Welcome to Mr. Movies October Marathon, all month long are going to be Halloween related or themed posts and to begin let’s look at some of the most bone chilling movie moments ever. Of cores when were little kids, we never watch horror movies (well, I didn’t any way) there not for us, to scary and disturbing. However, we eventually grow up, give them a watch and find out that there not all that scary. I’ll never forget seeing both “Halloween” (1978) and “Poltergeist” for the first time and saying to myself “That was awesome but not nearly as frightening as I thought they would be”. The reality is that the true horror movies that give us nightmares are some of the things we see in the films that we grow up with. That’s when were most susceptible to being scared and that’s why when someone asks “what’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen”, you can’t help but answering with films like “Beetlejuice” or “Darby O' Gill and the Little People”. So for a special Halloween treat, I present my top 5 most terrifying child hood movie moments.
5. The “Goosebumps” episode titled “Welcome to dead House”
Okay, so this one isn’t a movie but never the less, “Goosebumps” was an awesome show that I grew up with and this episode has always stood out as the most frightening and memorable of all. It’s about a family that movies into a new town that’s very distant from society. Turns out the family was leeward to the town to be offered as sacrifices to the living dead that inhabit it. Everyone in this city died from the radiation of an industrial factory that was destroyed. There’s a lot of great build up and creepy atmospheric moments like when the main girl wakes up at night and sees people walking around in the shadows of her house, that’s such a creepy concept. The scariest moment of all is when she wakes up only to see a gothic girl with a bloody face standing by her bed saying “your death will give me life”, that always kept me awake at nights. The final act of this episode is like something from a classic zombie flick, armies of dead attack the house, hands are pressed against windows, the family tries to keep them back but they just keep coming and just when you think everyone is safe something else happens. If this episode had a bigger budget and more filler, it could have been released in the theater as a true horror film.
4. The Wicked Witch of the West from “The Wizard of Oz”
I think every kid was scared of this character. With her green skin, creepy voice and constant facial close ups, the wicked witch of the west still stands as one of the most unforgettable villains in film history. The scariest moments are at the very end, when she’s talking to Dorothy, who she’s holding prisoner. In every previous encounter with the witch, Dorothy has always been surrounded by friends and allies but now she’s alone in this creepy castle, suddenly her fear becomes our fear. Then there’s that part when the witches face appears in that giant crystal ball, the frightened look on Dorothy’s face wasn’t nearly as big as my scared face after I saw that scene.
3. “Gremlins” in its entirety
This was a really clever and fun flick to grow up with, but boy was it a frightening flick to grow up with too. It all starts as an innocent little Christmas, family film with an adorable little creature named Gizmo. Then things take a sudden dark turn, we have these creepy little, red eyed monsters called gremlins terrorizing a town, they attack people with chain saws, bulldozers and even guns. We have a girl giving a frightening monologue about the worst Christmas she ever had, when her father was unfortunately killed. There’s plenty of scary quiet moments when the creatures inter homes and empty buildings ware someone is left alone. We also get a lot of really intense surprise sequences from both the background and the foreground, I certainly wouldn’t recommend a drinking game for every scary jump scene in this film, you’d probably be dead by the end. All in all, it’s a great film but man was it intense.
2. The possession scene from “Ghostbusters”I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone who puts together a list of scariest movie moments would have something from the Ghostbusters movies on it. Well there are certainly plenty of creepy moments from those films but the most terrifying moment of all (by far) is when Sigourney Weaver get’s possessed by the creature named Zuul. Things are already pretty scary with those monster hands bursting out of the chair but things get even scarier when Bill Murray stops bye for a date. She’s suddenly warring this cultish red dress, her hair is crazy, she has dark eye shadowing, she begins speaking in this really creepy and demonic voice, then she begins to make all kinds of loud snarling monster sounds and finally begins floating above her bed. But beyond that, it’s just the concept of someone being possessed by some sort of demonic creature that makes this so terrifying, and this was before I had even heard of the Exorcist. This scene bothered me so much the first time that I couldn’t even finish watching the rest of the film and it took me about a year to finally finish it. Ghostbusters will always be awesome but it sure had some scary moments and this possession scene was hands down the most terrifying moment of all.
1. A Night on Bald Mountain from “Fantasia”
I can’t even express in words how disturbing and effective this was to see at a young age. Its scary right from the start, with that painting of the mountain, all that green lighting and the chilling silence, it draws you in immediately. Then that creepy music begins to build up and throughout the remainder of the cartoon, we get shadows engulfing towns, cemeteries, creepy imagery, phantoms floating all over the place, demonic creatures dancing around flames and all kinds of unspeakable, terrifying creatures just leaping at the screen. I remember being 4 years old and running behind my couch because I was so scared that those things would leap out of my TV screen. But the most frightening aspect of this whole sequence is the demonic villain named Chernabog. He certainly has a number of creepy facial close up's, those evil eye's and wicked smile always came back to haunt my dreams. But what really makes this character so terrifying is that he personifies the devil and it’s not like one of those fun shoulder devils that argue with a shoulder angel, this is a purely monstrous and evil creature that turns beauty into filth and creates life only to kill it. While he’s not officially labeled as the devil, he’s still pretty damn scary, in fact the name Chernabog is Slavic for "Black God". Be afraid kids, be very afraid, because there is nothing scarier than that. Fortunately, Chernabog is defeated by the tolling of the Angelus Bell, which leads into Josh Grobans immortal song “Ava Maria”, which is admittedly one of the most powerful moments to be featured in an animated movie. But even that in all its glory couldn't prevent “A Night on Bald Mountain” from being the most frightening movie experience from my childhood.