Greatest Scariest
Movie Moments and Scenes


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

Pacific Heights (1990)


Director John Schlesinger's psychological thriller was set in the Pacific Heights district of San Francisco, and was about a difficult tenant for two yuppie landlords of an expensive, old 19th century Victorian house. The mismatched landlords of the Pacific Heights property were:

  • Patty Palmer (Melanie Griffith)
  • Drake Goodman (Matthew Modine), her boyfriend-partner

The two had stretched their finances to the limit for the purchase. Its tagline described the film's essential plot:

"It seemed like the perfect house. He seemed like the perfect tenant. Until they asked him to leave."

A psychotic tenant (a nefarious individual who had been disowned as a black sheep by his own wealthy family) named Carter Hayes (Michael Keaton) began to cause trouble almost immediately - by not paying his rent (with a promised wire transfer), creating unnecessary loud noises at all hours (sawing, hammering, drilling), changing his apartment locks without permission, infesting the property with cockroaches, and causing other exasperated tenants to move out. Carter's ultimate evil con plan was to manipulatively drive the financially-struggling couple into foreclosure and then buy the house at a cheap price.

Their initial efforts to evict him failed, and their relationship suffered - with Drake becoming an out-of-control, incensed monster who was heavily drinking, and Patty suffering a miscarriage. Hayes had been stalking and harrassing Patty, and making creepy phone calls to her. When an eviction order was finally processed and Hayes (whose real name was James Danforth) was legally barred from entering the house, he had disappeared, and left his apartment stripped to the bare walls. In further developments, the wily Patty tracked Hayes/Danforth and learned he was using 'identity theft' (assuming the identity of Drake Goodman) in order to bankrupt the couple.

In the film's most frightening sequence, however, he had returned to the Victorian house where repairs were being made on his old apartment. He suddenly popped out from behind a door, grabbed Patty, and forced her back while covering her mouth. He accused her of wrongly entering his apartment ("You're in my room. You're in my privacy."). He threw her to the floor and muttered: "You and your boyfriend! You insult my intelligence." He threatened her for ruining his life with a large hydraulic nail-gun:

"How am I gonna make a livin' now? What am I gonna do about my family? Huh? Do you know that half of all homicide victims are killed with their own handgun? Did you know that?"

With the nail gun in his hand, he told her: "Look what you're making me do here." He kept asserting that he now had lots of people who were dependent upon him. As they struggled on the floor, he placed the nail-gun against her forehead and asked: "How does it feel? Huh, Patty? Does it feel good?" He accused her of 'crossing the line' by snooping into and destroying his private life.

His menacing psycho-swindling ended when he fell backwards after losing his balance, and was impaled on two water supply-line metal pipes sticking up out of the floor.

Carter Hayes' Scary Intimidation of His Landlord Patty

Carter's Impalement Death After Falling Backwards

Paranormal Activity (2007)

This breakout independent horror film hit of the year from Paramount and writer/director Oren Peli was budgeted at only $15,000 and filmed in 2007 in only ten days. It was first shown in limited release in 2007, in college towns at midnight shows, and came into wide release in 2009 with a successful social-media viral marketing campaign.

The suspenseful 'bump in the night' minimalist thriller (completely bloodless) was filmed as a faux-documentary, combining elements of The Blair Witch Project (1999), Open Water (2003) and The Exorcist (1973). Sequels included:

  • Paranormal Activity 2 (2010), a prequel
  • Paranormal Activity 3 (2011), another prequel
  • Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)
  • Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)
  • Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015)

The scariest scenes involved the late-night inexplicable incidents over a three-week period that occurred in a two-story suburban San Diego house of a young couple:

  • Micah (Micah Sloat), a day-trader
  • Katie (Katie Featherston), Micah's teacher-girlfriend

With clueless bravado, Micah used a night-vision video camcorder set on a tripod to document the menacing forces in their bedroom and the entire house. Dread and anticipation of what might happen next provided most of the terror. There were also:

  • running faucets, squeaky doors, flickering lights
  • foot-prints on the stairs, shadows
  • thump noises, scratching sounds, incoherent whisperings
  • a possessed Ouija board that caught fire
  • footprints traced with talcum powder
  • a smashed picture of the two of them (hanging in the hallway)
  • a malevolent, demonic force that tormented Katie

About the broken glass, Micah asked: "How come my face is scratched and yours isn't?" as Katie felt its spooky presence: "I feel it breathing on me."

The main view of the "found footage" was mostly a slightly wide-angle shot of their bedroom, showing the bed, and the open doorway and hall beyond. Sinister hauntings increased when Katie, on Night # 20 (October 7th, 2006 at 4:32 am) was suddenly dragged from the bed and down the hallway in the middle of the night.

Soon after, the two discovered a massive red bite mark on her back. At times, she would sleep-walk in the middle of the night and stand motionless and trance-like by the side of the bed.

And in the abrupt, surprise-jolt ending on Night # 21, after a two hour stance at the bedside, Katie walked downstairs, then screamed out Micah's name to come to her aid. He rushed to her and sounds of a struggle were heard. With heavy footsteps, Katie carried Micah's dead body up the stairs and hurled it at the camera, dislodging it from its tripod.

Wearing a blood-stained shirt, the demonic-looking Katie came into the room, sniffed at Micah's body on the floor, and stiffly looked into the camera lens with an ominous grin. She growled-smiled at the camera - and then lunged at it as her face mutated into a demon. The film cut to black.

An epilogue note stated: Micah's body was discovered by police on October 11th, 2006. Katie's whereabouts remain unknown.

Smashed Picture: Micah and Katie

View of The Bedroom on Night # 20

Demonic Bite Mark on Katie's Back

The Shock Ending - Demonic Faced Katie Growling Toward Camera

Peeping Tom (1960, UK)


Director Michael Powell's British horror film was a chilling and disturbing film about voyeurism, child abuse, and serial murder. It was originally widely hated, universally loathed and denounced as sick, especially by British critics, who drove it off the screen.

The disturbing thriller about a tormented murderer was called perverted, necrophilic and trashy. It was considered nauseating, depraved, depressing, filthy and stench-filled -- and allegedly destroyed the career of its director. It suffered from the devastating, vitriolic reviews and was removed from theaters and excised by its distributor.

In the film's shocking opening, filmed from the point-of-view of the voyeuristic camera's cross-haired viewfinder, a prostitute-callgirl Dora (Brenda Bruce) on a dark London street negotiated for two quid ("It'll be two quid"). She walked upstairs to her cheap apartment, disrobed, and then gave a look of horror as she was being murdered.

Opening Title Credits Murder of Prostitute Dora

The photographer Mark Lewis (Karl Boehm) would then watch the projected grisly footage over and over in the darkness of his lab-studio. His viewing of this particular death was accompanied by the film's opening title and credits.

It was a voyeuristic, chilling, and twisted portrayal of a shy, reclusive, and disturbed young studio cameraman (and morbid, psychopathic serial killer) who filmed call girls and then killed them with the metal-spiked leg of his hand-held 16 mm camera tripod (with an ingenious mirror device attached and a cross-haired viewfinder so that victims could watch themselves dying, creating a POV shot). His screaming, red-headed female victims could watch themselves die (after being impaled by the sharp spiked leg of his camera tripod that was plunged into their throats). He was also perversely obsessed with voyeuristically capturing the moment of death and the fear it caused (the look of distorted, fearful faces in a mirror); it was an affliction termed scopophilia, the morbid urge to gaze.

Mark also viewed b/w home movies with red-haired female friend Helen Stephens (Anna Massey), his downstairs neighbor/tenant who lived with her blind mother Mrs. Stephens (Maxine Audley) - they were films of Mark's abused childhood when he was mentally tormented by his professor-father (director Michael Powell himself) and experiments about fear were conducted on him (e.g., his reaction to the lizard dropped on his bed, his mother's corpse, or his father's new young wife).

Another of his perverted and morbid crimes was perpetrated (and witnessed almost as a "snuff film") upon unsuspecting female victim Vivian (Moira Shearer), an actress-dancer and studio stand-in.

In the final murder scene, model Milly (Pamela Green, a real-life 50s pin-up) asked herself as she reclined backward (while Mark closed the blinds):

"I might as well talk to a zombie. Is it safe to be alone with you, I wonder? It might be more fun if I wasn't."

His shadow covered her face, as he moved and stood above her nude body, when she momentarily revealed one nude breast [Note: It was reportedly the first nudity in British film history]. The film faded to black with loud piano chords on the soundtrack, before she was murdered (off-screen).

The conclusion was Mark's own suicidal death (in the same horrific manner that he often used) when he impaled himself in the neck with his own spiked device, as he spoke to spared Helen: "Helen, Helen, I'm afraid...And I'm glad I'm afraid," and then slumped to the floor before the police arrived. The last lines of the film were from a tape recording of his childhood, made by his father (Father: "Don't be a silly boy. There's nothing to be afraid of!" Young Mark: "Good night, Daddy. Hold my hand").

Threatening but Sparing Helen - Then Suicide

Viewing B/W Home Movies with Helen - Mark's Abused Childhood

Murder of Red Haired Vivian (Moira Shearer)

Murder of Nude Model Milly

Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985)

Director Tim Burton's adventure-comedy starred Paul Reubens as Pee-Wee Herman - on a quest to find his beloved stolen bicycle. Pee Wee's search for his bicycle during a tour of America commenced after a sham fortune-telling gypsy named Madam Ruby (Erica Yohn) told him it was in the Alamo's basement, in San Antonio Texas.

On his road-trip journey hitchhiking across the country from LA to Texas, in the desert, he had a startling and hysterical encounter with the ghost of deceased fat trucker Large Marge (Alice Nunn).

In one of the film's rare scary moments, she was transformed into a bug-eyed ghostly victim of a horrendous auto accident.

Ghost of Large Marge

Pet Sematary (1989)


This supernatural horror film from director Mary Lambert, with the tagline: "Sometimes dead is better," was adapted from Stephen King's 1983 novel. (It was followed by the sequel, Pet Sematary Two (1992)), and a second film adaptation Pet Sematary (2019).

It told about the Creed family who had moved from Chicago to an old farmhouse in rural Maine - next to a busy highway (filled with trucks).

The Creed family consisted of:

  • Dr. Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff), husband
  • Rachel (Denise Crosby as adult), wife
  • Ellie (Blaze Berdahl), daughter
  • Gage Creed (Miko Hughes), toddler son

Dr. Creed often experimented with the resurrection or resuscitation of the dead - first hinted at via a pet sematary (built on the remains of an Indian burial ground) near the home. When the Creed family's cat Church was killed by a truck and buried in the pet sematary, it was resurrected or reanimated as an undead creature - with a foul stench and glowing eyes.

Other instances of supernatural 'rebirth' also occurred:

  • the reviving of the grotesque corpse of patient Victor Pascow (Brad Greenquist) - a college student and highway accident victim with a nasty lethal head injury while jogging on the road
  • after a truck tragically killed toddler Gage Creed on the highway, the boy was also transformed into an evil undead, murderous, soul-less stalker, after being buried in the sematary

The melodramatic backstory of the main plot involved the mad, diseased sister of the main character Rachel Creed who was continually haunted, traumatized and tormented by her mad sister, Zelda.

