BOO
October 29, 2015 11:44 AM   Subscribe

 
I am going to be that guy: the one who makes the first comment, which is that "I hate jump scares" (I have such bad reaction times to them that I usual leap up and yell 2 seconds after the scare is over, making it even more embarrassing).

However, that makes the FPP even more awesome for me - since it tells me when to cover my eyes.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:56 AM on October 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


That Exorcist III nurse scene made me hurry down darkened hallways for years.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:56 AM on October 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


The full version of the Exorcist 3 "Nurse Station Scene" is the best due to the inclusion of the fakeout and all of the rest of absolutely nothing happening tension. I really liked the movie due to the thought put into it, which shows in scenes like this. BTW - there is no gore or violence in the clip. It's all suggested.
posted by Zack_Replica at 12:00 PM on October 29, 2015 [7 favorites]




Only one star for Mulholland Drive? Incorrect.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:05 PM on October 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't mind screen violence or gore, but scenes that make me jump, or at lease build up to something that'll make me jump get me every time. I hate it. So much so that I can't risk clicking on those links because I *know* something is coming which makes it worse.

I'm very much like my Dad in that respect and I was with him when I watched Jaws for the first time aged about 14. That bit when they investigate the hole in the bottom of the boat sent us both leaping and screaming from opposite ends of the sofa into each other's arms. Jesus it freaked us both out. What's worse is that he'd seen it before but had forgotten what happened.

So, thanks for the post but no, thanks.
posted by jontyjago at 12:06 PM on October 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is an obvious comment but it's almost always about the sound.
posted by chavenet at 12:09 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh this is my favorite thing ever. mrsozzy loves horror movies but jumps out of her skin at every jump cut or fakeout.

We watched The House on Haunted Hill last week and afterwards I walked up behind her -- walked, didn't sneak -- put my hand on her shoulder and said, "come with me, murderess." She screamed and kicked me in the knee. I deserved it.

So what I'm saying is that I can't wait to go through these with her.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:09 PM on October 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am going to be that guy: the one who makes the first comment, which is that "I hate jump scares"

Jump-startles are to actual horror as tickling is to comedy.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:13 PM on October 29, 2015 [17 favorites]


These aren't actual jump cuts, so we're talking about "made you jump cuts"?

If so, the bus scene (@ 2:17) in Val Lewton's "Cat People" is maybe the godfather of them, and still made me jump
when I first saw it 50-odd years after it was released.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:14 PM on October 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Terrible movie otherwise, but Signs has 2 of the very best jump scenes ever: The quick horrifying glance of the alien on top of the barn, and, of course, the birthday party scene.
posted by Chrischris at 12:21 PM on October 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm sure as fuck not going to check myself: is that first one from The Ring? That scene literally put me off horror movies for years.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:22 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


My first reaction after that jump scare in The Ring was to rewind and watch it in slow motion. At first it was freaky, then awesome, then hiiiiiiiiiiilarious
posted by Existential Dread at 12:24 PM on October 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Honorable mention for print horror: Boo! by Donald Dane.
posted by usonian at 12:26 PM on October 29, 2015


My first reaction after that jump scare in The Ring was to rewind and watch it in slow motion. At first it was freaky, then awesome, then hiiiiiiiiiiilarious

I saw it in the theater and after that jump my heart did not stop racing for the rest of that fucking movie. I don't even know if the movie was any good, but it was damn effective.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:29 PM on October 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


Legion is not only one of my favorite movies of all time--it's also a book I read over and over and over again. It's just great.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:30 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Movie Name: Funny Games
Director: Michael Haneke
Year: 1997
Imdb: 1997
Jump Count: 0
Jump Scare Rating: 0


um

ok
posted by Existential Dread at 12:33 PM on October 29, 2015


haha jesus that tall man in it follows is creepy as fuck
posted by Elementary Penguin at 12:35 PM on October 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


I also cannot tolerate jump scares and will not click on the video links, but I love other scary stuff and am finding this site really really useful. Fellow jump scare avoiders, don't skip that link. It lists low jump scare movies, and even lets you sort all the rated movies according to the number of jumps. There are lots of zeroes!
posted by ernielundquist at 12:39 PM on October 29, 2015


My first reaction after that jump scare in The Ring was to rewind and watch it in slow motion. At first it was freaky, then awesome, then hiiiiiiiiiiilarious

I saw it in the theater and after that jump my heart did not stop racing for the rest of that fucking movie. I don't even know if the movie was any good, but it was damn effective.


