To help celebrate the release of the new documentary on Shudder titled 'The 101 Scariest Horror Movie Moments of All Time' which hit the horror streaming channel a few weeks ago, we decided to make our own versions of a Top 10 list. Each one of our team will release their own 'Top 10 Scariest Moments' list and will publish it on a day that the new documentary airs.
We've discussed the rules as a team and decided that our Scariest Moments may not necessarily just appear in horror films but across all genres. We thought this might open it up a bit and make our lists distinct, although we do expect there to be some cross-overs.
Once we have completed our individual lists we hope to collate them and TRY to make a collaborative list that we will reveal in a special video on our Youtube channel, which you can subscribe to HERE.
Our final list comes from Adam Neeson. You can check out his previous work HERE.
10. Scream 2 – Not So Glory Hole
When I was young, my uncle was a huge film fanatic. He’d often raid the shelves of his local HMV, getting the latest releases and often re-releases, when technology was moving from VHS to DVD. One day while in his house, I remember him popping in the DVD of ‘Scream 2’. Obviously, being 10, I had never seen ‘Scream’ but I knew the mask from pound stores who were selling the ‘Scary Movie’ ‘WASSSSSUPPPP” mask. So, as ‘Scream 2’ started, Omar Epps went to the bathroom while attending a screening of ‘Stab’. He hears a noise in the cubicle next to him and he puts his ear up to the stall wall to get a better listen. BAM! Stabbed through the ear and to this day, I am forever scared of public toilets. Thanks Wes Craven, now I gotta poo at home.
9. Final Destination – The Mile Die Club
One thing you’ll notice about this list is that most of my moments have just destroyed my ways of having a normal life. The first ‘Final Destination’ succeeded with audiences because the deaths were very believable and played on the genuine fear of dying in a freak accident. The first big set piece involves a plane exploding in mid-air. The other death scenes in the movie you could avoid, but there’s something terrifying about not being in control of your own life once the doors of an aeroplane close. Growing up in a post 9/11 world, plane journeys are already scary and stressful; for a movie like ‘Final Destination’ to say “Hey, what if the plane explodes and we’ll show you it in graphic detail?”. God damn you.
8. Mulholland Drive – The Lady is a Tramp
David Lynch is my religion. I adore the man. One of the first scenes I ever saw from one of his films was the “Lady” behind the diner and I was forever scarred. There’s something truly terrifying about the abstract existence of this scene. It starts off normal, just two guys talking over a cup of coffee, but the complete mood changes as Patrick Fischler turns to realise that the nightmare he’s just been describing has become a reality. The performances, the drop out of sound, the unnatural movement of the lady. It’s uncomfortable, and I fucking love it.
7. Possum – Puppet on a String
‘Possum’, released in 2018, is one of my favourite horror films of the last few years. It’s almost impossible to recommend to people because the horror of the film is very specific. Created by dream weaver Matthew Holness, ‘Possum’ stars Sean Harris and a ghoulish puppet version of Harris with spider legs. See? Hard to recommend. There’s so much more to the movie than just the Harris-Spider-Puppet, but there’s one particular scene where the puppet pops its head around the corner of the door that absolutely haunted me to my core. I’ve never wanted to punch a Muppet before, but if one ever sneaks up on me, I will.
6. 28 Weeks Later – Please, Take My Wife.
‘28 Days Later’ really broke new ground in the zombie genre. Fast running, rage fuelled monsters that can turn you with a drop of blood. Danny Boyle unknowingly captured the new face of fear for the 2000’s. When the sequel dropped in 2007, it didn’t live up to the heights of the original but did feature a lot of fun, inventive scenes. The opening of the movie features Robert Carlyle as Don, who is hiding at a farm with his wife and a few other survivors during the outbreak. When another survivor is let into the house by Don’s wife, all hell breaks loose as Don tries to escape getting eaten alive. With the mix of John Murphy’s ‘In A Heartbeat’ song and the gut-wrenching scenes of Don deciding to leave his wife and family to die, just to save himself, ‘28 Weeks Later’ leaves you breathless.