Seen in flashback, emaciated, terminally-ill and crippled Zelda Goldman (Andrew Hubatsek - a man playing a female's part) was kept bedridden in a back bedroom for her entire life until her death from spinal meningitis. Zelda was being cared for all alone by her younger 8 year-old sister Rachel (Elizabeth Ureneck as child).

Rachel described Zelda's death night - a frightening scene set in a back bedroom, where young Rachel was feeding Zelda (who was suffering from a case of spinal meningitis) - the family's 'dirty secret':

She was in the back bedroom like a 'dirty secret'. My sister died in the back bedroom, and that's what she was. The 'dirty secret.' I had to, I had to feed her sometimes, I hated it, but I did it. We wanted her to die. We wished for her to be dead. It wasn't just so she wouldn't feel any more pain. It was so we wouldn't feel any more pain. It was because she was starting to look like this monster. Even now, I wake up and I think, 'Is Zelda dead yet? Is she?'

Rachel told about the night that Zelda died. Suddenly, the deformed Zelda spun her entire head around and choked herself to death. Rachel also told how she was worried that her parents would come home and blame her for choking her sister, since she wasn't seen crying afterwards, but laughing, and had obviously wanted her sister dead:

"My parents were gone when she died. She started to, she started to convulse and I thought, I thought, 'Oh my god, she's choking. Zelda's choking.' And they'll come home, and they'll say I murdered her by choking. They'll say, 'You hated her, Rachel,' and that was true. And they'll say, 'You wanted her to be dead.' And that was true, too. And then she died. And I started to scream. I ran out of the house screaming, 'Zelda's dead! Zelda's dead! Zelda's dead!' And the neighbors that came out and they-- and they looked. And they thought I was crying. But you know something? I think maybe - I was laughing."

Zelda's Choking Death

After her death, Zelda continually haunted her sister Rachel with double threats:

  • "I'm going to twist your back like mine so you'll never get out of bed again. Never get out of bed again. Never get out of bed again! Never get out of bed again!"

In the film's haunting climax, resurrected toddler son Gage Creed was murdering people with a sharp surgical scalpel - including elderly neighbor Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne) and his own mother Rachel. Dr. Louis Creed gave his son a lethal injection of morphine to stop him from any further misdeeds. And he also buried Rachel in the pet sematary.

However, his bloodied and dirtied undead wife Rachel (moaning "Darling") returned from her burial in the sematary as a resurrected zombie. She entered the kitchen where Louis was playing cards. He unwisely kissed her as she was about to murder him with a long butcher knife - when the credits began to roll.

Resurrected Cat Church

Victor Pascow (Brad Greenquist)

Toddler Gage Creed (Miko Hughes)

Rachel (Denise Crosby) Describing Zelda's Death Night - as Flashback

Crippled Zelda

8 yr-old Rachel Feeding Zelda

Zelda's Haunting of Rachel: "Never get out of bed again!"

Film's Ending: Dr. Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) Kissing Zombified Wife Rachel

Phantasm (1979)


Director Don Coscarelli's imaginative, low-budget independent horror-sci-fi film was a sleeper film and soon became a major science-fantasy and horror cult hit. Some of its elements were similar to Invaders From Mars (1953). Its tagline was:

"If This One Doesn't Scare You, You're Already Dead."

Another of the film's taglines humorously referred to the frequent, deadly flying silver spheres or balls: "If you're looking for horror that's got balls...IT'S FOUND YOU." Literally, PHANTASM can be defined as: "The delusion of a disordered mind" - or a spirit or ghost. In fact, the entire film was mostly composed of random, waking and dreaming nightmare encounters with the iconic and malevolent figure of a Tall Man that were suspect and possibly unreal. The scarily-suggestive horror film - with a coming-of-age plot - was about the typical, fearful and disturbed reactions to abandonment, death (symbolized by the main 'adult' character, the Tall Man), and intense loss.

This original film was followed by many inferior sequels, Phantasm II (1988), Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994), Phantasm IV: OblIVion (1998) and Phantasm: Ravager (2016).

The Opening Sex-Murder Scene of Tommy, Committed By the Lady in Lavender (The Tall Man in Disguise) in a Local Cemetery

In the opening prologue - a shocking murder scene, teenaged Tommy (Bill Cone) was making out with a blonde date - the attractive and sexy Lady in Lavender (Kathy Lester), with heavy purple eye shadow. They were lying on the ground and having sex outdoors at the Morningside Mortuary and cemetery. As he sighed, "That was great, baby," Tommy was stabbed to death in the chest with a long knife by his sex partner - her murderous face melded into the Tall Man's (Angus Scrimm) leering grin at the moment of death. However, the murder was ruled as a suicide.

Mike's Older Guardian Brother Jody Pearson (Bill Thornbury)

Morningside Mortuary Mortician - The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm)

Tommy's Corpse in Coffin

In a small California town in the year 1978, Tommy's death resulted in the break-up of a trio of males who were close friends, including:

  • Jody Pearson (Bill Thornbury), 24 years-old, an on-the-road traveling musician
  • Mike Pearson (Michael Baldwin), Jody's 13 year old younger brother; Mike was being raised by his guardian Jody, since both were parent-less

A funeral was held for Tommy at the gated Morningside Cemetery and Mortuary - consisting of a sprawling lawn of graves with a marble-walled mausoleum managed by the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm). Mike wasn't allowed to attend by Jody, since after the recent death (two years earlier under mysterious circumstances) of Jody and Mike's parents, Mike had experienced nightmares for weeks.

After the burial ceremony at the gravesite and the guests had left, Mike secretly spied (with binoculars) from the grove on the pale-faced mortuary attendant - a sinister, arachnoid mortician-undertaker named the "Tall Man", with supernatural strength for a slim and gaunt individual. He watched as the mortuary attendant - by himself - picked up the 500 pound coffin and returned it into the back of a hearse, without completing the burial.

Mike went to visit a local, elderly, wheel-chaired fortune-teller (Mary Ellen Shaw) (and her young blonde granddaughter (Terrie Kalbus)) to share his suspicions and fears about what was bothering him. During the session, Mike first explained how he was experiencing a fear of abandonment by his older brother. [Note: He had overheard Jody's thoughts about sending him away to live with his Aunt.] He also described what he witnessed at the funeral about the eerie mortician. As he fled on his motorcycle, he was flipped onto the ground - after one glance from the mortician - as he rode off.

The fortune-teller instructed Mike to "play a little game" - he was asked to place his hand in a small black box. Mike panicked as the box gripped his hand - but his fears quickly subsided when it was suggested by the granddaughter that the lesson was that he shouldn't be afraid - one of the film's key themes: ("Don't fear. It was simply a reflection. Fear is the killer...It was all in your mind").

One evening, Mike followed Jody from the Dunes Cantina accompanied by the Lady in Lavender (a repeat of the opening sequence) to the Morningside Cemetery to have sex. As he was eavesdropping on them, Mike was scared by a small brown-robed dwarfish figure ("It was little and brown, and low to the ground"), and inadvertently alerted Jody to danger - and then the Lady (the Tall Man's alias) inexplicably disappeared.

During this time in his life, Mike was suffering from an "overactive imagination" plus chilling, surrealistic, dream-like nightmares of the Tall Man and his army of mostly unseen, shrouded, dwarfish creatures (or minions) (similar to the Jawas in Star Wars). That evening, he unexpectedly experienced a frightening and scary dream of the Tall Man above his bed reaching out from the cemetery, with two hooded, demonic killer-dwarves attacking him in his bed. The next evening, while working on his jacked-up car in his garage, Mike was pinned under the dropped car due to one of the dwarves.

Suspicious, (armed with a hunting knife strapped on his leg) Mike broke into the Mortuary later that night through a basement window, and hid in one of the caskets on display when the graveyard's grounds-keeper (Kenneth V. Jones) entered the room. Soon after in the hallway's corridor, a flying metallic sphere or silver pin-ball sailed through the air with deadly spring-loaded blades. In the film's most memorable scene, Mike was grabbed by the grounds-keeper from behind. When a second sphere was launched by the Tall Man, Mike bit the arm of the grounds-keeper and was released, and he dropped down. The sphere implanted itself into the grounds-keeper's forehead, and then the device bore or drilled into the skull of its victim and extracted or sucked out his brain in a spray of blood. The man collapsed, with evidence of urine from his emptied bladder leaking onto the floor.

After a chase toward the basement by the haunting Tall Man who appeared in the hallway, Mike hacked off the fingers on the right hand of the mortician when they became caught in the slammed basement door. Mike picked up one of the still-wiggling fingers on the floor before running off from two of the man's shrouded, Jawas-like dwarfish creatures (or minions) and returning home.

Tall Man's Hacked Off Fingers in the Slammed Basement Door

One Severed Finger of the Tall Man in a Box

Finger Mutated into Red-Eyed, Wasp-Insect with Teeth

Buzzing Creature Atop Mike's Head

The next morning, Mike was finally able to get Jody to believe him - with the proof of one of the Tall Man's hacked-off, still-squirming fingers in a box (with spurting, bright yellow blood or embalming fluid). Shockingly, the finger transformed or mutated into a buzzing, flying wasp-like insect that first landed on Mike's head, and then was deposited by Jody in their kitchen's garbage disposal. Their ice-cream vendor friend Reggie (Reggie Bannister) arrived as they were killing the insect - he became a believer in their suspicions and agreed to join in their efforts.

In the evening, Jody (armed with a .45 caliber pistol, whose philosophy was: "You shoot to kill, or you don't shoot at all") visited the cemetery and mortuary on his own to investigate, but couldn't get any further than the basement when attacked from behind by a hooded dwarf creature. After blasting the dwarf with his hand-gun, Jody escaped and ran back toward the cemetery gate while being followed by one of the mortuary's hearses. Mike (who had followed against orders) rescued Jody in his brother's Plymouth Barracuda at the entrance, and they were both pursued by what seemed to be a driver-less hearse ("There's nobody drivin' that mother!"). After running the hearse off the road by pump-shotgun blasts from Jody's gun, they discovered that the driver was a reanimated, dwarf-sized version of their recently-deceased friend Tommy.

[Note: The menacing and disturbing Tall Man, possibly from another planet, appeared to be collecting fresh Earthly corpses - a perfect cover for a mortician. The corpses were then crushed (to conserve space) down to dwarf-sized zombies, reanimated or resuscitated and many of them were prepared for transport to his other-worldly dimension. Some of the Tall Man's army of shrouded, Jawas-like dwarfish creatures (or minions) - grave robbers - were used as slave labor to collect and carry off the corpses.]

The two pad-locked the hooded, shrunken 'Tommy' figure (although it weighed 200 lbs) in the back of the ice cream truck of their friend Reggie. To protect Mike, he was taken to the local antique store in town, where while browsing, he discovered an old 19th century 'animated' photo of the Tall Man driving a horse-drawn hearse in front of the mortuary. Mike demanded to be taken back home. Meanwhile, Jody experienced a brief nightmare of the haunting Tall Man and his abduction by dwarves in the mausoleum.

