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  • There's nothing that makes you want to sleep with the lights on more than a good old fashioned scary movie.

  • But how does that work to figure it out?

  • We took a look at some of these scenes that did it best.

  • These are our picks for the seven scariest moments of all time kicking us off at number seven.

  • Let's get it out of the way.

  • The jump scare.

  • People complain a lot about jump scares in horror films.

  • And if these people are to be believed, jump scares are played out, but we don't think that's true.

  • We think that bad jump scares are played out mostly because the audience is way way ahead of the filmmakers.

  • We see those hiding spots a mile away but filmmakers who can keep ahead of expectations, who can put jump scares where we least expect them.

  • That's what we love says to us on some deep subconscious level.

  • That place you thought you were safe.

  • Yeah, there's danger there too.

  • Think insidious is from behind a head Friday the 13th.

  • From in the water.

  • The rings from beyond a cut.

  • The descent in the darkness carries below ground.

  • The fellowship of the rings right in front of us and even the cabin in the woods title.

  • However, for number seven, we've got to give it to Jaws, even when you know it's coming, you almost don't know it's coming and sure the sound helps it along.

  • But the real genius here is that Jaws sneaks around our expectations by not even letting us think.

  • It's a horror movie.

  • It's a horror in disguise, a low key horror that doesn't have any of the surface signifiers to warn us to keep our guards up.

  • So we sit back, relax and spend our time watching it like an action film or a disaster film or maybe even a thriller.

  • But we're not sniffing out jump scares.

  • So when one does emerge, it's all the better.

  • Next up at number six, we're moving from surprise to suspense and where the jump scare hits us where we don't see it coming.

  • The suspense scare hits us where we do.

  • Well, almost do suspense is really just fear of the unknown anxiety about the future.

  • You take your protagonist, you confront them with the terrifyingly deadly outcome and then inject a ambiguity into the mix.

  • It's the closet in Halloween.

  • It's the bathtub in Lady Aoli, the hallway in nos frau the basement in silence of the lands and the ending of wreck.

  • And while those all make us wet our collective drawers, we think that Zodiac takes the wet drawer kick.

  • This tip is how you got it in your head.

  • That Rick is the zodiac.

  • That in the poster.

  • The poster, the poster that Rick drew.

  • The handwriting is the closest that we have ever come to a match.

  • Rick didn't draw any posters.

  • No, he drew this one.

  • Mr Graysmith.

  • I do the posters myself.

  • That's my handwriting.

  • I won't, I won't take any more of your time.

  • Why don't I just go and find out when we play that film?

  • But that's all right.

  • It's not a problem just down in the basement.

  • Not many people have basements in California.

  • I do zodiac devotes its entire plot up to this point building up a terrifying impression of the killer and teaching us subtle clues that might identify him.

  • And then when all of a sudden, Bob Vaughan starts ticking all the clue boxes, we can't help but recall that terrifying reputation he now might possess while Fincher is as always pitch perfect in his execution of the scene.

  • Building the suspense into a fever pitch of terror through camera and editing an audio.

  • We think the reason it's so effective is that while we might be yelling, don't go down there.

  • You idiot at the screen.

  • He's not an idiot.

  • He's not walking down there without any sense, but in spite of his sense, his character is just as afraid as us.

  • But his decision to press onward is completely in keeping with who he is curious and obsessive to a fault and the best part, despite the distinct probability of getting super murdered, we're so curious that we want to go down there with him too.

  • At number five, we've got a twist on suspense that takes it one step further.

  • It's not the suspense that comes from knowing something bad might happen, but the dread that comes from just kind of suspecting that it might.

  • It's a feeling, not a thought.

  • It's a visceral uneasiness, a nameless anxiety, not a conscious objection.

  • Our emotions are telling us to feel suspense, but our intellects got no reason to confirm it in stark contrast to the surprise of the jump scare.

  • This succeeds on being familiar.

  • It's usually hidden away in the way the story is told.

  • Not the story itself.

  • It's the imperceptible, an inexplicable shift in the music.

  • It's the shot that's holding way way too long.

  • It's the meta narrative understanding that the filmmakers have got to do something bad sometime soon.

  • It's right before we meet Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw massacre.

  • It's the first kill in Jaws.

  • It's most of the entirety of the Blair Witch project.

  • It's the hospital scene in Exorcist three.

  • It's every part in a movie where the horror strings swell for no goddamn reason other than that's what they do.

  • However, our favorite version of this might just be the diner scene from Mulholland Drive.

  • You came to see if he's out there to get rid of this God awful feeling right?

  • Then this scene is such a perfect example because while we're feeling it, watching it, Patrick Fischler's character is feeling it, living it and there's perhaps no one better at executing it than David Lynch.

  • He sets us up with a brilliantly detailed story of a dream, the illogical, emotional terror of it and then prods us through it.

  • Us no reason to fear anything except that we do with the reverie sound creeping drone and lingering POV camera.

  • He gives us subtle emotional cues to feel uneasy.

  • Exactly like the memory of a dream mic.

  • So when the jump scare at the end confirms our nonsensical fears, it turns our whole world upside down.

  • Moving forward to number four, we're turning away from those scares that play with our expectations and anxieties.

  • And instead looking at the ones that frighten us on a primal level.

