Shining.

Steven Kaye

Ed *understands*.

Translator Chicago

Ooohhh... Scary!

penny auctions

Art auctions everywhere I went started having really great things on the auction block.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Twitter latest

    follow me on Twitter




    Become a Fan