Jody's Nightmare of His Own Abduction by the Tall Man and Dwarves

On Mike's drive home with Jody's friends - two store workers Sally (Lynn Eastman) and her girlfriend Sue (Susan Harper), Mike came upon Reggie's empty, overturned ice-cream truck, and noticed the broken padlock. Suddenly, their car was surrounded by a group of hooded dwarves who attacked the teens. Mike fought off the dwarves and was able to escape through the car's rear broken window before he was able to run home, but remained unaware of the fate of the girls (who were driven off) or Reggie.

Jody was resolute to return alone to the mortuary-mausoleum and kill the Tall Man, and refused to take Mike with him. On his own after ingeniously escaping from his locked room, an armed Mike followed, but was immediately kidnapped by the Tall Man who was standing at the door of his house as Mike exited. Mike was driven away in the back of the Tall Man's hearse to the cemetery. From inside the vehicle, he shot out the rear window and one of the tires, allowing him to escape, and causing the hearse to crash into a tree and explode in a fiery ball of flames.

Once inside the mausoleum-mortuary, both Mike and Jody who had entered - and suspected that the Tall Man was responsible for their parents' deaths, discovered separately that their parent's coffin in their family crypt was empty. The two were again targeted by a silver sphere, shot down by Jody. Reggie suddenly appeared and told Mike and Jody that he had been hiding in a casket in the mortuary and had freed the two girls (and a few others) he found locked in a room.

In a brightly lit storage room, the threesome found stacks of blue storage barrels or canisters holding the bodies of dwarves. The Tall Man had prepared their corpses to soon be transported to another alien planet or world, to continue to be used for slave labor. There was a bridge, portal or gateway (vacuum passage) between Earth and another alien planet, consisting of two vertical silver poles. Mike was temporarily sucked in when he stuck his hand between the poles, and found himself on the alien planet with red-hot intense heat. He was pulled back into the store room by his two pals. He then explained: "They're usin' 'em for slaves. The dwarfs. And they got to crush 'em 'cause of the gravity. And the heat. And this is the door to their planet."

Stacks of Blue Storage Barrels

Looking in at Storage Room

Two Vertical Poles - Gateway to Another Alien Planet

Mike Grabbed and Sucked In

Tumbling Toward Alien Planet

Dwarves on Red-Hot Surface of Planet

During an unexpected power outage, the trio became separated. Outside during an intense windstorm, Reggie appeared to be stabbed to death by the Lady in Lavender (the Tall Man's frequent disguise), while Jody and Mike escaped as the mausoleum-mortuary glowed, vaporized and vanished.

The two boys felt that they had to defend their town and all of mankind against these forces of Evil. Their devised plan was to lure and then trap the Tall Man inside an old, deserted, 1,000 foot deep mine shaft outside of town. During a chase after Mike toward the mine shaft in a remote area (with the warning barrier removed), Mike avoided letting fear overtake him. The evil Tall Man fell into the open deep shaft, was covered over with an avalanche of large boulders and sealed inside.

However, in the shocking twist ending, it was all revealed to be another of Mike's nightmarish dreams, as he suddenly awoke during a thunderstorm next to his friend Reggie in front of a roaring fire. It was explained to Mike that his brother Jody had died in a car wreck two weeks earlier - along with his parents:

Mike: I hear the sounds. I know those rocks aren't gonna hold him. Not for long.
Reggie: Hey, you had a dream. Just a nightmare. What do you expect? You've hardly slept since the funeral last week.
Mike: I know those rocks aren't gonna hold him. First he took Mom and Dad, then he took Jody, now he's after me.
Reggie: Mike, that Tall Man of yours did not take Jody away. Jody died in a car wreck. Mike, you had a bad dream. Now, I know you're scared, but you're not alone. I'll take care of you. I know I can't ever take Jody's place, but I'm sure as hell gonna try.
Mike: Seems so real.
Reggie: You know, partner, what we need is a change of scenery. Why don't you and me hit the road for a couple of weeks?
Mike: Where will we go?
Reggie: Well, I don't know. I guess we can figure that one out when we get there.
Mike: OK.
Reggie: Well, get on upstairs, get your gear together, 'cause we leave when the sun comes up.

And then somehow in the conclusion, the Tall Man materialized in Mike's bedroom as he was packing for a road trip - seen in a reflection on a full-length closet door mirror. The Tall Man menacingly called out: "Boy!" - and a pair of large hands from one of the Tall Man's dwarf minions grabbed Mike's head and pulled him into and through the shattering bedroom mirror - an ending similar to the shock finale-epilogue of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). The film abruptly ended with the blood-red final credits on a black background.

During Tommy's Funeral Ceremony, 13 Year-Old Mike Pearson Used Binoculars to Spy on the Tall Man and His Suspicious Handling of Tommy's Coffin

Mike's Visit to a Fortune-Telling Grandmother

Mike's 'Game' With Black Box (Lesson: "Don't fear")

Jody with Lady in Lavender in Cemetery

Mike Unexpectedly Attacked by The Tall Man and Dwarfs During a Nightmare

Mike Grabbed From Behind by Groundskeeper

Flying Metallic Sphere Aimed Toward Them

Graveyard Groundskeeper's Hit in Forehead by Sphere - Gruesome Death

Tall Man in Corridor Behind Mike Before a Chase Toward the Basement

Their Ice-Cream Vendor Friend Reggie (Reggie Bannister)

Dwarf-Like Hooded Figure Behind Jody in Mortuary Basement Before Attack

Shocking Discovery: The Dwarf-Driver of the Crashed Hearse was Tommy!

19th Century Photo of the Tall Man

Mike Kidnapped at His Own House

The Exterior of the Mortuary at Nighttime

Mike Discovered Empty Coffin of His Parents

Reggie 'Stabbed to Death' by Lady in Lavender (Tall Man)

Entrance Warning Barrier to Mine Shaft Covered Over

Tall Man - Fallen into Mine Shaft Hole

Film's Ending: Mike Waking Up From Nightmare - Plot Twist

Tall Man in Mike's Bedroom, Snatching Mike Through His Closet Bedroom Mirror

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)


Universal's silent film The Phantom of the Opera (1925) was both a classic horror tale, a love story, and a melodrama. Its most celebrated scene was the startling unmasking of the Phantom himself.

The film's other highlight was the two-strip Technicolor ball sequence featuring the Phantom's "Red Death."

The 'Red Death' Figure (The Phantom) at Bal Masque

Various other versions of the film have been made:

  • Phantom of the Opera (1943), Arthur Lubin's Technicolored feature with Claude Rains
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1962, UK), Terence Fisher's and Hammer's bloody reboot with Herbert Lom
  • The Phantom of the Opera (2004), the musical with Gerard Butler, the most recent

The film posed the question - was the Paris Opera House haunted? There was a lurking, mysterious creature known as the Phantom, who made demands that young new performer Christine Daae (Mary Philbin), a soprano understudy at the Paris Opera, appear on stage.

To strengthen his threats, the Phantom sent a chandelier crashing onto opera patrons during a performance. Soon after, the masked and eerie Phantom kidnapped Christine and brought her to his subterranean world beneath the Opera House.

The Shocking Unmasking of the Phantom

The most frightening, shocking and eerie moment occurred when the mad Erik (Lon Chaney, Sr.), the horribly disfigured and deformed Phantom of the Opera, was unmasked by the abducted Christine from behind while he was at his organ playing "Don Juan Triumphant." She crept up behind the Phantom, ripped off his mask, and revealed the Phantom's skull-like, disfigured monster face. His grotesque face with artfully-applied makeup showed round, darkened eyes, jagged decayed teeth, flaring nostrils, and a corpse-like skull visage.

After she cowered back, he grabbed her and laughed maniacally: "Feast your eyes - glut your soul, on my accursed ugliness!...Oh, mad Christine, who would not heed my warning!"

She begged to be released from his underground dungeon, promising, " I promise to be your slave forever" - and he allowed her to return to her world "to sing in the opera once more" - but he also threatened that she shouldn't meet with Raoul (Norman Kerry) ever again: "You shall not see your lover again! If you do, it is death to you both!"

Dropping of Giant Chandelier Onto Opera House Audience

The Masked Phantom (Lon Chaney)

Christine Daae (Mary Philbin)

After the Unmasking - The Phantom Pointed at Christine as She Cowered Back

Pinocchio (1940)

Disney's second feature length animated film was an adaptation of the dark children’s novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio, written by 19th century Italian writer, Carlo Collodi. It was the simple, yet sophisticated story of a kindly woodcarver/toymaker named Geppetto who carved a wooden puppet named Pinocchio.

After being brought to life as a lively puppet by a magical and angelic Blue Fairy, Pinocchio was challenged to become a real boy if he proved himself "brave, truthful, and unselfish." His conscience and wise friend for his journey of self-discovery was an impish cricket named Jiminy.

In the morality tale and coming-of-age story, the simple-minded wooden Pinocchio boy with an impetuous curiosity overcame temptation and learned courage in the face of fear and danger.

But first he encountered terrifying and frightening adventures - he was assailed by grifters, caged, threatened with slave labor, transformed into a jackass (literally), swallowed by a giant whale, and almost drowned to death. He made some bad choices and faced the dire consequences:

  • He was tempted with theatrical fame (as an actor for a puppeteer), although locked in the puppet master's cage
  • After Pinocchio was sold to a child abductor, he was sent to nightmarish Pleasure Island in a scary sequence - a symbol of debauched and unbridled hedonism. There, Pinocchio and other bad boys (who smoked and drank), such as Lampwick, sprouted donkey ears, hooves and a tail, brayed like a donkey - and frantically cried out for their Mommas - and were ultimately sold to the salt mines
  • The climactic sequence involved Monstro the Whale, when Pinocchio was swallowed by a satanic black whale.

He finally triumphed over fear and saved himself and his father.

Lampwick (Transforming into a Jackass or Donkey)

Pinocchio's Near-Transformation

Geppetto's Raft and Monstro the Whale

Piranha (2010) (and Piranha 3D)

Director Alexandre Aja's R-rated exploitative action thriller (with lots of bloody violence, horror and terror), available also in 3D, was a reworking or reimagining of Joe Dante's original cult horror film Piranha (1978). It told of the town of Lake Victoria which expanded in size during spring break (filmed at Lake Havasu, AZ), when 20,000 drunken revelers arrived in huge numbers for sun, sex and carousing.

An underwater tremor ("heavy seismic activity") caused pre-historic man-eating, razor-toothed fish to erupt from a subterranean lake and cause havoc amongst the town's inhabitants, including the coeds. Although the film was basically an excuse to show lots of 3D boobs and naked carnage, it also had some genuine scares regarding the ravenous fish that hunted in packs and were considered "killing machines."

