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The Greatest Scenes Of The 21st Century, So Far... And Some That Weren't So Great.



It’s hard to believe we are already two decades into the 21st century. It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago that the miniature, purple, goblin of pop, Prince was ordering us to party like it’s 1999. I did as he requested and I’m still feeling the effects of that hangover twenty years later.


Since we rolled the calenders forward to 2020, I have read a plethora of articles listing what the authors believe to be the best horror movies of the last twenty years and I concluded that I didn’t want to be banging out more of the same, so I figured I would do something a little different.


Buried amongst the mountains of remakes and reboots, the last twenty years have brought us some wonderfully original movies. I originally wanted to pick my favourite scene from a movie for each year of the last twenty, but picking only one scene is so hard so, I limited myself to my favourite three scenes of each year.


To balance things out, considering there has been some serious crap committed to film, I have also picked what I consider being the worst scene of the year.


So, stop what you’re doing. Zip your pants up and come with me as we whizz back through time to revisit the best horror movie scenes of the 21st Century… Oh, and the shittiest.


2000


BEST


Final Destination



Catching a Bus


It’s hard to believe now after so many sequels of diminishing quality that Final Destination was not only a refreshingly original idea but also an inspired one.


Having avoided a plane crash, thanks to the visions of one of their schoolmates, the survivors of Flight 180 now find themselves on The Grim Reapers shitlist. One by one they die in tragic circumstances, in the order that they would have died on the plane.


One death stands head and shoulder above the others, and that’s the death of Terry (Amanda Detmer). Having grown tired of hearing about how they are all doomed to die, Terry gives them an ultimatum, they either start living, or they can all drop dead. With this, she steps into the road and SPLAT! Terry explodes in a shower of blood and gore as she is hit by a speeding bus.


It’s brilliant in its execution as the viewer never sees it coming.




Pitch Black



Meteor Shower


Pitch Black was one of those films that came out of nowhere on a shoe-string budget and was so much better than it had any right to be.


The story involves a group of people who are thrown together on a planet after their ship crashes. Not long after their arrival, the planet is plunged into darkness and they become hunted by some nocturnal, winged nasties. Their only hope… A prisoner named Riddick (Vin Diesel) who conveniently has perfect night vision thanks to a specialist eye job he received while in prison.


The best scene of the movie comes at the very start. As the ship travels through space, it falls foul of a bombardment of small meteors that pepper the ship's hull with holes, and ruptures a few of the cryo-tubes in the process, killing the occupants.


As an emergency measure, the ship awakens the surviving crew who must battle to land what's left of the ship as safely as possible on a nearby planet. It’s a hell of a way to throw you into a movie and the film is unrelenting from this point until the end credits.




Ginger Snaps



Oops, sorry, Trina


Ginger Snaps is possibly one of the best Werewolf films of all time, and this is largely down to its leads, Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins. Ginger (Isabelle) and Brigitte (Perkins) are sisters who, while walking home one night, are attacked by a large wolf. Brigitte escapes unharmed but Ginger isn’t so lucky.


Over time, Ginger displays some worrying side effects from the attack as she slowly morphs into a flesh-hungry wolf beast.


In the best scene of the film, a character named Trina arrives at the sisters' house to accuse Ginger of kidnapping her dog. A scuffle breaks out until Trina is accidentally killed when she slips on some spilt milk.


As blood pours from her head wound, the girls hear their mother arrive home and they begin to panic. The camera cuts to Ginger and Brigitte’s mother as she enters the house to find the girls re-enacting one of the staged murder scenes that they set up to photograph throughout the movie. Ginger is lying in the blood while Brigitte pretends to take photos. Trina’s body has been hidden away.




WORST


Hellraiser: Inferno



Dr Sigmund Pinhead


Joseph Thorne (Craig Sheffer) is a dirty cop who loves nothing more than indulging in drugs and prostitutes.


While on the hunt for a serial killer known only as The Engineer, Thorne has been having regular therapy sessions with Dr Paul Gregory. In a scene towards the end of the movie, Thorne, at the end of his rope, visits Dr Gregory and soon realises that the good Doctor is, in fact, the killer. Upon being found out, Dr Gregory transforms into none other than lead Cenobite, Pinhead. He has been masquerading as the therapist this whole time. It’s a stupid twist and makes no sense.




2001


BEST


Jason X



Headbangers Ball


I know that many people really dislike Jason’s little adventure in Outer Space. I myself love it. It’s a goofy movie that’s a lot of fun if you turn off your inner critic.


In the film’s best scene, a ridiculously attractive scientist is running a few tests on what she believes to be Jason’s corpse. Of course, we the audience know better. While she isn’t paying attention, Jason jumps up, grabs the back of her head, and shoves it into a sink full of liquid Nitrogen. Instantly flash-freezing her head. He then pulls her out of the sink and slams her head against the counter causing her face to smash into tiny pieces.


It’s not only the best scene in the film but one of the coolest kills in the series.




Cradle of Fear



Interactive Snuff


Let’s be brutally honest here. Cradle of Fear is a bit shit. Cradle of Filth frontman Danny Filth made an anthology horror movie that is pretty hard to sit through because it's just not very good.


One scene that stands out, however, involves a website offering real-time footage of people being attacked and tortured on commands issued by remote users.


The users of the website can select the weapon and manner in which the victim, who is tied to a chair, is dispatched, and then sit back and enjoy the show as a masked man enters the room and kills the victim. It’s an interesting scene amidst a whole host of uninteresting stories.




Jeepers Creepers



Catwoman


Brother and sister Darry and Trish have spent the entire movie being chased by the relentless Creeper. About halfway through the film, they stop at an old lady's house that appears to be overrun with cats and beg her to call the police. The woman agrees but then suddenly spots someone standing in her yard. Not one for receiving uninvited guests, The lady runs into the house to fetch her shotgun.


The Creeper follows her inside, and a fight breaks out. Eventually, the lady appears at the door much to Trish and Derry’s relief. The relief is short-lived however when it becomes clear that the woman is dead and being held up by the sinister Creeper who throws her aside, finally revealing his terrifying, inhuman face.




WORST


Ghost of Mars



Thumbectomy


Ghosts of Mars is, without doubt, John Carpenter’s worst film. I have seen it a few times and have no idea how to briefly explain its plot to anyone who hasn’t seen it.


It’s essentially about a bunch of soldiers and a prisoner played by the ever awful Ice Cube who are stuck on Mars and under attack by some Aliens who look like they are on their way to a Black Metal fancy dress party.


In the worst scene of the film, our heroes are tooling up with weapons when one of the party decides to show off how sharp his knife is by slicing a can clean in half. As he brings the blade down, he realises he has made an almighty cock-up and took his thumb off. As Ice Cube looks on while laughing, the rough, tough knife enthusiast passes out.


Personally, I would rather slice my thumb off than have to sit through this garbage again.




2002


BEST


Dog Soldiers



Sausages


Dog Soldiers was an instant classic upon release. I knew very little about it on first viewing other than that it involved werewolves and that Total Film Magazine had called it the British Evil Dead. Needless to say, I watched it and instantly fell in love with it.


Having been caught out at sundown, an army unit, while on manoeuvres in the Scottish highlands find themselves besieged by werewolves. As they try to flee, their platoon leader, Sgt Wells (Sean Pertwee) is attacked and disembowelled. As he is helped to safety by Private Cooper (Kevin McKidd) he insists that he can't push his guts back in because they won’t fit.


Once in the relative safety of an old abandoned cottage, Private Cooper sets about fixing Well’s injuries with the aid of superglue and a bottle of scotch as an anaesthetic. A very drunk Wells looks down at his exposed intestines and drops the immortal clanger, “Sausages,” before being punched out in an act of mercy by Cooper.




Resident Evil



Hall of Lasers


The Resident Evil films are a hit and miss affair. For some ungodly reason I have sat through them all and it’s fair to say that no matter how bad the film is, they do generally have one or two good scenes in each instalment.


The first film has one such scene, and it’s so brilliant, you wonder why it was never done before.