I saw it in the theatre too and yelled 'THAT WAS UNNECESSARY!' right afterwards. I think everyone agreed with me.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:41 PM on October 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


Not being a fan of horror movies, but a lover of reading horror movie synopses, I encourage you all to post a yt clip of your favorite jump scare in here iiiifff youuuu dAAAAaaarreee
posted by Think_Long at 12:48 PM on October 29, 2015


Jaws, the scene with the corpse under the boat.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:54 PM on October 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Strangers was so goddamn creepy and scary. Even today (years after seeing it in the theater) thinking about it fucks me up.
posted by kmz at 12:55 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am a bit of a masochist when it comes to horror, and startle thoroughly and hilariously to the point of my own horror movie-esque screams when theses scenes happen. Folks tell me I'm real fun to watch horror with. Unless you take is Very Seriously.
posted by Grandysaur at 12:55 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


There is an understandable, given the framing, conflation of jump cuts with jump scares in this thread, but they are not the same thing.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:55 PM on October 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


The opening scene of Children of the Corn where the couple hits the kid in the middle of the road scarred me for years.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:57 PM on October 29, 2015


Is "jump scare" a relatively recent term? I don't remember it as a thing before. As noted, some of these are obviously jump scares, but aren't jump cuts (also, "jump scare" doesn't show up in google ngrams at all).
posted by PandaMomentum at 1:04 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm sure as fuck not going to check myself: is that first one from The Ring? That scene literally put me off horror movies for years.

That effing movie. Yeeesh. After seeing it in a theatre then going back to an empty house were I proceeded to turn EVERY LIGHT ON till my parents came home and even then I did not sleep until the sun came out...I swore off scary movies forever. Haven't watched any since, with the exception of 1/4 of "Mamá" because my mom wanted someone to watch it with her (and by 1/4 I mean that I had my hand on my face the whole time and only watched 1/4 of the tv screen.)
posted by CrazyLemonade at 1:06 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


That effing movie. Yeeesh. After seeing it in a theatre then going back to an empty house were I proceeded to turn EVERY LIGHT ON till my parents came home and even then I did not sleep until the sun came out...

I was living in Seattle at the time and of course the whole movie is rainy atmospheric Pacific Northwest so when I walked out of the theater it was like I was stepping into the world of the fucking movie.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:08 PM on October 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Obligatory omission outrage: The Fellowship of the Ring.
posted by CaseyB at 1:16 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


That effing movie. Yeeesh. After seeing it in a theatre then going back to an empty house were I proceeded to turn EVERY LIGHT ON till my parents came home and even then I did not sleep until the sun came out...

After seeing The Ring in a nearby theater, my roomie and I came home and had to have an Amelie chaser. One of my friends, knowing we were planning on seeing The Ring that night, called the landline during Amelie.

Needless to say, the Amelie chaser didn't work, and we both had effed-up dreams that night.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:21 PM on October 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I find freaky jump scares to be the fun type of horror. Startling, but short-lived, and especially when they allow your imagination to fill in the blanks.

Over the top gross-outs, gore, and torture (e.g. The Hills Have Eyes remake rape/torch/gutshot scene) are infinitely more unpalatable.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:25 PM on October 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think we need a term for the opposite of a jump scare: A moment of pure joy that comes from a surprising reveal.

The townspeople show up to help George Bailey.
The warden pulls the poster back to reveal how Andy has escaped.
Anton Ego tastes the ratatouille.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:28 PM on October 29, 2015 [19 favorites]


Also, mirror scares supercut! I feel like these all should have an olde-timey splash cymbal hit like the Squirrel Nut Zippers used to use to end all their tunes.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:29 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw The Ring as a teenager right after getting a TV of my very own in my room. It was one of those old CRT models you don't see anymore, the kind with a curved glass screen. I told myself it was only a movie, and that the feeling of dread looking into that black mirror was completely irrational. That night, a sound woke me up, and at that moment the headlights of a passing car illuminated a white dress shirt hanging from my closet door, which happened to be reflected in the center of my television. I swear, I leapt a foot off my bed.

So, for me, that was the best jump scare in The Ring.
posted by davejh at 1:44 PM on October 29, 2015 [20 favorites]


OK, seriously, "jump scare" as a phrase does not appear to exist prior to 2010 or so, with earlier usage of the hyphenated "jump-scare" going back sporadically to 1995. A quick search of Roger Ebert's site finds that he never used the term. The first usage in the NYT I can find is from 2007. By 2013 it's all over the place. So what gives?
posted by PandaMomentum at 1:48 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Quick Poll: is it gauche to scream in a movie theatre?