  • When Sheriff Julie Forester (Elisabeth Shue) was investigating a drifting rowboat at night and a missing fisherman named Matthew Boyd (Richard Dreyfuss in a cameo), and the rotten wooden pier caved in, a decomposed or mutilated body popped up next to her in the water.
  • There were numerous underwater POV shots of fiercesome, razor-toothed piranha swimming toward prey, gigantic close-ups of the red-eyed, blood-seeking fish, and an ominous attack of fish on a USGS scuba-diver that left him as a devoured carcass.
  • A well-endowed parasailing girl (Gianna Michaels), who lost her top, had her legs chewed off at the conclusion of her ride.
  • Ignoring warnings, the first coed to be bitten by the pack of piranhas during the wet T-shirt contest (advertised as "DYING TO GET WET") was a female sitting in a round flotation device. Scores of others were bitten as the water deepened red in color. There was a mad scramble to evacuate from the water - but with the weight of extra bodies unbalancing the floating stage, it began to tip over.
  • A snapped cable from the stage severed the bodies of two blue bikini-clad cheerleaders (Ashlynn Brooke on the left). They watched in horror as their bodies fell apart in sections (one severed top with silicone breasts fell into the water and sank).
Cheerleaders' Deaths - Boobs and Gore
  • The sleazy emcee was rewarded with cranial explosion and decapitation when crushed by a passing boat motor, splattered onto a nearby busty female.
  • Propeller Girl's (Genevieve Alexandra) hair/scalp was caught in a boat propeller and ripped off when restarted.
Gore and Death at Lake Victoria

Wet T-Shirt Host

Propeller Girl

  • When vulgar "Wild Wild Girls" semi-porn videographer Derrick Jones' (Jerry O'Connell) rented boat The Barracuda was caught on rocks and seaweed, the underwater viewing glass was shattered and the boat filled with water - Derrick and blonde actress Crystal (real-life porn actress Riley Steele) were thrown overboard. One of the piranhas ate through her stomach and emerged from her mouth.
  • Derrick's legs and sex organ were viciously attacked. He moaned on deck: "They took my penis." Later, the severed organ was seen floating in the water where it was eaten by a piranha, but then regurgitated - and he soon died of blood loss.
  • Danni (Kelly Brook) was also fated to die when dangling from a rescue rope extended between two boats - the fish got ahold of her hair, and pulled and pecked at her until she fell and was devoured.
  • The film's late revelation from aquarium store owner Henry Goodman (Christopher Lloyd) was that the piranhas were "not fully developed" - they had "no mature reproductive organs" - "they're the babies."
  • The biggest jump-scare came next - a massive piranha jumped out of the water and attacked dive team member/researcher Novak (Adam Scott) after he asked: "The babies. Huh. So, where are the parents?"

Decomposed Body Scaring Sheriff Julie Forester

Deadly Piranha

Parasailing Girl


Derrick's Penis

Torn in Half

Novak Attacked by Massive Piranha

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Director Gore Verbinski's and producer Jerry Bruckheimer's fantasy swashbuckling blockbuster was initially derived from Disneyland's theme park ride. It told an exciting tale of four main characters:

  • Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), pirate
  • Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), blacksmith
  • Elizabeth Swann/"Turner" (Keira Knightley), kidnapped
  • Black Pearl Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) of the ghostly pirate ship, cursed, 'undead', and villainous

Barbossa and his crew, who (years earlier) were questing for Aztec gold with betrayed Captain Sparrow, became immortal skeletal beings after finding the cursed Aztec treasure and spending it. Their true forms were revealed only under moonlight.

In a major reveal scene, Captain Barbossa explained to captive Elizabeth Swann how the effects of the curse could be reversed if the gold was returned, along with the bloody sacrifice of each pirate:

"...There is one way we can end our curse. All the scattered pieces of the Aztec gold must be restored and the blood repaid. Thanks to ye, we have the final piece. ("And the blood to be repaid?") That's why there's no sense to be killin' ya, yet."

She unsuccessfully attempted to stab him in the heart and escape from his ship the Black Pearl, but was seized and forced to look at the skeletal forms of his crew of 'undead' pirates in the moonlight - as he extended his bony skeletal hand toward her, and his whole body was transformed.

He warned and advised her:

"You best start believin' in ghost stories, Miss Turner. You're in one!"

Captain Barbossa's 'Undead' Cursed Pirates

Captain Barbarossa's Warning to Elizabeth

Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

Legendary director Roger Corman's and AIP's low-budget Gothic horror films included a rash of Edgar Allan Poe film adaptations (or variations) in the 1960s - this one (the second of eight) was based on Edgar Allan Poe's 1842 short story; it was preceded by House of Usher (1960), and followed by Premature Burial (1962), Tales of Terror (1962), The Raven (1963), the Poe-titled poem but H. P. Lovecraft adapted The Haunted Palace (1963),The Masque of the Red Death (1964) and The Tomb of Ligeia (1964); many of the films featured horror icon Vincent Price; this effectively-scary and suspenseful film (with great atmospheric effects) was the most financially successful of all the AIP Poe films:

  • in mid-16th century Spain, Englishman Francis Barnard (John Kerr) arrived to visit the ominous castle of his brother-in-law Don Nicholas Medina (Vincent Price) to investigate what truly had happened to his sister Elizabeth Barnard Medina (Barbara Steele) in the prime of her life; she was Nicholas Medina's missing wife who had mysteriously disappeared (or died?)
  • strangely, there were no clear details regarding Elizabeth's "untimely" demise; Francis was shown where she had been interred in a stone wall of the castle's dungeon, and her bedroom where the obsessed Medina had preserved everything "exactly as she left it," including her portrait

Francis Barnard (John Kerr)

Nicholas Medina (Vincent Price)

Catherine (Luana Anders)

Dr. Charles Leon (Antony Carbone)
  • the anguished, still-grieving Medina, and his younger sister Catherine (Luana Anders) who was visiting from Barcelona, claimed that Elizabeth had died 3 months earlier from an illness - a rare blood disorder ("something in her blood"); however, after dinner that evening, the family's physician Dr. Charles Leon (Antony Carbone) had a different explanation or diagnosis - he stated to Francis Barnard that his sister Elizabeth had actually died of massive heart failure: ("Your sister's death was caused by failure of the heart, sir, due to total shock - literally, she died of fright"); her death was due to her increasing depression and pre-occupation with the castle's "odious atmosphere" and its dungeons built by Medina's "infamous" and depraved father Sebastian during the Inquisition; Medina described the deadly atmospheric effects of living there: "You cannot know what it is to live here, month upon month, year after year, breathing this infernal air, absorbing the miasma of barbarity which permeates these walls"
  • during a tour conducted by Medina that evening to in the castle's "blasphemous" dungeon "torture chamber" (with various instruments and apparatus' of pain and death, including the Rack and the Iron Maiden), Francis, and Catherine and Dr. Leon were shown the location of Elizabeth's death; Medina told the incredulous story of how his "sensitive" wife was affected by the castle's "atmosphere"
  • in flashback (filmed in nightmarish, bluish-tinted monochrome), Medina recalled his "richly pleasurable" and wonderful life with Catherine, at one time painting her portrait to capture her beauty; but then her physical condition worsened and she became "haunted," obsessed and fixated by the "instruments of torture" - she gave a hideous scream, strapped herself into the cursed Iron Maiden torture device, whispered the name "Sebastian," and died in Medina's arms when he released her from the device's grasp
  • it was an unsatisfactory explanation for Francis, although guilt-ridden Medina remained adamant that he may have been responsible for his wife's death - due to his cursed ancestry; the semi-insane Medina appeared haunted by his earlier family traumas, and now by his recent memories of his deceased wife
  • Medina's traumatic childhood was described by his sister Catherine - also seen in flashback; their father was a notorious agent of the Spanish Inquisition named Sebastian Medina (also Vincent Price); one day, young Nicholas Medina (Larry Turner as youth) had disobediently entered the dungeon chamber where he witnessed Sebastian striking his brother Bartolome (Charles Victor) to death, while repeatedly screaming out: "Adulterer!"; afterwards, Sebastian also accused his own incestuous wife Isabella (Mary Menzies) of "vile debauchery with his brother" - and then tortured her to death for her "infidelity"; afterwards, Nicholas Medina was forever haunted by the memory of that day - and his wife's recent death was now clearly driving him insane
  • strange occurrences began to happen in the atmospheric castle, possibly proof of Elizabeth's 'haunting' presence: her harpsichord was played by itself late at night, and one of her rings was left on the keyboard
  • Dr. Leon corrected the record for Catherine and Francis -- he claimed that Isabella had not been tortured to death, but had been entombed alive behind a brick wall: ("Your mother was walled up in her tomb while yet alive. From that day forth, the very thought of premature interment was enough to drive your brother into convulsions of horror")
  • the tormented and brooding Medina feared and conjectured that Elizabeth had suffered the same fate because of what happened to his mother Isabella years earlier - and that it was his fault that Elizabeth had also been buried prematurely (and had been calling out to him); Dr. Leon stressed that Medina's fearful thoughts were unwarranted, but added that she still might be a vengeful ghost: "If Elizabeth Medina walks the corridors of this castle, it is her spirit, not her living self"
  • there were further signs of Elizabeth's presence in the castle; the maid Maria (Lynne Bernay) claimed that she was whispered to in her bedroom; shortly later, the room was found ransacked and Elizabeth's portrait was slashed; Francis became suspicious when he found a hidden passageway into the room from Medina's bedroom, and accused Medina of causing the disruptions from the grave; Medina questioned his own sanity: "Could I have kept that ring without knowing it? Play the harpsichord without knowing it? Destroy Elizabeth's room all without knowing it? My inner mind creating evidence of Elizabeth's vengeful return because that mind knows - BUT I DON'T KNOW?"; Francis began to wonder if his sister Elizabeth met the same fate as his mother Isabella
  • in a memorable sequence, to prove whether Elizabeth was still alive or not, Dr. Leon boldly suggested exhuming Elizabeth - by opening up her tomb-sarcophagus as "the only way of convincing Medina that he did not bury his wife alive...We will exhume Elizabeth" -- Medina suffered a flashback of watching his mother Isabella being enclosed in a stone tomb while alive, as they were breaking through Elizabeth's walled-up stone tomb to access her sarcophagus
  • the film's highlight was the opening of the sarcophagus and their discovery of Elizabeth's decaying corpse inside, suggesting that she had been accidentally buried alive; she had died screaming after failing to claw her way out of her sealed coffin; Medina was stunned, took credit for Elizabeth's untimely death, and became hysterically suicidal as he started to babble: "True, true!" while Dr. Leon insisted: "I swear to you, I thought she was dead. On my honor as a physician, I thought she was dead! I swear to you"; Medina continued to admit: "True, true, true, true..." as he wandered off

Looking In the Opening to Elizabeth's Walled-Up Tomb and Sarcophagus/Coffin

Medina Inside Tomb Next to Elizabeth's Coffin

Evidence of Elizabeth's Ghastly Live-Burial and 'Death'

Medina's Immediate Two-Word Response: "True, true!"