5. The Exorcist – Sweet Dreams
This is probably a weird moment to pick from a movie like ‘The Exorcist’, but Father Karras’ dream about his mother scares the absolute shit outta me. I love filmmaker’s interpretations of how dreams can be represented and I think William Friedkin nailed what it’s like to be chasing after someone yet you can never catch them. The silence of the scene, the ascending and descending of Karras’ mother, the confusion of shouting and not being heard. It’s a small scene in the film, but really sets up what Father Karras is truly scared of; not being able to help people.
4. Hellraiser – Pain and Displeasure
I love franchise horror villains; Freddy, Jason, Ghostface, Chucky, can’t get enough of them...but there was one who I could never handle...and his name is Pinhead. It’s only recently that I’ve delved into the ‘Hellraiser’ series, and that’s mainly because I thought the first few minutes of ‘Hellraiser’ were too scary. The first time I tried seriously watching the original film was when I was 24. I turned it off after watching Frank getting ripped apart by chains. I thought “Well, if this is how it starts, surely it’ll get worse?” so off it went. I’ve returned to it since and have watched several of the sequels, but I'll never forget my first viewing and how sick to my stomach it made me feel.
3. The Alien Trailer – Xenomorphs vs Mickey Mouse
When I was a young boy, my parents took me to Disney World. Had a great time, I’ll show you the photos BUT at one point, we visited the MGM Studios (now known as Hollywood Studios) to ride the ‘Great Movie Ride’. A slow-moving ride that took you through the decades of some of Hollywood’s classics (The Wizard of Oz, Singing in the Rain etc). While standing in the queue, they would show the t In all mediums. Burn him with fire. to ride through. One of those trailers was for ‘Alien’. 10-year-old Adam was sent to a different dimension, one full of horrors he’d never seen before. Flashes of images that made no sense, and a promise of “In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream.” Even now, the trailer works as a perfect short that builds to a level of fear that no trailer has ever done since. By the way, I cried the whole way around the ride and had to be calmed down with an ice cream after. It was a good trip.
2. Poltergeist – Face it Marty, You Just Hit The Shitpot
‘Poltergeist’ fucking rocks. It doesn’t get said often enough, but it really is a horror movie that brings the terror to your front door. Tobe Hooper really digs deep into what most people's fears are; Clowns, Ghosts, losing a child and losing your beauty. The scene that scares me the most is when Martin Casella’s Marty character goes to the bathroom and has a vision of his face being peeled off bit by bit. It’s not the most realistic scene, but the bizarreness of how everything looks and how the skin and blood plops into the sink freaks me out. Fun Fact: the hands that pull the face apart belong to Steven Spielberg. Funner Fact: Steven Spielberg didn’t direct ‘Poltergeist’ Tobe Hooper did!
1. An American Werewolf in London – Did Nazi That Coming
I feel like there is a theme to my list. I like dreams in movies. Well, nightmares, and ‘An American Werewolf in London’ has one of the best nightmare sequences. David Kessler has had a holiday while in the UK, he’s had a mucky walk through the moors of Scotland, he’s had a terrible pint in a local pub and oh yeah, he’s been attacked by a werewolf. 2 stars on Trip Advisor. While knocked out, David has a delightful dream about being back at home with his family, when suddenly a Nazi SS Werewolf hit squad come bursting in, literally guns blazing, killing everyone in the room including David. He wakes up to see a nurse, played by Jenny Agutter, and relief comes over David...UNTIL HE REALISES IT’S STILL A DREAM AND THE SS WOLF MOW DOWN OUR JENNY. It's a fun moment and really comes out of nowhere, but to me it’s perfect because of what it represents. David being a Jewish man, he has a fear of Nazis and this fear of his has been warped with this new canine fear to make one hell of a nightmare. It's the fear of bringing this to his own doorstep and the fear of hurting the people he loves.
Honourable mentions go to the degloving scene in ‘Gerald’s Game’, absolutely disgusting. Bubba/Leatherface swinging his chainsaw at the end of ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’. The ankle cutting scenes in both ‘Hostel’ and ‘Pet Sematary’. David picking up the hitchhiker in the TV show ‘Six Feet Under’ (if you know you know, but that episode fucked me up for years) and Slappy from ‘Goosebumps’. In all mediums. Burn him with fire.
Thanks for reading and please check out the our previous 'Top 10 Scariest Moments' lists below