Fear is universal, its power undeniable, but the funny thing about fear is not everyone is scared of the same things.
Some people fear heights, spiders or tight spaces.
Other people’s nightmares could be filled with armies of the living dead or all of your hair falling out.
We all experience fear but it is unique to every individual.
So when someone is asked what’s the scariest movie they’ve ever seen, remember its not what you feel is scary but more what scares them.
Being a horror movie enthusiast has allowed me to see plenty of flicks that gave me shivers.
Be it “Alien,” the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” or “Spice World.”
In the end, though, the film where my most deeply rooted fears dwell is “Jaws.”
“Jaws” might seem like a joke to some readers.
I’m dead serious.
Because the film is so ingrained in our culture we take its power for granted.
Name a movie other than “Jaws” that affected you in real life as a child.
“Chucky” is creepy for my generation because we remember our friends or siblings having “My Buddy” dolls.
“Freddy” questioned the safety of sleep, but the shark in “Jaws” (nicknamed “Bruce” by the director), taps into something so elemental, so real, I didnt even want to go into the deep end of the pool as a kid.
Like the character Quint from the movie says: “Sharks have lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a dolls eyes… when he comes at you, he doesn’t seem to be living, until he bites you and those black eyes roll over white. And then there’s that high pitched screaming and the ocean turns red as they rip you to pieces.”
I don’t remember how long it had been since I last saw “The Exorcist” before rewatching it this weekend.
Even though the film is 40 years old, there’s a reason why it’s still the scariest movie I have ever seen.
The night after rewatching it I was lying in bed for several hours.
Every time I closed my eyes the black and white demonic face of Pazuzu would pop right into my head.
I couldn’t help it.
I grew up Catholic so stories about the supernatural scare me the most.
I can handle gore and zombies, but make a film about an evil spirit and I can’t help but sleep with the light on.
When the religious boundaries are cast out into the ethers of our imagination, what is dragged up from the depths bring out our most primal fears.
“The Exorcist” follows the story of a young girl getting possessed by a demonic spirit and the exorcism to save her.
What makes the film so effective even to this day is the insane special effects and the ominous vibe it emits off the screen.
I still feel uncomfortable every time I watch it.
From projectile pea-soup vomit to crucifixes used in the most obscene of ways, the film revels in a steady flow of grotesque vulgarity that builds to an breathtaking climax.
Even when it’s not being up front with all the gross special effects, every element of it from the soundscape to the cinematography evokes this feeling that this is a film that shouldn’t be watched.
The makeup effects on the little girl, Reagan after the evil spirit takes control still makes me queasy when I look directly at it.
Makeup legend Dick Smith set a standard for all other celluloid demonic possessions to come with his work on the film.
All the effects combined together seamlessly to amplify the transformation of Reagan’s cute 14-year-old persona into a malevolent head-spinning demon with no trace of humanity left.
Every year there seems to be a new film dabbling in the sub genre of demonic possession, and every year they can’t compete with a 40-year-old movie that did everything right the first time round.