Voices Of The Syndicate: “What’s Your Scariest Film Scene… Ever?!?”

Attention Syndicate Shoppers!!! You could well are argue that we should have done this last month in sync with All Hallow’s Eve, but we thought we’d wait until all the hype was over, and ask that searching question: “What is your scariest horror film / scene – ever?!?” Now to be clear, this is not their ‘favourite’, or the one with the best special effects, but that one scene / film that they really shouldn’t have watched when they were younger and probably scarred them for life?!? Here’s a few of our responses… starting with my own:

SILVERFOX: I don’t remember exactly how young I was, but back in the day when BBC2 used to do a horror double bill on a Saturday night, I snuck down and watched the two Dr Phibes movies back to back… no CGI back then – real meat packed into latex for the scary scenes… didn’t sleep for a month…

STACEY: I’m not sure whether this necessarily counts as a horror, but when I was a very young kid (think 7 or 8 years old, ish) I remember not being able to sleep. I went downstairs for a Mama Frosty cuddle and walked in on the playground nightmare scene from Terminator 2. On seeing Sarah Connor basically melt in a fiery doom, I burst into tears and couldn’t get to sleep for weeks!

AMY: I will never forget watching IT when I was way to young to watch it. Clown with fangs will never be forgotten!!!

IAN: I used to watch Hammer House of Horror when I was 9. I used to watch it with my Nan! I have a weird and maybe false memory about a rabbit torn apart, that I still think of every now and then, but I’m not sure it was from that show.

L McC: I only remember having one nightmare as a child. It involved dancing skeletons, and I think I was about five years old. It was right after I saw Star Wars for the first time. Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen didn’t scare me at the time, though I did think they were gruesome and those Stormtroopers must be really bad dudes to do that. But they apparently stayed with me and visited me again that night. So, that’s my scarring, I suppose. That and Something Wicked This Way Comes. I don’t remember a specific scene, but I do remember seeing that when I was nine, and it scared me to death for sure.

AMY-JAYNE: There was this one film I remember seeing a couple of times on TCM. It involved 2 children being possessed by two ghosts and driving their nanny insane. It was only a few months ago I found out it’s called The Innocents.

SOFFIA: Not a scary film to most, but as I child I was TERRIFIED of E.T. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the film all in one go, or even the whole thing at all. As a child I couldn’t understand why people like that creepy alien so much, I thought he was evil (mainly based on his looks and voice, couldn’t judge actions because I was TOO DAMNED SCARED OF HIM TO WATCH THE FILM) Obviously the rest of my family had no problems watching the film when it was on the telly, despite my protests and warnings about how evil E.T. was I had to sit with them as they watched – queue me hiding in various places so I couldn’t see the telly. If my siblings ever wanted to give me a scare at bedtime they would turn the upstairs light off and tell me E.T. was waiting for me in the dark. I also had a fear of Gremlins for YEARS. I never saw the original film and honestly I think my fear came from that episode of the Twilight Zone(or the film?) where a man can see a monster on the wing of an airplane. I distinctly recall being terrified as a small child as I watched that. I was either told that monster was a germlin or it was mentioned in the scene and my small mind connected that experience with the film Gremlins. Didn’t help that the Gremlin gremlins were visually scary to me, adding to me being stressed about them hiding in the dark corners of my bedroom at night.

