Greatest Scariest
Movie Moments and Scenes


Greatest and Scariest Film Scenes
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Brief Scene Description

Halloween (1978)


In the opening of this classic 'boogeyman' film (one of the most profitable independent films ever), a 4 minute sequence, young 6 year-old Michael Myers (Will Sandin as boy) murdered his teenaged sister Judith (Sandy Johnson) (shot from his point of view) with a long butcher knife -- and then was unmasked on the front lawn wearing a clown-costume.

In the wood-framed Myers house, he had voyeuristically watched from an outside porch window as Judith and her boyfriend Tommy (David Kyle) retreated to her upstairs bedroom to have sex. After the boyfriend left, the camera followed the mysterious figure to the back entrance and into the kitchen, where he took a large, menacing butcher knife from a drawer, proceeded through the house and then up the stairs. With a clown's Halloween mask (with a large, red, phallic-like nose) on his face, he entered his near-naked sister's bedroom to commit a hideous crime. Although she tried to defend herself, he furiously stabbed her to death in a brutal murder, and her bloodied body tumbled to the floor. The killer then descended the stairs and went out the front door. There, he was unmasked - revealed in a shocking revelation as six-year-old Michael Myers - the teenage girl's blank-faced, younger brother.

Later in the film, decent teenaged student Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) sighted the unkillable maniacal Michael Myers (Tony Moran as adult), for an instant before he vanished. He had escaped from a sanitarium after attacking a nurse and returned to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, to stalk its residents. She also spotted Myers near a clothesline. Laurie's baby-sitting charge Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews) saw "the boogey man" staring at his house from across the street.

The Murders of Bob and Girlfriend Lynda
Bob Stabbed and Impaled
Myers' Strangulation of Lynda

Stalked teenager Lynda (P. J. Soles), one of Laurie's girlfriends, amusingly thought a sheet-shrouded ghost figure was her boyfriend Bob (John Michael Graham) -- and not the madman -- who subsequently strangled her with a phone cord. Moments earlier, Bob met his fate in the kitchen where he was getting beer - when he opened the closet door, the masked Michael appeared (and stared at Bob quizzically for a moment as he tilted his head), held him high against the wall, and impaled him there with a large, shiny butcher knife.

During an extended sequence, Michael Myers seemed to have cornered teenaged babysitter Laurie in the house and in a closet - her retaliation had failed to stop him. He sat straight up (in the background) after being stabbed in the eye with a coat hanger. He had appeared as a shadow next to her and tried to stab her. After he approached and assaulted her again, as he grabbed Laurie's neck and strangled her, she brushed the mask from Michael's face. Michael let go of her neck to put his mask back on to restore his masked facade.

Doyle House: The Closet Attack on Laurie
Laurie's Further Stalking

Dr. Sam Loomis Firing on Myers
Myers Propelled Backwards Off Balcony

Myers Dead on Ground?

In the final segment, shrink Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) made the horrifying discovery that the killer had vanished from the ground below - and hadn't succumbed after being stabbed three times, shot six times by Loomis and falling from a two-story balcony. Bloodied and in near-shock, Laurie quizzically stated: "[it]...was the boogey-man, followed by Loomis' priceless final line of dialogue:

Laurie: [it]...was the boogey-man.
Dr. Loomis: As a matter of fact, it was.

The Murder of Judith

Killer: Young Michael Myers

Stalked Teenager Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis)

Stalking in House

Michael Unmasked for a Moment

Laurie: "[it]...was the boogey-man"

Dr. Sam Loomis: "As a matter of fact, it was...."

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)


In director Curtis Hanson's unnerving dramatic thriller (with a screenplay by a female scripter Amanda Silver), Rebecca De Mornay portrayed an evil, deranged and vengeful nanny named Peyton Flanders - intent on seeking revenge against her dead obstetrician husband's patient Claire Bartel (Annabella Sciorra). It was a version of Fatal Attraction (1987) or Joseph Ruben's The Stepfather (1987) - against a young, busy mother.

Peyton was the widow of gynecologist Dr. Victor Mott (John de Lancie) who killed himself after Claire brought charges of sexual harrassment. Newspaper headlines read: "Accused Gynecologist Found Dead in Home. Apparent Victim of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound." Claire was encouraged to file a lawsuit by her husband Michael (Matt McCoy). As a result of the stress, Peyton bloodily miscarried from the shock of her husband's death and was forced to have a hysterectomy. Later, Peyton falsely claimed that her husband had been murdered ("They never caught who did it. But I firmly believe, what goes around comes around").

The Invasive Gynecological Exam of Claire by Dr. Victor Mott

The issue in question was shown in an unnerving doctor's office scene. Pregnant Seattle housewife Claire Bartel was placed in stirrups by her new gynecologist, Dr. Victor Mott. He engaged in small talk ("The weather's been beautiful these days, hasn't it?...I love taking walks after the rainstorm") as he unprofessionally squeezed her breasts and lasciviously (and secretly) removed his latex glove on his right hand to insert a finger into her for a violating vaginal probe.

Six months later, a disguised Peyton Flanders was hired as a nanny for the busy family. She schemed and threatened to wean the new baby Joey from the Bartel family's bond. She took advantage of the fact that Claire was preoccupied with her greenhouse, a symbol for the womb.

In an offensive and highly disturbing scene, she approached the infant with a pillow (looking like her intent was to smother the child) but then breast-fed the infant. [She had been using a breast pump to keep her milk up since her miscarriage.] Later, Peyton attempted to take over Claire's life with her yuppie husband, their five year old daughter Emma (Madeline Zima), and the newborn baby Joey.

Peyton's Revenge
Caused Suspicion of Michael Having an Affair
The Death of Marlene
Claire's Asthma Attack
Peyton's Viciousness

The unbalanced Peyton set up various scenarios to incriminate or kill others:

  • through a window, black handyman Solomon (Ernie Hudson), with a developmental disability, witnessed Peyton breast-feeding the baby. To quiet him, she set it up so that he would lose his job and all credibility - he was wrongly accused of molesting Emma and fired
  • Claire was encouraged to suspect that Michael was having an affair with the nanny, and with his ex-girlfriend Marlene Craven (Julianne Moore)
  • Claire's greenhouse was rigged as a deathtrap to collapse on her, but it killed Marlene instead, who had discovered Peyton's real identity and motivations
  • Peyton emptied the contents of all of Claire's medicinal asthma inhalers, hoping that she would have a lethal attack upon viewing Marlene's body in the greenhouse

In the conclusion after Peyton knocked Michael out with a shovel and broke his legs, Claire was in a face-off in the house against Peyton. Peyton further incensed Claire (who was faking an asthma attack) when she admitted secretly breastfeeding Joey: "When your husband makes love to you, it's MY face he sees. When your baby's hungry, it's MY breast that feeds him."

Together with Solomon's help, the two pushed Peyton out of the attic window, and she rolled down the steep roof and was lethally impaled on the house's white picket fence spikes below. It was a triumphant ending - and fitting end - to Peyton.

Miscarriage of Peyton Mott/Flanders

Breast-Feeding and Breast Pumping

The Death of Peyton

Hannibal (2001)

Director Ridley Scott's was the third film in the series of adapted screenplays from Thomas Harris' best-selling books. The film was set 10 years after the events of the previous film The Silence of the Lambs (1991), although the novel's time frame was seven years later.

In a dinner meal scene, FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore) found Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) preparing a gourmet meal for a drugged and wheelchair-seated dinner guest. Duplicitous Justice Department official Paul Krendler (Ray Liotta) had arrived for the Fourth of July weekend at his home, where he was surprised to find the downstairs dining room table set for an elegant dinner. He was abruptly confronted by Lecter and drugged.

In the dining room, Clarice (suffering from doses of morphine) found Lecter preparing a gourmet meal for a drugged and seated dinner guest - Krendler, wearing a backwards baseball cap bearing his initials. She was stunned when Lecter removed Krendler's cap, exposing a circular scar around the top of his head.

Dr. Lecter then neatly sliced and removed the entire top of his skull to expose his brain's cerebral cortex. As he cut out part of the brain tissue in the pre-frontal lobe and sauteed it in a pan by the table, Lecter assured Clarice:

"The brain itself feels no pain."

Krendler noted: "That smells great" and then ate a piece of his own brain when offered ("It is good"). Lecter taunted Clarice about whether she would sacrifice his freedom for her own return as a hero to her FBI job: "Those people you despise almost as much as they despise you."

With blood running down his face, an almost comatose Krendler was wheeled into the kitchen as the meal ended.

Hard Candy (2005)


In this thought-provoking, exploitative female revenge thriller, the debut feature film of director David Slade (a music video director), seemingly-innocent, red-hooded 14 year old femme fatale Hayley Stark (Ellen Page) (screenname Thonggrrrrrl14) - had met 32 year old photographer Jeff Kohlver (Patrick Wilson) (screenname Lensman319) in an Internet chat room.

During their first face-to-face meeting at the Nighthawks coffee shop, the potential male predator bought her some chocolate cake (which he suggestively wiped from her lips). He also reassuringly told her: "You look older than you are and you, you certainly act older than you are."

She went to the potential jail-bait predator's Hollywood Hills home with premeditated determination to seek revenge (in a tense and suspenseful cat-and-mouse interplay regarding the "predator" and the "prey"). As a character, she turned the tables on him, and was as reprehensible as her prey.

Acting as a vigilante, she drugged his drink, tied him up (after he asked: "Is this some kind of teenage joke?", she responded: "Teenage? Yes. Joke? No"), and accused him of being a pedophile:

Jeff: "You were coming on to me."
Hayley: "Oh, come on. That's what they always say, Jeff."
Jeff: "Who?"
Hayley: "Who? The pedophiles! 'She was so sexy. She was asking for it.' Or 'She was only technically a girl, she acted like a woman.' It's just so easy to blame a kid, isn't it?! Just because a girl knows how to imitate a woman does NOT mean she's ready to do what a woman does."

She asphyxiated him with plastic wrap. And then in the most squirm-inducing sequence, she threatened to castrate him (as "preventative maintenance") with a scalpel and anesthetic ice, as he both berated her and pleaded with his raging and sadistic captor to spare him ("Please untie me, let me go! Please don't cut me, please!"). She told him:

"I am every little girl you ever watched, touched, hurt, screwed, killed."

It was quite terrifying and difficult to watch, but it was only the first of the provocative, nail-biting film's major plot twists. Hayley faked Jeff's castration - although she went through all the motions to perform the castration (off-screen). When he realized he had been tricked, he went to attack her in the bathroom with a scapel, believing that she was showering. She incapacitated him with a stun gun from behind.

