Like anything else when you are compiling a list of ‘best of’ or in this case ‘the scariest’ it’s very subjective but saying that it’s also great fun to go through all those slasher, phycological, rip em’ ups’ or whatever your personal favourite happens to be.
From the likes of Rosemary’s Baby, Psycho to American Werewolf in London to those that at first glance would not be consider so much ‘scary’ but more downright ‘disturbing’ like Clockwork Orange.
I really do enjoy scary movies but there are times that I want a different type of excitement, something that is not going to make me jump out of my skin in fear and one of my favourite pastimes is to play on UK live roulette games where I can enjoy live casino action streamed from a real venue and with real human croupiers and dealers right to the comfort of my own living room.
But if we are going to talk about scary movies for me one of the all-time classics is The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Combining fine acting skills from Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jodi Foster who built a relationship that was to last to the great production that birthed a film high on suspense with some pretty horrific scenes thrown in, The Silence of the Lambs also contains those aspects we have come to associated with horror like dark rooms, things that go bump in the night and winding passages, all used to great effect. Remember the night-goggle scene?
Another of my own all-time-favourites is Mulholland Drive by the great David Lynch (2001). Lynch manages to deliver shock-horror moments at the end of scenes when you are least expecting them. He is the master of the eerie and although a lot of movie-goers will remember Mulholland Drive for the lesbian sub-plot he had going the films signal moment comes not with Laura Elena Harring and Naomi Watts but in the Winkie’s scene that takes place in a diner that serves us with one really awful moment. It’s a brilliant film with menacing music and P.O.V shots. Every time I watch Mulholland Drive I am never ceased to be impressed.
Great villains make a great horror movie and it doesn’t matter whether they are wearing a hockey mask, happen to be latched onto someone’s neck sucking their life-blood or even eating a man’s liver with fava beans and good Chianti, a powerful villain is essential. Night of the Hunter with Charles Laughton directing (1955) Not only does Laughton directs Night of the Hunter in and intense and surreal way but Rober Mitchum who plays the religious and psychopathic Harry Powell is simply brilliant in his role. When Harry Powell comes to town and marries the widow of an ex con he knew in prison then kills her and goes after her children birthed some of the scariest movie moments ever.
Not all scary movies show a great deal but instead tend to imply more and let the viewer use their imagination. Take ‘The Body Snatcher’ as a great example which is one in a series of horror film produced by Val Lewton back in the 1940’s. Adapting a Robert Louis Stevenson story ‘The Body Snatcher’ stars all-time greats Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. There is one scene when the camera is taking us slowly through a dark stable and suddenly a white horse rears up and makes a noise that can only be described as a scream rather than a whinny. It’s perfect and I would guess many watching screamed with the horse.
The last offering in my five scariest movies has to be ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and although the movie has been imitated many times the original has never be surpassed. Effective for what it excludes as well as what it includes it is another classic example of letting the audience fill in the gaps as our minds are far more able to imagine horror when given a taster.