Full disclosure: I'm that person, the one who screams in movie theatres.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:49 PM on October 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


OK, seriously, "jump scare" as a phrase does not appear to exist prior to 2010 or so, with earlier usage of the hyphenated "jump-scare" going back sporadically to 1995. A quick search of Roger Ebert's site finds that he never used the term. The first usage in the NYT I can find is from 2007. By 2013 it's all over the place. So what gives?

Some phrases just take off. As a trope in horror movies it existed for a long time before 2007, so when someone invented a phrase for it, blammo. Slang. What are you gonna do?
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 1:51 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


My worst jump scare ever was the scene in One Crazy Summer where the two little girls are making funny faces and they get slapped on the back so they stay that way. I have a phobia about facial disfigurement so that whole thing was genuinely traumatic. To this day I can get nauseated remembering that moment when the girls scream at the sight of each other, and then later in the movie we see them again and THEY STILL HAVE THOSE AWFUL FACES. It's like Savage Steve Holland was deliberately trying to torture me.

F you, Savage Steve Holland!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:09 PM on October 29, 2015


my poor boyfriend somehow manages to jump-scare himself all the time. He can walk into the living room, looking for me, and then is startled because I am there.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:09 PM on October 29, 2015 [13 favorites]


Come to think of it, I probably GOT that phobia from One Crazy Summer. Seriously F you Savage Steve Holland.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:11 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I saw Mulholland Drive a guy a couple of rows in front of me hurriedly and awkwardly excused himself after the dumpster scene and came back about ten minutes later. I'm about 90% sure he shat himself.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 2:17 PM on October 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


Let's not forget Large Marge
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:19 PM on October 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


My dad is funny...both weird funny and haha funny. We went to see The Grudge in the movie theater. Right as they start to pan into the hidey hole closet with the girl and that fucking sound starts my dad very expertly jabs my ribcage with his elbow. I full on screamed. I was 31 damn years old at the time.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:19 PM on October 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I maintain that the only good part in all of the Kevin Bacon movie Stir of Echoes was the jump-scare of the ghost-girl on the couch.
posted by sarcasticah at 2:25 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


He can walk into the living room, looking for me, and then is startled because I am there.

Your husband is Catherine Tate?
posted by tracicle at 2:33 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


As I have said before on the blue, part of the reason The Descent works so well is because we see the creatures several times before we see the creatures. An attentive viewer is thinking WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT OVER THERE? and even if you miss some or all of the appearances, your savannah ancestors bequeathed you enough peripheral threat awareness that scene like what happens at 31:35 here will make you uneasy, even if the characters do not see what you see.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:34 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I loved the first half of The Descent but the second half of it was pretty rote, and the love ebbed. By the time it was over, I didn't think it was really appreciably a better horror movie than, say, The Ruins.
posted by nom de poop at 2:49 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm the minority here, but I love jump scares! Everyone talks about how they're "cheating" at being scary, or something, but I mean - you were scared weren't you? I know it's not building a sense of dread or anything, but I love horror movies, and I think stuff like this is all a part of the experience. I just don't get why we shouldn't take a device like this seriously.

One of my favorite movie watching experiences was seeing Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell at a theater in Chicago. I mean, not really for the movie itself (which has some major problems on multiple levels), but for watching with everyone. It had just come out, so the theater was packed, and everyone was really excited to be there. There's a jump scene (which I can't link to at the moment), and I remember hearing a guy in the back of the theater kind of moan in terror as it was building up. I was sitting next to a kid who was maybe 13, and whenever scary stuff would happen, he and I would look at each other and go "AWESOME!"

Horror movies really benefit from being seen in contexts like this, because then you stop feeling tricked by the jump scares, and you stop feeling so bothered by the little mistakes, and you can just sit and have fun with it. Later you can talk about stuff like continuity problems and the use of stereotypes. But man, in the moment, just have fun with it.
posted by teponaztli at 2:59 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Which is to say - I mean, I get peoples' criticism of the trope, but I've come to love them because they make the movie fun.
posted by teponaztli at 3:01 PM on October 29, 2015


I like slow non-jump reveals, when something creepy is shown to be just as dreadful as promised. When I saw Saw in the theater, there's a shot where the evil puppet finally wheels into view for the first time after a lot of silhouette shots. The audience made a pretty amazing collective, "euwgh" sound.

