It may seem like ages the question was asked on DV, but don’t think we ever forget a question here. DV asked its members which movie scared them most when they were young and after an excruciating long time a top ten was compiled. Just in time for Halloween. So here it is:
10. David Cronenberg
Oh, allow us to cheat for the tenth place. Yes, we know David Cronenberg isn’t a movie but a director, but we have good reason to add him here. First because his movies are apparently so scary nearly every movie was mentioned in our poll but none stood out as the scariest (which is why you won’t find Alfred Hitchcock in this list either). And because we genuinely like his movies. Surprisingly it wasn’t Jeff Goldblum slowly turning into a fly or James Woods inserting video tapes and guns into his belly, but Naked Lunch that was mentioned most. I must admit having given typewriters suspicious looks myself after watching the film. David Cronenberg, scarring audiences since 1975. A tenth position most definitely deserved!
9. The Wizard of Oz
Now there’s a film I wouldn’t expect here, but a lot of members remember being forced to watch The Wizard of Oz by their parents and getting scared by the Wicked Witch.
8. Nightmare on Elm Street
Many members recalled how Freddy popped up in their dreams the night after they’d watched the first Elm Street movie. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 managed to get zero votes, proving not even Freddy Krueger remains scary.
Number seven is another classic and for some reason it’s the film that members felt least necessary to explain why they found it so scary. Let us guess: the monster that kept hiding in the dark? The creature that broke its way out of a stomach? Alien is constant creepiness.
“Uncomfortable”, that’s the word that popped up most when members described this film. The vicious rape, the fire extinguisher… they found this film brutal and graphic. I Spit On Your Grave was mentioned in a lot of comparisons, but Irréversible was allegedly even more uncomfortable. (No mention of Extremities then, the rape revenge movie that was so awful I found myself turning against the revenging victim.)
5. The Shining
It seemed scary too, ending up on the 11th spot (joining Romero‘s Dawn of the Dead), but nothing could beat Johnny being “here” and several other scenes that made our membership hide behind the couch. Even the hallways looked scary.
It’s not just monster movies in here. This BBC movie made in the 80s showed the fallout of a nuclear attack in such detail it managed to scar nearly everyone who ever watched it. It’s not a pleasant trip to sit through, but it packs enough punches to make you join the next anti-war movement. Threads at 4, because nothing is scarier than humanity.
3. A Clockwork Orange
Which brings us to number three. If we’d made a list of the scariest directors, George A. Romero would’ve ended up third, Cronenberg on the second spot, but noone is scarier than Stanley Kubrick who’s ended up twice in this poll. Rape, violence and Beethoven: does anyone know a scarier combination?
It made our members afraid to swim in the sea and, let’s face it, isn’t that a sign of powerful horror? (Good thing they didn’t watch Psycho on the same night or our members would only wash themselves with soaked washcloths.)
1. The Exorcist
Mark Kermode would’ve been proud of us: The Exorcist ends up on top again. And two more votes would’ve made The Exorcist III end up in our top ten as well. So apparently DV’s members like pea soup, scary stairs and novel ways of using a crucifix. We’re catering to a sick bunch, we are.