Posts Tagged ‘Nosferatu’

The Scariest Faces in Horror

July 17, 2011

It’s happened to all of us.

Picture the scene: the lights are off, you’re all wrapped up in your nice little bed, clutching your teddy/spouse/empty bottle of vodka, but just as you start to drift off… you see it. THAT FACE!

Fancy a bedtime story? 

While creepy characters and gruesome scenes from horror movies may have us grimacing and seeking shelter behind our sofas, the things that stay with us long after the DVD player is turned off are THE FACES. There are some that shock unexpectedly, briefly visible in a flash of light, and others that just keep popping back for more fun. Whatever the case, it’s these faces that remain embedded in our tired minds as soon as the lights turn off.

Awesome horror blog The Horror Digest has created The Scary Face Club, where such faces are placed in one handy little spot where masochistic readers can experience one horrific viewing right after another. I have chosen my top three scariest faces in horror, plus a few extras just for funsies. Sweet dreams, readers…

1. Pazazu – The Exorcist

BET YOU'RE GLAD I BROUGHT THIS INTO YOUR LIFE!!

Yeah, so Regan is pretty rank to look at once she morphs into the pea-soup stained devil child. And her demonic voice paired with frequent crotch stabbing and weird spider-walking only adds to her status as a truly horrific character. But even I must admit that she’s no match for Pazazu (yep, this thing even has a name). Pazazu’s leap into the limelight may only be for a few seconds, but it’s a moment that we’ve all paused onscreen resulting in serious regret and sleepless nights. The Godfather of all shit-your-pants scary faces. Yeesh.

2. Double Offender – The Shining

Jack Nicholson

Demented Daddy

I stuck this one in here to pay homage to one of the greatest horror movie performances that depicts an entirely realistic possibility: Daddy goes cuckoo and attempts to bludgeon his brood. That face of his is pretty spine-chilling too. But The Shining’s ultimate nightmare FACE moment comes in the form of: OLD CHICK IN BATHTUB.

Who wouldn't want a hug from Grandma!?

First we see a hot naked chick just chillin’ in the bath, it’s all good. Jack Nicholson cops a feel. Bit creepy, but yeah, it’s still all good. Kinda. Then suddenly, without any warning, hot naked chick morphs into geriatric naked chick but not just any geriatric naked chick… a decaying, somewhat green, particularly saggy geriatric chick with a hideously eerie cackle.

3. Zelda – Pet Semetary

Don't you think I'm purdy?!

This dude decked out in drag and encased in plastic (Yup, it’s a dude. Does this make he/she/it scarier or just laughable? I know my answer) had a particular effect on my nerves when I first saw the tongue-in-cheek gem that is Stephen King’s Pet Semetary. Many of the scenes were filmed in my friend’s house, including this one. A house we used to play in when we were kids. Let that sink in for a minute.

I HAVE BEEN IN THAT FUCKING ROOM.

Some more beauts for you to gaze upon…

Nosferatu – Count Orlok

Surprisingly, not the best thing to watch when you're stoned.

The Others – Creepy child/old guy in veil

Is it a kid? Is it a midget? Is it an old shriveled little leprechaun? OH GOD WHO KNOWS!!!

The Ring – Closet chick

Late night, love?

The Strangers – The, uh, strangers? Particularly this guy

la la la, on the phone, la la la... HOLD ON WHAT THA!?

Psycho – Norman Bates

Srsly, though, if your mother called you Norman you'd do the same, right?

Who do you think has the scariest face in horror?

Rediscovering a Lost Art: The Silent Horror Film

November 2, 2010

Many modern-day horror movies would appear to be in competition with each other to gross out their audiences with unnecessary overloads of blood, guts and gore (ahem HOSTEL ahem). While there’s nothing wrong with a bit of blood, or a few bucketloads of it, sometimes nothing curls your toes and spooks your soul more than some good old fashioned suspense in the form of the silent horror film.

Most horror buffs will have seen Nosferatu, the 1922 German Expressionist silent film that took unauthorized influence from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Max Schreck’s portrayal of the insanely creepy vampire makes Blade look like Edward Cullen. One piece of advice: don’t watch it when you’re stoned.

Nosferatu Creepin’
Happy Halloween

This Halloween I was lucky enough to be able to attend a screening of a lesser known but equally influential silent film, Der Golem, in the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. The 1920 film was shown combined with live music from Reflekor, a duo that includes Jan Kopinski on saxophone and Steve Iliffe on keyboards who have previously produced music to accompany other silent films including Nosferatu.

Der Golem tells the story of a rabbi who creates a giant creature from clay to defend the Jews of Prague from persecution, but in true man-makes-monster-to-become-slave style the Golem eventually turns against his master. Directed by Carl Boese and Paul Wegener, it is a visual treat that contrasts the clunky clay figure of the monsterous Golem with the sloping streets and pointed turrets of Prague, creating an eerie Jewish fairytale that could not have foreseen what real-life horror would soon be unleashed upon the European Jewish community.

The Golem in all his Glory
Scenes from Golem

Silent horror movies have become a lesser appreciated form of art for an over-stimulated internet-obsessed audience of today. But getting the chance to watch the flickering images onscreen with accompanying live music is nothing short of spectacular for any horror obsessive. Forget your slasher dvds, this is where it all began.

Here are a few more silent but deadly treats to keep horror fans simultaneously satisfied and spooked.

The Monster (1925)

• The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1920)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

The Chapter Arts Centre is showing a variety of horror films this November, including a showing of the silent film The Cat and the Canary on 21 and 23 November with live music accompaniment by Paul Shallcross. Details can be viewed here.