It’s nearing the witching hour. Halloween is right around the corner, and the television networks are gearing up to feature their scariest movies. I’ve always contended that I didn’t like scarey movies, that I’m more of a “Mary Poppins” type film watcher. Then I recalled some of the films I’ve seen in my lifetime, and yes there were quite a few “Oh My God, I’m scared out of my wits” moments.
Admittely I’ve never seen films like Nightmare on Elm Street, Rosemary’s Baby or the Excorcist. No, I never saw the Excorcist and I never will. Head rotating, pea soup spouting is really more than I can take. Chainsaws, disfigured faces, monsters, and demons are also images I won’t pay money to see. But, when it comes to scaring the ever lovin’ bejesus out of me, there are several films that I’ve seen that do it better than any other.
First on my list is Alfred Hitchcock’s Physco. Like a million other people, I couldn’t take a shower without looking over my shoulder for a month. Anthony Perkins doesn’t appear inhuman, disfigured, or particularly insane. The tension builds in this film to such an extent it is almost hard to breath. That’s what I call scary. The kind of scared where you have your hands over your eyes and your heart in your mouth the entire film. Oh yeah, dead scarey.
Then there’s The Shining. You simply cannot forget the scene that finally reveals the book Jack’s been writing — all one sentence “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” Sheesh! Give me a freaking heart attack.
For pure, hang me by a thread and dangle me 500 feet above a cement brick, it’s got to be Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. You know what happened to her, her physco sister, Joan Crawford (who it would appear wasn’t playing too much against type) is holding poor Baby Jane Hudson captive. I cringed and cowered in my seat everytime Joan walked in the room.
Stupid me – I was one of the first people in line when Silence of the Lambs premiered. I have no clue what I was thinking at the time. I spent 80% of the film with my hands over my eyes and humming a tune. It would have been easier for me to just get up and leave. I just didn’t want to believe that Anthony Hopkins was really that evil. I was wrong.
For me, scary is in the thrill, in the suspense, in the not know. The less seen the better.
What’s the sacriest movie you’ve ever seen?