Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Top 10 Willy Inducing Moments

Ever since I finished watching and reviewing Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments, I've done a lot of thinking about what my own list would look like. 100 is kind of an insane number, because you start including too many things and before you know it, you're including movies like The Wizard of OZ and things get out of control. I've also thought about why people get so ruffled by Bravo's original list, and my conclusion is that most of what scares us is typically individualized. Just because I have a ridiculous fear of sharks doesn't mean that everyone does. Everyone's lists are going to be different because we are all terrified and affected by different things. So I encourage YOU ALL to come up with what I am dubbing your Top 10 Willy Inducing Moments personalized for you, by you. All you need to do is make your list and write a little blurb about why each moment made it. PLEASE NOTE these are willy inducing MOMENTS and not necessarily movies. For instance, there are plenty of films scarier than Pet Sematary but few things are scarier than Zelda rising out of the bed. See what I mean?

To kick things off here are My Top 10 Willy Inducing Moments.

#10 Nosferatu- Count Orlok rises from his coffin

There is something untouchable happening in Nosferatu that is seldom challenged today and especially in the Vampire genre. Silent films generally have a knack for frightening me due to the speed of the projector but Nosferatu is one of the few films that made me grimace with the willies. Prior to the coffin rising scene we see Count Orlok much like any other person, granted he is still terrifying looking but he is wearing a smashing hat and jacket so it somehow makes him seem more human. But when he is in that coffin and rises up like a stiff board, the game has suddenly and abruptly changed. Count Orlok is the most terrifying vampire I have ever seen and his movements, his nails, his teeth, even the natural shape of his head is utterly upsetting. Watching him come "alive" is one of the most affective if not the most affective rising from the dead scene out there.

#9 Black Sabbath- The Countess's face in The Drop of Water

I just recently watched and reviewed this and decided immediately that this little segment would be embedded in my thoughts whenever I was feeling particularly scared. The moment in question is when Helen goes back to her apartment and after a series of unexpected frights, she goes into her bedroom to find the dead countess lying on her bed and then slowly rising to face her. The main reason this scene strikes a chord is the sheer terror that you feel when seeing The Countess's dead and apparently rigor mortised face.

What makes the bedroom scene more terrifying than the rest of the film however, is that we and Helen were already shaken by the first time we saw the Countess dead in her own mansion. When Helen goes home she expects to be rid of the terror yet stumbles upon it again in the most unlikely of places. It evokes a similar feeling of when you go to see a scary movie. Once you get home any bad feelings should be behind you, yet we still feel inklings of a presence that may have followed us home. We find that our hands may tremble when we turn on the light because maybe, just maybe that dead woman will be in our own bedroom!

#8 The Sentinel- Hello Daddy

Bravo included this moment on their original list and was actually the reason I saw the film in the first place. This scene is terrifying because we don't expect a man to be walking around in the vacant apartment above hers. The way that he just saunters by behind her is blood curdling and although we get the real shock when he turns around and reveals his milky white eyes (not to mention that yes, that is her father), I think the true scare comes when we first see him walk right by her, as if nothing was unusual in the slightest. Just passing by!

#7 The Innocents- Lady in black by the lake.

When I watched the Innocents for the first time I confided in my readers that halfway through it, I was forced to turn on the light. This is a powerful statement even coming from me, a self proclaimed scaredy cat, because while I may be scared of almost everything, the dark is one fear I like to think I conquered a long time ago. But there was something about the way that these ghosts were just there. They didn't appear in a ghostly spectral light or fade away into the darkness. Deborah Kerr simply looks up and sees the woman in black, sitting as simply as day. Not starring with a menacing stare--just sitting. And that simplistic form of eeriness is one of the most effective kinds out there. This scene still creeps the bejesus out of me and hopefully I'm not alone.

#6 The Exorcist: Spider Walk

This is a fairly obvious selection and hopefully one that makes a reappearance in many other people's lists as well. When we see other peoples bodies do things that shouldn't be physically possible, it strikes a certain note of fear within us. It creates feelings that what we are seeing is not human, it's other worldly and in a sense---evil. This spider walk is so unexpected and so traumatizing that it becomes hard to believe anyone who says they aren't affected by it.

