Top 7 Iconic Horror Movie Scenes

By Kathleen Fontilea | March 18th 2015

  1. Freaks (1932): One of Us

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The freaks of a traveling side-show gets their revenge on a beautiful woman who had wronged them. Cleopatra (Olga Baclanova), a trapeze artist, agrees to marry Hans, a little person and the leader of the side-show freaks. Cleopatra married Hans (Harry Earles) not for love but for his inheritance.

When the freaks uncover her transgressions, they do to her what nature had done to them. In the last two minutes of the movie, the freaks attack Cleopatra and drive her out into the pouring night. In the final scene, we see that she had been cut in half and is clucking like a chicken.

This iconic scene had been revisited in the fourth season of the hit T.V. show, American Horror Story.

  1. The Exorcist (1973): Spider Walk

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It’s bad enough that 12 year old Regan (Linda Blair) is levitating, speaking tongues, spinning her head around 180 degrees, and mutilating her genitles with a crucifix. In one iconic scene, often called the “Spiderwalk scene” Regan crawls down the stairs, her body bent backwards, her head dangling between her shoulders.

The scene was intended to be in the original film but was cut because Director William Friedkin felt that the that the message about Dennings (death)  was the climax of the scene” and the spider walk would “create a double climax,” according to imbd.com. The spider walk scene was later inserted into the extended edition.

  1. Evil Dead 2 (1981): A Chainsaw for a Hand

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Often imitated but never replicated, Sam Raimi’s cult classic Evil Dead 2 follows a group of strangers stranded in a secluded cabin in the woods. They fight for their lives against terrifying, flesh possessing demons and evil spirits.

20 year old Ryan Davis is an electrical engineering student at OC Community college and an Evil Dead enthusiast, One of Davis’s most favorite scenes is when Ash Williams, (Bruce Campbell),cuts off his demon-possessed hand, attaches a chainsaw on his bloody nub and says, “Groovy.”

“I like how (the movie) didn’t take itself so seriously. It was messed up but at the same time it was hilarious! Who knew a chainsaw for a hand was such a good idea,” Davis said.

Another honorable mention would be the tree rape scene. When a woman is separated from the rest of the group in the middle of the woods, she is restrained by demon possessed wines and sexually assaulted by a tree branch.

  1. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): Blood Bed

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Something strange is happening to the children on Elm Street. A burned man wearing a fedora, a red and black striped sweater and a finger-knife glove is trying to kill them in their sleep. Freddy Kreugar (Robert Englund) a vengeful spirit and resident slasher is one of the most iconic horror movie villains in American horror cinema. Unlike his colleagues, Michael Myers and Jason, Freddy has personality. He can tell jokes and he never kills two people the same way.

Johnny Depp began his acting career as one of Freddy Kreugar’s victims. Depp, a.k.a. Glen Lantz. was pulled into his bed by Kreugar’s claw. Then a river of Depp’s blood shot into the ceiling like a fountain.

In order the shoot this scene, they had to use an upside down room and poured gallons of fake blood through a hole in the bed and let gravity do the rest. The camera crew almost got electrocuted during this scene.

  1. The Thing (1982): Chest Defibrillation

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In a remote facility in Antarctica, American scientists is picked off one by one by a blood thirsty, shape shifting alien who can assume the form of one of its victims. One iconic scene from this cult classic the the chest defibrillation scene. One of the men attempts to revive his colleagues but when he presses the defibrillator on his torso, the stomach transforms into a large mouth with razor sharp teeth. The teeth rips off the man’s arms and devours them.

  1. Re-Animator (1985): A little too much head

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This movie is a classic example of how a move can be so bad, it’s good. No matter how low the budget production and how cheap the special effects are, Re-Animator is worth its weight in shock value.

In one scene, a young blonde woman named Megan Halsey (Barbara Crampton) is stripped naked and tied onto a metal table in a morgue. She is then given cunnilingus by a severed head.

The 30 year anniversary of Re-Animator will be celebrated at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festivl and CthulhuCon in Portland, Oregon this October.

  1. Psycho (1960): The Shower Scene

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Many horror fans agree that Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was the first slasher film that deeply influenced the slasher sub-genre in horror films in the 1970’s and beyond. The most iconic scene in this film is when lead actress Janet Leigh was brutally stabbed to death in the shower.

77 year old Marli Renfro was Leigh’s body double in the the shower scene.

“A lot of (the Psycho fans) didn’t want to take a shower for a long time afterwards and even now they have some trepidation about it,” Renfro said. “I would say 99% would not mention anything other than the shower scene.”

When Hitchcock filmed the movie, there were many restrictions on nudity and even flushing the toilet, according to Renfro.

“My belly button shows in the movie but the editing was so fast and so quick and the music was so scary that it got through the censors,” she said.

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