The elusive stalker, the possessed child or pet, poltergeists, bloodsuckers, flesh-eaters — these are just a few of the cliched horrors found throughout horror movies. Whether the fear is otherworldly or of that man in the neighborhood who stares a little too long, each horror movie tries to play to human fear with different character types.
Horror movies play into a wide span of fears, so opinions vary on who is the scariest movie monster or villain of all time. Weber State University students shared with The Signpost what and who scares them in film.
Many websites, such as RottenTomatoes.com, IGN.com and Entertainment Weekly, have voted on what the scariest movie of all time is, and almost all of them have The Exorcist near the top of the list, if not at No. 1. This is the story of a young girl, played by Linda Blair, who becomes possessed by a demonic entity.
“I would say that the scariest movie I’ve ever watched was The Exorcist,” said junior Megan Hart. “I saw it with a bunch of friends when I was a teenager, and I remember thinking that it wouldn’t scare me, but in no time I was hiding my face in my hands. That little girl freaked me out, and the music really tenses you up.”
Others that frequently top Internet lists are Jaws, Alien, The Shining and The Silence of the Lambs.
“I think Hannibal Lecter is the one of the scariest movie characters, if not the scariest movie character,” said freshman Allie Palmer. “I think it’s because he is so calm and menacing. Obviously, cannibalism is something that would scare people, but I think what really sells the character is you know he’s smart, and you can tell how calculating and manipulative he is.”
Some horror movies have notable music arrangements that are easily recognized. Halloween and Psycho are just two examples of horror movies with famous arrangements.
“The original Psycho is a very good scary movie,” said senior Kyle Hansen. “The music is what sells it. Everyone knows and mimics that shower scene and the music that goes along with it. There isn’t a lot of gore in that movie; it’s just creepy, and sometimes I think that’s a better way to go with scary movies. Norman Bates really is a crazy person, and that shower scene is something that everyone is familiar with.”
Horror villains don’t necessarily have to come from the horror genre, according to sophomore Daniel Gonzales.
“I’m not a big horror-movie fan,” he said. “I’ve don’t like gore and blood, and it seems like that’s all they ever are anymore. I do think that The Joker from The Dark Knight series is a really cool and scary villain, though.”
Junior Heather Nielsen had a hard time choosing which horror character is the scariest for her.
“I’d have to say it’s a tie between the little girl from The Ring and Freddy Krueger,” Nielsen said. “Freddy is scary, because he can get you in your dreams. He’s almost impossible to escape. I say the little girl from The Ring because movies that use kids as the villains are not fair. You want to trust a little kid, except when they’re crawling out of their TV at you.”