Our team of heroes, led by Alice (Milla Jovovich) head down a brightly lit hallway to reach the centre of The Hive and shut off The Red Queen, an intelligent computer system that has them trapped underground with a bunch of flesh-hungry zombies.


As Alice reaches a room at the end of the hall, a door shuts behind her, trapping her comrades in the hall. She then watches helplessly as lasers travel down the hallway, cutting down anything in their path. At first, the party are able to dodge each one until they become more intense. Having evaded the lasers so far, one soldier meets a grizzly end when the lasers form an unavoidable grid and dice him into tiny man chunks.




28 Days later



London (Not) Calling


A zombie film by the director of Shallow Grave and Trainspotting? Yes please, was my gleeful answer back in 2002, and it did not disappoint. Okay, it’s not exactly a zombie movie. More a film about an outbreak of an epidemic called Rage, which is essentially super rabies.


The film starts with a group of animal rights activists trying to liberate chimpanzees from a research centre in Cambridge. They ignore warnings that the chimps are infected and pretty soon all hell breaks loose.


Skip forward 28 days and we meet our protagonist, Jim. He awakens from a coma having been run over by a car some time ago. He immediately realises that something is wrong because the hospital is completely abandoned. Throwing on a pair of scrubs, Jim heads out into the big smoke only to find that not a soul is to be seen.


The beauty of the scene is that anyone who has spent any time in London knows that it’s rammed with people day and night. So, to witness the streets of our capital devoid of crowds is an eerie and extraordinary sight. As Jim passes overturned buses and strolls across an empty tower bridge, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that something terrible has happened.




Worst


Halloween Resurrection



Everybody was kung fu fighting.


When Halloween H20 was released back in 1998, I flocked to the cinema to see it. Having been a lifelong fan of the series, I was excited to see another instalment and despite its flaws; I enjoyed it and do to this day.


Discovering that a followup was on its way, I was sceptical. I mean, hadn’t Laurie chopped his head off at the end of H20?


Resurrection is bad. Like, really bad. It doesn’t have one single scene that saves it from being complete trash. So, you would think picking one bad scene from a film made up of bad scenes would be hard. You would be wrong.


Having dressed up as Michael Myers to scare contestants on his reality tv show that just so happens to be taking place in the old Myers house, Busta Rythmes (yep, you heard me right) bumps into the real Michael who has returned home to do a little more killing. Does Busta flee as any sensible soul would? Hell no. He channels his inner Jackie Chan and takes on Micky with some Kung Fu. I’m not making this up. If you haven’t seen it yet you should hunt this scene out because had I not seen it, I wouldn’t believe me either.




2003


Final Destination 2



The Freeway Pile-Up


Final Destination 2 might be my favourite of the series. With part one we had the catalyst for everything that takes place being a plane crash. In part two, it’s a pile-up on a freeway. And what a beautifully orchestrated scene it is too.


Caused by a log falling from the back of a lorry, the carnage that follows is a joy to behold. A motorcyclist is cut in half by his bike. A kid in his T-bird burns alive while watching a truck come barrelling towards him. It’s a brilliantly constructed sequence and all the more frightening because unlike the events in the other movies, road accidents happen every day.




Switchblade Romance



Home Invasion


In the film that put Alexandre Aja on the map, Marie accompanies her friend Alex home for a study weekend at Alex’s parent's house. Later that night as everyone has settled down for the night, well, everyone except Marie who is busy paddling the pink canoe (masturbating to the layperson).


There is a knock at the door and Alex’s father goes to open it, unaware that they are being paid a late-night visit by a serial killer. Mr killer slashes Dad across the face before forcing his head between two rungs of the bannister where it becomes stuck. He then rather inventively shoves a bookcase towards daddy dearest’s head, decapitating him.


Once the dad is disposed of its off upstairs to slash mummy’s throat while Marie hides in a wardrobe and watches. With that, the killer kidnaps Alex and drives away with Marie in hot pursuit. It’s all wonderfully gory and vicious. A style that Aja soon became famous for with his The Hills Have Eyes and Piranha remakes.



House of 1000 Corpses



A Bungled Robbery


Rob Zombie’s debut starts with two ski-masked men brandishing guns and storming into a gas station to rob the joint. So far so standard. It’s at this point assumptions are made and the masked bandits are to be believed to be the villains of the piece. Well, if you thought that, you would be wrong.


These masked imbeciles have decided to rob the wrong business, as this establishment is owned by none other than Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) a clown with a foul mouth and an even fouler temper.


After an exchange of colourful insults, the scene ends with the robber brains painted all over the gas station floor. In the words of the captain, “and most of all, fuck you!”




WORST


Freddy Vs Jason



Stoner Centipede


Freddy Vs Jason is not a bad movie. There is plenty to enjoy, watching these two horror icons go at each other. My main complaint would be that, because the film is pitched around a battle to the death of two of horrors most renowned characters, all the human characters exist solely because they have too.


Once the battle commences, however, you won’t care. It’s a shame that before this happens we have to endure the worst scene that 2003 has to offer.


A character (whose name I can’t remember, so I’m just going to call him Fat Jay, due to his resemblance of Jay from Jay and Silent Bob) is busy smoking some weed. As he takes a puff, a peculiar, badly animated centipede-like creature with Freddy’s face appears and sits down to take a hit on a bong. It then disappears before reappearing on the ceiling. As Fat Jay looks up in astonishment, the Freddypede plunges into his mouth, so that Freddy can possess Fat Jay.




2004


Creep



Face to Face


If you have somehow missed Creep, it’s a fantastic British horror movie about a young woman who accidentally gets locked in the London Underground overnight. As she looks for a way out she soon realises that something sinister is down there with her.


Kate (Franka Potente) finds herself running down a dark corridor. Something is chasing her, but she doesn’t know what. As the lights have turned out, she uses a torch to light her way. In a panic, Kate dives behind a unit and turns her torch off, hoping to use the cover of darkness to hide.


What seems like a few minutes of darkness passes before Kate decides to turn her torch back on. As she does so, the audience is seated in Kates POV. The torch clicks on and there, right in front of her is the face of the thing that’s been stalking her. Hideous and deformed and mere inches from Kate’s face. It’s an incredibly startling scene.




Dawn of the Dead



To Hell in a handbasket (The Opening)


Before 2004, if anyone had asked me “Would I like to see a remake of Dawn of the Dead?” my answer would have been “Fuck no!”


Strange then that I consider it to be one of the best remakes of recent years. Even stranger, because it’s the only film directed by Zack Snyder that I can stomach.



This attitude adjustment to the remake is thanks to the opening segment where we witness civilization begin to crumble.


Ana (Sarah Polley) is a nurse who returns home after her shift to spend an evening curled up in bed with her boyfriend. As they lay asleep that evening, they are both woken by the sudden arrival of the little girl who lives next door. She appears to be badly injured so Ana’s boyfriend jumps out of bed to see to her while Ana rings for an ambulance. With that the girl sinks her teeth into the boyfriend's neck, tearing out a chunk of flesh and fatally wounding him. Ana runs to his aid but is unable to save him. As she stops to take in what is happening, her boyfriend who is supposedly dead attacks her forcing Ana to shut herself in the bathroom.


Ana escapes through the window and gets into her car, just in time for her boyfriend to exit the house and start chasing. As she drives away, her boyfriend is distracted by the sudden appearance of a neighbour. He changes direction and murders the unsuspecting neighbour instead. It becomes apparent to Ana that all hell has broken loose. Her neighbourhood is overrun with these attacks and as she heads along the main road a tanker narrowly

misses her, crashing into a gas station and exploding. Smoke billows from the city ahead.


As film openings go, it certainly has you hooked from the offset.




Saw



Game Over


Regardless of how lazy and trashy the franchise became, there is no denying just how great and original the first film was. Saw was a game-changer and went on to inspire an entire subgenre, unofficially known as Torture Porn.


Having endured watching the films two lead characters (Dr Gordon and Adam) desperately try and find a way of escaping their situation we are then subjected to a twist that nobody saw coming.