When he regained consciousness, he found himself strung up in the kitchen (hung from a noose) with his hands bound. She bargained with him - if he killed himself by suicide, she would erase evidence of his involvement in the disappearance of another local girl named Donna Mauer. If he refused to admit his guilt, she would expose his crime - forcing him to be convicted to serve a prison term as a child molester. Eventually, they both ended up on the roof of his house, where she proposed her bargain to him a second time.

She forced her repentant victim to confess to a murder that he may/may not have committed of a young model named Donna Mauer that he once photographed. It was revealed that Hayley had probably already kidnapped and tortured another pedophile named Aaron, Jeff's partner-in-crime during the murder of Donna. Hayley admitted:

"Aaron told me you killed her, before he killed himself."

When Jeff's ex-girlfriend Janelle Rogers (Jennifer Holmes/Odessa Rae) arrived at the house, Hayley and Jeff were on the roof, where she had strung a rope off the side. She again offered to clean up incriminating evidence of him as a sexual predator in his home (he would also avoid prosecution and clear his name with Janelle) if he jumped and committed suicide by hanging with a noose, but at the last second after he stepped off the roof and the rope went taut, she promised - with a caveat:

"I'll take care of it all - or not!"

At the Coffee Shop

The Castration Scene

Tied Up and Hanging

Suicidal Step Off Roof

"I'll take care of it all - or not!"

The Haunting (1963, UK/US)


This classic and effective ghostly old mansion film from director/producer Robert Wise specialized in low-key suggestive horror, similar to Val Lewton's horror masterpieces and The Innocents (1961, UK). It was based upon Shirley Jackson's novel "The Haunting of Hill House."

[Note: A remake was also made, director Jan de Bont's The Haunting (1999), starring Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luke Wilson Later, Burnt Offerings (1976) was a similar film.]

[In the film's prologue, it was explained (in voice-over) how New Englander Hugh Crain had originally built the Hill House mansion for his young wife, the first Mrs. Crain (Pamela Buckley). Just seconds before she arrived at the house, however, she was killed when the horses bolted for no apparent reason and her carriage crashed against a big tree. There continued to be a history of death within the house for generations to come.]

In the story, anthropologist and psychic investigator Dr. John Markway (Richard Johnson) was leading a research team investigating New England's infamous 90 year old Hill House ("It was an evil house from the beginning, a house that was born bad") with a history of violent 'accidents.' Over a weekend, his scientific experimental study was designed to stir up or "stimulate" any occult forces that resided there, and to discover the presence of the supernatural. The strange caretakers of the house, the Dudleys (Valentine Dyall and Rosalie Crutchley), were a couple who lived in town and would never spend the night at Hill House.

The "carefully selected assistants" who were invited to stay overnight at Hill House as part of his study of the paranormal were:

  • Eleanor "Nell" Lance (Julie Harris), unstable, insecure, unloved, psychically-gifted, experienced with poltergeists; she continually had disturbing inner monologues throughout the film, and was still recovering (and guilt-ridden) from her mother's recent death
  • Theodora "Theo" (Claire Bloom), a modern-day 'witch' with clairvoyance and ESP skills
  • Luke Sanderson (Russ Tamblyn), a skeptical and brash American - the next in line to inherit the house
  • [Note: Grace Markway (Lois Maxwell), Markway's disbelieving and hard-headed wife, joined the group later.]

Strange events and spooky nocturnal noises ensued (loud poundings, high-pitched laughter, bangings, opening and closing doors, cold spots and drafts, a 'breathing' doorway, sounds of glass breaking, etc.) during the film's frightening scenes of terror. Nell almost fell off the veranda early in the film and was saved by Dr. Markway, and she wrongly interpreted his attentiveness as romantic.

"Nell" Scared in Room in Middle of Night

Nell: "Hold my hand, Theo. And for God's sake, don't scream"

Adjacent Wall in Room (With a Leaf Pattern and the Shape of a Face)

In the film's scariest scene - the film's most memorable set-piece, after awakening from sleep, Eleanor "Nell" looked across her dark room at a moonlit wall on the other side of the room (with intricate leaf patterns that formed a face); she began to hear mysterious and strange sounds including unintelligible, muffled mumblings of a man and deranged female laughter; she asked her nearby roommate Theodora "Theo" in the adjacent bed: "Are you awake? Don't say a word, Theo. Not a word. Don't let it know you're in my room"; then she asked to hold Theo's hand for comfort: "Hold my hand, Theo. And for God's sake, don't scream"; when the man's threatening sermonizing and the female's laughter stopped, Nell asked: "Is it over? Do you think it's over?"; she asked Theodora to stop squeezing her hand: ("Theo. You're breaking my hand").

The sounds commenced again, however, this time with the shrill crying of an agonized young child being hurt in some unexplained way; Nell (in voice-over) reacted to the pain suffered by the child: ("This is monstrous. This is cruel. It is hurting a Child, and I will not let anyone, anything, hurt a child. I won't endure this. It thinks to scare me. Well, it has, and poor Theo too. Honestly, it feels like she's breaking my hand. I will take a lot from this filthy house for his sake, but I will not go along with hurting a child. No, I will not. I will get my mouth to open right now, and I will yell, I will yell, I will yell").

"Nell's" Scream

"Nell" Sitting Up in Fright in a Divan

Theo Across the Room Next to an Empty Bed

"Nell's" Outstretched Hand Gripping Nothing

"Nell" Looking Down at Her Own Hand

"God, oh God! Whose hand was I holding?"

Nell finally managed to scream, sat up in bed, and turned on the lights, causing the voices to stop; and then she realized that somehow, she had ended up on a divan next to the wall, and that Theo was sleeping in one of two adjacent beds completely across the room and nowhere near her; she had the mistaken belief that their beds were next to each other; she exclaimed: "God, oh God! Whose hand was I holding?" It became clear that the unseen and invisible presence had squeezed her hand and wanted to claim Nell - the 'haunting' horror had selected her and that she had finally found a "home"; at times, however, she did suspect her own state of mind ("Maybe I am insane").

In the climactic scary ending, Mrs. Grace Markway, John's wife who had unexpectedly arrived to spend the night, inexplicably disappeared while sleeping in the much-feared, most-haunted room - the dreaded nursery. During a search for her, Nell ascended the rickety spiral staircase in the library. Dr. Markway followed her up to its top platform to rescue her. When they both reached the platform at the top of the nearly-collapsed structure, Nell saw Grace's face peering down at her from a trap-door in the ceiling, and she fainted. Dr. Markway feared for Nell's safety and ordered her to leave Hill House immediately, although Nell was resistant.

Feeling that the house wanted to possess her, was speaking to her, and that she belonged to it, Nell sped away in a car in the driveway toward the gate. Taking an erratic course as the car became possessed, she saw Grace racing across her path. Struggling with the steering wheel, Nell crashed her car into an old tree, and instantly died in exactly the same spot that the first Mrs. Crain did.

Dr. Markway declared that Hill House was definitely haunted. Nell's soul was claimed and now condemned (or invited) to join the other ghostly forces roaming the dark corridors of Hill House.

Her voice-over ended the film, similar to the film's prologue:

"Hill House has stood for 90 years and might stand for 90 more. Within, walls continue upright, bricks meet, floors are firm, and doors are sensibly shut. Silence lies steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House. And we who walk here...walk alone."

Hill House

Hill House's Winding, Spiral Staircase

(l to r): "Theo" and "Nell"

Nell Climbing Staircase

Grace's Sudden Appearance in Trap-Door

Nell's Jump-Scare Reaction to Grace's Face

Nell's Death: Crash into Tree

Hellraiser (1987)


Director Clive Barker's grisly sado-masochistic supernatural horror film (his directorial debut feature) was based upon his own novella "The Hellbound Heart." Its main subject matter was about the existence of extra-dimensional creatures who relished pain and sadomasochistic pleasures.

The film opened with a scary prologue - Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) purchased a magical French antique puzzle box (the Lament Configuration) from a North African Moroccan vendor (James Hong). Soon after, in the attic of his London home while surrounded by candles in the shape of a square, the sexually-perverted and depraved Frank attempted to solve the secret mystery of the box, hoping it would open him up to new carnal pleasures.

Frank with Box in Candle-Lit Attic of London Home

Antique Puzzle Box - Solved by Frank

When the puzzle box was solved, it did open with sparks of blue, and he was impaled by hooks and chains that flew out of the box and hooked into his flesh and face. His bloody remains were spread across the floor of the attic - now with dangling chains and hooks from the ceiling. After the box was closed and restored (or re-puzzled) to its original configuration by an unusual being in a black robe, the attic was restored to its original condition. Frank's remnants (including his reassembled face) were taken and hidden away in a new dark and hellish alternate dimension or underworld inhabited by mutant humanoids (Cenobites), where he became the "subject" of their experimental sado-masochism.

The story then told about another Cotton couple:

  • Larry Cotton (Andrew Robinson), Frank's half-brother; Julia's brother-in-law; father of Kirsty
  • Julia Cotton (Clare Higgins), Larry's second promiscuous wife and Kirsty's step-mother; Julia was Frank's former lover (involved in a secretive sexual affair)

Larry Cotton (Andrew Robinson)

Julia Cotton (Clare Higgins)

Frank Cotton - Julia's Former Lover (in Flashback)

Kirsty (Ashley Laurence)

The two moved into Frank's old abandoned house in London that was Larry's childhood home. Larry had a very pretty teenaged daughter (from his first marriage) named Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) who despised her stepmother and moved into her own apartment with her handsome boyfriend Steve. Before long, Larry's blood was spilled in the attic when he cut his hand on a nail on the staircase during the move-in of a mattress, summoning the bloody rebirth of Frank. While Julia and Kirsty went with Larry to get stitches, the blood allowed Frank's hideous partial resurrection in a spectacular special-effects sequence. He remained in the attic (to hide from the sadistic Cenobites' realm) with his partially-restored body.

In the attic, Julia discovered the gooey remains of a re-animated, resurrected, half-alive, half-composed 'skinless' Frank the Monster (Oliver Smith), who was thirsting for new blood to regenerate himself. Unfaithful to Larry, Julia agreed to help Frank harvest blood through blood sacrifices to fully reconstitute his entire body. Fresh victims were lured to the house and the attic by the seductive Julia, to drain them of their blood. However, Frank knew that the Cenobites would be unhappy with his plan to escape from them and run off with Julia.

In a grisly scene in the attic, Julia assaulted her first amorous guest (Antony Allen) (whom she met in a bar) with a hammer after he stripped down to his underwear. There would be two more male blood-donor victims who were summoned to the attic and brutally slaughtered.