Medina's Continuing Babbling Confession That He Killed His Wife: ("True, true, true, true, true... ")

Medina's Confession to Dr. Leon: "I must accept whatever vengeance Elizabeth chooses to inflict upon me"
  • Medina ran to get a gun and shoot himself, as Catherine tried to prevent him; he kept confessing: "I killed her..."; Dr. Leon strongly encouraged Medina to leave the castle (a conspiratorial plan to be revealed!), but he was still in disbelief: "While we were up here mourning her, she was alive, struggling to be free. I am responsible. If it were not so, she would not want to haunt me"; Medina refused to leave with Dr. Leon the next morning: "I can never leave. I must accept whatever vengeance Elizabeth chooses to inflict upon me"
  • that stormy night, the increasingly-mad Medina thought he heard the ghostly voice of his wife Elizabeth luring him and summoning him from her tomb through the cob-webbed passageway; in her dug-up tomb site, a bloody hand emerged from her opening coffin, and she rose very much alive; she followed him into the dungeon's torture chamber, where he tumbled down a flight of stairs

Medina: Descending The Passageway to Elizabeth's Opened Tomb

Elizabeth's Bloody Hand Emerged From the Opening Coffin
  • it was revealed, in the film's major plot twist, that Elizabeth had faked her death as part of a plot to drive him mad - with her lover Dr. Leon --- their conspiracy was to inherit Medina's wealth, fortune and castle by driving him insane and destroying his mind

Elizabeth: An Evil Co-Conspirator with Dr. Leon

Elizabeth Kissing Her Lover Dr. Leon - Both Plotting to Drive Medina Insane

Elizabeth to Her Husband Nicholas Medina: "We've broken you at last... I have you exactly as I want you - helpless"

Medina Shocked into Silence by the Appearance of His Vengeful 'Dead' Wife Elizabeth

But Then Medina Smiled and Laughed Hysterically

Medina Saw Himself as His Father Sebastian, Leon as His Cheating Brother Bartolome and Elizabeth as His Adulterous Wife Isabella
  • as Medina was prostrate on the floor before her and rendered semi-unconscious (after Dr. Leon arrived to join his lover), Elizabeth gloated in the success of her evil deeds toward her crazed husband: "Oh, my darling Nicholas, we've broken you at last....I've waited an eternity for this moment. There has to be time. And now my dear Nicholas, I have you exactly as I want you - helpless... Is it not ironical, my husband, your wife an adulteress, your mother an adulteress, your uncle an adulterer, your closest friend an adulterer - do you not find that amusing, dear Nicholas?"
  • however, things took a strange turn when Medina revived, laughed hysterically at Elizabeth and Dr. Leon - and convinced himself that he was his own father Sebastian, and that Elizabeth was his promiscuous and adulterous wife Isabella, and Dr. Leon was his cheating brother Bartolome; Medina assumed his father's identity and began to re-stage the murders of his faithless wife Isabella and brother Bartolome

Medina to Elizabeth: "I'm going to torture you, Isabella!"

The Iron Maiden Torture Device
  • Medina overpowered Dr. Leon by knocking his head against a wooden post until he fell to the floor; then he grabbed Elizabeth (now functioning as the harlot Isabella) and threatened: "I'm going to torture you, Isabella! I'm going to make you suffer for your faithlessness to me!...Harlot! You will die in agony! Die!"); she screamed as he dragged her over to the Iron Maiden and sealed her inside
  • meanwhile Dr. Leon revived, but fled and fell to his death in the pendulum pit; shortly after, when Francis Barnard entered the dungeon chamber, Medina now transferred his hate to him and conveniently misunderstood that Francis was his duplicitous brother Bartolome; Medina knocked Francis unconscious and then promised to subject him to his "ultimate device of torture"

Medina Assuming His Father's Identity as Torturer Sebastian to Now Subject Francis to Torture

Francis (Assumed to Be Bartolome) Was Placed Under Swinging Pendulum
  • Francis awoke bound and gagged on a stone slab beneath a gigantic, swinging pendulum with a razor-sharp steel blade edge, as Medina threatened to replay his murder: "Are you ready, Bartolome? Do you know where you are, Bartolome?...I will tell you where you are. You are about to enter Hell, Bartolome, HELL! The netherworld. The infernal regions, The Abode of the Damned, The place of torment. Pandemonium. Abbadon. Tophet. Gehenna. Naraka. THE PIT! And the pendulum. The razor edge of destiny. That's the condition of man. Bound on an island from which he can never have hope to escape surrounded by the waiting pit of hell. Subject to the inexorable pendulum of fate which must destroy him finally"
  • the platform with the stone slab was surrounded by the pit; every swing lowered the pendulum a little bit - closer and closer to Francis' helpless body [Note: Stock footage of the torture sequence was excerpted in the spy spoof Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1966).]
  • after hearing Francis' cries of distress, Catherine raced off to summon and alert castle servant-butler Maximillian (Patrick Westwood) to join her and race to the torture chamber: "Maximilian, we must break into the torture chamber! Quickly!"; after a brief struggle and fight, Medina fell to his death when he was pushed into the pit - the same fate as Dr. Leon, and Francis was fortunately released and saved from being sliced by the torture device
  • in the film's short epilogue, while leaving the dungeon, Catherine vowed that the torture chamber room would be sealed and locked forever (the film's last line: "No one will ever enter this room again"); the last image, after a rapid swish-pan, revealed a terror-stricken Elizabeth, still alive and completely forgotten about - and ironically imprisoned in the Iron Maiden box - about to die a second time!
  • the film ended with a title card - a quote from Edgar Allan Poe: "...the agony of my soul found vent in one loud, long, and final scream of despair" - - POE

The Ominous Seaside Medina Castle

Elizabeth's Burial Plate (1517-1546) in Stone Wall of Dungeon

Portraits of Medina's Father Sebastian (r) and His Uncle Bartolome (l), Sebastian's Brother

Elizabeth's Portrait in Bedroom

Medina's Tour of the Castle's Dungeon Area

View of Underground "Torture Chamber" Where Elizabeth Died

Medina's Flashback: He Painted His Wife Elizabeth's Portrait to Capture Her Beauty

Flashback: Elizabeth's Death in Medina's Arms

Flashback: Young Nicholas Spying on His Father Sebastian Medina Burying His Mother Isabella Alive

Flashback: Sebastian's Murder of His Adulterous Brother Bartolome Who Was Cheating With Sebastian's Incestuous Wife Isabella

Medina - Haunted by His Wife Elizabeth's Dead Spirit

Elizabeth's Slashed Portrait in Her Bedroom

Elizabeth - Shockingly Resurrected!

Francis - Gagged by Medina on Slab and Below the Razor-Edged Pendulum Swinging Closer and Closer Before He Was Saved

Medina's Death - Pushed Into the Pit by Maximilian During a Struggle to Save Francis

Medina's Death in the Pit

Catherine's Final Words (with Francis and Maximilian) Before Leaving and Locking the Dungeon Door Behind Them

Ironic Ending: Terror-Stricken Elizabeth - Imprisoned in the Iron Maiden Box (A Torture Device) A Second Time! And Completely Forgotten About

Play Misty for Me (1971)


Clint Eastwood's first film as star and director was a suspenseful, thrilling film of psychotic sexual obsession (" invitation to terror..."), advertised with the tagline: "The scream you hear may be your own!" It was one of the first female stalker films, an early precursor to Fatal Attraction (1987).

  • during the opening credits - beautiful travelogue-like coastal views (via helicopter) of Monterey Bay near the small town of Carmel, California, the cool-talking, womanizing, all-night DJ on the jazzy, blues station KRML, Dave Garver (Clint Eastwood) (or "The Big D") promised listeners "five hours of mellow groove"; he soothed his audiences each night with: "This is Dave Garver with a little verse, a little talk, and five hours of music to be very, very nice to each other by"; he received regular requests to play "Misty" - the Erroll Garner jazz classic, from the same "groupie" - his # 1 fan - the seductive listener/fan Evelyn Draper (Jessica Walter); he would often give a breathy delivery when playing the musical dedications
Pick-Up Bar Acquaintance (One-Night Stand)
  • Dave first met Evelyn in a local pickup bar, The Sardine Factory along Cannery Row in Monterey, after which they returned to his place for a no-strings attached one-night stand - before sleeping together, he told her: "I keep getting the feeling I know you from someplace" - and realized she was the mysterious voice who always asked: "Play 'Misty' for me"; he told her she was a "very nice girl", to which she responded: "But who needs nice girls?" as they were about to kiss; he also confessed that he was "hung-up" on an ex-girlfriend, so they mutually agreed not to "complicate" their lives by getting seriously involved; she assented to having sex: "That's no reason we shouldn't sleep together tonight if we feel like it"
  • then, Dave's blonde ex-girlfriend Tobie Williams (Donna Mills) unexpectedly returned from Sausalito to Carmel after 4 months away, who was struggling to make a living as an artist and sculptor; she was uncertain about reigniting their relationship: "I am not gonna get back on that same old merry-go-round again" - she was concerned about his lack of commitment to her, although they would slowly rekindle their love
  • Dave became disturbed by the increasingly-overbearing and obsessive behavior of psycho-stalker Evelyn, who dropped in on Dave unexpectedly and uninvited (with a bag of groceries to cook dinner), then shortly later stalked him outside the Sardine Factory, and later that evening appeared at his doorstep and dropped her fur coat - revealing her nakedness (and she convinced him to let her remain overnight); he noticed she drew a heart in lipstick on his bedroom mirror with their initials the next morning
Stalker Behavior