Dr Gordon, upon discovering that the hacksaw was never meant to cut through his chains decides to cut his foot off. After removing the appendage he escapes the room, promising to send help for Adam. Once he has left Adam looks on in horror as the corpse that has been laying in the room the whole time stands up. It turns out that their captor has been masquerading as the dead body this whole time so that he could keep an eye on his prisoner’s. He is in fact that Jigsaw Killer.


As Dr Gordon made the ultimate sacrifice to escape and Adam chickened out, Adam has sealed his own fate and is doomed to die in the dark, cold bathroom where he has spent the entire movie chained up. Jigsaw exits the room and looks back once last time, delivering the immortal line “Game over,” before slamming the door shut and leaving Adam to perish.




WORST


Van Helsing



Mr Hyde and Seek


Van Helsing is another of those films comprised of one bad scene after another. It could have been so good. Sadly, it wasn’t. Not even Hugh Jackman at the height of his Wolverine fame could save it from being a flop.


When we first meet Van Helsing, he is at Notre Dame fighting Mr Hyde. Why Mr Hyde and not Quasimodo?


What makes this scene particularly appalling is the horrific special effects on display. Mr Hyde looks utterly ridiculous and sets the tone for everything that follows. It’s a bad start to a lousy movie.




2005


The Descent



Crawler in the viewfinder


The Descent makes for intense viewing long before the Crawlers show up. The claustrophobic location and clever use of light and shadows have you on the edge of your seat before the antagonists of the film have even tasted flesh.


We have followed the six women as they have descended deep into a cave. They have become lost, got stuck and they now have to contend with one of their party suffering a compound leg fracture having fallen into a hole.


As their batteries run down plunging them into darkness, they turn on their camera’s night vision to help find a way out. As the camera pans the room, they discover they are standing on endless piles of animal bones. The girls panic and as the camera sweeps back over the group, with no warning a monstrous figure appears directly behind them.


It’s a heart-stopping moment that leads the gang into a chaotic fight for survival as they find themselves under attack by a legion of carnivorous, cave-dwelling creatures.




Wolf Creek



Head on a Stick


Having travelled cross-country to the titular Wolf Creek Crater, Ben, Liz and Kristy return to their car to find that it won't start. They bed down for the night hoping to find help in the morning. During the night they are approached by the strange yet seemingly helpful Mick Taylor.


Mick is a rough-and-ready outback native who gives them a tow back to his yard so he can fix their car while they have a place to sleep. Turns out trusting Mick was a colossal mistake as he is a serial killer who has been murdering backpackers for some time.


Liz escapes and ends up in a garage full of cars that Mick has acquired. She jumps in a car hoping to use it to get away, but Mick is already in the back seat and he stabs her with his knife.


As she crawls, bleeding, out of the car Mick swipes at her again cutting her fingers off. He then explains to her how miners used to stop their slaves from running off with the diamonds by creating something called a head on a stick. He grabs Liz and drives his knife into her back, severing her spinal cord so that he can interrogate her without her running off. “See,” he says. “Head on a stick.”




The Devils Rejects



A Blaze of Glory


In Rob Zombie’s follow up to House of 1000 Corpses, the murderous Firefly family find themselves on the run from the vengeful Sheriff Wydell. They made the mistake of killing his brother in the first movie, and now the Sheriff wants payback.


Having been tied up and tortured, Baby, Otis and Captain Spaulding have gotten away thanks to their deformed brother, Tiny. They head off to freedom in Spaulding’s Cadillac, beaten and bruised until Otis brings the car to a stop. An armed police roadblock has been set up ahead. Rather than give up, The Firefly clan decide to go out in style and as Otis hits the throttle, they head off, guns blazing. As the bullets fly and make contact on both sides, it looks like curtains for our antiheroes.


The scene is accompanied by Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Freebird blasting over the soundtrack. It’s a hell of a cool way to end the movie.




WORST


The Ring 2



Oh, Deer


While remakes can be a shoddy affair, 2002s The Ring was a decent attempt at bringing Hideo Nakata’s Japanese horror movie to a western audience. Why people can’t just read the subtitles and watch the original is beyond me.


Having survived the events of the first film, Rachel (Naomi Watts) and her son find themselves once again troubled by the evil Samara. This time, Samara has set her sights on possessing young Aiden (David Dorfman). One side effect of this possession is that animals get very pissy when exposed to Samara.


As Rachel and David are driving home from a county fair, they suddenly fall afoul of the local wildlife. Deer emerge from the woods and begin attacking the car. This is not just any deer. We are talking CGI deer. Terrible CGI deer. The whole scene is ludicrous and the film, while not great anyway, would have fared better without it.





2006


BEST


The Hills Have Eyes



Caravan Attack


The Hills Have Eyes is a rare example of a remake that is better than the original. Sorry Wes Craven, but I stand by my statement.


Having broken down in the desert after taking a shortcut, Big Bob (Ted Levine) and his family are stranded and helpless.


Big Bob wanders off to try to reach a gas station and get some help while his family settles down for the evening. Things go from bad to worse when Bob is captured by the head of a clan of cannibal mountain men.


The family wake up to the sound of screaming and run out to discover Bob has been set alight and they desperately try to put him out but it's too late and Bob burns to death.


Meanwhile, two of the mountain men invade the caravan. The youngest daughter, Brenda is raped by the hideously deformed Pluto, while her older sister, Linda is forced to breastfeed the demented and equally deformed Lizard, before being shot in the head. The cannibals then make off with Linda’s baby.


It’s a tough scene to watch, but that’s about what I would expect from the director of Switchblade Romance.




Silent Hill



Hall of Nurses


Silent Hill is the only video game to film adaption I have ever liked. I mean really liked. It’s a cracking movie based on a great series of games.


Rose Da Silva (Radha Mitchell) is stuck in the deserted town of Silent Hill, searching desperately for her daughter.


During the day, she has the constant foggy atmosphere generated by the fire that constantly burns beneath the town to contend with. At night things become much worse. As the sun goes down, Sirens blast to let you know to take shelter. It’s once the darkness falls that things get worse as the town is besieged by freaky monsters.


One such encounter, see’s Rose open a door to a hallway full of weird, bloodied nurses whose features are obscured by bandages. To navigate the hall, Rose needs to slip past the nurses without making contact. Every time she bumps into one, they slash at her with scalpels.


It’s a wonderfully creepy scene made even more so by the nurse's freakish movements.




Slither



Something’s wrong with me


When it comes to gross-out, comedy, body horror you can’t go far wrong with Slither.


A small town is overrun with extraterrestrial slug parasites that latch on to people, turning them into carnivorous mutants.


During a manhunt, the police, led by Sheriff Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion) come across a barn. On opening the doors they are shocked to discover local resident Brenda. She is inhumanly bloated in a way that would put Mr Creosote to shame. She is also ridiculously hungry, having been eating any animal that wanders by.


With her skin stretched beyond its physical limit, Brenda eventually explodes in a shower of gore and Larvae that had been living inside her.



WORST


The Wicker Man



Not the Bees


When it comes to remaking a much loved, classic horror movie, how do you set about trying to improve on what has come before? Well, in the case of The Wicker Man, you can’t, so you don’t.

The Wicker Man remake is a laughable disaster from start to finish. When I say laughable, I mean unintentionally so.


Having taken him hostage, the looney villagers drag Nicholas Cage’s hapless detective to his doom. Before sealing him inside the giant, sacrificial Wicker Man of the title, however, they place a wicker basket over his head and pour in a swarm of angry bees. Cue some seriously hammy overacting on Cage’s part as he screams “Noooo, not the bees.” I’m pretty sure the filmmakers never intended for this scene to be funny. It is, however, sidesplittingly so.




2007


BEST


Hostel Part 2



Castration


Hostel Part 2 is not only an improvement on Part 1 but director Eli Roth’s best film to date. We get to see things from the point of view of the people who pay to do the torturing this time round and it’s a fascinating twist.


Having been kidnapped and locked in with Stuart, beth finds that he isn’t the nice guy she took him to be, In fact, Stuart has paid good money to do horrific things to her. Beth turns the tables on Stuart and soon has him tied to a chair with his most valuable parts of his anatomy trapped between a pair of sheers.


