Getting Emotional with Movies, Part 5: Fear
Be sure to get all hot and bothered with Desire before taking on Fear.
Let’s get the scariest movie scene in the history of humankind out of the way right now:
Yes, that’s the kind of stuff that freaks me out. Floating vampire kids. Very few movies actually frighten me. Disturb, perhaps. But not frighten. For some reason, the only films that do manage to put the fear in me are supernatural in nature, and I don’t even believe in the supernatural. Go figure. I guess what we believe (or don’t believe) on a rational level can be bypassed by an overactive imagination. I’ve been keeping myself up at night for years thinking about things that aren’t real.
These are the two movies that I freely admit to being spooked by at some point in my life. Interestingly, they are both about a group of people menaced by the ultimate evil.
“Hello… Hello… I’ve got a message for you… and you’re not going to like it.”
Aside from the above scene from Salem’s Lot, no other movie that I saw during my youth freaked me out like this John Carpenter flick. People often sing the praises of Halloween as being his best horror film. I beg to differ. There is nothing Michael Myers can do to you that could possibly be worse than what happens to some of the folks in Prince of Darkness (not to imply that The Thing is a walk in the park). Go to about the 2:40 mark in the clip below and you’ll see that any death brought on by Myers would be merciful by comparison:
Before the guy falls apart, I believe his warning is: “Pray for death.” So, actually, dying is better that what’s in store for the soon-to-be victims.
In the film, a group of scientists and a Catholic priest team up in an old church to prevent the return of Satan to our dimension. Explaining exactly what happens in the movie is complicated (there’s physics mumbo jumbo), but it involves a cylinder full of green liquid in the church’s basement. From what I understood, the green liquid is Satan’s essence, or something of that nature. While the scientists are trying to make sense of how it works, it gradually possesses them one by one. Meanwhile, whenever anyone lays down for a nap they experience the same dream, which turns out to be a warning transmission sent from the future. I credit the dream scenes as being the creepiest parts of the movie:
“Hell is only a word. The reality is much, much worse.”
Probably the first movie I saw as an adult that scared me like I was a little kid. I went into Event Horizon expecting a sci-fi space adventure type of flick, but what I got was a pants-messing terror-fest. I’ve watched other movies as a grown-up about evil spirits tormenting the living that offered some scares here and there, sure. Like the recent Insidious, which at least started out moderately frightening before slipping into silliness. Or the gruesome House on Haunted Hill remake, which also started out kind of scary before losing steam. I always liked this part:
Unlike those movies, Event Horizon isn’t just about malevolent manifestations causing trouble. No, the unfortunate souls in the film are up against all the powers of Hell itself. In a way, Event Horizon is similar to Prince of Darkness as far as being about people trapped somewhere as infernal powers try to kill them. But while Carpenter’s movie takes place in a church, Event Horizon is set on a spacecraft orbiting Neptune. The remote locale adds considerably to the atmosphere of gloom and doom, which is maintained effectively through to the end. Though, maybe Sam Neil does look kind of silly after returning from being blasted into space. And how’d he get his eyes back?
Before being blasted into space:
After returning from being blasted into space:
Anyway, the title Event Horizon is also the name of the haunted spacecraft that the characters in the film are sent to investigate. It’s explained that the ship was designed to travel great distances by entering a dimensional gateway that allows it to jump from one point to another. Except that upon entering the gateway, the craft vanished for seven years before reappearing. As it turns out, the Event Horizon was visiting a dimension of “pure chaos and pure evil” that massacred the crew. For those of you wondering what sort of massacre took place, there is a scene in the film where the characters view the ship’s log and discover the horrific nature of the crew’s fate. Here’s the clip, if you haven’t already seen the movie. I should warn you that it’s distressingly graphic. (NOTE: The person who uploaded the clip added funny music to it, so that might soften the blow.)
At the climax of both Prince of Darkness and Event Horizon, one of the characters sacrifices themselves to prevent the powers of Hell from being unleashed on the others. In Prince of Darkness, Satan is attempting to pull his father through a mirror into our dimension. While everyone else is occupied wrestling with Satan’s minions, one woman leaps into the mirror and takes the evil pair with her. The priest then breaks the mirror with an axe, thus trapping the poor lady on the other side. In Event Horizon, Laurence Fishburne blows himself up so the portal to Hell can’t open and condemn his crew to eternal torment. I always wondered what happened to the both of them, since the movies never say for sure.
I’ll leave you with this Jessica Biel tribute video. It’s not scary, but it does show scenes from Blade: Trinity and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, which some people might consider horror movies.
Grab your Kleenex for tomorrow when we’ll have a good cry with Sadness.
This post is part of our User Showcase series. You can find Chad as kingofpain on Flickchart. If you’re interested to submit your own story or article describing your thoughts about movies and Flickchart, read our original post for how to become a guest writer here on the Flickchart Blog.