Saturday, March 27, 2010

More Random Scares

As children, I think most of us are guilty of following the same basic principle- that a spooky cover of anything is the perfect measure of how good it is. I've heard countless people mention that their start in horror came at a young age while browsing horror VHS covers and I couldn't agree with them more. There's something about a child's blooming imagination and a creepy box cover that really sets something special off. In most ways I have found that book covers are also related to this fact. When going through my Nancy Drew phase- or rather before I went through it (I think I was too young at the time) I would often browse the covers. The cover of The Ghost of Blackwood Hall is perhaps my most remembered of these.
Something about that ghastly green light and the figure playing the organ always gave me a serious case of the shivers. Like most Nancy Drew books there was of course no ghost- but that didn't change the fact that this cover kept me up at night on more than one occasion. Also no one told me that Carolyn Keene didn't really write all these books until I was like 20. There I was thinking that this woman was 140 years old- and how well she could still write. Yes it was a sad moment.

I find most of Beetlejuice to be quite unsettling, even now as a somewhat full grown adult. Sometimes, like after seeing the new Alice in Wonderland for instance, I think about how Tim Burton used to be so capable of creating nightmares in a seemingly effortless way. And now he's just boooooring. How can the same man who is responsible for a hanging man being in charge of delivering memos, and a deceased beauty pageant queen with slit wrists and blue skin later be responsible for one of the least imaginative adaptions of Alice in Wonderland known to mankind?

My list of random scares in this movie are a bit long- also don't forget I already talked about the shrimp scene in an earlier scary moments post. But for right now I would just like to mention just how scary the hanging man really is.
The scenes in the un-living world are some of the creepiest I've ever seen. What a sense of vile mystique and wonder. It mostly plays like a continuous nightmare sequence and a sequence that I just can't get enough of. Like I said, nothing has ever been more capable of giving me the heebie jeebies as much as that hanging man does. It might be that sudden note of doom, or the way he looks so lifeless and still able to pass out memos. I'm just not sure! I suppose a large portion of this has to do with my fear of seeing hanging people....but also I'd say it's just damn creepy. Also creepy, the classic Tim Burtonesque hallway- and the room of "lost souls" dictated to us by the man in the diner from Pee Wee's Big Adventure.

Speaking of Pee Wee's Big Adventure, can I just reiterate how freaking awful and scary that clown dream is?
Do you have any idea what that kind of scene does to a child? It was because of this movie that I developed an irrational fear of getting into a motorcycle crash and being taken to the hospital. Thanks again Tim Burton.

Typically when people think back to the days of watching Fantasia they want to remember those HOT centaurs
or perhaps the cherubs and Pegasuses. However when thinking of scary moments I immediately think of the T-rex scene from the dinosaur Rite of Spring sequence. I think it's the way the other dinosaurs "hear" the T-Rex before we have any idea that something is wrong. The battle with the stegosaurus is very sad and his impending entrance was always somewhat anxiety provoking for me as a young one.

You may be wondering why I wouldn't say that the ending sequence is the first that comes to mind when the word "fear" is involved
---and the sad truth is I could never stay awake long enough to catch that sequence so I really don't remember much of it. I do remember some ghouls though...oh look a demon.

This is kind of a random one but the scene of that old guy slapping young George in the ear has always created an intense feeling of suspense and dread within me. I think what scared me so much when I was younger, is the fact that he slaps him so hard, that his frickin ear bleeds.
Ummm he was just trying to save your career you old fool! Violence, especially violence and yelling taken out on children was always something that scared me as a young one and hopefully many of you out there can agree.


Anonymous said...

Hi Andre, We seem to have the same taste in many movies and t.v. shows.

Here are some of my favorites, if you haven't seen them you should. great. I'm gonna have to add showtime to my already huge directv bill to see the upcoming season. DON'T MISS THIS.

True Blood...I love vampires. This show is good.

Nip/tuck...The first few seasons were better than the last couple, but this was still a great series.

I love the horror digest.. and of course you know..i love you. Eddie.

Anonymous said...

The large Marge scene in Pee Wee's Big Adventure also freaked me the fuck out when i was an ankle biter.

Andre Dumas said...

Thanks Eddie- I have seen a few episodes of each of those but someday I promise I will sit down and watch a season, I just have to find the time...!

PoT- Oh yeah. I wrote a post a month ago or so either a scary moments post or who knows about Large Marge and how I would always find a way to "leave" the room when he got in the truck. Bathroom break, I need a snack etc etc. hehee

Emily said...

I was always a big fan of choosing books based on their scary covers, so yes, I may be guilty of judging a book by it's cover, oh well...

Some of my favorites always seemed to include staircases and flashlight beams- two that come to mind are another Nancy Drew book called The Spiral Staircase, and one of my beloved Babysitter Club books called The Ghost at Dawn's House

Another book cover that creeped me out was the cover of a book called Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick- it had this creepy old house with a mysterious figure on the porch. My little brother refused to even allow the book into his room.

....and of course the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books were the scariest of all!

Emily said...

....actually, I just realized the Nancy Drew book is called The Hidden Staircase....sorry about that!

Andre Dumas said...

Haha it's OK Emily C- I had to go on Wikipedia and look up what the actual title of ghost of blackwood hall was. I can agree with you on all of those, and while I never got totally into the Babysitter's Club (Aside from that wonderful movie) I do remember the cover for the Dawn's Ghost one!

And wow. wowow Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark were totally one of those books that I would read really quickly in the store before my mom finished. Not because I didn't think she would allow me to get it- but because I knew it would be scarier reading it at home and alone...!

BJ Colangelo said...

Pee Wee's big adventure just scares the hell out of me in general. LARGE MARGE! Oh helllll to the no. I used her on my list of women that scarred my childhood. And kudos for noting how the undead world in Beetlejuice is ridiculously disturbing. Juno's throat used to be my anti-smoking ad.

aunt john said...

What was Nancy Drew's butch friend's name again? (The rain has rendered me too lazy to google.)

Andre said...

Hahaha her name was George! So fitting.