#5 The Sixth Sense- Lady in the kitchen

Dog M. Night Shyamalan all you want, but I can't pretend that this scene didn't scare the crap out of me. Oh look ha ha Hayley Joel Osmont is taking a pee ha ha and BAM pink bathrobe stalks by. Our hearts momentarily beat out of our chests before we tell ourselves, "it's okay it must be his mom". But why is his mom wildly searching for silver ware in the middle of the night? And then she turns around. Probably the most affective point I can make about this scene is that we don't start seeing the ghosts until Cole tells us (or Bruce Willis rather) that he can. Up until this point it was just a feeling that Cole was terrified of an unseen thing. This introduction to the ghosts that he sees was jolting and absolutely horrific. And my sister didn't help things by opening up all the kitchen cabinets on her way to the bathroom....

Watch it here

#4 Pet Sematary- Zelda rises

There may be nothing scarier in this world than a woman who is played by what is obviously a man. Take note when you need a woman to be really scary, cast the ugliest man you can find. Zelda, Rachel's spinal meningitis ridden sister is introduced to us in a similarly terrifying flashback. Seeing her writhe uncomfortably makes us uncomfortable---but nothing and I mean NOTHING tops the moment when the mother opens the bedroom door to see Zelda sit straight up as though controlled by marionette strings. And then later the real shock happens...Zelda gets up and walks towards us, her back hunched over grotesquely and she's shouting and it's terrible. Make it stop, make it stop!

#3 The Orphanage- 1,2,3, knock on the wall

The Orphanage is a movie that had the power to literally give me the chills. It was one of the most haunting experiences I've ever had. While the Devil's Backbone may have been a better film, I found that The Orphanage was made up of a lot more terrifying moments---for me at least. The most terrifying is easily realized when she is in absolute desperation by the film's end. Her hunch that the dead children of the orphanage could lead her to her son, seems oddly stopped at a stand still. In an attempt to regain their trust, she dons an old uniform and begins to play the hide and seek/ red light, green light game that we see in the film's beginning.

What makes this scene so terrifying is that we are seeing everything from her point of view. She knocks and then slowly the camera pans around to reveal if the children have appeared. The first few times that we look and find nothing is almost more traumatizing than when we finally do see the kids. And by that point we're expecting them to be pressed up against the lens when we turn around for that last time. Thankfully, Spain has restraint and the actual appearance of the children is more subdued. This doesn't mean however that this scene did not have me cowering behind a pillow.

#2 REC- The Skinny THING

Have you ever been more horrified of something as unnaturally skinny as this? Tall and skinny things are by nature entirely too scary to look at. They create a certain alienistic feel about them and hopefully give more people than just me the willies. This scene in particular (as well as its mirror image in Quarantine) is one of the most terrifying things I've seen. What makes it great is the look of terror on Angela's face. I'm still fuzzy on whether or not she actually realizes what is mere feet away from her but, she can surely sense that it's there at least. The look of absolute fear on her face is almost as chilling as the creature itself. And THAT is some powerful stuff.

#1 JAWS- Opening

Can you really be surprised here? If my number one fear in the world is sharks then it should be pretty obvious that my number one willies inducing moment is this scene. As luck would have it, this is the same moment that Bravo chooses as #1...perhaps we have more in common than I once thought. What always gets me about this scene is the way that the first bite happens. If you've read the book, this first bite is presumably her entire leg being bitten off---and the actress acts as though only a sudden chill has swept over her. In the novel it is described as such, and only when her hand travels down to feel the protruding bone, does she realize what has actually just happened. The shot of her being pulled almost gently in that first bite is so unbelievably affective that it almost hurts. The way that she shudders and tries to catch her breath, then what follows---the violent thrashing of her body which causes us to only imagine what could possibly be happening underneath the water's surface is shocking. Her final breaths are mimicked in our own and we find ourselves trapped in thoughts of what it would feel like to be in the same position. To me---nothing is scarier.

What about you?


Andrei said...

Awesome list, you had some pretty interesting picks there. I really can't think of 10, maybe not even 5, picks for me right now, but I'll probably do a similar list in the near future. Again, a mighty fine job you did there!

The Mike said...

1) I totally double fist pumped when I saw you bring up The Innocents. Might be my number one creepy moment EVER.

2) I have to agree about the scene in Sixth Sense. I have forgotten the rest of the movie, but that scene still resonates.

3) Pet Sematary also has to be in my top 5. Great moment.

