Sunday, June 14, 2009

Those scary moments of cinema

What movies scared the hell out of you?

The first thing that comes to mind is, bizarrely, the lead black-out windows going up automatically in Doctor Morbius (Walter Pidgeon)'s house on the "Forbidden Planet". Spooked me as a kid, watching it on TV. And the music ("tonalities") accompanying the coming of the invisible Id monster was pretty freaky as well.

In fact, I think my appreciation for movie soundtrack music probably came from seeing how effective music could be in the scariest parts of scary movies. The spooky music FX accompanying the astronauts finding the black monolith on the moon in "2001: A Space Odyssey" does it to me, too. I still cannot play the soundtrack when alone at night. If that track comes on I have to skip it forward to the next track.

"The Invisible Man", unwrapping himself in the British b/w TV series of the same name: he also gave me nightmares, but it was my Dad's favourite show at the time!

I never went to see "Alien" in the cinema, because I had a feeling that several scenes might be too scary, even as a guy in my early 20s at the time. Was very pleased I saw it on VHS first. (No problem watching "Aliens" or "Alien 3" on the big screen, though.)

Ah! And I just remembered! I was once followed home by a big black dog, at about 11.30 at night, after having seen "The Omen" at a local cinema!

Robbie the Robot vs Monsters Inc.


Killraven said...

The movie that has scared me the most in life is the classic 1953 George Pal version of The War Of The Worlds.

Admittedly, I first saw it when I was 10 or so at about 1am at a drive-in, which didn't help either :)

The unstoppable Martians, the eerie and unnerving sounds of their war machines and death-rays, Gene Barry and Anne Robinson trapped in that remote farmhouse (and when the Martian passed by the window, I hid under the dashboard and didn't come back up until I was told Gene and Anne had escaped), human civilisation collapsing with a bloody roar - overall, the film is grim, horrifying, relentless and terrifying.

The second time I saw it, I was 18. At first, I tried to watch it at night and feel amused with myself at how much it had terrified me all those years ago...but even before the first Martians emerged, too-powerful memories came flooding back and I turned it off. Next morning, I resumed watching it in the safety of broad daylight.

The 1953 War Of The Worlds will always be one of my all-time favourite films. It has dated a little, but it captures well the mood and tone of H.G. Wells's classic novel (one of my all-time favourite books).

As well, George Pal's classic is still a hundred times better than the awful, dreary, dull and stupid 2005 version.

tiptruck said...

'Alien' on the big screen; where it comes down from above. Sure, those shutters in 'Forbidden Planet' gave me a surprise, but I was so in awe of the movie, it just seemed part of the fabric. 'Alien' I've never watched since, preferring 'Aliens' as a much more entertaining movie.

Captain Incredible said...

For me it was 'The Exorcist', but not for the reasons one might imagine. The bit that freaked me out was when Regan is taken to hospital for tests and they do the CAT scan or whatever.

That and the VA hospital scenes in 'Born on the Fourth of July' are the only times I've ever had to leave the auditorium (just for a moment, you understand)...