It’s Halloween time. Time for tricks and treats and scary movies! There is something about horror films that captivates us, fascinates us, and taps in to our internal darkness, something that is absent in the normal day-to-day. What ever that motivator is, it makes us turn off the lights, pop in The Exorcist, and cover our eyes (but always with fingers cracked to see the screen). We all have different fears and different things that scare us the most and that is why we asked the Screen Invasion team: What is the Scariest Movie You have Ever Seen??
[box_dark]Cat Edison @CatEdison[/box_dark]
[REC] is the scariest horror movie I’ve ever seen. I only saw it in the past couple of years and even as an adult it has had a lasting effect on me. The heart pounding nature of the chase scenes with the “zombies”, the claustrophobia induced by being trapped in a building, the certainty that not only is no one coming to your rescue, but the people you would hope are there to help you don’t seem to want you to make it out alive….all of this lends to an environment of frantic fear. The added element of the heroes (firefighters and police officers) being terrified and running for their lives as well gives the film even more validity; you know you should be scared when these guys are scared. The crowning achievement of [REC] is that they came up with one of the scariest movie creatures ever in the Medeiros girl at the end. I still think of this scene every time I use my cell phone as light in a dark room and late at night sometimes I still think I’m going to see that creature when I turn the light a certain way. The last scenes of this film truly scared the shit out of me and have stayed with me all this time. It is head and shoulders above it’s U.S. counterpart Quarantine in acting, atmosphere and fear factor. Hands down the scariest movie I have seen.
[box_dark]Dan Sarath @DanielSarath[/box_dark]
Alien (1979) could easily have been a horror movie like any other. Its set-up, after all, is very familiar; a group of people find themselves trapped in a claustrophobic confine while a monster hunts them down. But Alien instead manages to be one of the scariest experiences in cinematic history. Ridley Scott’s ability to create terror here is unparalleled. His use of metallic mise-en-scene to disguise the rarely seen alien constantly keeps you on edge while the foreboding rhythm to the film’s editing is deeply unsettling. When the scares arrive, therefore, they inspire an almost unbearable horror. It’s evidence, overall, that the scariest movies come not from the visceral – blood, guts, gore, etc. – but from the subtlest of filmmaking techniques.
[box_dark]Kristal Bailey @kristal_bailey[/box_dark]
The only movie I’ve ever wanted to walk out of the theater in the middle of was Insidious. Not because it was bad, or boring, but because there’s a stretch in the middle there where I was simply too scared to keep watching. The story of a haunted house that turns out to be the story of a haunted boy had me riveted and jumping with every scare. In haunted house stories you always wonder why they don’t just move, Insidious had them do just that but the terror never let up. While this is from the same team behind the SAW franchise, this is a whole new ball game. Instead of relying on the gore and myriad of ways people can die, Insidious instead lets people’s imagination take the reins. What you don’t see and what’s lurking just behind the corner is what makes this movie so terrifying.
[box_dark]Kevin Taylor @takye2[/box_dark]
I’m going to go with Insidious. It had the creepy Darth Maul looking character, and it had really good scary jump cuts. This was also the movie that made me realize that music really makes horror movies. The film had great music to lead up to scary parts, and the sound exploded when you were supposed to be scared. All in all, it was a really well executed movie, and one that I’m legitimately too scared to rewatch.
[box_dark]Daniel Johnson @danfish42[/box_dark]
I’m almost embarrassed to say it because it seems like such a cliched answer and I’m the kind of guy who likes to watch all the weird indie movies you’ve never heard of, but the film that freaked me out more than any other was seeing Paranormal Activity for the first time. Everybody has certain fears they latch onto more than others; some people are terrified of aliens, others zombies, but for me ghosts (and ghostly happenings) just scare the bejeezus out of me. I know Paranormal Activity is technically about a demon, but it’s the same idea. My roommate and I saw the film at midnight, and I remember we stayed up until about 4am afterwards just talking about something…ANYTHING…because neither of us wanted to sleep even though we had work the next day. I had nightmares for several nights afterwards and swore I heard or saw things moving around my room. Not bad for a movie that’s essentially about nothing but bedsheets and doors moving around on their own. YIKES!
[box_dark]Eric Ambler @AmblerAmblog[/box_dark]
I’ve always been kind of a wuss when it comes to scary things in movies – not just horror stuff, but anything that could be considered remotely disturbing. Even The Muppet Christmas Carol gives me the willies with its creepy, faceless Ghost of Christmas Future. These days I’m better at handling the grotesque or the gory, but there are still many things that can turn a quiet afternoon matinee into an intensely stressful experience. It takes little more than legitimately unnerving atmosphere and the right kind of surprise – not cheap “gotcha” moments, but the slow subversion of audience assumptions – to turn me into a raving lunatic. And I completely lose it whenever I see The Sixth Sense.
[box_dark]Brian Rudloff @RealBrianRudloff[/box_dark]
I have a pretty high tolerance for terror when it comes to movies, but the last film to truly make my bones shiver and face go pale was The Fourth Kind. The fact that I saw this alone at an early screening with no prior knowledge about the film absolutely has everything to do with why it had this effect on me. My predisposition to really want to believe in extra-terrestrials also helped I’m sure. In any case, I totally bought in to everything about this movie. The “real” footage of psychologically damaged Alaskan alien abductees reliving their encounters under hypnosis is the most convincing of its kind. No music. No sound effects. No jump-out-at-you scares. Just highly disturbed people reliving intensely traumatic moments. Raw, visceral, human terror, it makes my flesh crawl just thinking about their faces. Maybe it was the perfect storm of creepiness playing to my fears or maybe it is a testament to the actors who truly manifested the horror of being kidnapped and experimented on, but it played so authentically that I was completely freaked out leaving that theater. I love that feeling, it’s what I’m chasing every time I sit down to watch a horror movie.