This week is very special to all horror fans. It is the week of Halloween when we anxiously search through the cable guide looking for our favorite horror movies to watch. I thought I would take this opportunity to post some of the most recognizable scenes from popular horror movies. These are in no particular order. I’m very old school so this list will be heavy on old films. I hope you enjoy the list and feel free to tell me your favorites.
This movie freaked me out when I was younger. It revived its hold on me when my niece came along. She could have doubled as Heather O’Rourke and quite often on several occasions she took advantage of that fact with my sister and I. I remember some people being afraid of their televisions, back in the analog days, when stations went off the air and we were treated to white noise. And who can forget the freaky clown doll?
Bride of Frankenstein
Proving once again that true love is a bitch. I love the Frankenstein franchise for the duo nature of fear and tragedy. There were moments when we feared Doctor Frankenstein’s creation and other moments where we felt sympathy for his creation. At the basic core it is a story about humanity. Our struggle with life from the moment of creation to the pursuit of happiness in love and acceptance. For those who have ever been set up on a blind date this image has particular relevance.
House On Haunted Hill
What can I say? It’s Vincent Price! The dashing horror icon has always been a favorite of mine. House on Haunted Hill IS an icon. The Frank Lloyd Wright house used in the exterior shots in this film is iconic on its own level. However, the movie is sadly considered somewhat cheesy and campy by today’s horror generation, but who cares. Did I mention it has Vincent fucking Price in it? A devilishly handsome man with an unmistakable AND iconic voice.
Nightmare on Elm Street
What Hitchcock did for the shower Wes Craven did for the bathtub. This scene always makes me think twice before passing out in the bathtub with a bottle of vodka. Thanks Wes! It’s a bit suggestive too wouldn’t you say? I loved the mom line about drowning in the tub. Yeah, I think she’s more worried about the burned psycho back from Hell with knives for fingers! And those knives are precariously positioned.
Night of the Living Dead
Again with children. Children are scary especially when they are hungry. Nay. Ravenous. This was a nightmare in itself for parents. Something sweet, innocent and somewhat helpless is now the thing to be feared. A good theme. This scene was so iconic it graces many posters and T-shirts even to this day. A film from 46 years ago is still relevant and inspiring new generations of film, television, video game and comic creators.
I’ve included this one for a special reason. This very sequence, not included in its entirety, caused quite a stir in its day with censors for its blasphemous content. Early prints were cut and later restored for posterity sake. Doctor Frankenstein knew what it felt like to be God. Creating life from death was an appalling notion, but now every bio-lab across the world is trying to emulate this timeless classic.
Scary in its day, but nothing more than a true icon today. This was the first vampire film to grace the silver screen which would go on to set the standard for what was to come. It is still one of my favorites to watch for Halloween. It’s so ugly it’s beautiful. And he doesn’t sparkle.
THIS is what was to come and how glorious it is. Bela Lugosi was born to play this part. While many have attempted to fill his shoes, in my opinion, they all fall short. He was even buried in his Dracula cape. He IS and forever will be Dracula. Do yourself a favor this Halloween and curl up with him and listen to the children of the night for what music they make.
No, she didn’t run out of Herbal Essences. This scene ruined showers for Janet Leigh for life! Now that is cinema. The shower scene is one of the most iconic images of horror and I believe will remain so for eternity. In fact, in film school this scene is used to teach aspiring filmmakers on the importance of storyboarding. Thank you Saul Bass.
This movie to date is the only horror movie that ever truly scared me. Of course it might have something to do with being left home alone for the first time and deciding that watching this would be a good idea. I scarred myself and my younger sister for life, but it was worth it. THIS is the movie I hold all other horror movies to. This image is perhaps the most iconic. It’s simple, it’s beautiful, it doesn’t give anything away and yet is highly effective.
This is just a few iconic images. I can think of hundreds more, but it would take too long to include everything that one could. Share your favorites with me and enjoy your horror movie viewing this Halloween. Or indeed, all year round!