As the heads of the clandestine company rush into the room, Beth makes a deal with them. It turns out Beth is filthy rich, so she offers to pay double what Stuart paid in order to secure her release. The company informs her that to leave she must first kill someone. Without missing a beat, Beth slams the sheers closed, castrating Stuart. She then heads out of the door, throwing Stuarts severed genitals to the dog who promptly scoffs it.





The Mist



Unhappy Ending


The ending to The Mist needs to be seen to be believed. I almost don’t want to spoil it here, but I’m going to so if you haven’t seen it yet, look away now.


The residents of a small town are trapped in a supermarket due to an ominous mist that has blown in. This is no ordinary mist. This mist contains some giant vicious monsters of varying shapes and sizes.


As the people inside the supermarket turn on one another, thanks to a religious zealot named Mrs Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden), David Drayton (Thomas Jane) decides it’s time to leave and takes his son and an old couple with him.


They drive for a while with no sign of the mist coming to an end until inevitably the car dies. There seems to be no way out of this nightmare that won’t see them being painfully devoured by some creature, so David knows what he had to do.


Performing what he thinks is an act of mercy, David, who took a gun from the store, shoots his son and the old couple dead. He then turns the gun on himself but there aren’t enough bullets left and the gun clicks empty.


Racked with grief, David exits the vehicle hoping the monsters will finish him off…


At this precise moment, the army turns up, dispersing the mist and the monsters with flame throwers and saving the day. If only they had arrived a few minutes earlier. David now has to live knowing that he killed everyone, including his son, for nothing.




Inside (À l’intérieur)



Scissor C-Section


Inside is a tough watch. Especially if you’re expecting.


Pregnant Sarah (Alysson Paradis) is alone, overdue and grieving at the loss of her husband. She has also spent the night evading a deranged woman (Béatrice Dalle) who has broken into her house and wants her baby, even if it means killing Sarah.


In a scene towards the end of the movie, the injured Sarah lies on the stairs and has gone into labour. The baby has become stuck and Sarah begs the woman to save her child. The woman obliges and performs a messy Caesarean section with a pair of scissors, killing Sarah in the process. It’s not a scene for the faint of heart.




WORST


I am Legend



CGI Darkseekers


I am Legend starts promisingly enough, with the gurning, jug-eared buffoon that is Will Smith going about his day-to-day life in a deserted New York City whose only population happens to be a few escaped zoo animals.


A Virus has wiped out the human race and Big Willy Style is the only survivor… Well, not exactly the only survivor. Come the night time, the Fresh Prince has to lock himself up as the streets become overrun with creatures known as the Darkseekers. They were once human but had an adverse reaction to the virus and are now pale, murderous and deathly allergic to sunlight.


Sounds cool, right? Well, it would be if not for the crappy CGI. When they eventually show up, they look as ridiculous as the previously mentioned Mr Hyde from Van Helsing.


I am Legend obviously boasts an impressive budget so why oh why do the films main antagonists look so shoddy?




2008


BEST


The Cottage



Finally Shutting Tracey Up


Bungling kidnappers David (Andy Serkis) and Peter (Reece Shearsmith) have snatched the daughter of a local gangster and plan on securing a huge ransom. They drag her to a secluded cottage and wait for their demands to be met.


Unfortunately, things are about to go from bad to worse for the brothers. Firstly, Tracey (Jennifer Ellison) is a mouthy pain in the arse. Secondly, a hulking, deformed maniac is at large and hellbent on killing anyone in his path.


Having spent the entire movie throwing insults at her captors and violently assaulting Peter, Tracey is finally silenced by the psychotic farmer. As she opens her mouth to unleash a tirade of abuse, the farmer slams a shovel into her mouth, separating the top of her head from her the rest of her body. Suddenly things seem that bit quieter.




Eden Lake



Trapped in the bathroom


Schoolteacher Jenny (Kelly Reilly) and boyfriend Steve (Michael Fassbender) had planned the perfect romantic weekend of camping at the lake. Unfortunately, they run afoul of a gang of chavs who take great pleasure in hunting them down and torturing them.


Having stabbed and fatally wounded Steve, Jenny manages to get away and in an act of self-defence, she kills one of the lads with a well-aimed shard of glass to the throat.


Towards the end of the movie, Jenny steals a van and drives away to safety. She crashes the van outside of a house and stumbles through to the garden where the residents are having a party. They take one look at Jenny who is covered in blood and filth and rush to help her.


Jenny realises she has stumbled into the house of her attackers’ parents and heads to the bathroom claiming she feels sick. She locks the door, and in a panic looks for a way out.


Meanwhile, the parents learn that she has killed one of their kids and a few of the father's head upstairs and begin kicking the bathroom in. As the film ends, the men burst into the bathroom and Jenny starts to scream. While it isn’t shown, we assume that they kill Jenny.




Let the Right One In



Swedish Swimming Pool Massacre


Twelve-year-old loner Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) spends his days constantly bullied and picked upon. He eventually meets and befriends Eli (Lina Leandersson), a strange and reclusive girl who, it is soon revealed, is a vampire.


She constantly encourages Oskar to stand up for himself. Oskar eventually takes her advice, striking and almost removing one of the bullies ears with a stick.


This only makes things worse, as Oskar now has to answer to the bullies psychotic older brother. They plan to jump Oskar while he takes a swim at the local pool. As Oskar comes up for air, the brother grabs Oskars hair and forces him underwater to drown him.


Oskar holds his breath and is oblivious to the chaos taking place above the surface. Bodies are dragged through the water and eventually, the head of his attacker plunges into the pool and sinks to the bottom. As Oskar surfaces for air, he is greeted by a bloodied smiling Eli. She followed him to the pool and used her supernatural powers to end Oskar’s bullying once and for all. It’s a beautifully filmed moment.




WORST


The Happening



Weird Hotdog Obsession


Where do I start with a film like The Happening? It’s dreadful from the opening credits to the end for so many reasons. You have to question what was going on in M Night Shyamalan’s head when he made this turkey.


The worst thing about this movie besides the crappy plot is the dialogue. There is some truly awful writing at play, the worst of which is spouted by a hotdog obsessed Nursery worker. Here is a snippet in case you have been lucky enough to avoid this steaming dog turd of a movie.


“We’re packing hot dogs for the road. You know hot dogs get a bad rap? They got a cool shape, they got protein. You like hot dogs, right? By the way, I think I know what’s causing this.”


I think we can all agree that this is beyond bad.




2009


BEST


Orphan



Esther’s Secret


Married couple Kate and John Coleman (Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard) adopt a child after their hopes of extending their family are dashed the tragic stillbirth of their daughter.


They are immediately smitten by a nine-year-old Russian girl named Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman). They take Esther home and at first, everything seems fine, until Esther starts displaying some troubling behaviour.


Esther’s escalating violent tendencies range from killing an injured bird to seriously injuring one of her classmates.


Kate becomes suspicious that not all is right with Esther, and this drives a wedge between her and John’s relationship. Esther even plays up to this, purposefully breaking her own arm so that she can blame it on Kate.


Kate digs deeper into Esther’s history and is horrified to learn that Esther is, in fact, a homicidal thirty-three-year-old woman with a stunted growth disorder.


As far as twists go, it’s a shocker of a reveal.




Saw VI



Shotgun Carousel


By part six, the Saw movies had grown stale. The need for a linear plot had come and gone, and the series had become a sketch show of one gore scene after another.


That being said, the Shotgun Carousel scene proved that there was still a little inventiveness left in the franchise.


. Six people are chained to the grab poles of a rotating playground roundabout. Once the game begins, the carousel occasionally stops, causing one of the victims to sit directly in front of the barrel of a mounted shotgun. The seventh player in the game, William (Peter Outerbridge) can save each player by placing his hand in a box and pressing a button. When he does this, the button raises the shotgun, causing it to fire harmlessly above the victim's head. The drawback is that each time William presses the button a spike is driven deeper into his hand. That sounds like far too much responsibility for my liking.