Julia's First Victim to Supply Blood to Frank - Bashed With Hammer Until Dead
Frank's Body After First Victim

Eventually, Frank's suspicious teenaged niece Kirsty discovered what was happening and witnessed one of the bloody murder-feasts in progress, when Frank finished off his third victim and told her: "Kirsty, it's Frank. It's Uncle Frank...Come to Daddy." When he threatened to sexually assault her, she fought him off and grabbed his puzzle box, and then was able to escape from the house (with the box) by throwing it out the window and retrieving it, but she required hospitalization when she became disoriented and unconscious.

Puzzle Solved by Kirsty in the Hospital

Kirsty Walking Through an Opening in Wall and Down a Lengthy Corridor

Attack of Two-Headed Creature Hellspawn Known as the Engineer

In a memorable scene in the hospital, she twisted the box's sides and happened to solve the puzzle. It triggered the opening of a hospital wall, leading to a long corridor. Her way was blocked by a Hellspawn known as the Engineer. Kirsty was pursued down the long corridor by the two-headed wormy creature back into her hospital room.

She came to realize that she had also summoned an other-worldly Cenobite spirit known as the Chatterer (Nicholas Vince). The grotesque character of the Lead Cenobite (aka Pinhead) (Doug Bradley) also appeared - a demonic agent of evil and the leader of the horrible S&M creatures who worshipped pain, and Butterball Cenobite (Simon Bamford). Pinhead told Kirsty:

"The box. You opened it. We came...It is a means to summon us...(We are) explorers in the further regions of experience. Demons to some, angels to others."

As she pleaded: "It was a mistake," she was told threateningly: "You solved the box. We came. Now you must come with us. Taste our pleasures... Oh, no tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering...No time for argument..."

Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) Unwittingly Summoning Other-Worldly Cenobite Spirits

Chattering Cenobite (Nicholas Vince)

They were threatening to take her back to their Cenobite world of pain and suffering. However, after Kirsty told them that Frank had escaped them ("He's alive"), Pinhead agreed to free Kirsty in exchange for leading them to Frank (so that they could hear his confession and take him back), but Pinhead warned if she cheated them: "We'll tear your soul apart."

When she returned to the house, Kirsty demanded to see her father. She ran relieved into the arms of 'Larry' to be comforted, and to warn him that Frank was upstairs and trying to kill him. 'Larry' told her that Frank was now dead: ("He was insane, baby. A mad dog. Had to put him out of his misery"). She went to the attic to see Frank's body. There, she found a stripped corpse, assuming it was Frank's corpse. Suddenly, the Cenobites (led by Pinhead) approached and commanded: "We want the man who did this"; Kirsty refused to have them kill her father and ran back down the stairs, where she tried to warn 'Larry' to leave the house. He vengefully approached Kirsty with his familiar phrase: "Come to Daddy." She suddenly realized that Frank had killed her father and skinned her father's flesh in order to impersonate her father with his fleshly facial skin (in order to fool the Cenobites). She scratched his face flesh to confirm her suspicions.

Frank pulled out his switchblade knife and was about to stab Kirsty, but instead stabbed and killed Julia who was restraining her on the staircase. As Julia died, Frank also sucked dry and absorbed more energy from her body.

As the upset Kirsty fled into the attic to hide, Frank followed, where Kirsty found other rotting dead bodies, and also stumbled over her father's dead corpse. She unleashed her anger on Frank: "Bastard!" Frank inadvertently confessed who he was - to her and to the Cenobites who were listening: "Everything's all right, Frank's here. Your dear old Uncle Frank."

Kirsty Stumbling Over Her Father's Corpse in Attic

Frank to Kirsty: "You set me up, bitch!"

When the resurrected and regenerated Frank discovered that Kirsty had set him up and led the Cenobites to him, he exclaimed: "You set me up, bitch!" The Cenobites approached Frank - his hand was literally snared by a hook attached to a chain. Then, his entire body was literally stretched out and impaled, in a crucifixion pose, by a network of dozens of hooks and chains ripping into his flesh by the grim-faced Cenobites.

Frank's Snared by Hooks Attached to Chains - His Gory Destruction and Crucifixion Death: "Jesus Wept"

Masochistically savoring the pain, Frank knew he was facing death and eternal damnation in an alternate universe. He looked lustfully at Kirsty one last time (licking his lips), said (infamously): "Jesus wept," giggled to himself, and then was pulled apart and torn to shreds by hundreds of hooks.

The Cenobites also tried to claim Kirsty and take her back to their realm ("Not leaving us so soon, are you?. We have such sights to show you"), but the resourceful teen pried the puzzle box from the stiff hands of Julia's corpse on a mattress, and cleverly manipulated the box with black magic to desolve the puzzle and to banish all the monstrous creatures and transport them back to hell (including the Engineer) as the house began to collapse.

As she escaped from the demolished house, she threw the puzzle box in an outdoor pit fire to destroy it, but a strange bony, skeletal, demonic dragon-creature retrieved the box (in the form of a vagrant) before flying away. In the film's epilogue, the Chinese dealer was again selling the cubed box, asking an unsuspecting customer: "What's your pleasure, sir?"

Frank Cotton's Purchase of a Magical Puzzle Box

Frank Impaled by Hooks and Chains After Solving Puzzle - Tearing His Body into Pieces

The Puzzle Pieces of Frank's Face - His Body Parts Were Transported and Hidden Away in Another Dimension

Blood Dripping on Wooden Attic Floor From Larry's Nail Wound

Frank Progressively Reconstituting Himself From Larry's Spilt Blood

Frank's Partially Restored Body

Kirsty Watched in Horror as Frank Killed Julia's 3rd Victim

Frank's Threats to Assault Kirsty

In Hospital, Kirsty After Summoning Other-Worldly Creatures

Lead Cenobite (aka Pinhead) (Doug Bradley)

Butterball Cenobite (Simon Bamford)

Female Cenobite (Grace Kirby)

Fooling Kirsty, Frank Was Disguised as Her Father Larry By Wearing His Facial Skin After Killing Him

Kirsty Viewing the Stripped Corpse in the Attic

Kirsty Approached by the Cenobites in Attic Over Larry's Corpse: "We want the man who did this"

Frank to Kirsty: "Come to Daddy!"

Remains of Frank

Last Image of Cube (with Matted Shot of Kirsty and Steve) Being Sold Off to Another Unsuspecting Customer

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) (released in 1990)


The realistic, detached, low-budget cinema-verite documentary style filming of this disturbing story enhanced each brutal, sudden, gory and violent killing by serial killer Henry (Michael Rooker), accompanied by his roommate-prison buddy partner-in-crime Otis (Tom Towles). There were many sickening, brutally-violent killings (over a dozen) in this highly-controversial, low-budget and notorious 82 minute film.

Serial killer Henry's random crime spree was loosely based on real-life murderer Henry Lee Lucas (who eventually died in prison in 2001). Henry's background partially accounted for his murderous streak - his abusive mother (who Henry claimed he had stabbed to death on his 14th birthday) was a "whore" who forced young Henry to wear a dress and watch her having sex with her many customers in their house.

Interspersed in the film's action were still shots of Henry's trail of carnage in Illinois - there were five death poses of many of his murder victims (killed off-screen), sometimes with accompanying sounds of their screams or death struggle:

Still Image Victims
Young woman (Mary Demas) Lying bloodied (disemboweled?) in a grassy area (the first still image of the film!)
A storeowner couple (Elizabeth and Ted Kaden) Shots-in-the-head
Prostitute # 1 (Mary Demas) Murdered in a bathroom with a broken soda bottle stuck into her face (still image)
Female corpse (Denise Sullivan) Partially-clothed and lying face-down and floating in a body of water (still image)
Female Murdered in her living room, strangled with a power cord wrapped around her throat and cigarette burns on her chest and face (still image)

Henry repeatedly stabbed smart-alec TV salesman/fence (Ray Atherton) with a soldering iron and then smashed a cheap $50 B/W TV over his head, after which Otis plugged in the set to end his life by electrocution. The two stole a video-cam recorder and a high-priced TV set. And then, after Otis' frustrated statement, "I'd like to kill somebody," Henry randomly shot a 'Good Samaritan' (Rick Paul) in an overpass tunnel on the side of the downtown freeway, to make himself "feel better."

The most upsetting and disturbing murder was the videotaped killing of a helpless family of three (a couple and their son) (Lisa Temple, Brian Graham, and Sean Ores) in their suburban home, videotaped for repeated viewings by both Henry and Otis as entertainment.

Some of the Murders Enacted in the Film
Killing of "Good Samaritan'
Death by TV Set
Suburban Family Murders
Otis Murdered
Otis Beheaded
The Suitcase

Eventually Otis was killed when Henry found him strangling and raping his own sister Becky (Tracy Arnold) - Henry's 'girlfriend.' Henry smashed a beer bottle into Otis' face, and Becky stabbed him in the eye with the sharp end of a hairbrush. Henry then murdered Otis (by stabbing), and cut off his head in the bathtub. Otis' body parts were dumped in the river and then Henry fled with Becky. On the move, the two spent the night in a motel. The very next morning, Henry left the motel by himself (had he killed Becky in the room and dismembered her body?) and deposited Becky's heavy blood-stained suitcase in a roadside ditch (was Becky inside?).

Henry (Michael Rooker)

Still Images of Death

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)


Writer/director Wes Craven's horror film was a cult classic in the genre - similar in theme to his own previous film The Last House on the Left (1972) and the subsequent The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). Its tagline summarized its overall content of a family forced to kill to survive: "A nice American family. They didn't want to kill. But they didn't want to die."

It told about a road trip by an American family that ended up horribly wrong when they came across terror in the desert. Although originally rated X, it was slightly edited for an R-rating release. Craven made a sequel called The Hills Have Eyes, Part II (1985), and another sequel was made by his writer/producer son Jonathan, titled The Hills Have Eyes III (1995). The original film was remade by director Alexandre Aja almost 30 years later as The Hills Have Eyes (2006).

The unsuspecting Carter family, headed by a husband/wife celebrating their Silver Anniversary, was traveling in a station wagon (pulling a mobile home trailer) across the American Southwest on their way to California. The family characters consisted of:

  • Big Bob (Russ Grieve), a retired racist cop
  • Ethel Carter (Virginia Vincent), Bob's docile yet wise wife
  • Lynne Wood (Dee Wallace), Bob and Ethel's eldest daughter
  • Doug Wood (Martin Speer), Lynne's mustached husband, and their baby daughter Katy (Brenda Marinoff)
  • Bobby (Robert Houston), annoying teenaged blonde
  • Brenda (Susan Lanier), a second teenager, a whiner
  • Beauty (Flora) and Beast (Striker), two German shepherd dogs

In Nevada, they detoured - into Nellis Air Force Base's ' nuclear testing site (gunnery range) - to visit a silver mine that had been inherited. Fred's Oasis gas station owner Fred (John Steadman) predictably warned:

"Don't take your family back in there. The silver's been gone 40 years now. Besides, there's nothin' back in there but animals...You folks stay on the main road now, you hear? Stay on the main road!"

