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Top 5 Scariest Moments in Film

By Say Peng  /  30 May 2019 (Thursday)

What makes a movie scary is very subjective. 

For some people, 'Hereditary' was one of the scariest movies of 2018, but my friend didn't find it scary at all.

But there are some horror sequences or scenes that can be said to be universally agreed to be scary.

Here are 5 of what we think are the scariest scenes of all time.

5. The Shower scene in 'Psycho'

Probably not scary at all for modern audiences today, but the shower scene from the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' shocks audiences out of their seats when the film first screened in 1960.

One of the earliest film from the slasher genre, 'Psycho' follows Marion Crane, a secretary who escapes to a motel after stealing money from her employer, and encounters the motel's owner-manager, Norman Bates, who, to put it mildly, is not of sound mind.

And actually, if you watch the movie again today, the tension and suspense of the movie still hold up well. A classic is a classic for a reason.

4. The Literal Head-turning Scene in 'Exorcist'

When 'The Exorcist' was released in 1973, it was reported that viewers had suffered nausea, vomited, or fainted, with one woman saying that she had miscarried. 

There are many graphic scenes from the film but in terms of sheer horror originality, nothing beats seeing the young Linda Blair, possessed by the demon, spin her head 180 degrees. It was so unexpected that it must have churned many people's stomach. 

3. The bathroom scene in 'The Shining'

'The Shining' is unarguably one of the best horror films out there.

There are many iconic moments from 'The Shining', including the river of blood scene and the famous one where Jack hacks through the door and shouts: "Here's Johnny!".

But the one that takes the cake for me is the one where Jack meets a beautiful woman in the bathroom and proceeds to make out with her, only to find out the woman is actually a hideous old hag.

It'd make some guys think twice about kissing any beautiful woman.

2. When Tun discovers the ghost has been sitting on his shoulders all along in 'Shutter'

One of the best Thai horror movies of all time, 'Shutter' follows photographer Tun (Ananda Everingham) who is haunted by the ghost of his ex-girlfriend Natre. 

When he discovers that he is being haunted, he tries to take pictures of every room in his house but does not see Natre in any of the photos.

In a fit of anger, Tun throws his camera across the room and the camera goes off, taking a photograph of Tun, revealing that Natre sitting on Tun's shoulders all along.

The moment of revelation is downright horrifying.

1. Sadako climbing out of the well in 'Ring'

'Ring', or 'Ringu' in Japanese, is one of the seminal horror films and the image of Sadako climbing out of the well and out of the TV screen is as ubiquitous as Alfred Hitchcock's silhouette. I don't think there is another sequence in horror film history that can beat the sheer terror one experiences watching Sadako crawl closer and closer towards us. 

Directed by Hideo Nakata, 'Ring' follows a reporter who is trying to investigate the mystery behind a cursed videotape that kills the viewer seven days after watching it.

Since then, there have been numerous American remakes, even spawning a franchise. 

But this year, the one and only Nakata is back with 'Sadako', which looks like a new reimagination of Sadako rather than a sequel. 

'Sadako' is currently showing in cinemas.
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