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.
Much like the brainless girl who takes her top off and then gets killed minutes later, the jump scare is a necessity in horror cinema. Sure, it’s a cheap thrill – but that little jolt in my seat can win me over in the end, especially if I’m on the fence about a movie. It can also make me ponder wearing a diaper, but that’s another embarrassing story.
So many horror movies and so many good jump scares over the years. But as I was watching 2012’s Sinister last night again, I was reminded of one of the better ones in recent memory. If you’ve seen Sinister, then you probably know what part I’m talking about. The creepiest moments of this film are located within the home movies that Ethan Hawke’s character finds while living in his new house. All of them will make you cringe, but only one has a jump scare worthy of being on the ‘Greatest Moments In Jump Scare History‘ list. I now present to you: ‘Lawn Work’