When their trailer's axle broke and they were considered trespassers off the main road, the wayward group found themselves attacked by another family - an inbred group of mutant, cannibalistic marauders living in the hills.

The cave-dwelling family was composed of:

  • Papa Jupiter (James Whitworth), patriarch
  • Mama (Cordy Clark), Papa's wife
  • their three sons named after planets: belligerent Mars (Lance Gordon), bald-headed Pluto (Michael Berryman), and slow-witted Mercury (Arthur King)
  • Ruby (Janus Blythe), an abused and tormented daughter

[Old-timer gas station owner Fred presented the sordid history of the clan in the midst of the film. He claimed how his wife had given birth to a monstrous, 20 lb. hairy baby born in 1929. He discovered 10 years later that 'devil child' Jupiter had burned his house down and killed his wife, so he abandoned the near-dead boy in the desert after bashing its head with a tire-iron. Henceforth, the clan was spawned: "Long enough for him to steal a whore that nobody'd miss. Long enough to raise a passel of wild kids. Long enough for a devil kid to grow up to be a devil man." After relating the story to Big Bob, Fred was attacked by Jupiter with a tire iron - probably the same one - and slaughtered.]

The horror of rape and death for the family began when Big Bob and son-in-law Doug set out on foot for help in different directions, and Beauty was gutted and disemboweled. When Big Bob returned and collapsed suffering from a bad heart, he was ambushed in the dark by Papa Jupiter, and a rat was stuffed in his mouth to quiet him. As a diversion, he was crucified on a Joshua Tree and set ablaze (Ethel hysterically exclaimed about the charred body: "That's not my Bob!").

Meanwhile, Pluto and Mars entered the camper - Pluto raped Brenda first as snaggle-toothed Mars paused to rip off the head of a caged parakeet and drink its blood. After Mars also assaulted Brenda, the two planned to abduct "fat and juicy" baby Katy for food.

Returning to the camper, Lynne wrestled Mars to protect her baby, as Ethel was shot in the stomach. During the struggle, Lynne was also shot - she then stabbed Mars in the right thigh with a sharp pair of scissors, but was killed by a second shot. In the dark, Beast pushed Mercury off a cliff to his death.

The Bloody Demise of the Members of the Cannibalistic Family
Papa Jup
Pluto Attacked by Dog 'Beast'

After Ethel died, the next day she was strapped to a lawn chair away from the trailer and used by traumatized Brenda and Bobby as bait for Papa Jup who was returning to murder them. Doug attempted to head into the hills to rescue his kidnapped baby, and was aided by Ruby who ran off with the child. Beast chewed up Pluto's left achilles heel - and later the dog's jaws grabbed his throat and killed him.

Using their own wits, the two teens caught Papa Jup's legs with a cable and dragged his body, set an explosive trap at the trailer for him, and then killed him (with Brenda using a handaxe and Bobby using a gun firing their last two remaining bullets).

Up in the hills, Doug - in a frenzy - repeatedly stabbed Mars in the gut after Ruby had held a biting rattlesnake to his neck. The final scene ended in a blood-red freeze-frame of Doug above Mars after killing him.

Carter Family on Road Trip

Rape of Teenaged Brenda by Pluto

Crucifixion/Burning of Big Bob

Mars Beheading Parakeet

Threatened Baby Katy


Stabbing Death of Mars

End Freeze-Frame of Doug After Killing Mars

The Hitcher (1986)


In this brutally violent and scary horror-thriller film, while driving from Chicago to San Diego to transport a rental car, Jim Halsey (C. Thomas Howell) picked up a strange, violently terrorizing, psychopathic, handsome 'hitcher' named John Ryder (Rutger Hauer). As he opened the car door, he stated: "My mother told me to never do this" - the film was possibly a nightmarish vision of what could happen in the scenario of picking up a dangerous hitch-hiker.

After a few stalking and murderous encounters with the relentless Ryder along the way, Jim entered the Longhorn Restaurant, a roadside diner/gas station before it was officially open, where the young, friendly blonde waitress Nash (Jennifer Jason Leigh) served him a meal of fries and a cheeseburger. When he was astonished to find a severed finger in the fries - it was a tip-off that Ryder was in the vicinity. It caused him to gag and puke!

In a tense cat-and-mouse game, Ryder continually framed Jim for the crime spree murders he had committed of various victims, including police officers. (In one scene, Ryder delivered a sadistic line while holding a knife to a victim's face: "Do you wanna know what happens to an eyeball when it gets punctured?'')

Nash became a victim of serial killer Ryder when she was tied hand and foot by chains between the front end of a trailer-truck and a detached semi-trailer. During the horrific scene, she screamed out: "Please don't!" In the cab of the truck with his foot on the clutch, Ryder challenged everyone to shoot him (an officer had cautioned: "If we shoot him, his foot is gonna come off that clutch and that truck is gonna roll"). Jim tensely entered the cab, where Ryder suggested: "The gun is loaded. Go for it! Go ahead, pick it up." Ryder revved the engine and threatened to accelerate. As instructed, Jim picked up the gun and pointed it at Ryder, but couldn't squeeze the trigger (fearing that "she'll die"). Ryder was disgusted: "You useless waste," let up the clutch, and accelerated anyway.

With a horrible tearing and stretching sound, Nash was pulled in two (the gore remained off-screen) when Ryder's foot came off the clutch and the truck accelerated. The last view was of her bound hands.

Severed Finger in French Fries

Waitress Nash Pulled Apart

Horror of Dracula (1958, UK) (aka Dracula)

In talented director Terence Fisher's classic Technicolored Dracula horror film - the first of the UK's Hammer Studios' horror films about Dracula for the next two decades - a superb, Gothic, blood-drenched tale of the cat-and-mouse game between Count Dracula and his arch nemesis Dr. Van Helsing set in the late 1880s:

  • after the title credits, the camera descended into a castle's cellar where it located a vault-crypt bearing the label: "DRACULA"; after a forward tracking shot, the label was covered with dripping blood from above
  • an opening voice-over narration was heard as a red book was opened: "The Diary of Jonathan Harker. Third of May, 1885. At last, my long journey is drawing to its close. What the eventual end will be, I cannot foresee. But whatever may happen, I can rest secure that I will have done all in my power to achieve success. The last lap of my journey from the village of Klausenberg proved to be more difficult than I had anticipated due to the reluctance on the part of the coach driver to take me all the way. As there was no other transport available, I was forced to travel the last few kilometers on foot before arriving at Castle Dracula. The castle appeared innocuous enough in the warm sun, and all seemed normal but for one thing: There were no birds singing. As I crossed the wooden bridge, and entered the gateway, it suddenly seemed to become much colder, due, no doubt, to the icy waters of the mountain torrent I had just crossed. However, I deemed myself lucky to have secured this post and did not intend to falter in my purpose"
  • in the sequence of Harker's arrival at Castle Dracula (where he was posing as a librarian but intending to destroy Dracula), he was first greeted by a buxom female (Valerie Gaunt, credited as Vampire Woman), who inexplicably asked Harker to help her escape; she then rushed off by the sudden appearance of the dashing yet reclusive, blood-sucking and predatory Count Dracula (Christopher Lee) at the top of the stairs with his greeting to Harker once he descended and was pictured in a full-closeup: ("I am Dracula. And I welcome you to my house"); Dracula showed Harker to his prepared bedroom (where his door was locked from the outside)
Count Dracula's Entrance and Greeting to Harker
  • Harker's diary continued, where he wrote the words (in voice-over): "At last, I have met Count Dracula. He accepts me as a man who has agreed to work among his books, as I intended. It only remains for me now to await the daylight hours when, with God's help, I will forever end this man's reign of terror"
  • slightly later, Harker was again approached by the Vampire Woman desperately begging him to take her away from her imprisonment by the evil Dracula: "Is it not reason enough that he keeps me locked up in this house, holds me against my will? You can have no idea what an evil man he is! Or what terrible things he does! I could not. I dare not try to leave on my own. He would find me again, I know. But with you to help me, I would have a chance. You must help me! You must! You're my only hope! You must!" - but then as she unexpectedly bit at Harker's neck, Dracula made a sudden entrance into the room, with blood dripping from his fangs and blood-shot eyes; he ran across the top of a table, tossed her away onto the floor, fought off Harker by squeezing his neck, and then carried the vampirish female away
Vampire Woman (Valeria Gaunt) Begging Harker to Be Saved
Vampire Woman Biting Harker's Neck
Dracula with Bloody Fangs

  • later, Harker used a mirror to inspect his neck - and found two prominent bite marks; Harker mused: "I have become a victim of Dracula and the woman in his power. It may be that I am doomed to be one of them. If that is so, I can only pray that whoever finds my body will possess the knowledge to do what is necessary to release my soul"
  • Harker located the coffin of the Vampire Woman, and pounded a wooden stake into her heart (seen in dark silhouette on the wall) - the release of her soul as she screamed awakened Dracula from his sleep; he appeared at the door of the crypt, and as he shut the door behind him and stood above the trapped Harker, the scene ended in darkness
  • after Harker's demise (when he became another 'undead' vampire), Count Dracula took an inordinate interest in Harker's fiancee Lucy Holmwood (Carol Marsh), the sister of Arthur Holmwood (Michael Gough) who was married to Mina Holmwood (Melissa Stribling); in Karlstadt, the helpless Lucy was suffering from anemia - she had become Dracula's next victim (she both anticipated and feared his arrival into her bedroom to take her blood, by opening her window and removing the crucifix around her neck)
  • in the drinking of blood scene, Dracula approached toward Mina and seductively sucked blood from her neck
  • Dracula's arch nemesis - obsessed vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing), suddenly understood and realized where Dracula had been hiding; after Arthur asked maid Gerda (Olga Dickie) to retrieve wine from the cellar of the Holmwood home ("Gerta, will you fetch another bottle?"), she expressed extreme fear: "Oh, sir, I don't like to. You know what happened last time when I disobeyed Mrs. Holmwood's orders...Madam told me the other day that, I must on no account, go down to the cellar" - after a pregnant pause, Van Helsing rushed to the cellar where he discovered Dracula's empty, earth-filled coffin where he had been sleeping during the day; Van Helsing placed a crucifix in the coffin, then chased after Dracula, who was in the process of kidnapping Mina from her bed
  • Dracula took Mina to his castle as the maid exclaimed: "He looked like the devil!...He came in here and picked Madam up like she was a baby!"
Dracula's Disintegration in the Rays of the Sun
  • in the gripping and memorable finale - a battle between the forces of Darkness and Light - a struggle occurred between Van Helsing and Dracula who fought throughout the Count's castle; Van Helsing was able to weaken Dracula by running across two table-tops, leaping into the air and ripping down full-length library curtains to let in sunlight - and then crossing two candlesticks into the shape of a crucifix to force Dracula backwards, causing him to disintegrate in the rays of the sun (mostly off-camera) - his ashes were then blown away in the wind

Dracula's Coffin-Vault

Harker Inspecting Fang Bite Marks on Neck From the Vampire Woman

Harker Staking
the Vampire Woman

Harker's Fiancee Lucy Holmwood (Carol Marsh) - Lured Dracula to Her Side

Dracula's Blood-Sucking of Mina

Vampire Hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing)

Hostel (2005)


Writer/director Eli Roth's grisly, bloody torture-gore horror film (dubbed "torture-porn") was reported to be "inspired by true events." It was mostly viewed by hardcore males.

