Sunday, October 23, 2011

What Frightens You?

What makes a horror movie scare one person but comes across as ‘ho hum’ to another?  How many times have you been recommended a 'must see' horror movie only to be disappointed?

I did that very thing the other day.  I recommended Insidious to my son.  This movie scared the hell out of me (well the first hour did anyway), but my son thought it was ‘okay’.  What was it about that movie that made me leap out of my chair and cuddle up to my partner for reassurance?

Thinking about the movies that have rattled me there does seem to be some common themes –

The Unnatural Child

ü     Don’t Look Now (my all time favourite movie) has the father of a deceased child chasing what seems to be her spirit around the canals and alleyways of Venice.  It is only at the end of the movie that we find out what this ‘child’ really is.  I don’t think I slept for weeks after that revelation.

Sinister Gage
ü    Pet Semetary.  We all know the premise of this one, the idea that Gage has been brought back from the dead is bad enough but we know that his soul did not come back, something else did. He makes me shudder every time I think of him.

ü   Insidious.  Dalton, a young boy, is in a coma and being nursed at home. One night his younger brother says he wants to change bedrooms because he doesn’t like it when Dalton walks around. That gave me goosebumps, but the thing that really got me was the sulking boy doll from the laundry that ran and giggled around the house!!

Unnatural Movement

 ü      The Ring.  I laugh now when I see this movie, but after I saw it for the first time I took the portable TV out of my bedroom and it’s never returned.  The way that Samara moves towards the screen really bothers me.  I can’t stand it!

 ü      The Gift.  Remember the fiddler?  I hate that part, he plays too fast, it’s completely unnatural.  In the words of the immortal Owen Meany – it gives me ‘the shivers’.

Jagged Teeth


ü      Pennywise The Clown from It……… enough said there.

ü   Have you ever seen The Two Faces of Evil?  It was a Hammer House of Horror episode that absolutely terrified me when I about 13 or 14.  The evil doppelganger with his jagged teeth and one long dirty fingernail really played on my mind at night.

The Music

ü    Salem’s Lot (the TV movie with David Soul).  I cannot stand the music that plays when the young boy taps on the window for his friend, it makes my heart race and I just want to cover my ears and bury my face in a cushion to block it all out!

ü      Psycho.  The shower scene music is so well known that it doesn’t have much effect now, but what a great piece it is.  We’re hard to scare these days, but I would have loved to have been in the audience on it’s first showing.

So, it's not blood and guts that I find scary, it's just the little, unnatural things with some good music thrown in.

So now you know what frightens me, what frightens you?



  1. You and I seem to be bothered by the same things. I also don't like angry female ghosts. They terrify me. Hell hath no furry & all. I love to write scary things though. I would love to hear what you think.

    Scare Your Stockings Off



  2. Yep, unnatural things. The confrontational moments with "death" bother me too, going back to a personal experience in a funeral home when I was young. So anything bloated, decaying, creeping out of the grave--goosebump city. Sharp, pointy objects such as jagged teeth, knives, (the scene in Salem's Lots where the stairs were sawed off and what awaited our heroes at the bottom), and then there's the natural--spiders, snakes, bugs, bats, a hive of bees etc. Anything that can evoke that chill really. It has to be played just right. Some movies hit it on the nail, and some authors creep the nerve right out of you.

  3. Thankfully I have not had much experience with 'death'. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not, I'm not really prepared for its eventuality. Bugs are another nasty I have to agree I'm absolutely terrified of our Aussie cockroaches especially the ones that fly!

  4. Pet Cemetery scared the stuffing out of me! I watched it in the theater and had nightmares for days. Loved the snippet from Salem's Lot, been thinking about reading that book.

  5. I doubt I find anything frightening anymore. I could be disgusted, but not frightened. However, is that a person crawling out of the television? Now that creeps me out a tad.

  6. LOL, I don't think I ever recovered from seeing that scene in The Ring!

  7. For me, the movie that scares me the most is Halloween and there is another movie that I saw a long time ago that I can't think of the name of, but you have to say this guy's name three times in front of a mirror and he appears - that movie scared me - somehow that feeling of isolation while something awful is happening freaks me out.

    And ditto on the Ring!

  8. That movie would be Candy Man, it's one of my favourite :)