As I lay in bed last night waiting for sweet, sweet slumber to overtake me, rotting zombies burst into my room to tear off my tender and juicy flesh. Fortunately, my quick reflexes shot me out of bed and in front of the light switch just in time to realize that I was crazy and hallucinating.
I wish I could say this was a one-time event, but my bad dreams and hallucinations are happening more and more frequently. And it’s all part of a vicious cycle because once awake, my crazy little brain can’t stop thinking about other creepy visions. The only way I was able to sleep last night was by rubbing my Buddha and Steve Young statues for reassurance and playing video games until I passed out. But today I’m going to exorcise my demons by listing some of the creepiest moments in movies (and no, I can't explain why this helps). As in life, creepiness is most potent when it’s not expected, so I’m choosing moments that aren’t from true horror films (like The Exorcist or The Shining).
If you’re a fraidy cat like me I don’t suggest reading this list in the dark, but if you do want to get freaked out, I recommend watching these movies locked in a dark room with a convicted mental patient/murderer.
Could you please pass the popcorn?
I can’t look at Jake Gyllenhaal without thinking of this movie (or Bubble Boy for that matter). Donnie is less creepy overall than Mulholland Dr., but whenever Frank the Rabbit gets on the screen I’m ready to change my boxers. Lots of movies use innocence in the face of terror to mess with your head (like The Others, Signs, The Exorcist), but taking a bunny and making it so freaking horrifying that it haunts your dreams – that’s brilliant. I should add that Frank the Bunny has made more than one appearance in my nightmares, stupid fricking rabbit.
The Sixth Sense
Dead people are creepy, yes, but that’s not the reason I’m including The Sixth Sense in my list. My scary radar shot up in that one scene where Haley Joel Osmont (in his pre-drunkard days) is at a birthday party and hears a dead guy calling to him. As he slowly makes his way up the stairs to the dead guy (anticipation growing with each step), the voice grows louder and angrier. By the time Haley gets outside of the room with the voice, the dead guy is loud and disturbing in the worst possible way. That’s when a couple evil children grab Haley and lock him in the room. I guess I’d start drinking too if that happened to me.
Laugh if you want, but the Thriller video is more than a little spooky. Even though I really like the music and even the dancing, it’s MJ himself that’s the creep in question. If you recall the ending, the evil MJ-zombie is right about to get the girl when she wakes up and the almost-human version (the African American to Caucasian morph is only partway finished) is there instead. Then the almost-human MJ turns to the camera and his evil, yellow cat eyes send voodoo darts straight directly at you. That’s freaky as hell and the freeze frame on his face prolongs the heebeejeebie attack. Damn you MJ. Damn you and your fake nose and your freaky cat-eyes.
Blair Witch Project
You could argue that the Blair Witch Project was a true horror film and therefore doesn’t belong on this list. My counter argument is that my friends used a successful campaign of lies and deceit to trick me into believing this movie was real-life recovered footage and not actually a movie at all. I believed everthing was real, straight up to the horrifying finale. To this day I don’t understand what happened in that final scene where the girl rushes into the room and sees the dude staring blankly in the corner before they both "die." If you know what happened or have a theory, please post it, because not knowing is putting a crimp in my soiled jockeys.
There’s my list and I invite you to share any movie moments that creep you out. Maybe the sharing will be cathartic and maybe not, but at the very least somebody will have an excellent list of scary movies to watch. In the meantime I think I’ll go rub my Buddha and Steve Young statues.