Appearing Naked at Dave's Door

Lipstick Heart on Mirror
  • when Evelyn assumed they had a dinner date (when he specifically told her he would call her first), Dave was determined instead to have a "talk" with her: ("I'm just trying to be straight with you, that's all"); in their telling conversation, Evelyn revealed her borderline personality problems and developing jealousy, distrust and anger: ("Are you trying to say you don't love me anymore?...It's that other bitch, isn't it?...What am I supposed to do? Sit here all dressed up in my little whore suit, waiting for my lord and master to call?...You're not dumping me!"); he warned her: "Get off my back, Evelyn!", and she yelled at him as he drove away from her place: "Bastard! You poor, pathetic bastard!"
  • slightly later, she apologized and then before much time passed, she promptly accused him of being unfaithful (after spying on him with Tobie) although there was no evidence of her sleeping at his place - she again apologized: "I'm sorry I mistrusted you. I know you'd never spoil it...what we have between us," Dave was furious and livid that she thought they had a 'relationship' - he reacted with a vehement denial: "We don't have a god-damn thing between us. Now how many ways am I gonna have to say this to you?"; feeling abandoned, Evelyn internalized the pain and attempted suicide by slitting her wrists in Dave's bathroom, and he was forced to care for her for a few days
Evelyn's Interruption of Dave's Business Meeting
  • in a striking scene, Evelyn disrupted Dave's business meeting in a bay-side restaurant when she burst in and accused Dave of unfaithfulness with white-haired Madge Brenner (Irene Hervey): ("Well, isn't this cozy? So this is your business lunch? How's business?...Just another trick, honey!...Is that your idea of a dish? My God, she's a little old for you, isn't she? What is this? 'Be Kind to Senior Citizens Week?'") - and then called him "a tasteless bastard"; he rose up, fought her off, and dragged her screaming out of the restaurant - creating a huge scene; he threw her into a cab as she reached out toward him: "I did it because I LOVE YOU, don't you understand?"; afterwards, he became more and more terrified and upset by her
  • Evelyn exhibited increasing volatility - she vandalized and destroyed his possessions in his home, and then she viciously slashed Dave's housekeeper-cleaning woman Birdie (Clarice Taylor) (that sent her to the hospital), and as a result, Evelyn was put away in a state sanitarium
  • the film's long musical interlude montage sequence was accompanied by the tune of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" sung by Roberta Flack, as Tobie and Dave walked along the coastline and then found themselves embracing and making love in the nude in a heavily-wooded area
  • after she was released, Evelyn called again to request her Misty tune, but claimed she had been offered a job in Hawaii; she profusely apologized and promised Dave that she was cured, and as she said goodbye, she quoted from Edgar Allan Poe's macabre 'Annabel Lee' poem: "Because this maiden, she lived with no other thought than to love and be loved by you"
  • however, Evelyn was further crazed upon learning that he had resumed his romantic relationship with his ex-girlfriend Tobie; in a horrifying scene that night, Garver was awakened in the middle of the night in his bedroom to the sounds of 'Misty' being played; Evelyn, now a possessive, obsessive, murderous psychotic stalker, appeared above him with a butcher knife ready to stab him - and she stabbed his pillow; he evaded her and saved his life, but she escaped
  • Dave informed police Sgt. McCallum (John Larch) that he had been terrorized: "She just paid me a visit with a butcher knife"; he was told, after the fact - about Evelyn's release: "She was released on parole pending further legal action...a week ago"
  • as the tension built, Dave feared for his girlfriend Tobie's life, as Sgt. McCallum was being sent to check in on her; in a chilling revelation, Tobie's recently-acquired new roommate emerged from the shadows in Tobie's living room - it was the crazed Evelyn (using the name Annabel - from Edgar Allan Poe's poem 'Annabel Lee' she had referenced earlier); and then Tobie saw her roommate's wrist-scars and realized who she really was; Evelyn menacingly picked up a knife and approached Tobie: "God, you're dumb!"; at the exact same time at the radio station, Dave looked in an Edgar Allan Poe poetry book and found the poem 'Annabel Lee' and remembered Evelyn's use of the quote
  • to warn Tobie, Dave called her house, but Evelyn answered and said: "We're waiting for you, David" to lure him to the house; after switching to a taped show, Dave left the studio and raced to the house; at the same time in Tobie's house, Evelyn tied Tobie up as a hostage and terrorized her in the dark with a long pair of scissors, threatening to cut her hair: "Careful, I might put your eye out. I'll bet David loves your eyes. And your hair. Does he run his fingers through your hair? Have to get you all nice for David. For David. I hope he likes what he sees when he walks in here, because that's what he's taking to Hell with him"
  • in another truly scary and shocking sequence, as Sgt. McCallum approached the house, he was suddenly stabbed to death in the heart with scissors by Evelyn
Sgt. McCallum's Stabbing Death
  • Dave arrived, found McCallum's dead body, and located Tobie bound and gagged on a bed where he was confronted by Evelyn from behind; he was again attacked and badly wounded by Evelyn; after being slashed many times, he punched her in the jaw, sending her through both the balcony window and the wooden railing and plunging her to her death, down a rocky cliff and into the ocean far below
  • in the film's ironic ending, after staggering back into the house and while comforting Tobie, the radio was heard in the background playing an earlier recorded tape of Dave honoring Evelyn's request to play Misty: "And now here's a pretty one for lonely lovers on a cool, cool night. It's the great Erroll Garner classic, Misty. And this one is especially for Evelyn" - as Evelyn's body washed away in the tide
Deadly Final Confrontation
Evelyn's Body Washed Away in the Tide

DJ Dave Garver ("The Big D") - "Play Misty For Me"

Evelyn Arriving at Dave's Home Unexpectedly With Groceries

The Return of Dave's Ex Tobie to Carmel

A Straight "Talk" with Evelyn

"We don't have a god-damn thing between us!"

Feeling Abandoned - Slitting Her Wrists

Birdie Attacked and Slashed

At the Monterey Jazz Festival - Dave Learned Tobie's New Roommate Was Named Annabel

After Being Released from Mental Hospital:
Evelyn Called and Asked - "Play Misty for me"

Pillow Attack During the Middle of the Night

Startling Revelations: Tobie's New Roommate was Annabel/Evelyn - With Wrist Scars

Evelyn Terrorizing Tobie With a Pair of Scissors

Poltergeist (1982)


This supernatural thriller-horror film from co-producer/co-writer Steven Spielberg, who teamed with director Tobe Hopper, was about a California suburban family - the Freelings - whose home was invaded by malevolent ghosts (or poltergeists). It all began when their youngest daughter was abducted, and paranormal investigators and "house cleaning" experts were summoned to the house.

The ghost story's key point was that the home had been built over a local cemetery - where developers had never removed and relocated the corpses as promised - and the angry spirits sought retribution.

There were many classic scare moments!

  • the family of successful real estate developer Steve Freeling (Craig T. Nelson) and his wife Diane (JoBeth Williams) lived in the Cuesta Verde housing development in Orange County, California, in a suburban tract dream home, where ordinary objects began to turn threatening through paranormal events (for example, a TV screen, a backyard tree, a closet, and a favorite doll)
  • the view of their young, wide-eyed 5 year-old daughter Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O'Rourke) watching late-night TV snow and her memorable words: ("They're heeere") - with special effects of TV possession when she began to carry on a conversation with the snowy-static; she later referred to the ghostly presence as "The TV people"
  • the inexplicable occurrences in the house: a bursting glass of milk, bending silverware, and a view of chairs inexplicably self-stacked in the kitchen
  • the early terrifying scene in which the arm branches of the gnarly backyard tree outside a bedroom window during a nighttime thunderstorm became animated, crashed through the glass, and seized 8 year-old Robbie Freeling (Oliver Robins) from his bed - and half-devoured him before he was saved by his father
Robbie Grabbed by Gnarly Backyard Tree
Carol Anne Sucked Into Bedroom Closet
  • at the same time, the ghostly apparition named The Beast emerged from the children's bedroom closet, and a swirling wind pulled Carol Anne into her bedroom's closet into another dimension
  • the experiences of UC Irvine parapsychologists called to the house, including Dr. Lesh (Beatrice Straight), Ryan (Richard Lawson), and Marty (Martin Casella), who witnessed toys and other objects swirling around in Carol Anne's room; Dr. Lesh announced: "The determination as to whether your home is haunted is not very easy. What l meant to say was, it might very well be a poltergeist intrusion instead of a classic haunting"
Three Parapsychologists

Marty Hallucinating The Deterioration of His Face
Swirling Objects in Bedroom
  • the ghastly scene of para-psychologist Marty, after raiding the Freeling's refrigerator late at night, spotting a left-over steak moving on its own and a turkey leg infested with maggots - and then looking into a bathroom mirror and having a morbid, hallucinatory experience - his face deteriorated as he clawed at his face and peeled back the rotting flesh with his fingers, pulling off gobs of skin down to the bone
  • the crucial clue given by Steve's boss, community real-estate developer Lewis Teague (James Karen) about future construction and project plans for the area and why there might be a problem with the Freeling house in Cuesta Verde: "We've already made arrangements for relocating the cemetery....Oh, don't worry about it. After all, it's not an ancient tribal burial ground. lt's just people. Besides, we've done it before (in Cuesta Verde)...All three hundred acres. Well, let me tell you, it was quite a deal!"; Steve reacted by considering the whole thing "sacrilegious"
  • there were further attempts at exorcism and house-cleansing by short-statured, eccentric clairvoyant Tangina Barrons (Zelda Rubinstein) - including her spellbinding monologue to about Carol Anne's relation to the unseen spirits that had pulled her into their sphere: "There is no death. There is only a transition to a different sphere of consciousness. Carol Anne is not like those she's with. She's a living presence in their spiritual, earth-bound plane. They're attracted to the one thing about her that's different from themselves. Her life-force - it is very strong. It gives off its own illumination. It is a light that implies life and memory of love and home and earthly pleasures, something they desperately desire but can't have anymore. Right now, she's the closest thing to that, and that is a terrible distraction from the real light that has finally come for them. Do you understand me? These souls who for whatever reason are not at rest are also not aware that they have passed on. They're not part of consciousness as we know it. They're in a perpetual dream state, a nightmare from which they cannot wake. Inside this spectral light is salvation - a window to the next plane. They must pass through this membrane with friends who are waiting to guide them to new destinies. Carol Anne must help them cross over, and she will only hear her mother's voice. Now, hold onto your selves. There's one more thing - a terrible presence is in there with her. So much rage, so much betrayal. I've never sensed anything like it. I don't know what hovers over this house, but it was strong enough to punch a hole into this world and take your daughter away from you. It keeps Carol Anne very close to it and away from the spectral light. It lies to her. It says things only a child can understand. He's been using her to restrain the others. To her, it simply is another child. To us, it is the Beast. Now let's go get your daughter."
  • the amazing scene of the attempt of Diane to extract Carol Anne from the other dimension, by tying a rope around Diane's waist before she entered the portal in the bedroom closet to grab her daughter; she emerged into the other dimension, the Beast was confronted face-to-face, and Diane successfully brought Carol Anne back - both were unconscious and covered in ectoplasm after falling through the living room ceiling; Tangina prematurely declared: "This house is clean"
  • another scare-moment of the frightening, evil-grinning clown doll in Robbie's room that vanished from its customary chair, grabbed its owner Robbie, strangled him with its elongated snake-like arm, and pulled him under the bed where Robbie fought off the doll
Robbie's Evil Clown Doll
  • the unseen malignant forceful poltergeist also attacked Diane (to keep her from coming to Robbie's rescue); it bounced her on the bed, hurled her against the bedroom wall, moved her up the wall and dragged her across the ceiling; another slimy portal opened up in Carol Anne's closet and attempted to pull them in
  • the concluding scene of distraught suburban California mother Diane Freeling, after confronting the Beast a second time, running outside into the yard for help - in the rain - and making a wrong step - she slipped into the muddy, excavated pit next to the house, dug for their swimming pool, slid down the slippery slope into the dirty water, and surfaced with skeletal faces of corpses (with silent, screaming expressions) and coffins rising and erupting behind her; the ghost story's key point was that the home had been built over a local cemetery - where developers had never removed and relocated the corpses as promised, but had only removed the headstones - and the angry spirits sought retribution; in the terrifying climax, the muddy corpses were being unearthed
  • the words of Steve's strong rebuke of his own boss, Lewis Teague, who was responsible for the catastrophe: "You s-o-b. You moved the cemetery but you left the bodies, didn't ya? You s-o-b. You left the bodies and you only moved the headstones. You only moved the headstones. Lies. Lies."
  • in the film's final moments, the enraged Beast sucked the imploding house through the portal into another dimension until there was nothing left
  • after the family was checked into a Holiday Inn, Steve wheeled the TV out of the room onto the balcony

"They're here"

Projection From TV into Bedroom Wall

Bent Silverware

Stacked Chairs

Developer Teague to Steve: Admitting The Relocation of a Cemetery in Cuesta Verde

Tangina's Monologue

Tangina's Last Words: "Now let's go get your daughter"

The Beast

Carol Anne Extracted by Diane

Poltergeist's Attack on Diane

Another Portal Opening Up in Bedroom Closet

Skeletons Rising Up in Pit Next to Diane

Steve's Rebuke of His Boss

House Imploding

Removal of TV from Family's Hotel Room

Prince of Darkness (1987)

The horror-sci-fi Prince of Darkness (1987) was the middle cult film in director John Carpenter's "Apocalypse Trilogy," beginning with The Thing (1982) and concluding with In the Mouth of Madness (1995). And in some ways, it was very similar to Quatermass and the Pit (1967, UK) (aka Five Million Years to Earth). Its tagline was:

Before man walked the slept for centuries. It is evil. It is real. It is awakening.

