Horror Scenes That I Love: Dr. Loomis Explains Michael Myers in the original Halloween


Now, this is good acting!

In this scene from the original Halloween, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) attempts, as best he can, to explain the unexplainable.  I’ve always felt that Pleasence’s performance in the first film is extremely underrated.  People always tend to concentrate on the scenes where he gets angry and yells or the later films where an obviously fragile Pleasence was clearly doing the best he could with poorly written material.  But, to me, the heart of Pleasence’s performance (and the film itself) is to be found in this beautifully delivered and haunting monologue.

In this scene, we see that Dr. Loomis is himself a victim of Michael Myers.  Spending the last fifteen years with Michael has left Loomis shaken and obviously doubting everything that he once believed.  Whenever I watch both Halloween and its sequel, I always feel very bad for Dr. Loomis.  Not only did he have to spend 15 years with a soulless psychopath but, once Michael escapes, he has to deal with everyone blaming him for it.  Dr. Loomis was literally the only person who saw Michael for what he was.

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Ending of Friday the 13th


Since today is October 13th, I figured that today’s horror scene of the day should be one of the best endings ever!

I’m talking, of course, about the ending of 1980’s Friday the 13th.  You can say what you want about the rest of the film (though, personally, I think the film’s underrated) but the ending is brilliant.  No, it doesn’t really make much sense, both in the context of the film and in the Jason-dominated sequels that followed.  That’s probably because the ending was a last-minute addition.  It wasn’t designed to make sense.  It was designed to make audiences scream and hopefully set the groundwork for a sequel.

But no matter!  I still love everything about this scene.  I love how thing sopen with that serene lake.  I love the calming music in the background.  I love the feeling that everything’s going to be safe.  And then suddenly …. AGCK!  It may not be as effective today because we all know it’s going to happen but I bet this scared the Hell out of people back in 1980.

“He’s still out there.”

 

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Devil Is Everywhere In Haxan


Today’s scene that I love comes from the 1922 silent film, Haxan!

Haxan is a documentary, one that recreates the history of witchcraft throughout the ages.  In this scene, the film examines the belief that the devil is everywhere.  Apparently, the Devil has a lot of free time on his hands.

Directed by Benjamin Christensen, Haxan was a Swedish film that was released in its native country in 1922 but which took 7 years to make it over the United States.  Though contemporary audiences were a bit confused by it, it was popular with the surrealists and it quickly became one of the first true cult movies.  It was even re-released in 1967 with a narration provided by Beat writer William S. Burroughs.

Haxan, like many silent films, exists in many different forms.  Needless to say, the censors were not kind when this film originally made its way over to the United States.  It wasn’t until 2001 that Haxan was fully restored and released as a part of the Criterion Collection.

Horror Scenes That I Love: From Pieces, The Greatest Line Reading Ever


I may have shared this scene before.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that I did because I can remember discussing this scene with Val Troutman.

Oh well, no matter!  There are some things that deserve to be shared more than once!

This scene comes from the 1982 film, Pieces.  Now, for the record, it’s not easy find an appropriate scene to share from Pieces.  Just about every scene in the movie seems to either feature gratuitous nudity or really bloody violence.  I mean, it’s probably nothing that would shock our jaded readers but it is the type of stuff that would probably get this site blocked from being accessed from a public library.

But then there’s this scene right here.  Now, in order to understand what’s happening here, you should keep in mind that Lynda Day George is playing an undercover cop who also happens to be a tennis pro.  She’s been assigned to the local college.  Her job is to figure out who is using a chainsaw to kill all of the students.  Unfortunately, she sucks at her job so she has to get this kinda nerdy college student to help her out.

Anyway, after spending the morning playing tennis, they’ve just discovered a dead body in the showers.  Yes, the killer has struck again and …. well, it was really messy.  Speaking as someone who appreciates a clean house and a carefully organized day, I can relate to the reaction below:

By the way, it’s impossible for me to watch this scene without thinking about the episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia where they’re playing Chardee McDennis and the question is, “Dennis is asshole.  Why Charlie hate?”

“Because Dennis is a bastard, man!”

Anyway, stay safe.

Horror Scenes I Love: The Beyond


The Beyond

Lisa has written in detail how much she enjoys Fulci’s The Beyond. From it’s Lovecraftian themes of otherworldly dangers to Fulci’s stylistic choice of focusing on characters’ eyes and blindness.

Others also love how Fulci is able to combine not just the grand guignol sequences that his films have become famous (or infamous depending on how one judges horror films) with an ethereal look to the visuals that borders the line between being dream-like and nightmarish.

This particular scene doesn’t have that grand guignol panache of Fulci’s more dynamic scenes, but it does give a hint to the desolation and etheric sense one feels seeing that empty causeway with just Liza driving on it then suddenly seeing Emily and her guide dog just standing there at the lane divider.

While I have always had a boyhood crush when it comes to Catriona McColl, I must admit that Cinzia Monreale was quite beautiful in this film even with the weird contacts she wore to show her as having being blinded by what she saw in the beyond.

Horror Scenes That I Love: Trish Van Devere Explores The House In The Changeling


Since it’s Thanksgiving in Canada, it seems appropriate that today’s horror scene that I love should come from one of the best Canadian horror films of all time and….

What?

No, it’s not the disco scene from Prom Night!  Anyway, I’ve already shared that scene like a thousand times….

No, this scene is from the 1980 film, The Changeling.  Directed by Peter Medak, the film is about a house that’s haunted by the spirit of a boy who was murdered there decades ago.  When George C. Scott moves into the house, he discovers the truth about not just the murder but the political conspiracy that led to it.  It’s a really good movie.  You should watch it.

Anyway, in this atmospheric scene, Trish Van Devere explores the house.  It’s always a bit strange to watch a horror scene devoid of context but let me just say that The Changeling is such an atmopsheric and intense ghost film that you’ll never want to wander around a potentially haunted house again once you’ve seen it!