Horror films had become one of the most lucrative genre franchises, due to the fact that they could be cheaply made, and were capable of attracting large audiences. A recently-growing trend in horror films was to make variations of the sadistic, low-budget "trash" horror Z-films of the 1970's, many of which featured rape-revenge themes, as in Wes Craven's crude The Last House on the Left (1972), and Meir Zarchi's brutal Day of the Woman (1978) (aka I Spit on Your Grave).

However, in this new century, film audiences' threshold for sadistic and excessive gore, body mutilation, torture, and sickening violence had already been numbed by years of 'slasher' films, and this new crop of low-budget "trash" horror scarefest films was often tolerated and embraced by horror fans.

This new sub-genre of so-called "pseudo-snuff films" (dubbed "horror-porn," "torture-chic," "gore-nography," and "claustrophobic cruelty") was accused of being like a "sicko video game" - containing visceral violence and unheard-of human suffering - that severely tested the limits of R ratings. For example, Saw (2004), Hostel (2005), and Saw II (2005) did tremendous box-office business, compared to their budget costs.

A so-called "torture-porn" trend was inaugurated by these films and others, including Wolf Creek (2005, Aust.), The Devil's Rejects (2005), and Turistas (2006). In the mainstream, too, a broader range of films appeared to be opting for more bloodletting and pain than ever before, such as Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004) and the Bond film Casino Royale (2006).

The disturbing trend was highlighted by Eli Roth’s film - soundly condemned for its visceral excesses, and the detailed torture, dismemberment and mutilation suffered by a group of hedonistic American backpackers in Eastern Europe. They were subjected to debased, medically-graphic, physical, sexual and mental torture.

[Note: Hostel (2005) was followed by a sequel, Hostel: Part II (2007) in which the tables were turned -- the terrorized victims were now three American college-aged females in the same predicament who were betrayed by another Slovakian - a beautiful and statuesque nude model. A third film was Hostel: Part III (2011), a direct-to-DVD release.]

The uncompromising film began with hedonistic, promiscuous promise for three backpacking college-aged students who ventured to a remote Slovakian city for good times, hedonistic sex and drugs:

  • Paxton (Jay Hernandez), American
  • Josh (Derek Richardson), American
  • Oli (Eythor Gudjonsson), Icelandic

The three were first in Amsterdam where they found sex in a brothel. They then ventured to a Slovakian city and its hostel in Prague known for debauchery. Almost immediately, they found relaxation and sex (filmed with gratuitous nudity) in a hostel and spa with two Eastern European beauties - the ultimate male fantasy of casual sex with two sexually aggressive girls:

  • Natalya (Barbara Nedeljakova), a giggly brunette and Russian beauty
  • Svetlana (Jana Kaderabkova), a Czech blonde

Both aggressively mounted their dates and enticed them to trust them. The two amoral femme fatales would later entrap them.

After the two Americans feared that Oli had met a grisly demise (decapitation), they discovered that they also had been drugged with a tranquilizer - and lured to become victims of wealthy, sadistic patrons who wished to torture unsuspecting tourists with their "darkest, sickest fantasies."

A fiendish plot (named Elite Hunting Club) was uncovered in an abandoned, run-down factory warehouse where a sadistic Dutch businessman (Jan Vlasak), a German torturer named Johan (Petr Janiš), and another American client (Rick Hoffman) had paid large sums of money for the exciting opportunity to torture, dismember and/or kill foreigners who had been lured into the 'hostel' trap.

Gruesome, dark and sick tortures and events included (some off-screen):

  • Josh's torture and death via the Dutch businessman: Josh was strapped to a chair in his underwear and handcuffed, where he underwent severe torture, including a power drill used to insert holes into his chest (seen in close-up) - and the victim's twitching chained feet were shown; severing of his ankle's Achilles' tendon; then his neck was slashed as he crawled to the door; later, his corpse was then dissected by the sadistic wanna-be surgeon
  • Paxton's torture by a German man named Johan: he was captured, gagged and strapped to a chair, and terrorized by a chainsaw, causing him to vomit and pee in his pants; after two of his fingers were excised, the torturer slipped and accidentally chain-sawed off his own leg; Paxton was eventually able to partially free himself and shoot the torturer in the head

Paxton also shot a guard lured to his cell and then escaped inside the warehouse facility by hiding in a pile of bloody corpses moved from one area to another. He killed the blood-stained, hunchbacked crematorium attendant (Josef Bradna) in the butcher room (who was dismembering bodies, including Josh's) by knocking him on the head with a large hammer. He took an elevator to the upper level and then changed into regular business clothes in the dressing room, where he discovered the Elite Hunting Club's business card in a pocket. In a chilling moment, the back of the card displayed what the price was for torturing/killing each victim - a Russian, a European, and an American:

Elite Hunting Business Card
Sums Paid for Each Death

He fooled the American client who entered the dressing room into thinking he was someone like him - one of the torturing customers. The American explained how he was paying $50 grand for his next victim, and then bragged:

"I've been all over the world. You know, I've been everywhere and the bottom line is: Pussy is pussy. You know, every strip club, every whore house, every... It's all the same s--t. You know, I just f--ked a girl two days ago and I don't even remember the color of her tits. But this... This is something you never forget, right? Right?"

The man then asked for advice about how to treat his next torture victim - should it be instant death (by gunshot) or slow torture: "Can I ask you something personal? Do you mind? How'd you do it? I mean, did you do it real slow...or did you just get it over with right away?...What do you think I should do?" Paxton suggested that his next victim should be killed quickly: "Make it quick" - but his opinion was quickly ignored: ("Yeah, that's --- No, f--k that s--t. F--k this, too f--kin' American, dude. I'm going f--kin' old school"). The man's discarded gun was quickly absconded by Paxton.

As Paxton was stealing a car outside, he heard screaming and discovered that the Japanese girl Kana (Jennifer Lim) was being badly mutilated - she suffered eye burning with an acetylene blow-torch by the American client, causing her eyeball to pop out and hang out of its socket. In one of the film's many awful sequences, after shooting the American, Paxton was mercifully forced to snip off Kana's dangling eyeball.

The Disfigurement of Kana
Dangling Eyeball Snipped Off

As they both escaped and fled in a stolen car, pursued by guards, Paxton ran over both Natalya and Svetlana during their flight - a very cathartic ending for the audience. Natalya was instantly killed, while Svetlana survived the first crash, only to be hit a second time (and pulverized) by a car pursuing Paxton.

Karma For Natalya and Svetlana

However, it wasn't over yet. At a train station, Kana jumped in front of a train to commit suicide (spraying her blood onto two bystanders), after realizing how disfigured her face was in a reflection.

In the film's satisfying ending, Paxton sought murderous revenge in a Vienna train station's restroom stall upon the sadistic Dutch businessman who had killed Josh. He first tossed an Elite Hunting Club card under the bathroom stall, and then used a small knife to sever two fingers. Finally, he dunked the man's head into the toilet after slitting the man's throat.

Josh & Paxton (l to r)

Suspicious Dutch Businessman (Jan Vlasak)

Two Sexy Femmes Fatales:

Natalya (Barbara Nedeljakova)

Svetlana (Jana Kaderabkova)

Josh's Torture, Including Drilling and Tendon Slashing

Later, Josh Dissected by Wanna-Be Surgeon

Paxton Terrorized by a Chainsaw

Paxton's Two Severed Fingers

Paxton's Torturer Shot in Head

The Butcher in the Crematorium Dismembering Dead Bodies

Kana's Disfigured Face in Reflection - Causing Her to Commit Suicide

Paxton's Revenge in Toilet Stall Upon Dutch Businessman

Hostel Part II (2007)


In this equally grisly and disturbing 'slasher film' sequel by writer/director Eli Roth, another example of "violence" or "torture porn," the tables were turned -- the victims were now three American college-aged females who were betrayed by another Slovakian - a beautiful and statuesque nude model named Axelle (Vera Jordanova).

In the film's 10 minute prologue, the surviving, ill-fated Paxton Rodriguez (Jay Hernandez) from the first film was hospitalized in Europe and questioned about his experiences in Slovakia a week earlier, where he had survived and escaped. In a flashback, he described: "It's some kind of factory, where these people, these very rich people, they pay to torture and kill kids. Mostly backpackers. And they killed two of my friends....They take you from this hostel and they bring you to this factory..." He described how members of the 'hunting club' who killed people all had tattoos of a bloodhound dog. Paxton was asked about a dead man in a toilet stall in Vienna with the same bloodhound tattoo. It was suspected that Paxton had murdered the man, and there was proof that he was there - he had been videotaped on security cameras. One of the questioners showed his own bloodhound tattoo, and Paxton was seized in his bed and stabbed in the heart, and his abdomen was split open and internal organs were seized.

Paxton's Questioning by Authorities - A Nightmarish Dream

Paxton Decapitated with Cat on Stump

Delivery of Package with Paxton's Severed Head to Head of Elite Hunting Club, Sasha (Milan Knazko)

(later) Paxton's Mounted Head in Sasha's Trophy Room

Back in the US, Paxton was regularly waking up in the middle of the night, suffering nightmarish dreams and visions. His concerned girlfriend Stephanie (Jordan Ladd) was upset that he refused to report to the police what had occurred in Slovakia: ("These people are tied into everyone. Somebody starts asking questions, they're gonna come after me, and they're gonna find me..."); she felt that he was "going crazy." The next morning, she found him seated upright at their breakfast kitchen table. He had been cleanly decapitated by a chain-saw (with a cat licking on the bloody headless stump). The severed head was presumably delivered in a large box to the manager of the Elite Hunting Club in Slovakia - it was later displayed in a room of the manager Sasha's home with other trophy heads.

