10. Invasion of the Body Snatchers – Ending
Surprised you didn’t see a “NSFW” label in the top ten? Yeah, me too. But I promise these are chilling and awesome scenes. Scout’s honor. And we start it off with the best ending in the history of horror cinema. For real, this is such a kick in the nuts that it left me depressed. If you haven’t seen 1978’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, I’d recommend skipping this one and make your first time absolute perfection.
9. The Blair Witch Project – Ending
I’d throw up the “Spoiler Alert” designation here if it wasn’t for the fact that everyone on God’s green damn Earth has seen The Blair Witch Project. Some were letdown immensely by this ending, but I implore those people to revisit this conclusion. I initially appreciated the construction of this moment because it made me realize how fast my mind puts together a puzzle. I had to go back and grab a throwaway reference at the beginning of the movie and apply it on the fly to that final shot of Mike standing in the corner. There’s just something about a filmmaker literally messing with your mind that freaks me out. Plus you can’t beat the sound design here – that effect of having no onboard 16mm sound and relying on the camcorder’s microphone is nerve-wracking.
8. Dawn of the Dead – Roger Turns
When I ran through this list with my brother and we got to this entry, he shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes. Yeah, I know Nick – I really like Dawn of the Dead, but for horror nerds, this scene is etched in our memories. The death of Roger sucks because he’s the coolest protagonist in the movie next to Peter. But it sucks even harder because the relationship between Roger and Peter is so strong that you can’t bare to watch the inevitable play out. It’s heartbreaking…it truly is.
7. The Omen – “It’s All For You”
I feel like this should be higher. I love watching this scene. It’s a masterclass in film editing. You barely have any time to prepare yourself for it as it starts to happen before your eyes, and I remember as a child being absolutely dumbfounded by this scene. What? Huh, why? She just hung herself in front of all of those kids?! The quick cut back inside to watch the woman’s body crash through the window was genius and really kicks off this movie in a sinister way.
6. Frankenstein – The Monster and Maria
Some of you might not recall this scene at all – that’s because a lot of cuts of Frankenstein don’t include what James Whale wanted audiences to see. Deemed too dark at the time for mainstream audiences, it was initially censored and this change actually impacted the film quite a bit. Up until someone rediscovered the original footage in the 1980’s, Frankenstein’s Monster kills the girl for presumably no reason beyond he ran out of flowers. Once restored, it keeps intact the Monster’s child-like brain and innocence as he accidentally throws the girl into the lake expecting her to float. As the Monster thrashes around at the water in a futile attempt to save the girl, you can’t help but feel bad for the guy. I think Frankenstein’s Monster is one of the most sympathetic creatures in cinema, and this scene reinforces that narrative for me.
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