*The following contains spoilers for What Lies Beneath, Scream, And The Ring
We’ve all had those moments of extreme terror during our childhood. Perhaps our parents let us watch a new horror movie before we were ready for it or maybe we watched it in secret because it was denied to us. Either way, there are moments in horror cinema that filled me with extreme fright and here are just a few.
Ghostface VS Drew Barrymore in Scream
The entire opening to Wes Craven’s Scream is the stuff of nightmares. I didn’t bother learning actors’ names when I was young, but I sure did know who Drew Barrymore was. Barrymore was an American cinema darling who I’d shared my childhood with, E.T. being a landmark film in my development. It did my heart no good to see this actress, now fully grown and a beautiful woman, to be terrorized by a force she had no control over. She didn’t deserve the torment being inflicted on her and I felt a grave sense of injustice.
The scene is an almost ten minute long game of cat and mouse. For ten minutes, I felt my heart twisting in my chest, but there was hope she could get away. After all, they wouldn’t kill such a big star, would they? Not only does Ghostface stab her to death while she’s on the phone with her parents, he hangs her from a tree, announcing his spree. I was in Puerto Rico when I saw this with my dad, grandparents, and late uncle. It didn’t help that afterward my uncle would walk around the perimeter of my grandparents’ property in the dead of night whispering “Stab, stab, stab” in Friday the 13th fashion.
Samara’s Small Screen Finish in The Ring
I was in a fully lit living room surrounded by family when the unexpected happened. Samara walked out the tv screen to claim the soul owed to her. She might as well have lunged out of our own tv because everyone in the room reacted like she did. What’s great about that scare is that there is no real warning about it, you just know something terrible is about to happen. My mom still talks about that scare almost 15 years later.
Dead Girlfriend’s Revenge in What Lies Beneath
I was also in Puerto Rico with my grandparents for this one. The closing scare of the film is one of the most eery and strangely beautiful scares I’ve ever witnessed. Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfieffer have just careened off the side of a bridge as their homicidal lovers’ spat has spilled out of their home and into the cold waters nearby. Simultaneously, this scene informs us of what Ford’s character has done to his mistress and treats us to yet another unexpected scare. Her corpse rises from the deep and drowns Ford, exacting her revenge and protecting Pfeifer at the same time. The scene still creeps me out to this day.
Are there any horror movie scenes that scarred you in childhood? Let me know in the comments below.