  • And first up, we want to talk about the grotesque, the shocking perversion of the human body.

  • There's something intrinsic to human nature that makes looking at the distorted human form horrifying.

  • It's the reason for the uncanny valley.

  • It's a fate worse than death.

  • A waking death.

  • It plays on our basic fear of mutilation are repressed, denial of the fallibility of our body.

  • It's the distorted figure like in Jacob's Ladder, the others safe in the Dark Crystal.

  • It's torture porn like eyes without a face, martyrs, misery or human centipede.

  • It's body horror like American werewolf in London.

  • The thing Tetsuo eraserhead video drone and Pinocchio.

  • That's right.

  • Pinocchio for our number four pick.

  • We think it's gotta be the demonic perversion of a little girl from the exorcist shit.

  • I love um oh my God, that the exorcist is brilliant with its body horror because it's not as much the form of the human body that's distorted but its movement and it doesn't just pick any old victim, a devil with red skin and horns that we can deal with.

  • But a little girl in pajamas feels so evil.

  • The distance between the fantasy of the story and the reality of our lives is collapsed.

  • It's playing on the border of the familiar all the while making it dreadfully horrifyingly strange.

  • There's something wrong, something deeply inhumanly wrong and it's hard to watch, which is exactly why we want you to watch it.

  • The human form isn't the only thing movies can pervert.

  • It's often just as effective to pervert the human psyche.

  • This time, your character is even more familiar, but something about the way they act is just off.

  • It's creepiness, eeriness.

  • It's the chilling sensation of stranger danger.

  • Think the beach from under the skin, the end of psycho, the kitty kitty kitty kitty from audition.

  • It's Frank from Blue Velvet, the pedophile from gone baby gone.

  • And that goddamn air conditioner that ruined my childhood from the brave little toaster.

  • They're all terrifying, twisted psyches and innocent looking packages, things we've deeply repressed as part of our everyday socialization and the scariest of them all the death drive.

  • If Freud is to be believed, the death drive is a compulsion towards self destruction.

  • It is repressed, subverted, converted, defeated.

  • So when we see someone enact this self destruction directly upon themselves, it's the absolute worst.

  • Now, we too be the monster by whom we are victimized.

  • We can't be trusted because somewhere deep inside our subconscious is a death drive waiting to escape.

  • Think hellraiser or anti-christ or mirrors or the omen or again with the exorcist, they shock us in a way little else can.

  • But if there's an award for most scarring of the bunch, it has to go to Cachet.

  • But before it does, this is a serious spoiler for an incredible film and an immensely disturbing sight.

  • So proceed with caution.

  • Yeah, because you spit, you'll see that one right there.

  • Auto.

  • OK.

  • KK seven DM.

  • Yes, you do.

  • She with me.

  • You s Mali we pas death just comes so suddenly this is a spine chilling expression of immense pain.

  • A disturbing reminder of the fragility of life.

  • A psychological jump scare.

  • It is grotesque of the body.

  • It is grotesque of the mind.

  • It is danger from where we least expected it and it's absolutely horrifying.

  • There's no fancy camera work, no unknown outcome, no streaking score.

  • Just a man in his terrible pain.

  • Way too close for comfort.

  • Closing in at number two, there's a certain kind of scare that besets upon us from all sides and not just the protagonist as proxy but seemingly us, the viewers themselves, in contrast to the jump scare where it's over in an instant where the various forms of suspense that toy with the idea that something bad might happen.

  • This kind of scare puts us right in the middle of that bad thing happening right now and leaves us there.

  • The shower sequence psycho is the perfect prototype.

  • We are being stabbed over and over.

  • Annihilation is approaching from all sides.

  • Wherever the camera turns, there's a knife and it's not just the characters in the story that are assaulting us.

  • The editing and the music are almost literally cutting into our experience.

  • It's horrifying.

  • However, for our number two pick, we're even more impressed by the ending of Nicholas Rogue's don't look now.

  • It's ok, but it's ok.

  • Mhm And a friend.

  • Yeah.

  • Yeah.

  • It's simultaneously a physical annihilation and a psychological.

  • There's a realization embedded in his dying thoughts, a realization that destroys his former worldview.

  • But even as the montage gives us logic and story, it's more about the effect of the cutting is assaulting us with all kinds of frightening imagery, evocative imagery.

  • It's a violent rush of imagery.

  • It attacks us as we watch it, the church bells assault us as we listen.

  • There's little time dedicated here to the surprise and the suspense of it and more to the abject or of death.

  • And that's what this sequence is a cinematic interpretation of the experience of death.

  • A final descent of the symbolic into bloody madness.

  • At the core of all this fear of all this suspense and surprise and terror and horror and piercing violins and flashing frames is one thing, death, literally or symbolically, each of these scares confronts us with the threat of death.

  • The experience of death.

  • The fallibility of our defense is in the face of death and where our number two assaulted us with the cataclysmic violence of death.

  • Our number one tries to overwhelm us with something even worse than nothing.

  • The utter hopelessness and emptiness and bleakness and suffocation and meaninglessness of the void and we won't beat around the bush here.

  • Although there are moments in Donny Darko where we sneak a feel of this and we think Kubrick also manages a pretty dreadful sense of doom.

  • At