Fictional Things That Have Scared the Crap Out of Me.
I am not a fan of horror movies. Mostly, it’s a vanity thing. I’m a jumper. I shift, fidget, curl up in my seat and it is no way defensible or manly by any stretch of imagination or logic.
Another, a much smaller, less pussy reason for my not liking horror movies is because for 90% of the bad guys, could be dealt with after taking a self-defense course at your local YMCA or the courses offered by Take Back the Night-like organizations that all of my secret girlfriends joined.
It’s like in the slasher movie universe they haven’t invented the kick to the groin. Imagine, an entire universe devoid of America’s Funniest Videos, so no one understands the devastating impact of the crotch shot.
After pushing the top of one’s foot, or even better, one’s shin through the pelvis of the attacker, the former would-be-victim, should now deliver a kick across the lower jaw of the attacker and then stomp their neck flat. A little squeamish about taking a life? Bear in mind this is someone who wanted to stab the fuck out of you.
However there are a few villains/monsters that I find legitimately imposing and terrifying, if not exclusively from the horror realm. The kind of walking murder that it doesn’t matter what you do, no matter how desperate, no matter what strength you can draw from being cornered, it won’t make a difference. Most of these scarred me from a very young age, though there are a few recent ones that manage to raise the pulse today.
Freddy Krueger – The guy who attacks you when you’re the most vulnerable. Freddy comes for you in a state of unconsciousness that we, psychologically, know the very little about, a world without rules and consistency. I don’t care how many black belts you have, that concept is scary as hell. Go ahead, hip toss, Freddy.
Bruce – The shark from Jaws was my first experience in abject terror. How can something so big be so sneaky? Oh, yeah, it’s hiding in the goddamn ocean. When you break down your average shark, it’s enough to keep you out of the water for a good long time. They have a directional sense of smell and can pick out one part blood, sweat, or urine in a thousand parts water. They can sense the vibrations given off by your heart beat and muscles twitching. They can sense the bio-electricity emitted by your nervous system with the Ampullae of Lorenzini. Let’s couple that frightening array of senses with the fact that it’s a shark which performs feats both a scientist and shark hunter claim are impossible. Finally let’s not forget that it figured out the best way to eat the delicious humans is to sink the boat.
The Joker – While not physically imposing in the traditional sense, there are a few factors we must take into account with the Joker. First, he’s wildly unpredictable, and it seems the closer you are to getting him, the more options he actually has. The pencil trick, knife shoe, anti-helicopter grappling guns, are all part of a much larger arsenal, because he doesn’t need gadgets or a signature just a little space to move. Second, this is someone who routinely gets pummeled by Batman. BATMAN. There’s nothing you can do to him that’s worse. No physical pain to shake him, no way you’re going to frighten him psychologically. He can be stopped, but not contained. You throw him in jail, he always gets out. You stop this one plan he has a back-up that you’d never expect. Never underestimate a guy who has a potato peeler in his pocket.
Velociraptors – I don’t care what you did, or where you trained, if you’re not a crack shot with a gun or a child in a Spielberg movie you’re fucked. They’re faster, stronger, and work together better than any human(s). What’s that? A frenzy of debilitating elbow strikes? Foot claws, motherfucker. Really, the only thing they have to fear is the T-Rex, and you are no T-Rex.
The Creeper – A bat demon monster thing that feeds on human beings. Let’s see, what makes the Creeper so formidable? It can fly, can’t be reasoned with, because, hey, a guy’s gotta eat, takes a horrific beating and keeps coming, and if you go to kill it, and fail, you’ve only made it stronger as it eats you to heal. Did I mention that it makes ninja stars? Oh, sorry, it makes ninja stars. It’s a nice blend of monster and person, combined with the bat wings, it can basically come out of nowhere. It stalks people and seems to enjoy the killing, but instead of being someone mentally disturbed is also just doing what comes naturally. Shark/serial killer hybrid. Man, I need to watch these movies, again.
The Predator – Of course the Predator. Invisible, shoulder cannon, Wolverine claws, death frisbee, stronger than Dutch, and the mindset that you’re just a game to this thing? This was the first R-Rated movie I watched, and 8-year-old Matt was ill-equipped to deal with the mask coming off. I’d write more, but I’ve written more about Predators than anyone not getting paid to do it.
The Kurgan – Unpredictable and vicious like the Joker, but lacking the cerebral element. The immortal Kurgan is essentially every bad thought, impulse, and action ever had by humanity. Not only is he an animal that walks like a man, but he’s arguably the greatest close-quarters combatant on the planet thanks to centuries of training and trial and error testing and the fact that he’s never holding back, except to toy with a victim. He’s a kill-crazed maniac with his eye on the greatest power in the universe and will happily stab everyone to get it. Plus that skull helmet is awesome. What the hell did he have to kill to get that damn thing?
The Terminator – A lot of people saw T2 first, which makes sense since it was everywhere, but the people who the original know exactly what I’m talking about. The T-800 can’t be stopped or slowed down, even when the authorities get involved you end up with a lot of dead cops. It’s so far removed from humanity, that it looking like a person just feels like it’s mocking us. When it starts crawling through the flames as just the endoskeleton, that’s when all hope is lost. I mean, what are you going to do at that point? It’s already on fire and has no skin. Fuck.
The Thing – What’s that, you can become anything, from people to a nightmarish spider-blob covered in mouths? And even Jack Burton/Snake Plissken can barely stay alive? CG is not scary. Hockey masks are not scary. Spiders are not scary. The people who designed and built all the stuff in this movie are.
Posted on July 7, 2010, in Lists, Matt Loman, Movies, Uncategorized and tagged Freddy Krueger, Highlander, Jaws, Jeepers Creepers, Jurassic Park, Kurgan, Matt's a Huge Pussy, Predator, Raptors, Terminator, The Thing. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.