Talkback: What is the Single Scariest Movie of All Time?
Please hold your ironic responses like Sex and the City 2 and Under the Cherry Moon, because we'll get to that prompt later this weekend. As we approach another Halloween full of mediocre scares like vampires, ghouls, and Braeburn apples outfitted with razor blades, it's time we get definitive about the most chilling Halloween treats -- les films d'horreur, of course. You can only pick one: What's the single scariest movie ever?
I assume we've all been through that stage in life where we decide horror movies are the coolest, most interesting things on earth, and all we want to do is see every highbrow and lowbrow piece of Fangoria smut on the planet. Seventh grade? Tenth grade? Somewhere in between? I went through that phase, and the one movie that has truly planted a seed of fear in my nerve center, germinated, lived, thrived, and made me terrified ever to see it again -- is Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Unlike the smooth and swift killers of later horror films, Texas Chainsaw Massacre presents a family of lunatics who gallop and guffaw like inbred animals, and their insanity feels like that of true, warped, Manson family freaks -- while remaining "backwoods" in a believable way. It's a movie where even the final shot -- one of shock and triumph as our hero flees the scene -- is mesmerizing and scary. I don't think it's been topped. Also, though Leatherface is the legendary psychopath of the film, he's not even the scariest thing about it. The movie finds dozens of ways to be scary without resorting only to a weirdo leaping from the shadows. So impressive and traumatizing.
What do you think? You prefer something woozier like Nightmare on Elm Street, more wicked like Scream, or more obscure and cool like -- well, you tell me. You're the cultured one!