All in all, good stuff, even if I still need to see The Orphanage and Black Sabbath. :(

The Mike said...

Oh, and I forgot to also say awesome about including Nosferatu. Totally love it.

Andre Dumas said...

Atroxion you must have thick skin to not think of 5 scary moments! I envy your bravery, I am the biggest scaredy cat out there and my list could have easily expanded to 20.

Thanks The Mike! I'm fist pumping, that YOU'RE fist pumping liking The Innocents. It's really one of the greatest surprises I've had watching that flick. I did not expect to have to turn on the light...I mean come on it's in black and white!
I'm glad you agree with a lot--I'm always afraid what I find scary is merely laughable to others.. those bastards. We can't all have bravery of steel!

Andrei said...


Nah, that's not it. There are tons of moments that scared the crap out of me (the most recent one would have to be that one in [rec], which you actually mentioned), it's just that I'm too lazy to sum them up in a list right now... :)

Strange Kid said...

Oh these are great, Andre.

#9,8, and 4 are definite creepfests and I remember Jaws scaring me away from water for weeks!

Emily said...

Ooooh, good topic! Yeah The Innocents is one of my favorites too and just so subtlety creepy! Also, the scene in The Orphanage always sends chills up my spine!

I'm gonna start brainstorming my list ASAP!

Do you want people to send you an email with their scariest moments, or post them in the comments, or post them on our own blogs?!

Andre said...

Haha oh boo Atroxion! No laziness allowed ;)

Thanks Strange Kid!

Andre said...

Whoops ya snuck your comment in when I wasn't looking Emily!
I LOVE it if people posted it on their own blogs, that way word will get around faster. I'll put a post in a week or so with links to other peoples moments. Thanks for the question!

Mr. Johnny Sandman said...

I have several Willy Inducing moments.

In no particular order but here are a few right off the top of my head.

1) The dog kennel scene from The Thing (very obvious)

2) The scene where Paul dies in The Blob of 1988

3) The scene where they uncover Damien's 'mother' in The Exorcist.

4) The scene where the spiders come out of the drain in Arachnophobia.

5) The larvae birth scene in The Fly.

6) Your #6 ;)

I might have to do a post response to this because it's something that I often think about doing but never did.

Cinema Suicide said...

Fuck. Yes. The Sentinel! I LOVE that movie so much.

The problem with forming my own list is that horror movies rarely ever inspire any kind of creeps or fear in me. I just can't seem to find any that move me.

Andre said...

Response posts are encouraged Rick! You can use the top 10 willy moments picture if you wish : )
I knew you would pick both the Thing and the spiders out of the drain! I think we both talked about how that was entirely traumatic. Ugh!

Andre said...

Awww Bryan that's LAME. Do non-horror movies give you the creeps? I suppose if we are taking a page from Bravo, non-horror movies are certainly accepted!

matango said...

The six scenes or movies I remember scaring me the most (most of these were when I was a little kid) were:

1. The end of the birthday short in Creepshow.
2. The scene in the Watcher in the Woods where Lynn Holly Johnson's character is trapped underwater under the log.
3. The opening scene in Jaws.
4. The DIsney short for the Headless Horseman
5. Friday the 13th Part VII
6. The final scene in the original Japanese The Ring.

All of these, except the last were when I was a kid (no later than age nine). I've been scared by other movies since (and recently), but these are the ones that would give me sustained willies.

Dod said...

I LOVE this list!

One of the first ones I thought of as a willy-inducing moment for me is actually from a TV show, Twin Peaks.

Watch the last episode, and any scene in the surreal Black Lodge is creepy with all the backwards-talking and dancing midgets.

However, there's a moment when Evil Doppelganger Laura Palmer begins to scream in a steady, angry stream while a strobe goes off.

I just got chills thinking of it.

The Vicar of VHS said...

Another great list! If I were going to add a couple of my creep inducing moments...well, let's see, in no particular order:

*The Old Woman floating into frame in the original HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL. It's a jump scare, sure, but she looks so creepy and disturbing, the jump is quickly followed by the shivers! Your selection from The Sentinel is almost an homage to this scene, btw.

*Pretty much any scene in Exorcist III where the Gemini Killer (Brad Dourif) is just sitting there talking about his crimes. I'll say it again: he was robbed of a best supporting actor nod.

*In the original Les Diaboliques, the Husband Rises. Eeek!

