Undefended: Scares

Film Fisher Blog

Undefended: Scares

Happy Halloween! To celebrate, for this month’s lists, FilmFisher’s writers were asked to pick five of their favorite cinematic scares. Share your own selections in the comments below.shining

Joel Bourgeois

  1. The Mulholland Drive diner scene (2001)
  2. The Eraserhead baby is sick -> explodes (1977)
  3. The woman (Scarlett Johansson) is raped, causing her skin to tear, and is burned by her rapist upon seeing what lies Under the Skin (2014)
  4. Jack Torrance wields an axe in The Shining (1980)
  5. Anakin slaughters not just the men, but the women and the children too in Attack of the Clones (2002)

Jackson De Vight

  1. Skeletal Jack the Monkey jump scare – Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
  2. The “nail” microplot – A Quiet Place
  3. Shelob emerges – Return of the King
  4. Pit scene – Silence of the Lambs
  5. Intruder sneaks up behind Liv Tyler in the kitchen but does nothing – The Strangers

the thing

William Connor Devlin

  1. The blood test from John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)
  2. A little girl kills her mom with a gardening trowel and then devours her dad in George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  3. Leatherface’s first appearance (hammer, meet head) in Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
  4. The phantom eyes in the bathroom window and subsequent apartment attack in Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977) (Bonus: the barb wire jump)
  5. The frightful first phone call and chase in Wes Craven’s Scream (1996)

night of the hunter

Timothy Lawrence

  1. “Chilll-dren…” (Night of the Hunter, 1955)
  2. Luke’s eerie descent into the cave (The Empire Strikes Back, 1980)
  3. Perverse Incarnation (“The video word made flesh”) in Videodrome (1983)
  4. Inland Empire (2006), which cost me several nights of sleep and turned me off of David Lynch movies for good.
  5. The last 30 seconds of Enemy (2014).

Honorable mention: Gone Girl (2014), one of the most convincing arguments for celibacy I have ever been presented with. I have also had an aversion to box cutters ever since.

mulholland drive

Joshua Gibbs

  • The scariest scene of all time is whatever is lurking behind that dumpster in Mulholland Drive.

Travis Kyker

  1. The Sloth – Se7en
  2. Dog Kennel Transformation – The Thing
  3. Final Scene – Enemy
  4. Bear Attack – Annihilation
  5. “All Work and No Play” discovery – The Shining


Tom Upjohn

  1. Seeing the red laces – Green Room
  2. The lover’s lane murders – Zodiac
  3. Meeting “Mrs. Bates” in the basement – Psycho
  4. Finding the basement of starving captives – The Road
  5. Professor Trelawney’s prophecy – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Evan Stewart

  1. “Not many people have basements in California.” (Zodiac)
  2. “Oh, you are sick.” (Eraserhead)
  3. Hammering the spiked-mask home. (Black Sunday)
  4. The crazed man weeps in the interrogation room. (Se7en)
  5. Takabe finds the X on Sakuma’s wall (Cure)


Robert Heckert

  1. Basement scene – The Conjuring (2013)
  2. Peek a boo – The Witch (2015)
  3. Interrupted wedding dinner – The Village (2004)
  4. Weathertop – The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  5. Police Station – Babadook (2014)

Robert Brown

  1. While Jonathan goes outside to move his car, Aunt Abby and Aunt Martha go to check on the window seat… (Arsenic and Old Lace, 1944)
  2. After the Halloween party, Ichabod Crane rides into the forest… (The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, 1949)
  3. Donovan chooses, poorly… (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 1989)
  4. The drums, the disappearance of Alan Parrish, and the mosquitos… (Jumanji, 1995)
  5. Harry and Hermione follow Bathilda Bagshot to her house… (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I, 2010)
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