Drag Me to Hell



Parking Garage Assault


Drag Me to Hell might just be Sam Raimi’s most Evil Dead-like film since Army of Darkness. The basic story involves a bank clerk Christine (Alison Lohman) who, buy wanting to impress her boss, refuses to financially help an old lady, Mrs Ganush (Lorna Raver) keep her house.


As it turns out, Mrs Ganush is a gypsy, and she places a curse upon Christine. Not taking it seriously is Christine’s mistake as she soon learns how serious and terrifying the curse truly is.


The most beautifully bonkers scene in the film involves Christine and Mrs Ganush doing battle in a parking garage. As Christine enters her car, she checks the rear-view mirror and there, behind her sits the gypsy. A fight breaks out and at one gooey point, having lost her teeth Mrs Ganush clamps her toothless mouth onto Christine's chin and starts gumming her, slobbering dribble all over her face.


Christine retaliates and hits Mrs Ganush with a stapler, clamping her eye shut. She then floors the accelerator and drives the car towards a post. Mrs Ganush’s eyes spring open in shock, causing the staple to pink out of her eye and fly towards the camera. It’s Raimi doing what Raimi does best.




WORST


The Final Destination



Stock Car Crash


The Final Destination films have made a couple of appearances on this list as generally, their opening set pieces are both fun and spectacular. The Final Destination’s opening disaster is no such creature. I would go as far as to suggest that it’s both boring and anti-climatic.


A group of friends go to a stock car stadium when one of them has a vision of the cars crashing and killing the audience. So far so standard. Except it’s all a bit rubbish.


In the previous films, we had a plane explosion, a freeway pile up, and a rollercoaster accident. The stock car crash doesn’t come close to any of these. Plus, the use of CGI to achieve the gore is both obvious and awful. I know this was done for its 3D effects and I never saw it in 3D, but in 2 D it looks terrible.


The film that follows isn’t very good either, making The Final Destination the worst in the series.




2010


BEST


Frozen



Wolves Dinner


Before I start, I don’t mean that Frozen so let it go, will you? I’m so embarrassed that I wrote that.

Anyhow, this Frozen sees three friends become stuck suspended in the air on a ski-lift for the weekend and exposed to the harsh, freezing weather.


They know that if they don’t somehow get down safely, they will freeze to death. Parker (Emma Bell) has already gotten frostbitten on her hands and face.


Her boyfriend Dan (Kevin Zegers) decides the only way forward is for him to jump to the snow-covered ground fifty-feet below. He plucks up the courage and leaps. Stupidly, he makes the age-old mistake of trying to land on his feet, the result of which is his shine bones break and explode through his skin. Dan is down and badly injured, but this is the least of his problems. As his friends bury their faces to avoid seeing what is taking place, they hear his screams echo across the mountain as he is torn apart by ravenous wolves.




Tucker and Dale Vs Evil



Woodchipper Mishap


Poor Tucker and Dale (Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine) are just trying to go about their hillbilly business when they are mistaken for a pair of murderous mountain men. Talk about stereotyping.


While out doing a spot of fishing, T & D spot a girl drowning so they pull her aboard their boat and take her back to their cabin to recover. The girl's friends have seen way too many horror movies and jump to the conclusion that the pair are a couple of redneck psychos.


In the funniest scene of the movie, one of the lads spots Tucker throwing some wood into a chipper. He decides to play the hero and charges at Tucker who hasn’t noticed him coming. As Tucker bends down to collect more wood, his attacker launches himself at Tucker, sails clear over him and dives right into the wood chipper. Tucker looks on in horror as pieces of the teeners fly out of the chippers’ exhaust.




Hatchet 2



Makeup Sex


As another bunch of hapless souls venture into the swamp in search of the legendary Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) bickering couple Layton and Avery (A. J. Bowen and Alexis Kendra) decide to bury the hatchet (pun intended) and have a little makeup nookie.


Avery drops to her knees and Layton gives her the good stuff from behind when out pops Victor to deal out a little cockblocking. He cuts Layton’s head clean off, causing his body to twitch. Avery finds all the twitching is really getting her off and begins screaming in pleasure. All the time, unaware that she is fucking a headless corpse.




WORST


A Nightmare on Elm Street



The Death of Fred Krueger


A Nightmare on Elm Street is possibly one of the most loathed remakes in cinema history, and with good reason. It takes everything that was great about Wes Craven’s original and wipes its arse with it. I have been extremely vocal about my disdain for this film in previous articles.


About halfway through the movie, the filmmakers decide we need reminding how Kreuger died. We witness Freddy being chased into the boiler room in a scene that is meant to make us believe that Freddy could be innocent and that maybe we should feel sorry for him. I was never going to swallow that. Freddy should never be a sympathetic character.


The angry mob set fire to the building and Freddy bursts through the door covered in horribly rendered CGI flames. The whole thing looks terrible.


Is anyone noticing a pattern here? I do not like CGI in horror movies.




2011


BEST


You’re Next



A Sprint to the Finish Line


There is a lot to like about You’re Next, and with so many great scenes it’s hard to pick a favourite. If I have to choose one, it will have to be this cracker.


A family get together comes under attack when unseen assailants start firing bolts from crossbows into the house.


With their cell-phone reception blocked, Aimee (Amy Seimetz) boasts to be the fastest runner and offers to go get help. The plan is for her to get a run-up so that when they open the door, she will be travelling at full speed and it will make it harder for the attackers to target her.


Aimee gets her sprint up and charges towards the door. As the door flies open, Amiee blasts past and runs straight into a garrote wire, slashing her throat.




Paranormal Activity 3



An Oscillating Camera and a Bed Sheet


In one of the more inventive moments in the Paranormal Activity series, 80s stepdad Dennis (Chris Smith) fixes a camcorder to an oscillating fan so he can record the whole kitchen as the camera moves back and forth.


Dennis and Julie hire a babysitter to watch Kristi and Katie, so they can go out for the evening.

The babysitter, Lisa (Johanna Braddy) tucks the girls into bed and then playfully teases them about ghosts by running around wearing a bedsheet.


Later that even, Lisa sits in the kitchen eating ice cream. The oscillating camera pans across the kitchen and then back over to Lisa. It swivels back a few more times revealing nothing out of the ordinary. The camera then pans back to Lisa, and standing behind her is someone wearing the ghostly bedsheet. As the camera begins to pan away, Lisa turns to look behind her just as the bedsheet falls to the floor revealing that nobody was underneath it.




Absentia



It Attacks


In Mike Flanagan’s haunting debut heavily pregnant Tricia (Courtney Bell) has spent seven years searching for her husband who vanished without a trace. When Tricia’s ex-junkie sister Callie (Catherine Parker) comes to stay, Tricia decides it’s time to give up fooling herself and declare her husband dead by absentia.


Callie slowly realises that something is wrong with the tunnel across the street and when Tricia’s husband mysteriously turns up, undernourished, dehydrated and horrifically abused Callie’s suspicions are confirmed. Something in the tunnel is taking people away.


One night while Callie and Tricia are at home, they become aware of something creeping around the house. The creature responsible for the disappearances, a strange black slimy creature has taken a liking to Tricia and has come for her. Callie fights as hard as she can but to no avail. The creature claims Tricia and drags her off to the tunnel.




WORST


Scream 4



The Neverending opening scene


I happen to really like the Scream films, well, except part three. The scariest thing about Scream 3 is Courtney Cox’s fringe. Part four was a vast improvement on the third part. Well, almost. I sincerely hate the opening.


I know they thought they were probably being incredibly clever but endless fake openings where characters get killed while watching Stab, before it’s revealed that they are actually in the next Stab. It goes on too long and it’s a little patronizing.



2012


BEST


Rec 3: Genesis



Clara with a Chainsaw


Rec 3 is a very different beast from the previous two films. While they took a more serious approach and adopted the found footage style, part 3 is a much more humorous affair and ditches the found footage gimmick once the action kicks in.


Koldo and Clara’s wedding day is interrupted by an outbreak of the same infection that turned everyone into zombie-like demons in the first two movies. The couple quickly become separated and must fight to find their way back to each other.


In the films standout scene Clara arms herself with a Chainsaw and lays gory waste to a horde of swarming infected. As limbs fly asunder, the soundtrack blasts a Spanish cover of Eloise by The Damned.


