Scared Straight! What Film Really Spooked You?

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Re: "I see dead people..."

Post by benwhowell »

That's cool, John. I had the same reaction to "Mystery Train." I had already left Memphis when Jim Jarmusch went there to film that movie. It has several scenes filmed in(and around) some of my favorite "haunts." Steve Buscemi's barber shop is on Lamar Avenue-the street I lived on from birth til 9 years old. (This resulted in me having a great "porn" name-Frisky Lamar! Maybe I should have used that as my internet handle?)
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Post by Sue Sue Applegate »

That's such a great story, Johnm.
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Post by vallo »

Another film that I remember scared me as a kid was,Maschera del demonio, La (or Black Sunday) 1960. Directed by Mario Bava. I would kneel behind the seats in the theater to be safe from those eyes of Barbara Steele, she really had a spooky look.
A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess, her eyes grow back (looking like eggs growing) I nearly wet myself. Now I look at it and laugh.
Good weird film...

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Post by Rusty »


Quote from JohnM...
"The Blair Witch Project remains one of the worst "films" I've ever seen, and Deep Blue Sea, was just a silly little popcorn picture."

JohnM...Interesting comment. Why do you consider The Blair Witch Project one of the worst films you've seen? The Blair Witch Project not live up to the hype? The reason I ask is...I watched The Blair Witch Project on television, interrupted by commercials and the movie still creeped me out. I watched the movie a second time (a Halloween tv broadcast) and it creeped me out a second time. Note, the first time I watched the thing I was unaware of the hype surrounding the movie. I have heard The Blair Witch Project may be disorientating in a big screen that one of the reasons you did not like the movie? Also, I would not call my reaction to The Blair Witch Project as scared, but several scenes (the "hanging sticks" scene, the hand prints on the wall scene, the opening of the piece of cloth scene) were simply creepy.

JohnM...I do agree with your opinion regarding Exorcist II. The movie is the worst big budget movie ever made.

Talking about the Exorcist movies...I watched the first Exorcist in a huge movie theater (the Paramount in downtown Denver), standing room only and every damn patron in that theater was scared s***less...for sure. I am not kidding...about half-way through the movie, somebody in the balcony went mad. I'm pretty sure they were possessed by one or more demons.

By the way, regarding the Blair Witch Project "sticks" scene? That scene reminds me of a terrific short story called (surprise) "Sticks". The short story is an H.P. Lovecraft type story and is pretty creepy. Hard to find, but worth reading.

One fairly scary modern movie (released at the same time and overshadowed by The Sixth Sense) was the Kevin Bacon movie... Stir Of Echoes. Some shocks in Stir Of Echoes.

Going back a few years. My mother used to drag my brother and I to the movies when I was a child. The Haunting scared me...I was seven years old. Not the bending door scene, not the banging wall scene, not even the face at the trapdoor scene...the scene I remember as nightmare inducing was near the beginning, when the narrator is describing the history of Hill House...we see the little girl turn into an old woman. I know, not supposed to be a scary scene. I was seven years old and I did not understand that it was only an expository moment and not meant to scare the audience. Well, the scene gave me nightmares. Another movie mom took us to see was The Birds. The scene with the neighbor's eyes missing gave me nightmares as a seven or eight year old.

Heck, mom took us to see Psycho and The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and a particularly gory Hercules movie (I don't remember the title). I wonder, do you think taking children to such fare now would be consider some sort of child abuse? Hmm...

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Post by MikeBSG »

I'm not a big "Blair Witch" fan either, but I think the opening of the film, in which the townspeople are interviewed and none of their stories about the Blair Witch add up to anything coherent is very well done. That gave me a sense of unease that paid off greatly at the end of the film when the characters ended up inside the old house.

However, I have to admit that the bulk of the film, in which the trio wandered around lost in a lightly forested area, got annoying very fast, and the little stick figures in the trees never did anything frightening for me.
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Post by Rusty »

Hello John,

Reading your reasons for not liking The Blair Witch Project reminds me...the first time I watched the thing, my wife left the living room (television location) about an hour into the movie and did not return until Blair Witch over. The second time I watched the movie by myself. Obviously, she did not like The Blair Witch Project. I will ask her opinion regarding her reasons she avoided watching the movie. Probably, the not likeable performers.