The end of Blair Witch Project had that too, I guess. When the dreadful thing appears at a kind of natural pace but it's all wrong and you're going, "No no nooooo"
posted by nom de poop at 3:02 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've watched the Mulholland Drive scene over and over to get why so many people find it frightening. It makes me feel like one of those dogs in the magic thread 2 up from here: Buh??
posted by orrnyereg at 3:13 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


My favorite thing about the Mulholland Drive scene is that there should be nothing surprising about the jump scare. The characters are literally talking about what's going to happen, and the whole scene has a nightmarish dread that builds and builds and builds. And then the promised face pops out, right on cue, and it gets me every single time.

I think chavenet is right, it's all about the sound.
posted by davejh at 3:29 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm so ... startled ...
posted by Sys Rq at 3:31 PM on October 29, 2015


There's this scene -- I don't know if it's referenced already -- in a movie I cannot remember the name of, that has stayed with me for years. I think it's some Western horror movie, typical white blonde leading lady. But there's this thing where she's doing dishes in this ridiculously spacious kitchen or something like that, and there's this table with chairs.

And it's this slow, slow sequence of creepiness, and then there's this moment of stillness where she turns around and the chairs at the kitchen table are perfectly, exactly, precisely stacked on top of the table, just like that.

I reacted to it exactly as though it was a jump scare, with the gasping and shrieking and heart-clutching. It still bothers me, years later, whenever I remember it. But the eerie perfection of that goddamn stacking in that goddamn moment still haunts me.
posted by E. Whitehall at 3:53 PM on October 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Do you mean the kitchen chair scene in Poltergeist?
posted by aerosolkid at 4:05 PM on October 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Do you mean the kitchen chair scene in Poltergeist?

Yep - that's definitely it. Tobe Hooper is arguably the grand master of using everyday objects to create viscerally horrifying scenarios, and for doing it for next to nothing.

But the eerie perfection of that goddamn stacking in that goddamn moment still haunts me.

The best part is that, if you look closely, the chairs are moving slightly, because crew members stacked the chairs quickly as the scene was underway. When that was pointed out to me, I thought it was a minor flaw, but in retrospect, I think it makes it even creepier.
posted by ryanshepard at 4:11 PM on October 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Holy shit yes, that is the one. Just watched it and gave my knees a damn good bark on my desk even though I knew it was coming. That is exactly the one.

Also, I don't know if thanks is the right word, ryanshepard, so I'll just say that was an enlightening observation and you are in fact correct.
posted by E. Whitehall at 4:18 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, I don't know if thanks is the right word, ryanshepard, so I'll just say that was an enlightening observation and you are in fact correct.

I got a little obsessed with Hooper's effects and set design back when I had time to geek out in depth over these kind of things, and read two versions:

1. That the chair tower was a single prop, assembled in a advance, and put in place as a piece during the continuous shot.

2. That 2-3 crew members practiced the shot and were able to do it quickly, in the moments that the camera panned away from the table.

The motion seems to suggest the latter, even though the former is obviously much more practical. Anyhow, it's a great moment. The pocketwatch nailed to the tree and the spiders on the dirty window in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre poked something deep in my subconscious, and I think Hooper's up there with the greats of psychological horror, despite primarily being known for gore.
posted by ryanshepard at 4:28 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lights Out is a great 2:41 minimalist bit.
posted by zoinks at 4:38 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw The Ring as a teenager right after getting a TV of my very own in my room. It was one of those old CRT models you don't see anymore, the kind with a curved glass screen. I told myself it was only a movie, and that the feeling of dread looking into that black mirror was completely irrational. That night, a sound woke me up, and at that moment the headlights of a passing car illuminated a white dress shirt hanging from my closet door, which happened to be reflected in the center of my television. I swear, I leapt a foot off my bed.

True story: knowing nothing at all about the movie except that it was J-horror, I watched the original version of The Ring before it had an official U.S. release on a bootleg fucking VHS.

At midnight.

I finish the movie, the phone rings.

"What's wrong," my sister says.
posted by thetortoise at 4:39 PM on October 29, 2015 [17 favorites]


I am such a scaredy-cat but I still want to see famous horror movies. So this is great because you can immunize yourself to a jump scare if you just replay it a few times, or pause and go through it slowly. The ones above would scare the crap out of me in a theater but slowed down they lose their power and get quite goofy.

incidentally this is how I made it through "It Follows": 3 minutes at a time.