Clara emerges from the carnage, her wedding dressed caked in claret and chainsaw held aloft in triumph.




Maniac



Opening Stalking


I have to admit that I was dubious about a remake Maniac 1980. Especially one that starred Frodo Baggins. To my amazement, however, Maniac 2021 is excellent.


The opening scene sets the bar for the movie and doesn’t pull any punches. Our little Hobbit friend follows a girl back to her Manhattan apartment. He creeps up behind her as she attempts to open her door. She spots him and turns in surprise. “Please don’t scream,” he says before driving a knife up from under her jaw and into her brain. From here on in, we know what kind of ride we are in for.




Grabbers



The Aliens homage

If Grabbers has somehow eluded you, then you need to correct this immediately, as it’s a first-rate Irish Comedy Horror.


A small Irish fishing village is overrun by monstrous creatures called Grabbers who love nothing more than chewing on the locals.


The only way to prevent this is to stay incredibly pissed as they have no tolerance for a blood-stream full of booze.


Towards the end of the movie a Grabber has Police Officer O’Shea (Richard Coyle) in its mitts and is about to scoff him whole when plucky sidekick, Officer Nolan (Ruth Bradley) interrupts by charging at it in a JCB she has found lying around, conveniently with the keys still in it. In a Humorous play on the immortal line uttered by Ripley in Aliens, she screams, “Get away from him you cuuuunnnntt.”




WORST


Chernobyl Diaries



Thrown to the Radioactive Lions


The Chernobyl Diaries is sort of alright/sort of shit. It’s a ‘meh’ movie. Having somehow survived a couple of nights stranded in Pripyat, and an (I call bullshit) walk directly beneath reactor four, Amanda (Devin Kelley) finds herself accosted by some guys in hazmat suits and strapped to a gurney. They take her to see some doctors who claim they can do nothing for her and sent away with more hazmat suited fellas.


This is where an ‘ok, I can handle a little bullshit’ movie becomes an ‘oh, fuck right off’ movie. They throw Amanda in a cell with a bunch of mutated people who, we are meant to believe, somehow survived the exposure to the fallout and now live in a cell waiting for their next sexy plaything. Even if I knew nothing about the effects of radiation exposure, I would have called bullshit.




2013


BEST


The Conjuring



Hide and Go Clap


There’s a whole cinematic universe of these movies now, but back in 2013 nobody knew what to expect from The Conjuring. The film chronicles a case investigated by real-life famous demonologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren (played here by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga).

Regardless of whether or not you thought they were frauds, it’s hard to argue that The Conjuring is anything other than a great, spooky movie.


In one of the creepiest of scenes, Carolyn Perron (Lili Taylor) is playing Hide and Go Clap with her children. The basic idea is that the kids hide and must clap on command to give a clue as to their whereabouts. Carolyn wanders into the basement where things get very weird. Something seems to be moving, and suddenly the lights go out, plunging her into darkness.


Carolyn makes for the stairs but the upstairs door appears to be stuck. She lights a match and claps her hands when suddenly, from directly behind her, a pair of hands come out of nowhere and clap right beside her head.



Evil Dead



Cosmetic Surgery


Evil Dead 2013, is another of those remakes that I whole-heartedly expected to hate and then had to eat humble pie because it was brilliant. It’s a very different movie to Sam Raimi’s original in that much of the wacky cartoon comedy has gone. The new Evil Dead is a much more serious affair.


You know the drill by now. Kids go stay at a cabin in the woods, kids find the Necronomicon. Utter plank reads from Necronomicon, Kids get possessed and kill each other. The formula is the same this time around.


Olivia (Jessica Lucas)is in the bathroom and has, herself become possessed. She smashes the bathroom mirror and then, taking a shard of glass she cuts into her face, giving herself the most extreme Chelsea Smile I have ever seen.




V/H/S 2



A Ride in the Park


Not so much a scene this one, more of a short story from an anthology film. A Ride in the Park is essentially a zombie apocalypse story seen through a Go-Pro strapped to the helmet of a mountain biker as he rides through the woods.


At first, the biker (Jay Saunders) finds himself being chased by the zombies until he is finally bitten and dies.


From here on in, we get a zombie’s eye view as the biker rises from the dead and begins attacking and eating anyone who gets in his way. Eventually, he is run over and killed for good, but not before accidentally butt-dialling his wife so that she can hear him die over the phone.




WORST


Texas Chainsaw 3D



Leatherface to the Rescue



Where to begin? The whole film is a steaming turd from start to finish, but the worst scene comes near the end.


So, for anyone like me who grew up with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre films will know Leatherface as the deformed, rampaging lunatic that we all know and love, right? Well, not in this movie...


The movies “final girl,” Heather (Alexandra Daddario) is under attack from the vicious Sheriff Hartman (Paul Rae) who knows that Heather is, unbeknownst to her, Edith Sawyer. He wants all the Sawyer clan dead.


In one of the most sickening scenes in horror history, Heather throws Leatherface a chainsaw and utters a line that still haunts me to this day, “Do your thing, cuz.” Leatherface obliges by picking up the saw and coming to the rescue. Urghhh, I can’t believe I had to relive that scene in my head.




2014


BEST


The Babadook



A Nighttime Visit


The Babadook was easily the scariest film of 2014 and a clever dissection of mental illness to boot.


After having read the creepy and mysterious book, Mister Babadook to her young and troubled son, Amelia now finds herself plagued by visits from the terrifying title character of the book.

In one such scene, Amelia is tucked into bed when she spots something unnerving entering the room. She pulls the sheet up higher as the creepy something suddenly scurries across the ceiling. With that, she pulls the sheet over her head, as if to shield herself from what horror lies above. As she slowly lowers the sheet over her eyes to take another look, Mr Babadook drops down upon her, finally revealing his frightening features.




It Follows



The Tall Man Enters


It Follows is, without doubt, one of my favourite films of the 21st century. It’s simplistic yet brilliant premise accompanied by one of the best soundtracks going, won me over on my first watch.


The story for those who are unaware, tells of a sinister form of STD where the people who contract it must content with an unstoppable force that may amble along at a leisurely pace, but it’s unrelenting and should it eventually catch you, will kill you in the most brutal fashion.


Frightened for her life, Jay (Maika Monroe) insists that her friends stay the night to keep her company and more importantly keep her safe.


As the gang gather in Jay’s bedroom they hear a window break downstairs.


Jay goes down to investigate and discovers a dishevelled looking girl advancing towards her while urinating on the floor. She understandably freaks out and runs upstairs. As Jay cowers in the corner of the bedroom, her friend stands in the doorway confused, when suddenly, an incredibly tall man with no eyes steps into the room. The entity can take on many forms, but only the afflicted can see it.


Jay manages to flee and heads for a nearby playground where her friends eventually catch up with her.




Oculus



Kill Switch Engaged


Before he became the go-to man for Stephen King adaptions, Mike Flanagan was knocking out wonderful little fright flicks like Oculus.


Having collected her recently released brother Tim (Brenton Thwaites) from a mental institution, where he served time for having killed his father as a kid, Kaylie (Karen Gillan) takes him home, hoping to prove that it wasn’t his fault.


Kaylie claims that everything that took place on the night their parents died was down to a cursed mirror. Kaylie has set up cameras hoping to catch evidence that the mirror is to blame, along with a kill switch attached to an axe that will break the mirror once it’s engaged. She claims that she can't physically destroy the mirror herself as it won’t let her.


Having been experiencing forced hallucinations brought on by the mirror, Tim rushes to engage the kill switch. The mirror prevents him from seeing that Kaylie is stood in front of it until it’s too late. Tim has killed his sister and as she stands impaled against the mirror, the police arrive and arrest Tim.





Sharknado 2



Plane Stupid


Ok, I know it seems almost redundant using a Sharknado movie as an example of a bad scene, given that every movie in this franchise is a series of bad scenes.


Franchise mainstay, Fin (Ian Ziering) and his wife April (Tara Reid) are on a flight home when you guessed it, their plane hits a Sharknado.


