Most memorable… most influential… best… However you wanna take this list is fine with me. These are MY personal Top 10 Horror Movie Scenes that had an impact on my life and made me the disturbed, deranged cinephile that I am today. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m no Patrick Bateman, but all of us horror fanatics have to have SOMETHING sick and twisted about us that makes us want to subject ourselves to the most horrific and unsettling images we can find. And as we get older and more desensitized, our thirst never seems to be fully quenched — hence why most of the scenes listed here are from my childhood. I must say, it was very hard to narrow it down to just 10. So, with that being said, here are the top 10 horror movie scenes that I have never been able to forget…
10. A) Carrie (1976)
When you think of Carrie, most people probably first think of the prom/pig’s blood scene, but often forgotten is probably one of, if not THE, scariest moments in cinema history. I wish I were old enough to see this in theaters, just to have witnessed the crowd’s reaction.
10. B) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
In my opinion, the greatest final scene of any movie, ever. I’ll never forget, as the film was winding down, the shock I felt when Donald Sutherland pointed at Elizabeth and “pod screamed.” Fin. Roll Credits. Silence.
9) Ghoulies II (1985)
Maybe not one of the scariest scenes of all time… or even greatest, but I still have trouble dropping a deuce.
8) Gremlins (1984)
Also not scary, but still one of my favorites…
7) The Mist (2007)
To me, The Mist is one of those films you either absolutely love or totally hate. And I think a lot of that has to do with the final scene. For me, it made the whole movie. Even thinking back on it now, I get that uneasy, depressed feeling that I got when I had first seen it. Others may not appreciate it as much… My wife still expresses her hatred for the movie to this day.
(Sorry, it’s dubbed in French… Damn copyrights)
6) SAW (2004)
I still have no words to express the shock and awe I felt when Jigsaw stood up at the end. I never saw it coming and was left with a giant WTF… And I pride myself on being able to sniff out twists well before they’re revealed. In my opinion, SAW is probably THE pinnacle film of the 2000s.
5) Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… This is one of the most underrated horror films of all time, which, I think, mostly has to do with the fact that it’s a “Halloween” movie. I think that it would have gotten a lot more respect had it not been named that. But I digress… This isn’t really one of the scariest scenes, but probably the most memorable. I didn’t want to wear a Halloween mask for a long time after this. Also, have fun trying to get that song out of your head.
4) Deep Blue Sea (1999)
I don’t care what anybody says. I like this movie. It’s no Jaws, but it’s still a decent shark flick nonetheless. They spent the first half of the movie building up Samuel L. Jackson’s character to be the hero and then BOOM!!! He got eaten by a motha’ fuckin’ shark! And I jumped out of my motha’ fuckin’ seat! I’ve actually only seen the scene once. Every other time I’ve watched the movie, I keep my eyes on everyone else in the room to see their reactions.
3) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Do I really need to explain why I love one of the greatest horror scenes of all time?
2) Braindead aka Dead Alive (1982)
It always surprises me how many horror fans haven’t seen this film by icon Peter Jackson. It’s required viewing for every genre fan. While the effects and cheese may be too over the top to take seriously, it’s one of the most fun movies to sit through, especially when you have some friends over for some beers or just to play in the background at a Halloween party. For every person who has seen Dead Alive, they always come out of it with one scene in mind… The lawnmower scene.
(Warning: I have stumbled across copies of this film with the lawnmower scene heavily edited, and it completely ruins it. If you have seen the movie and have no idea what I’m talking about, then you, unfortunately, have been a victim of censorship.)
1) The Thing (1982)
As James and I have discussed many times on the podcast, this is the perfect horror film, from the acting to the FX to the scares to Kurt Russell’s fantastic beard. It’s also my favorite film of all time, so of course it contains my favorite — and in my opinion scariest — scene of all time. Carpenter is a genius in the way he diverts your attention and confuses you as to who really is the “the thing.” Even after hundreds of viewings, this scene still gives me a “Hard R.” (If you don’t get that, then you don’t listen to the podcast… Shame on you.) Enjoy.
BONUS: They Live (1988)
BEST. FIGHT SCENE. EVER.
Tell me what you think about my Top 10 Best Horror Movie Scenes in the comments section below. What scenes did I miss?