Three new victims for this sequel were in Rome as college-aged art students:

  • Beth (Lauren German), a self-possessed, studious rich girl
  • Whitney (Bijou Phillips), spoiled, pretty, sex-crazed and slutty
  • Lorna (Heather Matarazzo), a socially-awkward, journal-keeping, sheltered nerd-loner from Baltimore, a non-drinker

Beth (Lauren German)

Whitney (Bijou Phillips)

Lorna (Heather Matarazzo)

Beth was enticed by their beautiful and statuesque nude model Axelle (Vera Jordanova), another Slovakian, during art class. On their overnight train ride to Prague, Axelle happened to be traveling there too, and befriended the girls when they ran into trouble with some unpleasant Italian guys. She urged the girls to take a diversion from Prague to Slovakia in Eastern Europe - for a brief vacation spa visit and stay in a hostel with cheap prices of 10 euros for a night. Unbeknownst to them, the creepy hostel Desk Clerk (Milda Havlas) uploaded their passport photos to an auction site where their lives were bid upon.

Unbeknownst to them, Axelle was working for Sasha (Milan Knazko) who was running an underground murder-for-money operation, the Elite Hunting Club in Slovakia. They were betrayed when two Americans businessmen pals bid upon the new crop of victims:

  • Todd (Richard Burgi), a rich, self-assured, bad-ass, arrogant and sadistic individual
  • Stuart (Roger Bart), a wimpy and quieter man who suffered from ethical qualms and second thoughts
Two American Businessmen

Stuart (Rogert Bart)

Todd (Richard Burgi)

Once Todd and Stuart arrived in Slovakia, Stuart expressed concerns that he didn't want to be tattooed with the 'Bloodhound' symbol, as Todd encouraged him: "This is not like going to a whorehouse. You can't just back out." Shortly later, Todd continued to promote the goal of their murder-vacation:

Sometimes, you meet a guy and there's just something f--king scary about him. Something that makes you think this guy has killed somebody. He doesn't have to act tough. He never has to say it. But like an animal, you can sense it. You know that this guy's got the balls to do what few others can. And that's you after today, my friend. People are gonna f--king fear you. Linda is gonna f--king fear you. What we do today is gonna pay off every day for the rest of our f--king lives.

The first casualty was a drunken Lorna, who was kidnapped during the village's outdoor Dozinski (Harvest Festival) by a local man named Roman (Roman Janecka), who had offered her a boat ride. With two accomplices, she was hooded, gagged, and taken away.

She was stripped, gagged, and hung by chains upside down by her ankles in a dungeon - while the female client Mrs. Bathory (Monika Malacova) entered (behind her) and removed her black robe to reveal her nakedness, and reclined below her in an ornately-decorated tub surrounded by candles. Lorna was first terrorized when the bather took a large hand-held scythe by her side and stroked the bare skin of the torture victim, and then cut off her mouth gag. Swinging above her, Lorna begged for her life. She was repeatedly sliced (and had her throat slit) by the sick female client below her who was ecstatic as she slashed away with a large scythe and ecstatically bathed naked in the blood as it dripped down upon her, in the style of Elizabeth Bathory in the large bath, who believed that she would retain her youthful image by bathing in the blood. After reveling in the blood, "Mrs. Bathory" cut Lorna's throat to kill her.

A Deadly Blood-Bath Torture for Lorna (Heather Matarazzo) - Gagged and Hung Upside Down While Slashed With a Scythe

In the heavily-guarded torture factory, Whitney was tied up in a chair and prepped by an old woman applying makeup to her bruised face who said she wouldn't hurt her: ("I clean you up...I make you pretty"). Whitney retaliated by biting off the woman's nose. Whitney escaped, but then was recaptured when security guards locked the gates surrounding her.

Todd and Stuart Suited Up And Ready To Torture

Torture Implements

Stuart Face to Face with Beth

Whitney Chained Up with Todd

Meanwhile, both Stuart and Todd were alerted that preparations had been made for them. They were chauffeured to the torture factory, and outfitted with skull caps and workers' uniforms. Stuart was led to a cell where Beth was imprisoned, after being prepped by Axelle and then captured by guards and taken to the factory. He was aghast at a collection of saws and other torture implements on a table in a side room. He was still suffering some trepidations and initially thought about letting her go, after telling her: "People come here to kill people." However, once Stuart allowed Beth to leave, he snapped and punched her in the face, and again restrained her in a chair. Stuart became sadistic and deranged, and directed his anger toward her - believing she closely resembled his wife Linda in a loveless marriage.

At the same time, Whitney was being taunted by Todd (Richard Burgi) who was there for recreational slaughter. He was wielding an electric rotary saw, but when the saw became unplugged, he replugged it and accidentally sliced into Whitney's scalp and realized the true horror of what he was doing and began to leave ("I am not going back in that room. I'm done!"). As he fled without killing her (against the rules of his contract), he was attacked and mauled by two German shepherd guard dogs in an elevator and eaten alive.

Still alive, the maimed Whitney was bandaged up and offered at a "special" discount to other clients ("Very good price"), including a middle-aged Italian Cannibal (notorious Italian director Ruggero Deodato of Cannibal Holocaust (1980)), who was busy dining on the thigh meat of another unfortunate victim, a local man named Miroslav (Stanislav Ianevski). When Stuart was offered to kill Whitney, he accepted and sought revenge for Todd's gruesome and bloody death. He left Beth for the time being, and went off to behead Whitney.

When the deranged Stuart soon returned, Beth tricked Stuart into releasing her to have sex on the floor. She reversed things, grabbed a lead pipe and bashed him in the head, and then chained Stuart to the chair. When armed guards and dogs arrived, there was a stand-off as she threatened to castrate Stuart, and bargained to speak with Sasha, the owner of the factory. She offered to exchange some of her fortune (recently inherited from her mother) for her freedom ("I wanna buy my way out of here"). Her offer was accepted to leave, but she first had to become a client and kill someone. Beth agreed - and sliced off Stuart's genitals with a large pair of shears. The castrated parts were tossed to guard dogs to eat, as the screaming Stuart was left to bleed to death. Beth had become an official member of the Elite Hunting group, with a bloodhound tattoo placed in the middle of her back.

That same evening, Beth sought vengeance against Axelle in the woods by ambushing her and beheading her with a large scythe - a gang of kids kicked her head around like a soccer ball as the film ended.

Art Class Nude Model in Rome - Axelle (Vera Jordanova)

Axelle Befriending the Trio On the Train to Prague

Hostel Desk Clerk (Milda Havlas)

Online Bidding-Auction Site For the Girls

Axelle Leading the Girls Around Slovakia

Mrs. Bathory (Monika Malacova) Bathing in Blood Sequence

Whitney Tied Up in Chair and Gagged

Female Make-Up Woman's Face With Nose Bitten Off by Whitney

Todd Mauled in Elevator by Dogs While Trying to Leave

Italian Cannibal Offered to Bid on Whitney While Dining on Thigh Meat of Male Victim Miroslav

Stand-off: Beth with Stuart Negotiating with Sasha For Release

Stuart's Castration by Beth

Axelle Beheaded by Beth

House of Wax (1953) - in 3-D


Andre de Toth's horror film from Warner Bros. had the extra added attraction of being filmed in 3-D - and it was highly successful. It was a more expensive remake of their earlier Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), with Vincent Price establishing himself forever after as the quintessential horror villain.

Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

In turn-of-the-century New York, wax museum curator and sculptor Prof. Henry Jarrod (Vincent Price) was distressed when his business partner Matthew Burke (Roy Roberts) threatened to burn his masterworks creations - for the $25,000 insurance money. Jarrod was thought to have perished in the flames - he was seen dodging the fiery debris amidst melting figures in the film's exciting opening sequence. Soon after, a shadowy black-cloaked figure roamed at night, at the same time as Burke's murder and the theft of bodies from the morgue, with the help of deaf-mute henchman/sculptor Igor (Charles Bronson, credited as Charles Buchinsky), and assistant Leon (Young).

Suddenly - and miraculously, a new wheelchair-bound (although he could walk) 'reincarnated' Henry Jarrod (with ruined hands) reappeared and opened a new wax emporium. It showcased a "Chamber of Horrors" - commemorating famous and fresh "crimes of violence" through wax figures (to give the people what they wanted: "sensation, horror, shock"). The film's poster tagline gave away the plot:

"The half-man half-monster who stalked a panic swept city for the beauties he craved for his chamber of horrors!"

The improved museum recreated violent crimes, created by a scarred, mad and psychotic Jarrod. The vengeful Jarrod (in the disguise of the cloaked, face-disfigured killer and later wearing a facial mask to hide his melted face) had been committing the many murders; he then stole their corpses from the New York City Morgue and coated them with molten wax to produce very life-like statues for his waxworks exhibits: ("Each subject must be taken from life"). The film's plot twist was that Jarrod's extremely life-like wax exhibits were the bodies of his own murdered victims, who had been dipped in a large vat of wax.

In the film's climactic highpoint, art student Sue Allen (Phyllis Kirk) suspected that one of the figures (Joan of Arc) resembled recently-murdered close friend/roommate Cathy Gray (Carolyn Jones) - and Burke's girlfriend. She suspected that Cathy's body had been used as a "model" for the figure of Joan of Arc; Sue was amazed by the likeness: "Why should it be so much like Cathy?" Sue then made the shocking discovery that her friend Cathy's corpse had been dipped in wax to create a Joan of Arc wax figure: ("It is Cathy. It's Cathy's body under the wax! I knew it! I knew it all the time!").

When she confronted Jarrod, he admitted his hideous plan -- Sue was to be his next "leading lady" for immortality - Marie Antoinette:

"Everything I ever loved has been taken away from me. Not you, my Marie Antoinette, for I will give you eternal life."

When she beat against Jarrod's face, his wax visage broke off and fell away. She scarily revealed his grotesque features beneath, and then fainted onto the floor.

The Unmasking of Professor Jarrod (also in 3-D)

In the finale, set in the museum's cellar laboratory, Sue was strapped and naked under a boiling vat of wax as he prepared her to be his next exhibit victim as Marie Antoinette: "This is where I recreated my Joan of Arc. It's an interesting process. If you have patience with me, my dear, I'll show you how it's done...That look of horror spoils your lovely face. What if it should show, even through the wax?...The end will come quickly, my love. There's a pain beyond pain, an agony so intense, it shocks the mind into instant oblivion. We'll find immortality together, for they'll remember me through you."

She was saved from a predictable fate when police broke into the museum and surrounded Jarrod. Jarrod wound up falling into his own burning cauldron of tallow (at over 450 degrees F.) - his apt and richly-deserved fate.