This supernatural horror tale opened with the death of Father Carleton who was found in his bed with a small metal box, and a key inside that unlocked a door in the abandoned basement of the derelict Saint Godard's Church in downtown LA. English priest Father Loomis (Donald Pleasence) was notified of the death. One of the deceased Father's books had writings about a secret sect of priests known as "The Brotherhood of Sleep."

Loomis summoned (with the "utmost urgency") prominent theoretical quantum physicist USC Professor Howard Birack (Victor Wong). It was learned that Carleton was a "guardian priest" who had lived at the abandoned church for decades since it was closed down in the 1950s. The building had been built in the 1500s by arrangement with the Spanish government, and only the Brotherhood of Sleep, a forgotten sect with members taking a vow of silence, knew about it.

USC Professor Howard Birack (Victor Wong)

Father Loomis (Donald Pleasence)

In the basement, Loomis showed Birack what he had discovered - a mysterious giant upright canister filled with a swirling, glowing green fluid substance. He surmised that Carleton had been guarding the canister as part of the brotherhood sect. He also told Birack that it was "a secret that can no longer be kept," and that it appeared about a month ago, causing a "change in the Earth and the sky. His power." Loomis sensed that the canister was gaining strength.

Five top research physics graduate students in the local university in Birack's class were recruited, as well as others from other departments and Dr. Paul Leahy (Peter Jason), to join them over a weekend to study the phenomenon, including:

  • Catherine Danforth (Lisa Blount), a physicist, Brian's red-headed love interest
  • Brian Marsh (Jameson Parker)
  • Kelly (Susan Blanchard), light-haired blonde, with a bruise on her arm that shaped itself into an astrologer's staff of Hermes: an occult symbol
  • Lisa (Ann Yen), a language expert
  • Walter (Dennis Dun), a biochemist, Asian
  • Etchinson (Thom Bray), nerdy
  • Susan Cabot (Anne Howard), a radiologist, with glasses, married
  • Frank Wyndham (Robert Grasmere), bearded
  • Calder (Jessie Lawrence Ferguson), a microbiologist
  • Mullins (Dirk Blocker), bearded, balding, big-framed
  • Lomax (Ken Wright), handsome, an engineer

The group brought cots to sleep in the church during the weekend, and used computer equipment to monitor and analyze the object. Out on the street, they were observed by Street Schizo (rocker Alice Cooper) and hordes of his homeless followers. Upon carbon dating-analysis, the canister's corrosion dated back 7 million years. They also found that the canister-artifact was securely sealed or locked - from the inside.

They soon realized that the evil spirit of the Prince of Darkness, the son of Satan (the offspring of his father, known as the Anti-God) was in the liquid inside the canister. Lisa explained her translation findings:

"The father of Satan - a god who once walked the earth before man, but was somehow banished to the dark side. Apparently, the father buried his son inside the container."

An ancient 2,000 year old document revealed that Christ was an extra-terrestrial alien visitor who had come to Earth to warn humans of the danger the canister posed: "Christ comes to warn us. He was of extraterrestrial ancestry, but a human-like race." Lisa and others, including Father Loomis, reasoned that the Roman Catholic Church, centuries ago, kept all of this a secret for 2,000 years. They decided to "characterize pure evil as a spiritual force, even within the darkness in the hearts of men. It was more convenient. In that way, man remained at the center of things." Loomis intoned: "Malevolence...asleep until now."

It was problematic that the Prince of Darkness (the son of Satan) would eventually find a way to unleash his father, the Anti-God, by pulling him from the dark realm through a dimensional portal (a large mirror) to Earth - to cause an apocalyptic end to the world.

  • Worms were seen crawling up the windows.
  • From the outside, the church was under siege, surrounded by a group of homeless, zombie-vagrants, led by possessed Street Schizo, who used part of a bicycle frame to brutally impale and kill nerdy Etchinson leaving for the night.
  • Susan was exposed to a jet of liquid from the canister, and soon became possessed with a fast-spreading demonic force on the attack. Shortly later, Susan came up on Mullins and broke his neck. Susan infected others, first Lisa, then Calder and Dr. Leahy. Those who were infected became Satanized-zombified and began to assault the others.
  • Recurring, chilling dreams in a grainy video broadcast were transmitted from scientists in the future year of 1999 ("one-nine-nine-nine") into the subconscious dreams of the uninfected survivors. The tachyon transmissions featured a shadowy, menacing figure in the doorway of the church who warned: "This is not a dream...", and challenged them to prevent the Prince of Darkness from completing his evil plan.
Ominous Death Images

Transmission From a Dark Figure: "This is not a dream"

Satanized Zombie Frank Wyndham: "Pray for death"
  • One of the students Lisa, now possessed, repeatedly typed maniacally on her computer screen: "I Live! I Live!..." Then she offered another typed message - a warning - that nothing could save the survivors - neither religion or science: "You will not be saved by the Holy Ghost. You will not be saved by the god Plutonium. In fact, YOU WILL NOT BE SAVED!"
  • In the film's most frightening scene, the students peered out a window down into the church parking lot where Satanized and zombified student Frank Wyndham was literally composed of black bugs (beetles or cockroaches) that crawled all over him. He was being consumed from the inside, and then his head literally disintegrated and toppled off. His entire body crumpled into a puddle of clothes covered with insects after he had warned: "Hello, hello. I've got a message for you, and you're not going to like it...Pray for death."
  • Another possessed student Calder ripped off a big piece of splintered wood from a staircase and stabbed himself in the throat with it, in front of seven others.
  • The cylinder's gooey substance entered and possessed the body of Kelly - who developed a swollen belly and became the ultimate incarnation of Satan. She attempted to pull the Anti-God into the earthly dimension through a large gateway mirror. As she was reaching into the mirror's portal with her decayed arm, Father Loomis grabbed an axe and slashed her arm off, but she regrew another one. He also decapitated her, but she picked up her head and replaced it on her neck stem.
  • Catherine decided to sacrifice herself to save the others - she tackled Kelly and both of them crashed through the mirror's portal, where they became trapped in another dimension with the Anti-God when the gateway mirror was smashed with the axe by Father Loomis. Immediately, the homeless people outside wandered away, and the possessed dropped harmlessly dead.
  • Professor Birack assured Brian: "We're safe, but he's waiting on the other side. She died for us."
  • The next grainy transmission was revealed, during a dream of Brian's - Catherine was the dark figure emerging from the building.

In the film's final moments, Brian awoke with a start, finding the disfigured Catherine lying in bed next to him.

He then awakened - again - screaming (without Catherine next to him), and approached his bedroom mirror with his hand outstretched (to reach out to Catherine?) when the screen went black.

Father Carleton's Mysterious Metal Box

Canister With Swirling Green Substance

The Abandoned LA Church

Worms Crawling Up Windows

Street Schizo (Alice Cooper)

Death of Nerdy Etchinson

Susan Sprayed and Infected With Liquid From Canister

Susan Infecting Calder With a Kiss

Calder Stabbing His Own Throat

Kelly - Possessed

Kelly - Infected and Disfigured

Kelly Reaching Through Mirror into Another Dimension

Kelly's Decapitated Head

Catherine - The Dark Figure Emerging From Building in the Transmission

Brian in Bed With Disfigured Catherine

Brian Reaching Out Toward Mirror

The Prophecy (1995)

Writer/director Gregory Widen's directorial debut feature film was this complex and intelligent apocalyptic horror-mystery thriller about an Earthly war between angels. There were four direct-to-video sequels: The Prophecy II (1998), The Prophecy 3: The Ascent (2000), The Prophecy: Uprising (2005), and The Prophecy: Forsaken (2005). The film's taglines were:

Marked by Fate, Doomed by Prophecy... Time is Running Out for Mankind!
On ancient ground, at the edge of the world, an evil born in heaven is about to be unleashed on earth...

In the first lines of the film (heard in voice-over before the opening credits), a good angel named Simon (Eric Stoltz) described the coming second warring conflict, and the pursuit of the Darkest human Soul that could end the war in heaven between angels:

I remember the First War, the way the sky burned, the faces of angels destroyed. I saw a third of Heaven's legion banished and the creation of Hell. I stood with my brothers and watched Lucifer fall. But now my brothers are not brothers, and we have come here where we are mortal to steal the Dark Soul, not yet Lucifer's, to serve our cause. I have always obeyed, but I never thought the War would happen again.

Before the war between angels played out, an ordination ceremony (a flashback) for a priest was being held for:

  • Thomas Dagget (Elias Koteas)

At the altar about to be ordained, seminary student Thomas had violent visions of dying angels and fell to the floor. He explained (in voice-over) why he struggled, became disillusioned, lost his faith, and had taken a new occupation (as an LAPD detective):

"Some people lose their faith because Heaven shows them too little. But how many people lose their faith because Heaven showed them too much? Years Iater, of aII the gospeIs I Iearned in seminary schooI, a verse from St. PauI stays with me. It is perhaps the strangest passage in the BibIe, in which he writes: 'Even now in Heaven, there were angeIs carrying savage weapons.'"

Some time later, Simon appeared in Dagget's apartment and asked: "Do you believe that you're part of God's pIan, Thomas?" The next day, another angel who had come to Earth, Uziel (Jeff Cadiente), attacked and threatened Simon in his apartment: "You found it, haven't you? You can't keep it from us, Simon!" In the violent struggle, Uziel was killed when he was tossed out the 4th story window onto a parked car, bounced onto the pavement, and then was rammed by another car into a brick wall.

Dagget was called into the case to investigate the unusual murder. In Simon's room (he had rented it under a false name), Dagget noticed a Chimney Rock, Arizona newspaper, with a red circle around the obituary for 85 year-old Colonel Arnold Hawthorne. An autopsy revealed that Uziel had body elements that resembled an "aborted fetus." He also was an hermaphrodite, and was born without eyes. He had in his possession an ancient, hand-written Bible with an additional 23rd chapter of the Book of Revelation, with this excerpt noted and translated by Dagget:

And there were angeIs who couId not accept the Iifting of man above them, and, Iike Lucifer, rebeIIed against the armies of the IoyaI archangeI MichaeI. And there rose a second war in Heaven."

Uziel was identified in the Bible as the "Lieutenant to the seraph or archangeI GabrieI," and Gabriel was a high-ranking "angel of death."

It was learned that in the war between angels, Simon was also competing against this third angel, Gabriel (Christopher Walken), a black-hearted fallen archangel of death who was warring to win the battle against the other angels. Simon was on the verge of victory over Gabriel, after locating the darkest soul inside a crazed killer (recently-deceased and buried American Colonel Arnold Hawthorne from Chimney Rock, AZ). Hawthorne had served in the Korean War in the early 1950s, and had been accused of allegedly cannibalistic human sacrifices of Chinese prisoners conducted at the Battle of Chosin. Evidence from the Department of Defense was viewed by Dagget on a reel of film, and Dagget also found a few face scalpings that Hawthorne had saved in a chest under his bed.

Mary (Moriah Shining Dove Snyder)

Katherine Henley (Virginia Madsen)

The action began to converge on Chimney Rock, AZ. To protect Hawthorne's evil soul from getting into the wrong hands, Simon transplanted the soul (his secret weapon) - with a kiss - into the body of an innocent, unsuspecting Native-American schoolgirl named Mary (Moriah Shining Dove Snyder). Katherine Henley (Virginia Madsen), Mary's small-town school-teacher, cared for Mary when she immediately became ill, and seemed possessed by Hawthorne's evil soul.

