Friday Five: Scary Movies

Halloween is next week, so why don’t we have a Friday Five on the five movies that scared you the most. Note that I’m not saying “best horror movies”. Coppolla’s Dracula is a fine movie but it didn’t scare me. I mean five movies that really frightened you, at least for a while.

My five?

The Exorcist: I still have trouble sleeping if I think about it too much.

The Others: Wonderfully suspenseful and creepy. Probably wouldn’t scare me as much the second time.

The Shining: Didn’t creep me out as much as the book did, but still plenty of nervous chills.

Psycho: The thing is: I knew everything about this movie going in. And I was still on the edge of my seat for the entire film. I literally gasped out loud when Norman’s “mother” raced out of her room and stabbed the detective.

The Day After: Not a conventional horror or suspense film, so maybe it shouldn’t be on this list. But it’s depiction of a nuclear attack is still chilling and frightening years later.

What are your five?

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  1. Xetrov

    Haven’t seen a movie recently that really scared me.

    As a kid, Jaws was by far the most frightening movie I can remember. Had issues being alone in a pool for years.

    The original Poltergeist kept me up at night. Hate clowns. Stephen King’s It is another reason I hate clowns.

    The Gate scared the crap outa me back in the day. Clay-mation demons.

    Wait Until Dark was a great film. Great play too if you can find a good theater putting it on around Halloween.

    In the Mouth of Madness is pretty damn freaky as far as questioning sanity.

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  2. Thrill

    1. Poltergeist Agree with Xetrov. That was the scariest movie I ever saw as a kid. The scene with the tree…holy fuck.

    2. Army of Darkness It’s sort of an annual tradition for me to watch this each Halloween.

    3. Signs The last good Shyamalan film. Great performances by everyone involved.

    4. Halloween I watch it on cable every year. True classic.

    5. Cape Fear The later one with Robert DeNiro. Wow.

    Honorable mention also goes to the “Nasty” episode of The Young Ones. Lee was a pretty big fan too, as I recall.

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  3. Thrill

    The Day After

    I actually live in KC (which gets nuked in the movie) so that whole movie has always been especially jarring to me. Hearing the names of familiar suburbs destroyed and seeing the mushroom cloud over our skyline…yikes.

    Every now and then, when someone mentions Lawrence, KS, I think of John Lithgow calling out over the radio with “This is Lawrence, Kansas…Is anyone out there? This is Lawrence…”


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  4. Seattle Outcast

    The Thing

    Haloween II


    The Deer Hunter (OK, that’s most depressing, but it caused a lot of drinking and a really bad mood – the last 30 minutes was tense)

    The Omen

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  5. Iconoclast

    From my misspent youth…

    1. Eraserhead — Literally a 109-minute nightmare on film.

    2. Night of the Living Dead — “They’re coming for you, Barbara!”

    3. American Werewolf in London

    4. Creepshow

    5. Alien

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  6. TxAg94

    The Day After: Not a conventional horror or suspense film, so maybe it shouldn’t be on this list. But it’s depiction of a nuclear attack is still chilling and frightening years later.

    This is one of the few TV movies I recall watching as a kid. It really frightened me as I was big into military history and so forth. Well, as much as you can be at 10 or 11 years old. Until I watche dthat movie I really didn’t understand completely what an all-out nuclear war really meant.

    Alien – This movie really scared me when my parents took me to see it. Why they thought it would be appropriate for a 7 year old kid is beyond me. Worst scene was when the alien popped out of the first guy as he was eating. Not sure if it was actually in the movie but I remembered the guy eating green beans or something when it happened. I couldn’t eat green beans for a year after that.

    The Ring – Saw this as an adult and although I knew it wasn’t real it was very effective at being temporarily frightening. All the while I remember thinking that I knew it was a movie but what if… I was visiting friends and staying in their basement. Went off to bed and my friend told his wife to tell me he was already in bed when he actually snuck down and hid under my bed. He stayed still for at least 15 minutes as I drifted off. Just as I was falling asleep he turned the TV on with the remote. Scared the shit out of me.

    Prophecy (1979) – Another one not really suitable for a 7 year old kid. Something about animals mutated by industrial waste. I remember bits and pieces because I buried my head most ofthe time. I do recall the end where the survivors are flying away, all is good, and one of the monsters jumps up and screams. I gave my mom a black eye with my head when I jumped. Scared me for months after that.

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  7. repmom

    While Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year (getting ready for our annual party at this morment), I generally avoid the super scary horror movies.

    But – a few that did creep me out at the time –

    Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte

    Cape Fear (Robert DeNiro)



    The Shining

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  8. Kimpost

    Ah, brings back memories. Sweden was more like DDR back then. With just two TV-channels, no cable. We normally rented our horror movies. But occasionally we got our hands on illegal imports, movies that were banned (oh yes, we had movie cencorship back then).

    Had to walk home through the woods back then (well, there were trees anyway, and it was dark, kind of. I didn’t feel all that tough during some of those walks. Here’s a list of five of them. I could or should add all of Romero’s movies to the list, but since they weren’t banned and I have chosen that paticular route, I just didn’t.

    The Toolbox Murders
    The House On The Cementary
    New York Ripper
    The Burning
    Eaten Alive

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  9. hist_ed

    I am not really a scary movie person. Most I just don’t like; some I find funny. The only exception are those that play well on my ex-Catholic roots. I haven’t seen it in years, but as a kid in Catholic school, The Exorcist scared the shit out of me. It wasn’t scary, but there was a Satan comes to Earth movie in the 90s with Gabriel Byrne that I liked. Even the Keanue Reeves as exorcist crap shoot appealed to me.

    Now, tense? That’s something that can get me. Silence of the lambs was tense. I saw Reservoir Dogs one night and didn’t sleep for hours (not scared, just wound up).

    Steven King style horror just seems absurd. I don’t get Carrie. I found it laughable.

    I have never watched The Shining, but I love this trailer remix:

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  10. Mississippi Yankee

    1) The original “The Blob” Starring Steve McQueen 1958

    2) The Angry Red Planet 1959 Plus the 3D gave me a headache.

    3) Alien 1979 (was it really that long ago?)

    4) Nosferatu 1922/ 1929 in US (watched it on DVD not in person)

    5) Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978

    And now that I’m older all of Alex’s picks too.

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  11. working_man

    Session 9 – if you haven’t seen this do so.

    The Ring – that fricking girl creeps me right out

    The Blair Witch Project – say what you will, but one of the more original films to come out in a long while inspiring an entire new genre of film. The scene in the end with the guy standing in the corner in the basement still makes my skin crawl

    Grave Encounters – a “found film” entry that has some great creepy moments.

    Paranormal Activity – If I lay awake at night and think of this movie…well that is just not a good way to fall asleep….

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  12. Hal_10000 *

    Pacific Heights

    Ooh, that’s a forgotten one. I never knew MIchael Keaton could be so menacing. My aunt had an eerily similar situation with a renter. Not with the violence, thankfully, but with the stalking and harassment and the refusal to leave.

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  13. HARLEY

    Im not much into Horror, but the few that really fucked with my head.

    1.Alien… i was seven and almost shit my self, i had night mares for years.,

    2. Phantasm …. Angus Scrimm.. nuff said.

    3. The Thing… the Whole arm eating rib cage thing….

    4. The Beast With in…. one seriously screwed up movie.

    5. Cannibal Holocaust………………………. REALLY fucked up….

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  14. Mississippi Yankee

    Rosemary’s Baby definitely. I first saw it at a drive-in in Charleston,SC(1970) with the 1st wifey. It was date night and I had no idea what the movie was going to be about. It left an impression in this ex-alter boy.

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