*The original CAT PEOPLE. Tie: Bus Stop and Swimming Pool.

*The end of THE BODY SNATCHER (1945)--not an alien movie, but Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi in a Val Lewton adaptation of the Burke and Hare story. "You'll never get rid of me...!"

And the great granddaddy old school scare:

*The unmasking of the Phantom in Lon Chaney's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. You know what he looks like--you've been raised on commercials and toys and cartoons full of spoilers of the image--and yet when you see his expression, see how his face MOVES when he's's chilling, I don't care who you are.

Fun stuff!

Andre Dumas said...

Dod- I really need to watch Twin Peaks! I feel like such a fool. But those moments sound divinely creepy.

matango- I haven't seen a couple of those but they sound very promising. I will have to add them to the queue!

Vicar- You may have quite a bit of Bravo blood in you, most of those exact moments are highlighted in the series! I do agree with them. Debated about Phantom of the Opera and I agree with you 100% no matter how many times you've seen him without the mask on, that reveal will get you every time!

matango said...

Andre, I must warn you that some of them have not aged well.

Twin Peaks is awesome! I highly recommend you watch the series. After you've watched the entire U.S. series, watch the European pilot.

Jose Cruz said...

Spectacular list here, Andre! I especially love how you've inspired other bloggers to make some quality lists of their own fears! I'll be doing one as soon as I can get around to it.

Before reading your post, I had never seen that segment from The Innocents. HOLY CRAP. Just that image of the woman sitting there is enough to give you goosebumps, let alone knowing that she may be a ghost. That has got to be one of the scariest things I've seen in a while.

Really fantastic job here. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, that scene in the sentinal still freaks me out. for me, my top ten would include the elevator scene from the japanese version of the eye and the bus stop scene from the eye 2. the japanese have this way of making the ordinary, everyday, and mundane into something scary as heck.
dreaded dreams,
petunia scareum

Liam [Less Than Three Film] said...

Great list! Now to sit down and actually think about ten myself... not gonna be easy.

Kristi Dorson said...

great list! I actually surfed in from Day Of The Woman. You have inspired me to create my own list here: Thanks for the great idea! Hopefully I'll sleep tonight, lol ;P

Fred [The Wolf] said...

Incredible list! The Sentinel one is pretty freaky, yeah. And the Spider Walk would be one of my mine for sure. I think I'll do this for my blog. Looks like fun. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi, great list! I was inspired to do one too.

Crafty C said...

Great idea! After I read all the inspiring posts I did one too.

B-Sol said...

I'm totally doing my own--but just as a warning, two of yours are also on my potential list. Which two? Stay tuned.....

Daniel Danny Dan said...

Cripes woman! I feel like I just bookmarked this new post to come back to and you've long since moved on. Show-off!

Great topic (thanks for inspiration!) and excellent list you've compiled. Completely forgot about The Sixth Sense. That was one truly chilling moment in an otherwise underwhelming (though still solid) film. Most of my friends haven't even heard of The Sentinel so it was a nice surprise seeing that. Yeesh, just watching the Bravo clip brought back them long dormant willies.

Bryce Wilson said...

Here's my own humble collection of The Willies.

You forced me to revisit some awful unpleasant moments...

Thank You.

timothy grant said...

Great list! Since you were so nice to ask. Here are mine:

Dubl*A said...

I totally agree with you on the "unnaturally skinny" thing. In fact, that actor (Doug Jones) is modern cinema's Lon Chaney. You should check out this guy's filmography on IMDb: pretty much every horror film in the past 15 years that has featured some disturbingly skinny creature-thing has had this guy in that role. I was so impressed with his performance in the "Fear Itself" episode "Skin and Bones" that I looked him up, and my jaw hit the floor when I realized it had been the same actor behind all those disturbing characters....

Andre Dumas said...

Ha really? I know who Doug Jones is but I had no idea he was the skinny thing. I always assumed it was just an animatronic anorexic girl. Terrifying!

Dubl*A said...

Minor correction: he was the skinny thing in Quarantine, but not in [Rec]. He's still pretty awesome though :)

Rabid Fox said...

My oh my, you've started a bit of a trend with this meme. I'm gonna have to hop on the bandwagon this week, I guess.

I'm right there with you when it comes to The Exorcist. Yeesh.

Anonymous said...

I don't get scared easily, but that pet sematary one really made me want to shut my screen.