Soon after, Gabriel - who was in pursuit of the dark soul to use it as a weapon for his own side to tip the scales - killed Simon by ripping out his heart and setting him ablaze. Gabriel was a merciless rebel (against God and humanity), who had raised up an army to battle against God for dominion of both heaven and earth. He described his evil nature to Dagget and Katherine as he threatened to retrieve the soul from Mary:

"I'm an angel. I kill first-borns while their Mamas watch. I turn cities into salt. I even, when I feel like it, rip the souls from little girls, and from now till kingdom come, the only thing you can count on in your existence is never understanding why."

Those humans who opposed Gabriel, the only ones who stood in his way - and were caught in the middle of the conflict between Gabriel and other angels - were Dagget and Katherine.

Another angel entered the fray - the dark, sinister, sarcastic, and captivating Lucifer (Viggo Mortensen). In a creepy scene, he revealed himself to Katherine and told her about the war against mankind, while tearing apart the petals of a yellow rose before devouring it:

"God? God is love. I don't love you...I can lay you out and fill your mouth with your mother's feces, or we can talk."

"I am the first angeI, Ioved once above aII others. A perfect Iove. (singing) But Iike aII true Iove, one day it withered on the vine."

"Other angeIs have made this war because they hate you. You and aII humans. God has put you in His grace and pushed them aside. They're desperate. They've never been abIe to conquer the other IoyaI angeIs. And so this war has remained in staIemate for thousands of years. And whiIe this state of affairs endures, no souI can meet its God. Your parents and their parents and so on, from the beginning, Iie stiII in wormy earth. Of course, some of them do come to me eventuaIIy. For whiIe Heaven may be cIosed, I am aIways open, even on Christmas. GabrieI has a pIan. Humans -- and how I Iove you taIking monkeys for this -- know more about war and treachery of the spirit than any angeI. GabrieI is weII aware of this and has found a way to steaI the bIackest souI on Earth to fight for him. If he wins, Heaven opens. I know that this new Heaven wiII just be another HeII. You see, I'm not here to heIp you and the IittIe bitch because I Iove you or because I care for you, but because two heIIs is one heII too many, and I can't have that. What I'm offering you is a chance not onIy to save Mary, but to finaIIy open Heaven to your kind. What do you say?"

Lucifer also taunted Dagget in another appearance:

"Little Tommy Dagget. How I loved listening to your sweet prayers every night. And then you'd jump in your bed, so afraid I was under there. And I was! Do you know what heII reaIIy is, Thomas? It's not Iakes of burning oiI or chains of ice. It's being removed from God's sight, having His Word taken from you. It's hard to believe. So hard."

Lucifer Taunting Dagget
The Death of Gabriel With a Ripped-Out Heart

In the film's conclusion during a Native-American exorcism ritual conducted by tribal ancestors to rid young Mary of the evil soul within her, the war between Lucifer and Gabriel ended:

  • Lucifer ripped out Gabriel's heart, and consumed it (with blood dripping from his mouth and hands)
  • Hawthorne's soul was expelled from young Mary and destroyed (by God?) - "The enemy ghost is gone. The war's over."
  • Lucifer made an offer to Dagget and Katherine ("I want you both to come home with me") but was refused

The Expelled Evil Soul of Hawthorne

Lucifer's Rejected Offer

Dagget's comments (in voice-over) on the nature of faith and what it meant to be human ended the film:

And in the end, I think it must be about faith. And if faith is a choice, then it can be Iost for a man, an angeI or the deviI himseIf. And if faith means never compIeteIy understanding God's pIan, then maybe understanding just a part of it, our part, is what it is to have a souI. And maybe, in the end, that's what being human is after aII.

Simon (Eric Stoltz)

Seminary Student Thomas Dagget (Elias Koteas)

Dagget's Violent Visions

LAPD Detective Thomas Dagget

Simon Appearing to Dagget

Uziel (Jeff Cadiente)

UZIEL: "Lt. to the seraph or archangel Gabriel"

GABRIEL: "the angel of death"

Gabriel (Christopher Walken)

Col. Hawthorne - in Chimney Rock, AZ

Simon Transferring Evil Soul into Mary - By a Kiss

Death of Simon

Gabriel's Evil Rant: "I the souls from little girls"

Lucifer's (Viggo Mortensen) Creepy Monologue to Katherine

Film's Ending

Psycho (1960)


Alfred Hitchcock's classic suspense-horror film was an adaptation of Robert Bloch's 1959 novel based on legendary real-life, Plainfield, Wisconsin psychotic serial killer Edward Gein. It was ultimately revealed that the psychotic killer in the film was the disturbed son of a possessive, jealous yet deceased mother. The son - dressed with a wig and old-lady clothing - 'became' his jealous mother - and murdered a number of unsuspecting females.

In a shocking, carefully-edited shower murder scene, frustrated, attractive Phoenix secretary Marion Crane (major star Janet Leigh) in the first third of the film (unheard of in a film at this time), was stabbed to death in a shower tub within the reclusive Bates Motel. The assailant was an opaque-outlined figure (a maniacal older woman?) who whipped aside (or tore open) the shower curtain barrier, and wielded a menacing butcher knife high in the air that repeatedly rose and fell in a machine-like fashion. Marion vainly resisted and shielded her breasts while being savagely murdered - to the sounds of Bernard Herrmann's shrieking violins.

The Notorious "Shower Sequence" - Marion's Slashing by "Mother" ?

There were many other electrifying moments:

  • the scene of Detective Arbogast (Martin Balsam) - also stabbed to death at the top of the stairs in a house behind the motel, by the raging character - and his long fall backwards before being repeatedly stabbed even more!
  • the Deputy Sheriff Al Chambers' (John McIntire) chilling conversation with Marion's boyfriend Sam Loomis (John Gavin) and Marion's sister Lila (Vera Miles) about who was buried in Greenlawn Cemetery - he claimed that Norman's mother had died in a murder-suicide ten years earlier and was buried there: "Norman Bates' mother has been dead and buried in Greenlawn Cemetery for the past ten years....It's the only case of murder and suicide on Fairvale ledgers. Mrs. Bates poisoned this guy she was involved with when she found out he was married. Then took a helping of the same stuff herself. Strychnine. Ugly way to die....You want to tell me you saw Norman Bates' mother?...Well, if the woman up there is Mrs. Bates, who's that woman buried out in Greenlawn Cemetery?" - [Note: Norman Bates stole his mother's corpse and had a weighted coffin buried]
  • the scene in which neurotic mama's boy Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) realized that the victim's sister Lila and Sam were snooping around - with the scene of Lila approaching the ominous Bates house behind the motel, hiding on the stairs leading into the basement, and her horrifying discovery of Norman's mummified mother in the fruit cellar - when Lila discovered the Mother in a rocking chair, she screamed and then was attacked from behind with a knife by transvestite Norman (wearing his Mother's dress and a wig) - and was saved only at the last minute by Sam's intervention.
  • the eerie epilogue scene in a police waiting room (a drab-colored cell) of silent Norman with a grinning smile slowly creeping over his face - subliminally superimposed by and dissolving into the grinning skull of his mother's mummified corpse, as he spoke chilling words about his unwillingness to not even kill a pesky fly:

    "I'm not even gonna swat that fly. I hope they are watching..."

Insane Norman Bates: "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly"

Marion's Dredged Car in Swamp

Arbogast's Death

Sam and Lila (Vera Miles)

Deputy Sheriff: "Who's that woman buried out in Greenlawn Cemetery?"

Lila Looking for "Mother"

Norman's Mummified 'Mother' in Fruit Cellar

Lila's Shrieking Response

Sam Struggling With "Mother"/Norman to Save Lila

The Public Enemy (1931)

Director William Wellman's pre-code, box-office smash was one of the earliest and best of the gangster films from Warner Bros. in the thirties.

The Public Enemy was even tougher, more violent and realistic (released before the censorship codes were strictly enforced), although most of the violence was off-screen.

  • the final horrifying scene - not off-screen, displayed once-brutal, cocky gangster Tom Powers (James Cagney) who had his bandaged corpse delivered to his home. He was propped up like a mummy at the doorstep of his mother's (Beryl Mercer) house, with his face-first fall forward (while a scratchy phonograph record played an upbeat tune on the soundtrack).

Tom Powers' Mummified Corpse at Mother's Door

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Director Quentin Tarantino's stylish and inventive episodic thriller was about corruption and temptation. It featured guns, femmes fatales, deadly hit-men, and drugs. At the time of its release, it was indirectly criticized and cited by politicians as an example of the perverse and immoral direction that the Hollywood film industry was taking - with displays of casual violence and sex, "nightmares of depravity," and for promoting "the romance of heroin." The main characters were low-life criminals, thugs, drug-dealers, hitmen, a washed-up crooked boxer, and restaurant-robbing English lovers.

In a shocking execution scene, black-clad, contract hit man Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson), with his partner Vincent Vega (Oscar-nominated John Travolta), delivered a crazed, oft-repeated, paraphrased recitation of a Bible quote from Ezekiel 25:17. He was threatening Brett (Frank Whaley) who had betrayed his business partner and mob boss Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) by taking a briefcase. Brett was about to be executed:

"Ezekiel 25:17. 'The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee!'"

In another violent scene, LA mob boss Marsellus was raped over a pommel horse in the basement of a pawn shop by motorcycle-riding security guard Zed (Peter Greene) and bearded brother and shop owner Maynard (Duane Whitaker). Butch (Bruce Willis) intervened by killing Maynard with a sword-like katana and by Marsellus shooting Zed in the groin with a shotgun - while threatening:

"What now? Let me tell you 'what now?'. I'm gonna call a couple of hard, pipe-hittin' niggers, who'll go to work on the homes here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch. You hear me talkin', hillbilly boy?! I ain't through with you by a damn sight. I'm gonna get Medieval on your ass."

Another terrifying scene was when overdosed Marsellus' wife Mia (Uma Thurman) was injected with a long hypodermic needle (with adrenaline) directly into her breastplate and heart to help her regain consciousness. She was revived when Vincent (on the count of three) directly shot her with adrenaline from a large hypodermic syringe plunged directly into her chest "in a stabbing motion." She woke with gasps and coughs, with the syringe stuck there and protruding from her heart.

Heroin Overdose Scene

In an absurdist scene that occurred later, Vincent accidentally shot back-seat passenger, informant Marvin (Phil LaMarr), in the face at point-blank range; he had turned around, with his gun in his right hand and his mispointed gun fired accidentally; it was a sick, gruesomely funny, shocking, and blood-splattering back-seat death for Marvin; Vincent kept saying: "I didn't mean to shoot the son-of-a-bitch. The gun went off. I don't know why." Jules was worried they would be discovered by the police: "Look at this f--kin' mess, man! We're on a city street in broad daylight here...We gotta get this car off the road. You know, cops seem to notice s--t like you're drivin' a car drenched in f--kin' blood."

Vincent's Back Seat Accidental Murder of Marvin

Butch with Katana

Marsellus' "Medieval" Revenge on Security Guard Zed

Zed Shot in Groin by Marsellus

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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