Also, mirror scares supercut yt ! I feel like these all should have an olde-timey splash cymbal hit like the Squirrel Nut Zippers used to use to end all their tunes.

I'm not as scared of these after seeing this excellent SNL take. Thank god.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:19 PM on October 29, 2015


Your husband is Catherine Tate?

that was all very familiar
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:35 PM on October 29, 2015


I feel like I need to go play Spooky's House of Jump Scares now.
posted by davejh at 6:42 PM on October 29, 2015


Maybe it isn't a jump cut per se, but the end of the intro sequence from Twilight Zone: The Movie is a moment that scared the crap out of me as a kid. Something jumps out at you, anyway. I still think of that thing whenever I'm on a late night drive through the deserted countryside. You never know what's hiding under the skin of the person in the next seat. So, wanna see something really scary?
posted by informavore at 7:49 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jump-scares absolutely wreck me, and I love them, but I honestly dont get the reaction people apparently get to that part of The Ring. I still like The Ring, and parts of it scare the shit out of me, but that? Not even once. I don't get it.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:56 PM on October 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am really easily startled and hate jump cuts/sudden scares in movies...but the Mulholland Drive diner scene? I saw that in the theatre and couldn't stop laughing. It was so goofy it almost single-handedly ruined the movie for me.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:03 PM on October 29, 2015


La casita de Tomas!
posted by LionIndex at 8:27 PM on October 29, 2015




I am so glad I'm not the only one for whom The Ring was a life-ruiner. I've always been a tiny bit wimpy when it comes to horror movies, but only due to my own imagination. The movie itself was never that bad, I'd be scared at first and then they'd show the inevitably stupid looking monster and it would kill the scare factor for me entirely.

I have this weird fear I don't talk about because there's no way to explain it without sounding stupid. I am afraid of misbehaving electronic devices of any kind (lights, TVs, radios, computers, etc.) I don't know why. I am comfortable with and largely understand electronics quite well, you'd think this wouldn't be an issue, but...

Anyway The Ring played directly to that fear (that something sinister is lurking in my electronics) and I went to go see it with a friend with no idea what we were getting into. It fucked me up for WEEKS. The scare face primed the fear pump for sure, but the whole movie was basically customized to terrify me especially, or so it felt at the time. I was planning on sleeping at that friend's house that night, but we were to sleep in a room with a giant tube TV in it so that was a no thank you.

Then again home wasn't much better, my room had a tube TV that wasn't tuned to cable (it was just for video games) so it would only display static at first when you turned it on. It took a long time before I stopped being freaked out by that movie, and to this day when my brain really wants to annoy and upset me late at night, I get images based on it in my head. No other movie has had that effect on me or anything even close to it, it was like genuine trauma.

Eventually I even got the DVD so I could go through the scary parts frame by clear frame and pick out the things that felt off, see the makeup and the CGI, I watched making-of and behind-the-scenes stuff... that helped a lot. But it took actual work to even get to the point where every nightmare wasn't somehow Samara-related.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 9:13 PM on October 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


For those apparently still confused: None of this has anything to do with the jump cut*, a fairly mundane editing technique.

A jump cut is just when the editor cuts from a shot of something to a similar shot of the same thing from the same angle, either to show the passage of time, or to speed things along, or to add a frazzled nervy tension, or to make Homer Simpson look terrible, or to join the better halves of two half-good takes together. (You generally only see the latter in silent-era movies, before editors realized they could disguise the cut by inserting a third, different, shot in between.)

* Well, actually, the girl in the closet is sort of a jump cut. But not because it made you jump.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:33 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Seeing this scene from the (vastly superior, imo) 1989 television version of The Woman in Black was when I first twigged jump scares.
posted by talking leaf at 12:16 AM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


sooo you know how Coleridge was all fucked up on laudanum and was trying to get off it when he wrote "Kubla Kahn" if I have that right?

Well, one really fucked up thing about detoxing off of opiates is the dreams. For me, I didn't know whether I was awake or asleep.

A really great choice I made prior to going off the meds was to rent The Ring (I didn't know I was going to be going off opiates; that happened after I watched The Ring and then went to transfer to my chair and slamming my head on the floor because I was so stoned).