NYC Wax Museum Fire

The Wax Museum's Burning and Presumed 'Death' of Prof. Jarrod

Cloaked Murderer

Sue: "It's Cathy's body under the wax!"

Sue - Jarrod's New "Marie Antoinette"

Jarrod's Death in His Own Cauldron of Wax

House on Haunted Hill (1959)


The original horror film with this title was schlock-meister director/producer William Castle's campy, cheesy and gimmicky House on Haunted Hill (1959) - forty years before its glossy and elaborate remake (see below).

The B-movie supernatural horror film was filled with B-movie shocks and plot twists. In the film's prologue, there were two speakers describing the stone Gothic mansion ("the house on haunted hill") that overlooked Los Angeles:

  1. the owner Watson Pritchard (Elisha Cook, Jr.) set the tone by warning about the "bewitched" horrors ahead. Pritchard was a firm believer that there had been seven inexplicable, brutal murders (three women and four men) in the reputedly-haunted house by ghosts that could now be heard at night; there had been beheadings and amputations and body parts scattered throughout the house. "The ghosts are moving tonight - restless, hungry....Since it was built a century ago, seven people, including my brother, have been murdered in there. Since then, I own the house. I've only spent one night there, and when they found me in the morning, I-I was almost dead."
  2. Frederick Loren (Vincent Price), an eccentric and slightly paranoid millionaire, an ex-playboy who was married to his fourth "amusing" wife Annabelle Loren (Carol Ohmart), also ominously explained how he had rented the 'house on haunted hill' from Pritchard to host a strange and mysterious overnight party for his wife. He explained that there might be murders, and that if any of his five cross-section of guests survived the 8-hour night in the locked house (after midnight), with barred windows, no electricity, and no communications devices ("like a coffin"), each would receive a bribe of $10,000 dollars; Dr. Trent realized that the ratio of males to females now in the house was the same as the bloody history of the house: ("4 of us are men, 3 are women, there's a ghost for everybody")
Loren's Five Invited Guests to the Hosted "Haunted House" Midnight Party, Plus His Wife

Lance Schroeder (Richard Long)

Ruth Bridgers (Julie Mitchum)

Watson Pritchard (Elisha Cook, Jr.)

Dr. David Trent (Alan Marshal)

Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig)

Annabelle Loren (Carol Ohmart)

Each of the guests arrived in chauffeured "funeral cars." The five guests (plus the hosts), three women and four men, who claimed they were all strangers and had never met each other, were:

  • Lance Schroeder (Richard Long), a handsome test pilot
  • Miss Ruth Bridgers (Julie Mitchum), an older newspaper columnist writing a feature article on ghosts; also desperate for money due to her gambling habit
  • Watson Pritchard, the house's fearful owner, a drunken sot
  • Dr. David Trent (Alan Marshal), a psychiatrist conducting research on hysteria, greedy
  • Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig), a young, pretty secretary-typist who worked for one of Loren's companies, low-paid and in need of money
  • Frederick Loren, wary, paranoid and jealous of his conniving blonde wife Annabelle who wished he was dead
  • Annabelle Loren, who thought her husband was psychotic and the murderer of his previous wives ("He would kill me if he could")

Loren had rented the house, by mail correspondence, through the mansion's owner Watson Pritchard, one of the guests. In fact, the house did seem spooked upon their arrival, with a slamming door and a falling chandelier. There were blood stains on the ceiling that dripped blood, a wine vat of acid in the cellar under a large trap door (the acid "destroys everything with hair and flesh, just leaves the bones"), moving walls and secret passageways, 'ghosts,' a severed head in Nora's suitcase, flickering gas lights, voices from disembodied heads, etc. Pritchard reminded everyone that the past murders in the house were not just ordianary but "wild, violent and different."

After a tour of the house led by Pritchard, Lance and young guest Nora Manning split off and explored the basement on their own. Lance entered a dark doorway leading to an empty room and found himself locked in. As the lights dimmed, Nora experienced a brief and frightful look at a black-garbed, wild-haired, female ghost who appeared from the shadows. Lance was discovered in the now-unlocked room, recovering from being struck on the forehead.

Later at about 20 minutes to twelve-midnight, Lance and Nora snuck out together and returned to the cellar with candles. While Lance investigated the possibility of false walls in a different room, Nora was again menaced and frightened - with an effective jump-scare - by the mysterious female ghost-ghoul. She screamed before it scurried (or floated) off and disappeared. Just before midnight in the upper hallway, a hand from a figure behind her (the home's caretaker Jonas Slydes (Howard Hoffman)) covered Nora's mouth and entreated: "Come with us before he kills you."

Nora Fearful of Ghosts
Jump-Scare: Female Hag-Ghoul Frightening Nora in Cellar

[Note: In the next scene, Jonas and his blind wife Mrs. Slydes (Leona Anderson) were introduced by Loren to the guests - they were the home's caretakers. 'Mr. Slydes' was the man in the hallway, and 'Mrs. Slydes' resembled the ghoul that had scared Nora earlier.]

A few minutes before midnight, when the house was locked up and Nora was unable to depart, Loren presented each guest with a "party favor" - a .45 caliber, compact, semi-automatic Colt hand-gun in a miniature coffin. Shortly later, the severed female head that Nora claimed was in her suitcase was found by Lance hanging in Nora's closet.

The main events that ended the film were precipitated by the suicidal hanging of Loren's wife Annabelle in the stairwell. Everyone wondered - was it suicide or murder? Had Loren pre-emptively murdered his wife? (SPOILER: It was faked. She had allied herself with Dr. David Trent to create "the perfect crime" - the two lovers were planning on orchestrating Loren's murder to acquire his wealth and fortune).

Lance looked after Nora's safety and then went to investigate on his own, and discovered a secret room at the end of the second floor hallway - but the door slid shut behind him. As a thunderstorm raged outside, and the lights went out, the terrified Nora became spooked in her room when Annabelle's suicide rope entered her window and coiled around her feet. She was deliberately being driven to "the brink of absolute hysteria" by the haunting ghosts (via the machinations of both Loren and Annabelle, and her partner in crime Dr. Trent).

Plot Twist: Dr. Trent and Annabelle, Two Lovers Scheming to Orchestrate Her Husband Loren's Murder

Nora fled from her room with her gun, and came upon Loren in the basement's wine cellar with his gun. Believing that he would try to kill her (like he had done his wife), she shot him. (SPOILER: The vengeful Loren also manipulatively faked his murder. The gun used to shoot him had blanks in it). She screamed and ran off.

Nora's 'Murder' of Loren

As Dr. Trent entered the cellar to dump Frederick's body into the acid vat hidden beneath a large trap-door in the floor, there was a 'lights-out' struggle between the two, and it sounded like Loren's body was dumped into the vat.

[SPOILER: However, it was soon revealed that a revived Frederick Loren had pushed Dr. Trent's body into the vat of acid.]

Shortly later after hearing the shot, Annabelle arrived to join Trent in the cellar. Once she entered, all of the doors shut and locked, and she watched as a skeleton emerged dancing from the vat. [Note: From a side room, Loren was manipulating an "Emergo" marionette skeleton.] She believed it was her vengeful dead-murdered husband's skeleton. Scared out of her wits, the conniving wife was pursued and taunted by the skeleton, with Loren's voice:

"At last, you've got it all. Everything I have, even my life. But you're not going to live to enjoy it. Come with me, murderess. Come with me."

She screamed as the skeleton touched her shoulder, recoiled and backed up in fright, and tumbled into the vat behind her. Loren emerged from the shadows, manipulating the puppet-like skeleton on wires and strings. He offered silky-voiced eulogies for the two deceased plotters against him:

"Goodnight, Doctor. Goodnight, Annabelle. The crime you two planned was indeed perfect. Only the victim is alive and the murderers are not. It's a pity you didn't know when you started your game of murder that I was playing too."

All of the guests convened in the wine cellar, where Loren was indeed alive. He surrendered and admitted to his guests that the gun Nora used to kill him only had blanks. He had been able to prove that Trent and his wife Annabelle had died trying to kill him, but failed: "I'm ready for justice to decide if I'm innocent or guilty."

In the final line of dialogue, the terrified Watson Pritchard warned that the ghosts of the doomed house were now unleashed - while looking straight into the camera:

"They'll be more, many more. They're coming for me now - and then they'll come for you!"

Prologue from "House on Haunted Hill" Owner Watson Pritchard (Elisha Cook, Jr.)

Prologue by Millionaire Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) Hosting a Party in the House

Reflection of Guests On the Surface of a Vat of Acid in the Cellar

Severed Head in Nora's Suitcase

The Home's Caretakers - The Slydes

Severed Head in Nora's Closet

Annabelle's Suicidal Hanging in Hallway's Stairwell

Rope Coiled Around Nora's Feet

Nora Spooked by Vision of Ghostly Annabelle Outside Her Window and Hanging in the Hallway

Taunting and Murdered, 'Loren's' Vengeful Skeleton (a Marionette) Emerged and Rose Up From the Acid Vat

Frightfully Scared, Annabelle Backed Up Into Vat

Loren's Scare Tactic Against his Unfaithful Wife Annabelle with an "Emergo" Marionette Skeleton

The Four Surviving Guests

Loren's Admission That Two Died Trying to Kill Him

Final Words Offered by Terrified Watson Pritchard

House on Haunted Hill (1999)

The elaborate horror remake of the 1959 Castle movie (see above) by William Malone, was also followed by a sequel, Return to House on Haunted Hill (2007) in unrated and R-rated versions, featuring an unrelated search for the Baphomet idol - the cause/source of evil.

The 1999 remake opened in a hellish sanatorium - the Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute for the Criminally Insane in Los Angeles. Shown in flashback on October 11, 1931, an evil mass-murdering doctor, Dr. Richard Benjamin Vannacutt (Jeffrey Combs), was surgically cutting into an operating room patient without anesthesia - a scene that would be replayed later.

In one of the gory shots, a group of rebellious disturbed patients stabbed one of the orderly-office clerks through the neck with three freshly-sharpened pencils. Vannacutt was interrupted by the riot, orchestrated by the asylum's mental patients - creating a "Hospital of Horror" and "Sanitarium of Slaughter" when everyone died in the resulting inferno (charred remains were shown) within the locked facility. It was now the "House on Haunted Hill."

