A selection of the top five most shocking movie scenes in the horror genre that horrified me as a kid and still hasn’t lost much of its power to shock me even today when viewing with adult eyes.
WARNING: Contains scenes of violence and gore that are probably not suitable for anyone with a weak stomach.
They are presented in no particular order:
1. The crucifix masturbation scene from ‘THE EXORCIST’ (1973)
Released on Boxing Day in the States of 1973 but not getting an initial release here in the UK until March 1974, this classic had spawned two further sequels, a prequel and other recent horrors focusing on demonic possession and exorcism. But none of them succeeded in capturing the same, raw unflinching power to disturb and shock as much as ‘The Exorcist’ did. What other horror film can you think of that affected audiences so strongly that some actually fainted and others went into hysterics? Or the main star receiving death threats from religious zealots after believing the film “glorified Satan”? What about the original teaser trailer getting banned in many movie theaters due to it being “too frightening”? None that I can think of. Of all the horrific scenes in the film, this was the one I had to keep turning my eyes away from.
2. Vampire Lestat getting his throat slashed from ‘INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE’ (1994)
‘Interview With The Vampire’ is one of three of my all time favourite vampire movies ever made. The other two being ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’ (1992) and ‘Let The Right One In’ (2009). I don’t find vampire films very scary, they just offer a more shock value and of course lean towards a romantic side of horror for me. I was definitely shocked first time I saw Lestat get his throat cut by Claudia though and seeing him ‘die’ in a pool of his own blood. I think it was just the amount of blood and gore in this film that gave me endless nightmares upon seeing it for the first time as a twelve year old.
3. The twin sisters from ‘THE SHINING’ (1980)
Here we have one of the most scariest and chilling films ever made. Stanley Kubrick has always been a masterful and technically outstanding film-maker known famously for his trademarks of utilising startling imagery and haunting music in each of his films, quite possibly making him the greatest choice to adapt Stephen King’s best selling horror. As it happens I’m reading the book at the moment and of course it is a completely different beast filled with more background story and history, but having said that, both the book and the film have scared me senseless in their own rights. Below is the most spine chilling scene (for me anyway) that was projected in my mind as a kid and had never really left my brain since.
4. The blood test scene from ‘THE THING’ (1982)
One of the most intense and bat shit crazy, complete bonkers sequences in the history of horror cinema. I’ve always liked sci-fi horror and alien invasion films and having these two elements combined for this particular film was a real enjoyment for me. John Carpenter made this at the time when he was a master operating at the highest peak, pulling all the strings and confidently knowing exactly what makes a good, decent horror. Amazing to think that after thirty two years since its release, it still holds up incredibly well. The make up effects and design still blow me away!
5. The girlfriend getting ripped in half from ‘THE HITCHER’ (1986)
Every guy’s worse nightmare where his girlfriend gets taken from their hotel room whilst he takes a shower and discovers she’s been tied up between two lorries by a crazy hitch hiking serial killer displaying no emotion or motives for why he kills people, having forced said hero into a deadly game of cat and mouse. One of the best and scariest horrors of the 80s, one that I worn out my VHS copy of and one that you really need to see if you haven’t. They sure don’t make horrors as good as this any more.
So there we have it. My five top scariest scenes from horror movies. Do you agree with my list? Or can you think of others that frightened you even more? Would love to hear your thoughts/opinions.