Grab a bowl of popcorn and your most-loved thriller because spooky season has arrived. With plenty of new horror and thriller films hitting the big screen this month, we’ve decided to look back at movie scenes, which many of us peeked at through spread fingers as children, that have scarred us for life. These are the motion pictures that certainly scarred us forever.
A poster of the upcoming Halloween movie. Photo by Anthony Bubbico.
I’d like to think of myself as a movie buff. The movie genre that I particularly love is horror. Growing up, my father and I would watch old monster movies every Friday night. I’m incredibly passionate about film and this genre. A scene from a horror movie that really scared me as a kid was the closet scene from the original Halloween, directed by John Carpenter.
Laurie Strode, the character played by Jamie Lee Curtis, hides in a closet from the masked killer, Michael Myers. The killer finds the closet doors locked. He tries to enter the closet, but cannot get in. Myers ends up pushing through the closet door with his bare hands. He clears just enough space to get his upper torso into the closet. Laurie unwinds a closet hanger and sticks it in Myers’s eye. He then drops his infamous kitchen knife. Laurie grabs the knife and stabs Myers a few times until he falls to the ground, temporarily defeated.
Everything about this scene terrified me from the simplistic music to the pale white mask Michael Myers donned. After seeing the film numerous times, I have never looked at closets the same way. Michael Myers returns to the big screen in October once again with Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode.
As a 5-year-old girl, I knew I wasn’t supposed to watch any scary movies. But when my aunt and grandmother put on “The Ring” one night while I was trying to sleep, my curiosity got the best of me. One specific scene from this film that scarred me is when the main character’s ex-partner, Noah, is watching television. All of a sudden, the female ghost, Samara, materializes, crawls out of the television screen and kills him; Noah’s disfigured body is later found. The image of the ghost, with her long black hair concealing her pale face, as she slowly crawls out of the well and walks toward the television screen, is haunting. Just thinking about this movie, and how petrified I was when peeking under the covers to watch it, makes my skin crawl.
Another scary movie scene that scarred me as a kid is from the 1999 version of “House on Haunted Hill.” I’m not entirely sure how or where I saw this, but I think my mother owned the DVD. This movie focuses on five people who are all locked inside a house for one night, trying to survive until morning to each win $1 million. Eventually, they all split up and explore a creepy-looking basement. One of the characters, Melissa, makes the mistake of exploring the basement alone. She soon comes across an old skeleton that, at first, appears to be normal. However, when Melissa looks away and then stares back at the skeleton, which is down the hall, it suddenly comes to life and sprints toward her in a matter of seconds. What specifically happens to her body is a mystery, but when a couple of the others wander past where she was, looking for her, all they find is an enormous trail of blood from the floor to the ceiling. While this scene may sound ridiculous, it was absolutely disturbing to watch as a child.
As you can see, scary movies just aren’t for me.
Kill Bill: Volume 1 was directed by Quentin Tarantino and released in 2003.
Growing up, I never really watched scary movies. I was more interested in comedies or action movies. When I got older, I realized why I never watched scary or graphic movies. It was because I was traumatized. I vividly remember the movie that made me stop watching those types of movies. It was Kill Bill: Volume 1, directed by Quentin Tarantino.
I was 8 years old at the time. My cousin was just getting home from work and wanted to watch a movie. He put the movie in and told me that I couldn’t watch the movie because it was too gory. I told him that I could handle it. He let me watch the movie with him, and within the first 15 minutes, someone was killed violently, so I was already in shock. It was like I was frozen; I could not move, I was stuck right where I was. Then, the scene that traumatized me came on—where Uma Thurman decapitates someone and there is blood spewing everywhere. I ran out the room in tears, went to the bathroom and locked myself in there for about 10 minutes.
The reason it scared me was because it caught me by surprise and I was only 8. I never actually finished that movie until about six months ago because I was so traumatized. Now that I am older, horror is one of my favorite genres of movies.
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Final Destination 3 on Amazon Prime. Photo taken by Sophia DeVito.
When I was in fourth grade, I had a movie date with my “boyfriend.” Although we dated for three years, it was a silly young-love relationship with my best friend as of today. He invited me to his house to watch movies with our older brothers. The movie they chose was Final Destination 3 and ever since that night, I have had an irrational fear of roller coasters.
