#10 – A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Grocery Store Nightmare
One of the recent Hollywood remakes, 2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, didn’t really live up to the hype. Even with it falling short of expectations, it did produce a few good scares.
Before Rooney Mara got her dragon tattoo, she was in this horror reboot. This scene we find Nancy (Mara) and Quentin (Kyle Gallner) trying to escape Freddy by not sleeping. A grocery story stop to get medication to stay awake is a little too late. Nancy’s back-and-forth between the store aisle and Freddy’s boiler room is pretty awesome.
I also thoroughly enjoyed Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Kruger. Robert Englund will always be my favorite, but Haley’s take as a creepier Freddy was chilling.
#9 American Werewolf in London’s Subway Chase Scene
I saw this movie sometime before I was 10 (thanks to my Uncle Brian). As you could imagine, it scared the life out of me. This was always one of scariest scenes to me. Even today the fear on the guys face seems so real. He starts exiting the subway before he even sees anything. When he finally lays his eyes on the werewolf, you see another level of fear kick.
The clip ends with the guy laying on the escalator, knowing his fate has been sealed. That’s when the audience gets a look at what he’s been running from – a gigantic grey wolf walk up to him slowly.
Still creepy all these years later. Still awesome.
#8 The Shining (1980) All Work and No Play
1980’s The Shining most iconic scene is Jack (Jack Nicholson) sticking his face through a splintered hole in door and screaming, “Here’s Johnny!” As crazy as that scene is, I would argue the craziest scene is Wendy (Shelley Duvall) stumbling upon Jack’s typewriter/writing project. What she assumes Jack’s been working is a manuscript, what she finds is hundred of pages that read “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.
The beauty of the scene is the look on Wendy’s face as she thumbs through page after page to find different layouts of the same sentence. It’s the look of someone who realizes they’re stuck in this creepy hotel with a crazy person.
The clip ends with Jack walking behind Wendy as she continues to read and enthusiastically asking , “How do you like it?” Her jump scare is the best.
#7 Dawn of the Dead (2004) Awake at Dawn
For all the social commentary about consumerism u 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, 2004’s commentary was ‘Keep up your cardio in case of a zombie apocalypse’. For some reason the virus turned people into brain eating monsters with the type of speed that could land them a spot in the NFL. This movie still has me praying all the fast zombies get fat before the zombie apocalypse.
Dawn of the Dead is packed with a lot of awesomeness, but I picked this opening sequence because it set the tone for the rest of the film. Ana’s morning isn’t going exactly how she planned, but she’s quick on her feet. She even hurls her daughter 15 feet and manages to get the car keys before it’s too late.
The best part of the scene is how intensely quiet it gets while Ana is in the bathroom. You know something is coming, you just don’t know what.
#6 The Mist (2007) – Rope
Stephen King’s The Mist is one of my favorite horror films. I’m not sure why. It’s partially the creepy mist creatures, the crazy people in the store, or the sense of hopelessness at the end.
I love the tentacles attack scene in the garage. I even love the scene at the pharmacy with the acid shooting spiders. But I LOVE the scene when Mr. Norton and his group think there isn’t anything in the mist and they’re going to prove everyone wrong. As you can see in the clip, they’re in the parking lot for seconds before things go terribly wrong.
I love how quick the rope pulls away, how high it goes in the air, and the slow pull back revealing what’s on the rope.
Everyone in the grocery story is freaked out and rightfully so.
#5 Paranormal Acitivy (2007) – Drug out of Bed
Now we’re in the Top 5 aka the good stuff.
This is the scene that set up the franchise for 1,232,098 more movies. It’s also the got the biggest jump-scream combo out of any scary movie I’ve been to. I remember the movie having a buzz after it came out and this was the scene a lot of people pointed to.
Despite PA movies being a disappointment lately, this scene reminds us the franchise at one point told a very simple yet terrifying story.
The best part of the scene is Katie getting drug down the hallway and the door slamming behind her. I’m puzzled by their reaction. I would’ve immediately left the house. There would be no time for conversation.
#4 Christine (1983) Gas Station Scene
I’ve been hoping for a Christine remake to hit the big screen and this scene is exactly why.
Christine ramming the car twice, blowing up the gas station and then chasing the guy down is an awesome sequence.The guy squealing before he gets crushed is so inappropriately funny to me. The best part is at the 3:23 mark with the haunting music with Christine on fire slowly running the guy down.
I need Michael Bay to remake Christine into a Fast & Furious/Paranormal Activity mash up.
#3 The Thing (1982) – Tainted Blood Sample
We’re getting close to the end. Coming in at #3 is one of my favorite all-time movies – John Carpenter’s The Thing. I can quote the entire movie because it’s awesome and because I watch it at least five times a year. I even own a Outpost 31 shirt. The Thing is also another classic Keith David supporting performance. Keith David is in the Supporting Hall of Fame alongside Bolo Yeung and Al Leong.
This clip shows MacReady (Kurt Russell) is the only one smart enough to flush the “thing” out. He moves ahead with the blood test they agreed on earlier in an attempt to find out who’s human and who’s not. When the alien blood jumps off the petri dish, all hell breaks loose and some of the men are tied up on the couch, helpless and afraid. Windows tries his best, but seems a little taken aback by what he’s witnessing. We all knew Windows was going die a gruesome death when he was the only one that didn’t want to torch MacReady when everyone thought he was a “thing”. Nice guys always get obliterated in horror films.
MacReady rebounds nicely with the flamethrower, plus the dynamite for good measure, but it’s a little too late for Windows.
As always, RIP Windows.
#2 – Friday the 13th (1980) – He’s Still There
This scene sets up Jason Voorhees killing spree for the next 10 movies. Most horror fans know Mrs. Vorhees was the killer in the first film but after her death, Jason took over the family business.
The calming music, police presence, and overall happy mood make you feel like she’s safe. We learn a valuable lesson during this scene – it’s never safe at Camp Crystal Lake.
#1 Halloween (1979) – Laurie Makes a Discovery
Despite this scene being 80% crying and screaming, it’s amazing and very effective. Admittedly the scene is a bit silly with Laurie’s dead body Easter egg hunt in the house, but the scary reveal at the end more than makes up for it.
Michael Myers’ slow creep out of the shadows is still one of my favorite movie scenes ever. The way his white mask slowly starts to become visible from the shadows still gives me the chills. Halloween is one of my favorite scary movies because Michael isn’t a slasher killer like Jason or Freddy, he’s more of a stalker who is going to kill you at some point.
I still wonder how nobody saw Michael bring that tombstone in the house.