As the season of fear (and cheer) comes to a close, lets take a look back at some of the horror genres most beloved characters and their creepiest moments that spiced up Halloween for many years to come.
Every entry was chosen because of the effectiveness of the makeup and/or practical effects of the scene. No digital effects were considered while constructing this list.
1.) ‘Child’s Play’ (1988)
Tom Holland’s Child’s Play has many scary moments featuring the titular killer doll, Chucky. But the scariest moment stems from the climax of the film, wherein Chucky is engulfed in flames by Andy and his mother and presumed dead.
After Andy runs to call the police he discovers Chucky horribly melted and charred and brandishing his signature blade. Chucky’s murderous gaze through lidless eyes and barred teeth and gums makes for a very menacing villain (despite his short stature).
2.) ‘The Descent’ (2005)
The “Crawlers” as they have been aptly named in Neil Marshall’s second feature are unique and absolutely terrifying. And a lot of that stems from their resemblance to humans paired with their veracious appetite for fresh meat.
“I wanted to make them human. I didn’t want to make them aliens because humans are the scariest things.”
The scene in the picture above is the first time the viewers (and actresses) see the monsters after a lengthy buildup, and the result is masterful and frightening.
Marshall’s decision to hide the creatures appearance and design from the actresses until the moment they are introduced was a brilliant decision that created authentic performances based on genuine fear.
3.) ‘New Nightmare’ (1994)
Wes Craven’s first dive into the meta-horror game wasn’t perfect, he would come to master the concept later on with the Scream franchise alongside Kevin Williamson. But he did manage to produce the scariest iteration of Freddy Krueger, bar none!
While Craven would later come to regret changing Freddie’s look for New Nightmare, this design was actually his original idea for the titular dream killer in the first Elm Street film.
This scene in the hospital were Freddy comes to the “real world” and brutally murders Dylan’s babysitter Julie is not only a perfect callback to Tina’s death in the original film, but one of the best death scenes in the franchise.
Robert Englund gives a truly menacing performance as he towers over the human characters before delivering the killing blow.
4.) ‘Insidious’ (2010)
James Wan’s ‘Insidious’ is the scariest movie I have ever seen. It takes the concepts and setting of Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist and amps them up in ways that didn’t seem possible before.
The red-faced demon is just one of many unsettling entities haunting the family. But this particular scene where Barbara Hershey is recalling a “vision” she had, revealing the silhouette of the bone-cracking demon hiding in the corner of the frame.
Once her recollection is over, the cracking bones linger, leading to the epic scare behind Patrick Wilson. A scare that will become a trope in the franchise, and subsequently become obnoxious. But in the franchises infancy, it’s still scary-as-hell and effective.
5.) ‘The Thing’ (1982)
Most probably wouldn’t consider John Carpenter’s remake The Thing as a scary movie, but in the sci-fi/horror subgenre this classic is in a league of its own. It bleeds horror, and is genuinely creepy and unsettling.
From a practical standpoint, the effects are unbelievable! They defy imagination, and appear to only get better with age. The grotesque transformations, and bone-chilling sounds this creature emanates are completely unlike anything cinema has ever seen.
The constant state of dread and nihilistic approach alienated critics and fans alike when the film first premiered, and its not hard to see why. It’s an unpleasant (in a good way) film that ultimately ends on a downer and uncertainty.
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