I enjoy being scared. No, really – I do. And there’s nothing better than a good ol’ fashioned jump scare in a horror movie. It takes a lot to get me to spill my Goobers everywhere or grab onto the total stranger sitting next to me – but when it happens, it’s pretty horror-gasmic. See what I did there? Anyway, thanks to my surprise sleeper horror movie so far this year, The Prodigy – I did get a good little jolt in my pants. Watch the scene below and wait for the moment in the hallway……
Now, imagine being a theater on opening weekend when it was somewhat crowded and that scene happened. It’s like, you kind of knew something was coming – but at the same time, it seemed like the kid was just going to run and hug his Mom like a normal scared kid would. Either way, it’s effective and The Prodigy overall was pretty effective in my opinion. Seek it out if you can, because there’s one other scene that didn’t necessarily make me jump – but it was creepy and well done and got a few yelps from the audience when I saw it. (hint, hint – it’s another face changing scene)
Now I will admit that although I liked last year’s Lights Out, I didn’t love it…..at least upon my first viewing. But – I recently watched it again and have to say that there are some genuinely creepy and unsettling moments AND I may have even jumped a few times. I’m usually jump scare immune, but dammit if this movie didn’t get me a few times. More specifically, the black light scene below that someone was kind enough to upload onto Youtube.
If you’ve seen it, you know what’s coming. If not, here’s a slight spoiler alert: There’s a jump scare that comes in the clip. Which you should have already known based on the title of this post. Enjoy and change your pants afterwards!
I always seem to forget about Drag Me To Hell. And every time that I do remember it, another scene pops into my head. Sorry to say that it isn’t the scene where the toothless gypsy woman gnaws on Christine’s face in the parking garage. It’s all about jump scares this time, and Drag Me To Hell has one of the best jump scares of all time in the scene below. There’s even a precursor jump scare to the main jump scare to warm you up a little bit.
I think the reason that the ‘Window Demon’ jump scare works so well is because there is already a sense of chaos established after Christine sees the shadow come under the door. Things are already ramping up, so when the jump scare happens, it’s effective and mostly because of the intense sound design of the demon’s voice. If you didn’t jump at all at that moment in the scene, then congratulations to you for being better than everyone else who did jump! There’s a cake coming in your honor and maybe a stripper too. I’m writing with sarcasm by the way, so you can’t hold me to those promises.
I love being startled by something unexpected in a horror movie. It lets me know that I need to be kept on my toes and be ready for anything. Kind of like when young Regan in The Exorcist was inappropriately banging herself with a crucifix. Definitely a “Did that just really happen?” kind of moment. In 2009, director Ti West gave us one of those moments in his fantastic slow-burn horror movie, The House Of The Devil.
I love this film, but it’s one that you have to be patient with. And if you have the patience, you’ll be rewarded with scenes like the one where Megan (Greta Gerwig) is confronted by Victor Ulman (A.J. Bowen) as she tries to enjoy a cigarette while sitting in her car. It will make you think of ducking if someone ever stops you and asks “Are you not the babysitter?”
Now there have been a lot of ‘gunshot to the head’ death scenes in horror movies over the years, but that one just might be my favorite. Obviously you know that something is probably going to happen to Megan, but it’s the sheer suddenness of it all that puts this headshot on the top of the list for me and made me say “Holy shit!“. Poor Megan. She probably wishes she had stuck around and ate some more pizza instead of leaving and getting her nicotine fix. They sure do like pizza in this movie by the way.