There's a scene from the 1929 surrealist film Un Chien Andalou that everyone who's taken a film history class will remember: A man (Luis Bunuel, the writer-director) is sharpening a straight razor on his balcony. He then takes the blade and runs it along his thumb. The film shows a tight shot of a woman, staring blankly at us, and Bunuel's hand draws her eyelids back. Then, Bunuel slices the woman's eye open.
It's still one of the most shocking things that's ever been to put to film. Maybe the first that wasn't based on the visceral gore of a new artistic medium. This was not just a scare, it was straight horror. Fast forward to 2012, where hundreds of films -- many of them in the proper horror genre -- contain enough fucked-up scenes to knock us on the couch for years of psychological restructuring.
So, with Halloween around the corner, we'd like to present ten scenes from classic horror films that are so disturbing we're different people upon watching them (with the number of hours of cartoons we had to watch to rid us of said fear). In other words, the 10 best film scenes that fucked us up for life:
10. The Fly - The vomit scene David Cronenberg's films could inhabit this entire list, but this one's special. In the horrifying, tragic end sequence, Jeff Goldblum, who's nearly made the transition into full human-fly mode, vomits caustic acid onto Bearded Guy's hand. It dissolves as the man screams--and we watch. Hours of cartoons to cancel out fear: 4
9. Se7en - the "Sloth" victim scene Many, many, MANY films have tried to live up to Se7en. Few have come close. Maybe that's because the film is an never-ending string of deeply, deeply disturbed moments. One of them? Oh, how about when Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman enter the degraded apartment of a man who's been bound to a bed for a year. The fucked up part comes when SWAT Team member John C. McGinley whispers, "you got what you deserved," AND THE GUY WHO YOU THOUGHT WAS DEAD COUGHS AND LOOKS INSANE. Hours of cartoons to cancel out fear: 0. Happiness is gone, like our innocence.
8. Shaun of the Dead - David dies scene Yes, this is comedy. But it's cleverly masked in a pretty-damn-scary movie. Take this clip, where the horrible David (after solidifying his need to die by shooting Shaun's mum) gets ripped apart by zombies. Alive. Hours of cartoons you'll need to watch after: 30
7. House of the Devil - Samantha's friend dies scene *Spoiler alert* There's a moment, nearly a quarter of the way into House of the Devil--a film whose title indicates the protagonist, Samantha's house-sitting gig is really going to go shitty. Samantha's friend Megan (Greta Gerwig) pulls over to smoke a cigarette, and she's pissed because she just dropped her friend off at a very, very creepy place to babysit. Suddenly, a man approaches. He offers Samantha's friend a light. Then, he asks "You're not the babysitter?" She says "no." Then, he blows her face off in one of the most abrupt, shocking gunshots ever put to the screen. Hours of cartoons you'll need to watch after: 8
6. Jacob's Ladder - The cocktail party scene ICYMI, you guys, here's what's happening: Jacob's having goddern ol' Vietnam flashbacks! Oh darns, right? So, what follows is the most disturbing mix of hallucinations, anxiety, and a war-torn mind in a strobe light that's ever been put to film. Hours of cartoons you'll need to watch after: 1,000
5. The Ring - "I saw her face" scene Make sure you're eating a big bowl of milky cereal when you watch this light-hearted scene from The Ring. Just kidding, it's awful. It's a scene where a mother describes finding her dead daughter in the closet! Wee!!! Hours of cartoons to cancel out fear: 120
4. Jaws - Quint gets eaten scene This is why we're all afraid of sharks (AKA: why I couldn't swim in pools or take baths for a few months.) Anyone out there not afraid of sharks hasn't seen this one. Hours of cartoons to cancel out fear: 90
3. Don't Look Now - The end The alternate title for this film should have been: Worst Venice Vacation Ever. Here, see the famous end of the film where character John Baxter (Donald Sutherland) finally confronts a recurring figure: Hours of cartoons you'll need to watch after: 200
2. The Exorcist - "You're going to die up there" Yes, yes, this whole film is terrifying and disturbing and then terrifying again. The pea soup vomit part! The "your mother sucks cocks in hell" part! Few scenes, however, encourage more dreadful foreshadowing than the below: when Reagan interrupts a song-singing party to tell an astronaut who's about to go to space, "You're going to die up there." And then pees on the floor. Hours of cartoons you'll need to watch after: 400
1. Hellraiser - "Jesus wept" Let me sum this devastatingly fucked up scene with the statement: THIS IS THE LAST THING YOU SEE BEFORE THE FILM ENDS. Hours of cartoons you'll need to watch after: All