One could argue that modern-day cinema, which relies more on CGI and jump scare tactics and less on script and story development, could be losing its edge. And, we as an audience are nowhere nearly as easily shocked as we used to be, even when we watch a horror movie with the utmost desire to get scared. Things, however, were quite different sometime back when dozens of classics were being released in the horror genre in a matter of years. If you love a good scare, here are some must-see classic horror movie moments that will shatter your nerves and will make chew your fingernails down to the bone:
1. The Exorcist: The Bit With the Backwards Stair Crab
That part where Linda Blair executes a perfect 10 gymnastic maneuver, by taking the stairs in what must have proved a distinctly uncomfortable manner. This scene was cut from the final edit, presumably because it is unfathomably terrifying by the standards of the year of its release.
The whole film is a sensory horror-fest but this part takes the cake for film moments guaranteed to have you nailing your bedroom door shut and sleeping with the lights on. Hideous.
2. The Fly: Geoff Goldblum’s Transformation into a Giant Insect
Andre’s scientific approach to madness makes the film all the more difficult to watch. It’s like the most horrific episode of Animorphs ever created, complete with a quick descent into insanity, bubbling human skin, and bug vomit.
The Fly won a number of awards, including Best Make-up from the British Academy Film Awards; quite understandable considering its innovative take on the whole ‘mutation’ concept.
3. Carrie: The Bit Where She Loses Her Mind
The part where she unleashes the wrath of her telekinetic smack-down on her tormenters is made slightly easier to watch knowing that they sort of had it coming.
She sets fire to the high school and kills off her teachers and fellow students as she just stands drenched in blood with eyeballs as big as saucers; before finally heading home to deal with her religious extremist mum.
4. The Shining: Jack Nicholson vs. Door
This is a classic movie moment that probably wouldn’t have worked nearly as well with any other actor. Jack Nicholson has perfected that crazed-eye rigid-jaw combo that makes for an utterly compelling “I’ve gone absolutely mental” character turn.
This is the second Stephen King book based-film on the list and it’s easy to see how his literary pieces are so easily converted into the cinema. He examines the fragility of the human condition and exploits the character’s weaknesses; which keep the story mesmerizing. Combined with Kubrick’s bizarre and disturbing visual imagery, this one is a steadfast classic.
5. Martyrs: That Part with the Bathtub
This 2008 release sets the bar for horror films by adding in the element of a crazy group of egocentric extremists who justify the torture of women with psychoanalysis.
Two girls stumble upon the organization and in trying to free one of the women; protagonist Anna has to pry a metal helmet from the head of a poor soul that has had it stapled into her skull. The sterile feeling of the bathroom is all of a sudden shattered by the invasive use of a crowbar and some old fashion elbow grease in one of the most difficult-to-watch moments ever seen in Spanish cinema.
This film sort of leaves you with a moral to the whole story as well, which will leave you doubly as shattered as watching copious amounts of blood spattered all over bathroom floors and kitchen splashbacks.
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Image Courtesy: Peter Heilmann