The sharks attack the plane in an incredible display of CGI (if the CGI was accomplished using a Commodore 64).


They somehow find their way onboard the flight and in the only part of the scene worth punching the air in joy for, eat flight attendant Kelly Osbourne’s stupid face.


I promise this will be the first and last time I mention a Sharknado movie in the worst section of this article because frankly, what's the point?



2015


BEST


The Witch



Black Phillip to the rescue


New England farmers William (Ralph Ineson) and Kate (Kathrine Dickie) have spent the course of the movie becoming more and more convinced that their daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) is in union with the devil.


In my favourite scene, William wakes one morning and walks outside to find the stable destroyed, the goats eviscerated, the twins missing and an unconscious Thomasin lying on the floor, her hands soaked in blood. Thomasin awakens just in time to witness her goat, Black Phillip kill William before her eye’s by goring him to death.




Krampus



Attack of the Gingerbread Army

Krampus is a rather wacky Christmas horror/comedy that plays like a darker Gremlins. At a Christmas gathering, a family falls under attack from the titular Krampus after their son accidentally summons him by expressing that he hates Xmas.


It’s not just Krampus that the family must defend against. Pretty much everything Xmas related comes to life and attacks them. While the rest of the household are upstairs fighting off an assault by various toys, Howard (David Koechner) must contend with a battalion of Gingerbread Men who have abducted his son. Thinking he has vanquished the marauding biscuits by setting them alight, Howard is taken aback when they tenaciously proceed to attack while still on fire. He takes aim with his trusty shotgun and opens fire, blowing them into crumbs. Just as he runs out of shells a single flaming Gingerbread Man launches itself at him and just as Howard thinks his numbers up, the family dog catches it in mid-flight and promptly devours it, saving the day.






The Final Girls



Casually Observing a Murder


The Final Girls is a clever comedy-horror/love letter to 80s slasher movies. In it, a group of friends are accidentally transported into their favourite movie series while trying to escape a fire at a cinema.


Convinced that nothing that is happening is real, the gang squat behind a bush when the movie's villain, Billy arrives.


Hidden from view, they watch as the masked Billy approaches a couple of teenagers who are making out. One of the group suggests warning them but is talked out of it. The rationale being that it’s like nature documentarians filming a lion as it sneaks up on a gazelle. Their job is to watch, not to intervene.


Billy kills both the teens and as he throws one of the bodies toward the onlookers, it suddenly seems all too real and they decide to run for their lives.




WORST


Poltergeist



They’re Here, but I Couldn’t Care Less


One of the more famous scenes from the original Poltergeist movie is little Carol-Anne Freeling (Heather O'Rourke) sat with her hands pressed against a tv set displaying nothing but static. As her parents awaken to see her sat there, she turns and in that creepy child-like voice, drops that killer line, “They’re here!” It’s chilling stuff.


So why, given how ingrained in pop culture that scene is, did the producers of this remake decide to go with such a lame take?


The set up is the same. Little Madison Bowen (Kennedi Clements) sits in front of the tv, turns to her family, and in the flattest, wholly disinterested voice throws the line away. There is no ominous foreshadowing in her tone. She just sounds bored.




2016


BEST


The Conjuring 2



Channel Hopping


The Conjuring 2 is a superior movie to the first. There, I’ve said it. With that bombshell dropped, let’s get on with the scene.


Young Janet Hodgson (Madison Wolfe) is home sick from school while her mother is at work.

She sits watching an episode of The Goodies when the tv mysteriously starts channel hopping. (I grew up in the UK in the 70s and with only four channels, channel hopping didn’t take very long). She grabs for the remote, but it has strangely disappeared. Suddenly the phone rings and Janet answers it. Her mum is on the other end and checking in on her. As Janet chats on the phone, she spots the remote resting on the creepy old chair in the corner of the room. She ends the call and grabs the remote, flicking it back over to The Goodies. The tv loses reception and Janet heads over to adjust the aerial. In frustration, she smacks the tv, and it switches off. In the reflection of the television, Janet spots a figure sitting in the chair. She turns in fright, and the chair is empty. The camera pans back to a frightened Janet and then back to the chair. As the camera pans back to Janet a second time, a ghostly old man appears directly behind her and shouts “My house.” Janet screams in terror.




Don’t Breathe



Protein Shake


Three burglars get more than they bargained for when they rob the house of a blind ex-military vet (Stephen Lang). It turns out he is just as efficient at killing people without his sight as he might have been, were he to possess 20/20 vision.


Having entered the blind man's basement, they find a chained, pregnant girl. It turns out that the blind man had artificially inseminated her so she could incubate and eventually birth his child.

In the chaos that ensues, the blind man accidentally shoots and kills the pregnant girl.

The blind man overpowers Rocky (Jane Levy) and chains her up in the basement. He grabs his turkey baster and prepares to inseminate Rocky when her friend Alex (Dylan Minnette) shows up and subdues the blind man. He frees Rocky, who picks up the turkey baster. She shoves it into the blind man's mouth and squeezes it so that the man's semen fills his mouth. Yuck!





Raw



Finger Food


Justine, who has been vegetarian her entire life, begins her first semester at veterinary school. As a hazing ritual, Justine and her classmates are splattered with blood and forced to eat raw rabbit’s kidneys. Justine refuses, saying she is a vegetarian. She eventually gives in and eats one and later that night develops a rash that she is informed could be food poisoning. From this point on, Justine has weird cravings for meat.


Justine’s sister Alexia drops by to give Justine a bikini wax; when she tries to cut the wax off with sharp scissors, Justine kicks her away and Alexia accidentally cuts off her own finger. Alexia faints, understandably in shock. Justine picks up the finger and tastes it. Finding that she enjoys the taste she starts eating the finger. Alexia wakes up and is disgusted when catching Justine eating her severed finger.




WORST


Blair Witch



Too Much Witch


I get that The Blair Witch project (1999) divides people. It’s a marmite movie. You either love it or hate it. Personally, I have a great deal of affection for the film. Its simplicity is its brilliance. I have no problem with letting my imagination fill in the gaps, and The Blair Witch project leaves you with many questions. Is it the witch? Is it the ghost of Rustin Parr? Is it simply the doings of some psychopaths who like to fuck with people?


Blair Witch took it upon itself to answer that question for me, and it pissed me off. The latest group of idiots to enter the Burkettsville forest and get themselves lost eventually end up at the old Parr house, from the finale of the first movie. This time however they are most definitely being chased by a witch. We know this because it keeps showing up all over the place. This witch, however, looks like the daughter of Pumpkinhead. I very definitely did not want this question answered for me.




2017


BEST


Gerald’s Game



De-Gloving


Another Mike Flanagan film finds its way to the list. Anyone would think I was a fan. This time around it’s his first stab at adapting Stephen king. Not just any King book, as Geralds Game is one of my favourites.


With that in mind, I knew how Jessie (Carla Gugino) would escape her situation. I did not, however, expect it to be quite so graphic.


Having been left handcuffed to a bed all weekends since her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) died of a heart attack after trying to spice their sex life up, Jessie has had to endure hunger, dehydration, cramp, a dog eating her dead hubby and terrifying visits from a nightmarish looking ghoul who carries a bag of bones around.


Jessie eventually works up the nerve to execute her escape. It involves a piece of glass and her wrist. The idea being that blood is as slippery as oil. With that in mind, she uses the glass to cut her wrist. Once nice and bloody, she pulls against the handcuffs. As her hand slides through, the skin peels back partially de-gloving her hand. It works, and she is free but in a great deal of pain.





Mother!



Pass the Baby


Mother! is another of those films that you either love or hate and again, I loved it. The film can be taken several ways, but my understanding is that it depicts the raping of mother earth.


I’m not sure that I feel comfortable saying that this is my favourite scene, but it's definitely the one that stands out.


Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) goes into labour and goes to find her husband (Javier Bardem). He takes her to his study so that she can give birth in private and away from the crowds outside. Once she has given birth, he tells Mother his fans want to see their newborn son. Mother refuses and holds her son tightly. When she falls asleep, however, he takes their child outside to the crowd, which passes the baby around wildly until his neck is inadvertently snapped, instantly killing the baby. Mother wades into the crowd where she sees people eating her son’s mutilated corpse. She calls them murderers and attacks the crowd with a shard of glass. They turn on her, viciously beating and attempting to strangle her until her husband intervenes.




It: Chapter One



The Slideshow


While It Chapter two was somewhat of a disappointment, Chapter one was everything I hoped it would be. I never liked the 90s version with Tim Curry. You can address your death threats and hate-mail to Lee Richmond c/o Kiss my arse...


Anyhoo, on to my favourite scene in the movie.


The Losers Club has come to the realisation that they are all being menaced by the same entity. It has manifested itself in many forms, but the most consistent seems to be that of a clown called Pennywise.


They regroup in a garage and using an old projector; they run a slideshow that proves that Derry has been visited by the clown many years before.


The projector takes it upon itself to run a series of slides that depict the clown appearing from behind the hair of what first looked to be a boy's mother. As the slide show runs, Pennywise moves closer to the screen until suddenly, one of the Losers knocks the projector over in a panic. The image of Pennywise freezes for a moment until the projector clicks off. It clicks back on and Pennywise has vanished from the shot. The projector clicks off again and then as it clicks back on, Pennywise emerges from the screen and into the garage to terrorise the gang, as they run, screaming.




WORST


Rings



In-Fright Entertainment


If you thought The Ring 2 was bad, you haven’t seen anything yet. Rings makes The Ring 2 look like The Empire Strikes Back in comparison.


The movie starts on an aeroplane bound for Seattle. A man reveals that he has watched Samara Morgan’s cursed videotape and that it was seven days ago. The woman next to him reveals she has seen the tape too and asks the man if he made a copy to which he replies that he did not. As if on cue, Samara appears, crawling out of the entertainment monitors and causes the plane to crash. Yes, it really is as bad as it sounds.




2018


BEST


A Quiet Place



Bathtub Birth


A Quiet Place was the surprise hit of 2018. It snuck into theatres with little pomp and circumstance and left a huge impression on most who saw it. It’s also the first and best film directed by Jim from The Office.


Before I get to my favourite scene, I would first like to address a gripe that leads to this scene. If Earth were to have really been overrun with Monsters that hunted using sound, their ears so attuned to even the slightest noise, that you had to communicate using sign language, would you really impregnate your wife? Surely, if you must indulge your carnal urges, you would choose to blow your beans somewhere else. Even the dumbest among us understand that childbirth is noisy.


Ok. With that off my chest, let's get to the scene.


Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) is heavily pregnant and with her husband and kids out looking for supplies, she goes into labour. It’s an especially bad time to give birth considering the aforementioned monsters have just entered the house.


Evelyn enters the bathroom, closes the door and climbs into the bath. As the contractions come closer and more painful, she does her best not to cry out and give herself away. She has already impaled her foot on an exposed nail, so it’s safe to say she isn’t having a good day.

Luckily she turned the red bulbs on that hang outside to alert her husband of danger. Just as one of the creatures enters the bathroom her husband Lee, (John Krasinski) arrives to set off the fireworks that they use to distract the creatures. As the first rocket explodes, the creature leaves the bathroom to investigate the noise and Everlyn, who can no longer suppress the pain, lets out an almighty scream.




Upgrade



Kitchen Scrap


Having been shot in the neck, Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) is paralysed, due to the bullet having severed his spinal cord. His friend Eron convinces him to accept a STEM implant, claiming it would allow him to walk again.


As it turns out, the STEM implant is artificially intelligent and starts communicating with Grey. STEM says it can help Grey get revenge for the murder of his wife.


Grey breaks into the house of one of the men responsible, a guy by the name of Serk. Serk arrives and attacks Grey, but STEM convinces Grey to allow it to take full control of his body, and easily overpowers Serk, beating the living shit out of him and eventually killing him.




Halloween



Hide and Seek


Halloween (2018) was a breath of fresh air to a series that had grown stagnant many years before. Forgetting everything that had come before, Halloween serves as a direct sequel to the 1978 original.


Michael Myers has once again escaped from the mental institution that has contained him since that night, 40-years-ago. As he makes his way back to Haddonfield, his arch-nemesis, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has been preparing and is more than ready for his arrival.


Michael has made his way into Laurie’s house and she makes her way from room to room, shotgun in hand. After searching each room and finding it to be empty, she flicks a switch and seals off the room, cutting off Michael from using that room to lurk in the shadows.


She eventually reaches a room full of mannequins that she uses for target practice. The mannequins add to the creepy factor as they cast shadows that could easily belong to Michael and you just know it’s the room he is most likely to be hiding in.




WORST


Hereditary



Into the Treehouse


I wanted to like Hereditary, I really did. The acting was superb, and it sucked me in all the way. Sadly, the ending was that ridiculous that I found myself, along with a theatre of other people, laughing my arse off. I was laughing at a movie that until this point, had been anything but funny.

I’m sure you all know the scene I mean. Floating, headless corpses, naked old folks and a weird crowning scene. I can’t be bothered to go into great detail. It ruined a movie that I would have otherwise, no doubt have loved.




2019


BEST


Us



Fuck the police


Having been a fan of Jordan Peele’s first stab at horror, Get Out, I had high hopes for Us and it did not disappoint. A brilliantly creepy story, beautifully filmed with wonderful performances from all involved. Us, I believe, is a superior film to Get Out.

Having survived the attack by their Tethered, the Wilson’s head over to their friends, the Tyler’s. Unfortunately, the Tyler’s haven’t been as lucky and their Tethered are in the process of killing them. Kitty Tyler (Elisabeth Moss) instructs their Amazon Echo-like device to call the police. The Echo misunderstands this instruction and instead blasts out Fuck the Police by hip-hop band NWA.




Doctor Sleep



Back to the Overlook


Yes, more Mike Flanagan worship. Seriously, if you haven’t done so already, check out The Haunting of Hill House. It’s amazing.


When I first saw Doctor Sleep, I felt incredibly conflicted. Viewing it as a sequel to The Shining, I found it disappointing. On second viewing, I decided to judge it as a film on its own merit and I found myself loving it. I have the extended directors cut to watch but I haven’t gotten round to that yet.


Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) takes young Abra (Kyliegh Curran) to the Overlook Hotel. It’s the only place he knows he can protect her from the psychic power thief, Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson).


Danny tells Abra to wait by the car while he goes to switch on the hotel. From here on in we get a wonderfully nostalgic tour through the infamous hotel that has been lying dormant for the last 40 years.


Danny wanders its corridors, past room 237 and makes his way to that axe damaged bathroom door. Redrum still scrawled across it.


He then pays a visit to The Gold Room for a chat with the ghostly apparition of his old man, before finally making his way to the room that served as his fathers writing room before confronting Rose on the very steps where his mother had waved the baseball bat at his advancing father many years before.




Brightburn



Glass Eye


Brightburn or Evil Superman is a cracking movie exploring the ‘what if the last son of Krypton had been a horrible little shit?’ idea.


It’s chock full of some wonderfully violent moments. My favourite being when young Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn) decides to kill Erica, a waitress and mother to the girl who spurned Brandon’s advances at school.


Using his powers, he causes the lights in the restaurant where she works to explode just as she happens to be looking up at the ceiling. As Erica recoils in pain, it soon becomes apparent that a shard of glass is wedged firmly in her eyeball. As she slowly pulls it free, a cocktail of blood and eyeball fluid jet forth. It’s nasty.




WORST


Pet Sematary



Well, that isn’t Gage


To be honest, I hated the entire movie, but the bit that really ground my gears was thinking it would make the movie new and interesting if they had the daughter killed instead of little Gage. What utter cretin thought that would shake things up? The book and original film benefitted by the horror of it being the youngest child killed. Not that having your eldest child die doesn’t make an

impact but something about it being the toddler that is killed by the speeding truck delivers more of a punch.


If you haven’t yet seen this remake, you’re missing nothing.




Well, that is my list of favourite and least favourite scenes of the 21st century so far. Agree or disagree? Stick it in the comments below.

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