Years later, plans were underway to celebrate a Halloween birthday-party for:

  • Evelyn Stockard Price (Famke Janssen), much hated, vain, callous, and quarreling femme fatale

Guests for the party would be invited to spend the night in the Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute for the Criminally Insane, with a reward of $1 million for surviving the night. The offer was made by Evelyn's husband:

  • Steven Price (Geoffrey Rush, replacing Vincent Price in the original film), an eccentric millionaire, a sadistic, smirking, demented amusement park entrepreneur and inventor

In the film's first sequence, Evelyn was bathing in her sudsy tub. She watched jerky, TV newsreel footage (on the program "Terrifying But True!!") showing the asylum's lethal past as a torture institution for the criminally insane. The program's narrator (Peter Graves) intoned:

"The site of this carnage still exists today, restored almost to its original state. But it has yet to be inhabited because some say, 'The spirits of Vannacutt and his victims still live within the walls of the house on haunted hill.'"

The names of the five party guests, strangers to each other yet all invited to Evelyn's birthday at the sealed-up haunted house (for "Terror, Humiliation, Perhaps Murder"), were switched twice. Price had shredded Evelyn's list and substituted his own guest list - although his list, in his absence, was also mysteriously deleted from his laptop (by evil spirits or ghosts of the house?). The final guest list included only one person on Evelyn's original list - Dr. Blackburn:

  • Dr. Donald W. Blackburn (Peter Gallagher), a stand-offish physician, who was having an affair with Evelyn Price
  • Eddie Baker (Taye Diggs), an ex-pro baseball player, orphaned and adopted
  • Melissa Margaret Marr (Bridgette Wilson), a former game-show hostess and aspiring TV personality
  • Sara Wolfe (Ali Larter), a bratty production assistant/journalist (masquerading as her former boss, executive VP Jennifer Jenzen)
  • Watson Pritchett (Chris Kattan), the owner/caretaker who rented out the abandoned facility to Price

Shortly after the guests arrived and the party started, the facility went into lockdown for a period of twelve hours. Lots of nightmarish images popped up in the film. During a sequence for a search to find the security system controls to unlock the house gates and/or to escape, a group of guests went down a series of frightening corridors. Sara and others found display cases of mummified remains of experimented-upon patients. In its creepiest moment, she reached her arms into a large round vat of gooey blood to rescue a possessed Eddie who had jumped in. Then she found him suddenly approaching her from behind, and asking: "What the hell are you doing?" as a mysterious force tried to drag her in.

Meanwhile, Steven came across his employee Carl Schechter (Max Perlich) at security controls and monitors who had been paid to scare the guests with various traps. After unexpected happenings, he was discovered with his entire face missing - only a big bloody hole was visible.

Shortly afterwards, when Steven became threatening to everyone, he was protectively sealed in a gigantic, revolving kinescope (a sensory overload isolation chamber), called a "saturation chamber." He donned a pair of goggles as he began to hallucinate. He experienced unsettling, weird psychotic images of a vest-wearing, maniacally-laughing man bouncing a red ball. A nude woman hanging from straps appeared to be tortured, and a man had his face in a vice-like mask.

Price's visions were accompanied by his experience of drowning in a sealed vault of water with a nude underwater female spewing blood from her mouth before her head turned into a grotesque shape. His head became the red bouncing ball in the hands of his deadly wife.

Weird Hallucinatory Visions

[One of the film's major twists was that the invitees, selected by the house's vengeful spirits, specifically included five descendants-relatives of members of Vannacutt's original 1931 staff who hadn't perished in the early 1930s fire - they included everyone "responsible" for the fiery conflagration:

  • Stockard Jenzen, the Head Nurse - Electroshock
  • Baker - Pathology
  • Price - Electrotherapy
  • Oliveri - Physician
  • Thropp - Pharmacist]

The film ended with the realization that the angry, "pissed" house itself was an evil entity, represented by a spidery, undulating, shape-shifting black "Darkness." It was released when Steven and Evelyn were scuffling with each other in a monumental final struggle in the basement. Steven threw Evelyn through a decaying door where they both were confronted by the "Darkness." It quickly assimilated, corroded and consumed Evelyn, and then attacked the surviving members in the house, as Price screamed: "The house is alive." Soon after, Price also met his demise.

Only two eventually escaped, Sara Wolfe and Eddie Baker - they were the only ones not related to people that died in the building years ago. The threatening "Darkness" released Eddie when he claimed: "I had nothing to do with this! I was adopted!"

The two survivors found an envelope labeled: "For those who survive the night" - enclosed were five cashier's checks for $1 million each, made out to "CASH," and signed by Steven Price.

In the final post-credits epilogue (filmed in jerky black and white), Evelyn was shown being tortured alongside Steven by the dead asylum patients on "the other side."

Flashback Opening: 1931 in Psychiatric Institute

Mummified Remains

Sara Wolfe

Carl Schechter - Without a Face

Steven Price in Revolving "Saturation Chamber"

Evelyn Stockard Price

Steven Price

The Shape-Shifting "Black" Darkness

The $1 Million Checks

The Two Survivors: Sara and Eddie

Post-Credits Torture of Evelyn and Stephen

The Howling (1981)


The Howling (1981) was director Joe Dante's retooling of the werewolf horror films of the classic era. In tribute, several of the characters were named after famous werewolf horror film movie directors: George Waggner (The Wolf Man (1941)), (Roy) William Neill (Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943)), Terence Fisher (The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)), and Freddie Francis (Legend of the Werewolf (1975)).

In one of its opening startling scenes set in an adult video store's seedy porno viewing room, Los Angeles TV news-anchor Karen White (Dee Wallace-Stone) was part of a police trap to catch serial killer Eddie Quist (Robert Picardo). She was forced to watch a video of a young woman/hooker (Sarina C. Grant) being raped by Eddie Quist - with lycanthropic overtones. When police arrived to save her, Eddie was shot and apparently killed.

Suffering from shock, nightmares, sexual dysfunction and amnesia, she was prescribed recovery time with her husband Bill Neill (Christopher Stone) at a secluded Big Sur country "Colony" retreat locale, where unbeknownst to her, bizarre, ravenous, sex-crazed werewolves were located. [She was unaware that her prescribing New Age therapist/doctor at the time was Dr. George Waggner (Patrick Macnee), a werewolf.] Bill was seduced by Eddie's sultry nymphomaniac sister Marsha (Elisabeth Brooks), acting like a "bitch in heat." By a campfire, they were transformed through shapeshifting into howling werewolves during sex.

Karen's friend Terry Fisher (Belinda Balaski) was searching for information in Marsha's cabin at the retreat center. Suddenly, she was attacked by a giant werewolf, and escaped by cutting off the monstrous creature's claw with a hand axe - she watched in horror as the wolf hand became human. Also, during the so-called "File Cabinet" scene in the retreat's office, as she later was rifling through file folders, suddenly a giant hairy claw reached calmly in to help her. She was attacked by the anthropomorphic, 7 foot tall werewolf (a regenerated Eddie Quist) and slapped backwards. Her screams (with the phone dangling) were heard by her boyfriend Chris Halloran (Dennis Dugan). She was murdered when held up by the beast and her neck snapped when bitten. Her bloodied body was left on the floor.

Terry Attacked Twice by a Werewolf

During a memorable werewolf transformation scene with ground-breaking special effects, Karen White watched helplessly as Eddie in real-time turned into a werewolf in front of her. He taunted her:

"You said on the phone that you wanted to get to know me, but here I am, Karen - Look at me!"

The changes were accompanied by crackling noises, while the snout and jaw structures elongated and changed, cheeks, forehead and neck undulated and bubbled (air bladders under facial latex skin), talon-like nails/claws extended from fingers, teeth grew into feral fangs, and hairy fur and pointy devilish ears grew out. (All were pneumatic transformations without CGI effects.) She threw acid into the face of the beast and evaded the monstrous creature.

The film ended with Karen escaping with Chris after he had shot Eddie with silver bullets - and after locking the wolf creatures in a barn and setting it on fire. They were surrounded by a pack of werewolves in a hijacked police vehicle, and Karen was bitten in the neck by her own werewolf husband. She pulled a shotgun's trigger on her husband (who reverted back to his human flesh when dead), and then told Chris: "We have to warn people, Chris. We have to make them believe."

To convince viewers of the threat, shown on-camera in a pre-arranged, televised appearance, Karen began with the statement: "A secret society exists, and is living among all of us. They are neither people nor animals, but something in-between." Then came her own werewolf transformation scene. One of the viewers, a young girl soon exclaimed: "The newslady's turned into a werewolf!" The episode left viewers to wonder whether it was real or just spectacular special effects ("The things they do with special effects these days").

Karen's Transformation into a Werewolf - On-Camera

Karen was shot and killed in the studio by Chris with a silver bullet during the news broadcast. In the final scene set in a bar where patrons were watching the show, at the end of the bar, Marsha (who had escaped alive from the Colony) ordered a rare hamburger.

Eddie's Transformation

Karen's Deadly Bite in the Neck

The Hurt Locker (2009)

In this Best Picture winner, there was a tense series of war scenes/set-pieces (filmed by Best Director-winning Kathryn Bigelow) which told about an elite group of three bomb-squad specialists or EOD bomb defusers (Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squad) in Bravo Company. They were cognizant of a 39-day countdown until their home-leave deployment-rotation.

The film opened with the death of team leader SSG Matt Thompson (Guy Pearce) in a bulky Kevlar suit after a failed defusement of a dangerous IED (improvised explosive devices) bomb with a robotic device. The action took place in the rubble and garbage-strewn streets of Bagdad in 2004 Iraq when they were threatened with sniper fire and the bomb was set off by a cellphone from a marketplace butcher shop.

Thompson's replacement ("a redneck piece of trailer trash") was newcomer and risk-taker Army Staff Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner). In one scary and harrowing scene after another, James displayed bravado, recklessness and fearlessness:

  • He activated a flare, obscuring everyone's visibility, and drew his pistol on a suspected Iraqi-haji cab driver during a stand-off while commanding him to back up and get out of the car. He then clipped wires to one bomb detonator - but found it attached to seven others buried nearby.

  • He contemptuously disregarded orders when he attempted to defuse bombs in an illegally-parked car near an evacuated UN building. He removed his protective helmet and gear (so if he's gonna die, he can die "comfortable") - and then threw away his headset while searching to dismantle the device.

  • He made an unsuccessful attempt to break the bolts of locks holding strapped explosives with a timer to an Arabic family man's waist.

Defusing Bombs

Drawing Pistol on Cab Driver

Seven Attached Bombs

Daring Sgt. William James

Arabic Man's Explosive Vest

Greatest Scariest Movie Moments and Scenes
(alphabetical by film title, illustrated)
Intro | #s-A | B | C-1 | C-2 | D-1 | D-2 | E | F | G | H
I-J | K-L | M | N-O | P | Q-R | S-1 | S-2 | S-3 | T | U-Z

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