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’
Some things are just obvious. Bears shit in the woods. Bacon tastes good. And Zelda from Pet Sematary scared the shit out of me and still does. In past Give Me The Creeps posts, I’ve mentioned that it takes a lot to really creep me out. Well if there’s one thing I can always rely on when I do happen to watch 1989’s Pet Sematary, it’s that any scene that involves Zelda will make my heart beat just a little faster than it was. Another thing I can rely on is that I constantly picture Herman Munster every time Fred Gwynne talks, but that’s a separate issue I have.
*yes baby….I have one hand on it right now*
Let’s get back to Zelda. See, it’s kind of sad because you want to feel sorry for her after all. She had spinal meningitis, was a bit deformed because of it, and choked to death while eating. But I dare you to feel any compassion when that dream sequence pops up in the movie where Rachel finds Zelda hunched over in the corner. Wear a diaper if you have to (it’s ok, there are commercials now with celebrities that say it’s perfectly normal to do so), because that scene alone is definitely a game changer when it comes to horror.
*look away….I’m hideous*
When she lunges at the camera, she effectively makes it feel like she’s lunging after YOU! Fuck that. Check please. To make it even creepier, director Mary Lambert hired a male actor to play Zelda (Andrew Hubatsek) upping the ante of the scare factor. It’s just one of those rare scenes not just from a horror movie, but a movie in general, that burrows itself under your skin and leaves you with images that will give you nightmares. So here’s to you Zelda from Pet Sematary, you gave me the creeps and you still do to this day. Now please go away.