1. Robert Shaw’s monologue from Jaws where he retells his story from the sinking of the Indianapolis and the fate of those who survived but had to wait in shark infested waters to be rescued. Bone-chilling; one of cinema’s great monologues.
2. The scene from Halloween where the babysitter girl thinks her boyfriend is the one under the white sheet standing in the doorway, but he ain’t! We know it’s Michael Meyers and he just stands there and doesn’t answer her and we sit there and wait for her to become frightened and figure it out. Torturous.
3. Robert DeNiro’s character seduces the 15 year old girl played by Juliette Lewis in a dark, abandoned theater in 1991’s Cape Fear. He sticks his finger in her mouth and it seemed so forceful to me at the time. I can’t remember if this comes before or after he rapes that woman and bites a chunk out of her cheek, yeesh, but it really tripped me out.
4. When the guys from Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan have those helmets shoved on them and those little ear-worm bugs crawl in their ears and eat their brains or something. I know nothing about this movie except that image. KHHHHAAAAANN!
5. Edward Norton gives that kid a curbie in American History X. Damn.
1. Buffalo Bill’s primping and dancing in front of the video camera in Silence of the Lambs warps vanity in endless ways. And then he tucks it in and strikes a horrific pose. On the way home from Kendall 9 Cinemas that night, this 14-year-old girl swears she saw bloodied prostitutes and serial killers roaming the streets.
2. Every single scene featuring the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz completely freaked me out. I still can’t watch it without closing my eyes through those scenes and I’m pretty sure that’s why it took me years to get around to watching Wicked on Broadway. In another childhood hallucinatory moment, I saw her staring at me from my bathroom window in the middle of the night. It’s the truth!
3. When the kid with wet, stringy hair crawls out of the TV in slow motion in The Ring, all while the phone is ringing. Unanswered phones in scary movies creep me out!
4. The whimpering, scheming, corrupt and angry Skeksis in The Dark Crystal feasting on enormous turkey legs. Their saliva is dripping, meat flies and they look like hollowed out and rotten vultures. YUCK!
5. A ringing phone (not again!). The babysitter answers to an anonymous voice asking, “Have you checked the children?” Repeatedly. It’s not a prank. The killer is in the house. Nooooooooo! Warning: I rewatched When a Stranger Calls a couple of years ago because I wanted to see how it held up and the only scary part of the movie is the very beginning. The rest is what I’d imagine to be amateur hour of Law and Order — if I’d ever watched that show.