Today’s horror scene that I love comes from the 1953 film, The War of the Worlds.
Now, it’s probably not quite correct to say that I love this scene. This is a scary scene and not necessairly one that you’ll want to revisit a hundred times. Instead, this is a scene that I think is extremely well-done. It’s a scene that perfectly establishes the fact that, in this film, humanity has no hope when it comes to defeating the Martians. Trying to reason with them, as Uncle Matthew does, is useless. Trying to fight them, as the army does, is useless. Matthew is atomized as he approaches in peace. The tough and plain-spoken military man — a reassuring authority figure in so many 50s films — is destroyed as he orders everyone out of the bunker. The Martians, meanwhile, are unstoppable and, even worse, they are without mercy or concern for the people that they are destroying.
Seriously, this is a frightening scene when viewed today! I can only imagine how it traumatized audiences in 1953. If you need evidence of this fact, just consider that YouTube actually put a warning on the video that it might be too traumatic for some viewers.
After watching this scene, all I can say is Thank God for the common cold.