30. Dawn of the Dead – Refueling
(NSFW: Some Gore, But It Is Mainly Funny)
I’m a Dawn of the Dead nut so this represents one of two entries on the list, but there is a lot to love in this section of the film. We have just been introduced to our four main protagonists, but since the beginning of the film, we’ve watched them operate independently of one another. Now we get to see them as a group and, yeah, there are some kinks to work out. Fluctuating between creepy, funny, scary, and exciting, director George A. Romero really goes out of his way to make this the group bonding exercise. Plus we get three or four awesome zombies (Helicopter Zombie, Plaid Shirt Zombie, and the two zombie kids) that have become symbolic of Romero’s 1978 classic.
29. The Blair Witch Project – Josh
My love for The Blair Witch Project is forever. For me, there is no scarier movie. I slept with the lights on after seeing this in the theatre for the first time and I was twelve years old. I still have trouble watching it during the fall (especially amongst friends because inevitably someone tries to fucking scare me), which is just a testament to it’s power. One of The Blair Witch Project‘s greatest strengths is its sound design, and it on full display in this scene. It creeps me out just typing about it.
28. The Shining – Big Wheel
The Shining is a good movie, but it is not as great as everyone makes it out to be. I often times see it topping “Greatest Horror Films of All Time” lists and I don’t quite get it. Sure, Stanley Kubrick is an absolute genius, but he seemingly hates the horror genre, so this movie has always rubbed me a bit wrong as a horrorhound. With that being said, this is a goddamn beautiful-looking movie. It is GORGEOUS. The camerawork and production design is as much a character as any one of the Torrances, and that is proven in the scene above.
27. The Phantom of the Opera – The Phantom Revealed
Lon Chaney kills it in The Phantom of the Opera. For a pre-Universal horror film, it probably rivals the best of the 1930’s. Chaney’s dedication to the role is center stage in this scene, where we finally get to see The Phantom’s face. You were waiting for it with a sense of morbid curiosity, but now you have to deal with his painful reality. Quite an impactful scene and you can see traces of it in later horror films like Friday the 13th.
26. Blue Velvet – Introducing Frank Booth
(NSFW: It’s Frank Booth, people, you know you can’t watch this at the office)
While some would not technically regard David Lynch’s 1986 bizzaro-fest as a true-to-form horror film, I do because it contains some of the most uncomfortable scenes in movie history. Exhibit one: our first real introduction to Frank Booth. He’s a real scumbag, but he’s not classy scumbag as most movies depict their villains. Most of the time we’re stuck with James Bond-esque assholes, who are smooth with their delivery and so learned that it makes it hard for the audience to believe they are evil. Not in the case of Frank Booth – he is a psychopath from the moment he steps on screen, and Dennis Hopper never lets up. And Lynch hits you early and hard with this opening look into this deranged man’s life.
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