RIC: The film that totally mangled my tiny pre-teen mind was Time Masters (originally Les Maîtres du temps). It’s a French animated film about an interstellar rescue mission that gets increasingly complicated by treacherous ship-mates, local warlords, vicious alien creatures, and eventually time-travel shenanigans that provide a twist so impressive the film basically just stops as soon as it’s revealed. It’s quite a trip, in at least two scenes (and you can theoretically watch it for free on Youtube, not that we endorse that kind of copyright-based naughtiness). I can’t remember exactly when I watched it – I think I must have been about ten – but it was the school holidays, and one of the terrestrial channels was broadcasting it in the middle of the day, presumably to give parents a break from their bored schoolchildren. I’m sure no-one involved intended to invoke existential horror upon the viewer, but there are a couple of scenes in the film that really clawed at my brain, twisting it into new shapes. The creature that lured people to its planet and transformed them into mindless, faceless angels was scary enough (I’ve still never got that image out of my mind), and the creepy tendrils that snatch, strangle and consume anything that strays into their caves were profoundly unsettling too. The worst by far, though, was the endless swarm of identical buzzing insects, flat like arrowheads the size of wolves. At one point they attack and try to eat the child at the centre of story, who couldn’t have been much younger than I was at the time. That scene terrified me so completely that I had nightmares about it for months afterwards, and I’m pretty sure was the main if not only cause of the entomophobia that has haunted me ever since. As a child I always told grown-ups I wanted to study insects when I got older. As a teenager I couldn’t be in the same room as a beetle.
CAPT JACK WABBIT: ET scared me too. Not as badly as you, but when the guys in the suits come through the windows? Yep. That got me. I do remember being freaked out enough by it to need my mom to settle me down about it. But ET himself was ok for me. I so wanted to be Eliot..
WENDY: For me it was Child’s Play. Now I’m a hardened horror fan, and nothing bothers me. However back when I was around 7-9, I came across a VHS of a movie my mum had recorded (I get my love of horror from her!) it was Child’s Play – so I sat there early before school one day, when parents were still in bed and watched it. OMG! I have never been so scared – cue lots of nightmares (even when in parents bed), and I had to get rid of a walking talking doll my beloved godfather got me, as I was too scared! I was safe nowhere, was Chucky hiding under the bed, in the cupboard? Who knows! I was traumatised for a while due to that movie! Yes I have watched it since, and it has no effect on me! I blame my Godfathers doll! I actually saw something today that reminded me of a film. It’s an odd Disney film called Darby O’Gill and The Little People. It has a young Sean Connnery in it – and one scene petrified me. Google Banshee scene in this film and you will see why! This horrible wraith appears and starts wailing due to imminent death of someone, she flies around and then you see a close up of her face. As an 8-9 year old it terrified me – even now seeing it, I can see the effects, but it still sends goosebumps up my neck anyway! The Ring Wraiths in the animated version of LOTR also had the same effect, and for the same reason – that horrible dark face! Brrr…..and now I have bloody Dementors – great!
MATT:  The Mother alien coming out of the ship in Close Encounters. Seeing that at 6 years old terrified me.
JAMES: Horror films I find terribly predictable and not scary in the slightest as I always know it is just a film.  However, saying that there is one film that scares me – or more accurately the memory of it does, as I know if I watched it now I wouldn’t be fussed at all (I haven’t watched it since specifically so there is still a film out there that makes me feel this way). The film in question is the Wizard of Oz, more specifically the scene where the Wicked Witch of the West is melting away. Think I was a bit too young when I very first watched it and had nightmares for days.
…and the final word goes to  DIRECTOR NUGE: I remember as a kid my older brothers downstairs watching The Omen. I was too young and had been packed off to bed. The problem was the TV was quite loud and although I could not hear the dialogue I could hear the soundtrack and the occasional scream. I did not sleep well for weeks. To this day I have not watched the Omen because every time I hear any of the music from that film it scares me more than that film ever could. It was one my first lessons in the power of a film soundtrack to affect your emotional state.
Thanks to everyone who contributed, and hopefully there’s one or two gems here that you’ve not seen which you’ll be investigating on a quiet night when you’re home alone…
Let us know what films scare you and why!
GS Blogger: SilverFox

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One comment

  1. Very few things scare me any more, but the two most effective horror moments I’ve seen on film come from The Haunting (1963), the moment where the door breathes, and Dead of Night (1945), everything from Dr Van Straaten’s story onwards.

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