Never in my life have I been on a roller coaster and after watching that movie, I probably never will. For readers who have not seen the gruesome and unrealistic movie, the opening scene of Final Destination 3 shows a bunch of high school students who attend a school carnival. At this carnival, the main characters are about to take off on a roller coaster ride when the protagonist has a premonition that the ride will result in all of their deaths. This resulted in a dozen of the students getting off the ride and returning to the carnival. Within a matter of minutes, the roller coaster went off the track and killed the remaining passengers. The movie showed a realistic scene to an unrealistic occurrence. Maybe it’s my fear of heights, or maybe the movie really did some damage on my nine-year-old self, but since that day I’ve refused to get on any form of roller coaster, or in my head, death trap.
The Shining logo.
The motion picture that terrified me at the young age of 14 was The Shining. The Shining is about a family living in a secluded hotel that becomes haunted by evil spirit. The evil presence influences the father to become extremely violent. The Shining was directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1980 and starred Jack Nicholson.
The scene that scarred me the most was when Danny Lloyd, who plays Danny Torrance, is riding his tricycle down the lobbies. He makes a quick left turn and toward the end of the hallway are two twin girls. They gaze at each other, and at that point the screen starts to flash images of the twins slain by a hatchet covered in blood, then of the twins standing in the hall staring at Danny.
From that point forward, I couldn’t walk by myself or turn corners in hotels. I couldn’t look twins in the eye, no matter the gender. I had grown a fear of twins.
Stanley Kubrick, you rocked my world in 2012, and I’ve been scarred ever since.
It’s safe to say that I have a love-hate relationship with horror movies. As I’ve grown, my tolerance for the horror genre has increased tremendously; however, even as a child, I was always a bit curious. I would end up watching whatever horror flick my mom would put on (and she would encourage it. Thanks, mom.) This curiosity didn’t kill the cat, but it did kill the chances of getting any sleep at night. My nightmares were filled with long black hair for years thanks to Kayako from The Grudge and the girl from The Ring.
The Grudge was 2004 horror film directed by Takashi Shimizu. The film was an American remake of the 2002 Japanese film Ju-on: The Grudge, also directed (and written) by Takashi Shimizu. A scene from the movie that scarred me for life is the infamous bedroom scene. The scene shows Karen Davis, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, in bed. Complete with ominous music, the scene is set for a jump scare when a frightened Davis pulls a rabbit’s foot out from underneath her blanket. She then notices something crawling beneath the blanket from the end of the bed. Instead of running as far from the bed as possible, she looks beneath the blanket to find Kayako, who pulls her under, leaving them to both vanish from the bed completely.
Watching The Grudge was quite possibly the worst decision I have ever made. The movie was mocked in Scary Movie 4, a popular horror/comedy film series, with the long black hair appearing everywhere throughout the house; it was still more traumatizing than funny.
And as if I thought my problems ended with the credits, there’s a reboot set to be released next year.
In June 2005, a movie named “Hammerhead” was released. Now it’s known as “SharkMan.” This movie was the first scary movie I had ever actually sat down and watched. It was a summer night and my mom, my sister and I were all home while my dad was at work. Mom decided to make the night a “girls movie night.” To an 8-year-old me, this sounded like a fantastic idea.
The movie started off slow. A group of people go to an island to help a mad doctor who has attempted to save her son from terminal cancer by merging his DNA with the DNA of a shark. Things obviously went wrong as the movie escalated.
Looking back at it now, the movie’s plot was unoriginal and every attack can be expected. Unfortunately, I didn’t see that when I was watching it in 2005. The hammerhead man appears and starts attacking the people. Blood went everywhere as shrieks of pain and fear filled the living room. I quickly hid underneath my blankets for the rest of the movie, and it wasn’t until my dad came home that I came out from under it.
To this day, I can’t watch a scary movie. I pace in and out of the room it’s being played in. I skip all of the scary parts. I watch them during the daylight hours only and NEVER alone. I always have Harry Potter movies waiting to play right after so I don’t go to bed with a scary movie as the last thing I saw.