Elegant Scares

Elegant scares are some of my favorite things in books and films.

"The Shining" is at the top of my list in that regard. It's a deeply scary movie, but so hushed and elegant and strange, too, that I sometimes forget I'm watching a horror movie. The moment Wendy finds what Jack has been typing all winter? That's the quintessential elegant scare. No gore, no running, no fighting, just the sinking realization that she's trapped in a snowbound hotel with a man who is spiraling into madness. (Okay, there's running and fighting soon after, but, just, that scene is so quiet.)

Here's another favorite elegant scare: the kitchen chair scene in "Poltergeist." I was actually thinking about posting an image but if you've never seen it you have to; it is so well done. It delivers a jolt, every time.

With October approaching, I'm curious: Do you like scary movies? If so, what's your flavor?

(Photo: Not the elevator doors from "The Shining" but from the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, which was an inspiration for the film's set design.)



4 comments:

Chiara said...

While I like horror movies and gore as well, movies that have these elegant scares are the best!

Scary movies... Uhm, I'm a fan of the Nightmare on Elmstreet series, the whole thing that Freddy comes in your dreams is so scary. Silence of the Lambs! I haven't seen it in years but it creeps me out every time. I also like Scream for its mockery of slasher movies and oh, Halloween!

Also, I should probably The Shining again soon, it's been ages since I saw it!

Wilfair Book said...

Ohhhh, "Silence of the Lambs"; that is indeed an elegant movie. Scary and grotesque and disturbing, but, like "The Shining," it has some quiet moments that chill.

"The Nightmare on Elm Street" house isn't all that far from The Wilfair's neighborhood. It is more north but close to Fairfax Avenue. It was for sale a few years ago. How fun to live in a house from a movie.

http://laist.com/2006/09/29/nightmare_on_elm_street_house_is_for_sale.php

Chiara, thanks for all your comments! I'll be getting to them over the next few days.

Chiara said...

Oh cool! I had no idea about the house. Wouldn't want to live there though, haha! I know Freddy isn't real and all that but no, thank you!

Sure, take your time! Sorry for the small spam I did there but I hadn't been around for a couple of days and there were some things that needed to be said :)

Wilfair Book said...

Are you kidding me? Not spam at all! I love your comments and interesting takes on things! Never be shy about posting, I'm always so glad. And I get informed, too.

I'm finishing up the next book so my comments are a bit delayed but I'm definitely reading everything people post and will respond. You're a peach, Chiara!

 
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