This is by no means the first “Top 10 scariest films of all time” list. We know that. But after the Nerdcronomicon team started discussing our own list we discovered that each of us had very different opinions on what we found scary. In fact, some of us (Chris) would argue that very few films have scared the hell out of us, so we modified the label on our respective lists to include films that “might not have scared us, but at least altered our behavior in some way for at least a day.” That means that while Chris won’t admit that Arachnophobia scared the hell out of him, he did turn on the lights in the bathroom and check every nook and cranny for spiders for at least a day.
His behavior was modified.
So, what you can expect over the coming weeks is a separate list from Tyson, Silvia and Chris highlighting their top ten films that modified their behavior–or in the case of any of us that isn’t Chris, and thus aren’t too cool for school–scared the hell out of us.
Honorable Mention: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Don’t give me any shit about this one. Oompa Loompas. That God-awful boat ride. The little girl that eats blueberries and explodes, spraying her guts everywhere. Charlie and his Grandpa floating up into those fan blades and being hacked into pieces. Seriously, watch this one and tell me it’s not terrifying. If you’re really brave, watch it high….
Mongoloid banjo kid. Male butt rape. Compound fractures. Male butt rape. John Voight with a porn star mustache. Male butt rape. Enough said.
In space, no one can hear you scream.
But they can certainly see when your panties are 3 sizes too small. I ADORE the Alien franchise. This one made my list because when I visit my grandparent’s house to this day, I still imagine there’s a xenomorph that lives in the basement (he sleeps all curled up in the bass drum of my drum set, all cute-like), and sometimes I’ll sprint up the 3 flights of stairs to my room, imagining I’m being chased the whole time.
And they’ve got that whole creepy little penis-like mouth thing going on too.
#8 Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
This is one of the few that managed to keep me awake at night. Mom and Dad took me to the theater to see this (of course). I think I did fine right up until Victor brings Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) back to life and she’s all fucked up and bloody scalp and shit.
Mom used to tell me she lived in the attic.
Thank you, Mother.
#7 The Sixth Sense
No, I didn’t see the ending coming, and if you say you did you’re a fucking liar!
This made the list out of pure respect. And the vomit girl really DOES scare the shit out of me. You’ll see that that’s my reoccurring theme. Not a lot manages to scare me anymore, but if you’re old, sick or possessed, there’s a good chance you’ll horrify me.
#6 The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
I liked this movie. It made my list not because it scared me, but because I actually felt uneasy and even dirty after watching it. There are some seriously disturbing scenes in this one.
#5 The Others
I watched this one with my sister and we had to walk upstairs together holding each other afterwards. When I got to my room a poster fell off the wall. I got even more scared because I figured my sister was possessed. See #7.
#4 Dead Silence
Ventriloquist’s dolls. Funeral homes. Abandoned Opera houses. Donnie Wahlberg. What’s not to love? Watch this one alone in the dark and I can guarantee it will result in a “behavior modification” of some kind.
#3 The Exorcist
On most “top scariest films of all time” lists, The Exorcist falls under the #1 position more often than not. It’s only #3 for me, but in terms of “possession” films, it is THE undisputed king. I saw this for the first time on the big screen when it was re-released 15 years ago or so. It’s truly the last time I remember covering my eyes in a movie theater. BTW, the trailer in the video above is a rare find; much different than what you’re probably used to….
This one modified my behavior. Why? Because the movie has old people, sick people AND possessed people, that’s why. I still find myself waking up in the middle of the night needing a glass of water, hoping like hell I don’t see that old woman standing in the middle of my kitchen. My sweet, innocent wife is still fond of saying “Babe, shut the bedroom door so that old woman from Insidious doesn’t come in in the middle of the night.” What is wrong with the women in my life?!?
#1 Pet Semetary
If you’ve read my bio this one should be no surprise to you. I can’t stress this enough: I SHOULD HAVE HAD THERAPY AFTER WATCHING THIS!
I was 7.
I haven’t seen it since. It has the ultimate nightmare of a sick person in it: that creepy/meningitis-ridden/twisted fucking spine/puking/hiding in your fucking attic sister, Zelda. I’m seriously freaked out just writing about it.
And it’s all for you, dear readers….