Interesting. Blair Witch appears to be one of those either love it (well, like it a lot) or you hate it.

I must add, I tried the sequel to Blair Witch and it was, I turned the television off after five minutes.

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Post by Hollis »

Hello all,

Even as an adult, one of the few Sci Fi films that had me on the edge of my seat and holding on with white knuckles was Alien. Maybe because the director gave us only the most fleeting of glimpses of what the monster actually looked like and left so much to the imagination until the very end of the film that it had that effect on me. The sequels paled in comparison by a long shot. The Omen was another frightfully good film and again the sequels were made (in my opinion) only to try and make money by capitalizing on the original. As a child, the original Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman and The Mummy had a similar effect on me. God how I remember late night Saturday TV!

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Post by SSO Admins »

Rusty wrote:Interesting. Blair Witch appears to be one of those either love it (well, like it a lot) or you hate it.

I must add, I tried the sequel to Blair Witch and it was, I turned the television off after five minutes.

I saw the original in a theater. I couldn't tell if it was scary or not because the hand held camera work was making me dizzy and nausous.
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Post by cmvgor »

Horror, fear, at the Supernatural or the Strange and Menacing is something I seem to have outgrown. As a child I had nightmares after seeing Supercarrot James Arness in the origional version of The Thing. As an adult I have less interest in that type of film. In a nonfiction work called 'Danse Macabre', published in 1981, Steven King devotes several pages to defining such terms as Horror, Terror, Dread, etc, and
discusses how a story writer or script writer might go about trying to get
the reader/audience to feel these things. Then he adds that if the material
he is working is not likely to get those responses, "I'll go for the gross-out.
I'm not proud."

The very best of what is available recently can hold my attention as I watch to see if/how the meanced victims solve their problem(s). The recent remake of The Hills Have Eyes held my interest in that respect. And The Sixth Sense gave me a few goosebumps as
certain realization came about. Mostly, if I watch one of these at all,
I'm grading the SPFX and evaluating scripts. Not "how will this victim
save himself?" but "how will this scripter write his way out of this?"

The last time a movie made me feel fear was about 1969; the television premier of Cabaret. A scene where the main characters were on
a Sunday drive. They stopped at a pleasent guesthaus with an open-air
dining area. A cherubic blond youth began singing a sweet pastoral ballad
with the refrain, "Tomorrow belongs to me", as the camera panned to show the swastika on his armband, and then panned around to show the faces of the people in his audience. The song progressed to the fourth verse and then the tempo changed to a stressed-up marching beat. Suddenly the members of the audience were on their feet and turning it
into a full-throated chorus: "TOMORROW BELONGS! TOMORROW BELONGS! TOMORROW BELONGS TO ME!" It gripped me like a fist around the heart. And that has not happened since. It was horror all right. It forecast the rise of Nazism. And it left the feeling that, God help
us, it could happen again. But that was the last time a movie scared me.
"Faint heart never filled inside straight"
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Post by traceyk »

The first horror movie I ever saw was the original "When a Stranger Calls," rom 1979 with Carol Kane and Charles Durning. Man, talk about freaky. No actual blood and guts, but the suspense..!

I babysat as a teen and one of my clients was a very sucessful realtor/builder who lived in a big ole house with a second business phone line, sort of like in the movie. Used to scare the living daylights out of me every time the phone rang. LOL

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. "~~Wilde

Post by klondike »

MikeBSG wrote:The movie that scared me was the 1945 Ealing "Dead of Night." It started out creepy, with the bus story, the lost room story, and the mirror story, but then it became comic with the golf story.

The ventriloquist story started, and it looked as if it would be funny as well, but then it became very dark, and then the frame story became dark as well. This really got me when I was a kid.
I'm with you, Mike!
Dead of Night creeped me out big time when I was a kid, and it still creeps me out now!
I'm hard pressed to say what gives me more gooseflesh: the mirror tale, or the weeping child.
But of course, the intellectual horror is reserved for the end sequence, with that leisurely sunlit drive back to Pilgrim Farm . . for the first time, all over again . . ! . . :( !

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Post by CharlieT »

I didn't get to see the beginning, but the creepiest film I ever saw was Clownhouse. (1989) I don't have a problem with clowns, like my daughter does, but it was one of those movies that kept me on the edge of my seat. I also liked Phantasm, but I can see where some may not agree with me on that one.
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