That little three note sound that is part of The Ring soundtrack? The doo-dee-DAH? Well. I was hearing that in my dreams. over and over and over and over and over and over

In that period I dreamed that I was on the floor, immobilized, and the floor was covered with giant bugs. And I knew there was something coming behind me, coming to get me. I couldn't turn around because I was immobilized but I could hear the *crunch crunch crunch* of the thing getting to me as it squashed giant bugs to get to me.

And then for one moment I can actually turn around and see behind me, and lying on the floor, about a meter away, is something with the face from The Ring jump cut.

Only it was grinning.

Doctors sometimes wonder why I am so anxious anytime a suggestion is made I go back on opioids for pain. Yeah, motherfuckers, go have your own soul-searing nightmares.
posted by angrycat at 4:56 AM on October 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I was living in Seattle at the time and of course the whole movie is rainy atmospheric Pacific Northwest so when I walked out of the theater it was like I was stepping into the world of the fucking movie.

Same here. Although I did have to call bullshit on a newspaper reporter single mother being able to afford a multiple bedroom apartment at Harbor Steps.

My wife and I were creeped out good, though. Such great atmosphere and style in The Ring.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:09 AM on October 30, 2015


Disappointed that the phone ringing in The Exorcist was not listed.
posted by knownassociate at 6:32 AM on October 30, 2015


Can I ask a huge favor here -- can somebody just describe the "closet scene"? After so many comments I'm dying to know what gets shown, but I can't google it because I'll get images in my results. Like some of the other commenters in this thread, I avoid this stuff because it plays on my imagination too much.
posted by Pistache at 6:35 AM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


My then-girlfriend and I saw The Ring in an empty theater on a rainy Tuesday night on holiday in Amsterdam.

We were both properly terrified by the movie; I had to go to the bathroom a few minutes after the closet-girl jump cut. My girlfriend said there was no way she was staying in the theater alone, so she came out to the lobby with me and stood near the bathroom door. In my twenty-year-old wisdom, I thought it would be pretty damn funny if, immediately after entering the bathroom, I flung the door wide open and ran out screaming.

Long story short, it was pretty funny. But then we had to leave the theater because of it and then she broke up with me soon after.
posted by benbenson at 8:28 AM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


can somebody just describe the "closet scene"?

I have actually not seen this movie, but I watched the clip with no sound during a meeting yesterday. Two people are talking in a kitchen, apparently after a funeral. Towards the end of the scene, the camera cuts to what I assume is a flashback of how one of the two people talking found the dead body of the person whose funeral they have just attended (so I gather). The body is not in a great state. In fact, here is a small pic if you want to look: small pic. I can see how it would be very startling, though it's not gruesome in a blood n guts kind of way. Looks like it's been in the water for a while (which given what I know about the movie is not surprising), and the person obviously died in a lot of terror. Dunno if it's accompanied by a music sting or anything in the movie, but I would definitely not be surprised!

I'm in a weird place with this stuff, because I generally find myself totally disinclined to watch horror movies, and yet I "enjoy" reading all about them.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:37 AM on October 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Many thanks, S-e MM. The description is enough.

I'm in a weird place with this stuff, because I generally find myself totally disinclined to watch horror movies, and yet I "enjoy" reading all about them.

That's exactly how I relate to them. Reading horror movie plot summaries on Wikipedia, and threads like this one, gives me a little chill without ruining trips to the basement for the next five years.
posted by Pistache at 8:45 AM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Dunno if it's accompanied by a music sting or anything in the movie, but I would definitely not be surprised!

What makes it super creepy in the movie, is there's no sound at all. No music, just silence. Sort of reminds me of how The Shining did silent cuts.
posted by Fleebnork at 9:07 AM on October 30, 2015


Please, try not to be led astray by the poster's misuse of the term "jump cut". That really means something if you're talking about film and if you think it means "jump scare" you'll confuse everyone. I can totally see why the poster is confused about this and I fear that this particular instance of this usage is a harbinger.

That Exorcist III clip (the second link) was pretty scary, I think.

I'm also going to compound my grumpiness by fretting that all the references to The Ring are to the US remake. No, no, no. The original was better.

Oh, also, forget the clip listed for Mulholland Drive -- what frightened and disturbed more than anything in that movie and, actually, basically more than anything I've seen in a movie in a very long time, was when she discovered the body (of herself) in the bed. That face. For literally years I would occasionally have flashbacks of that, it really frightened me in a way that dug down into my brain. I've always wondered why it was so effective. I think it was because the whole preceding film had so carefully built a lot of dread and that dread gets funneled into and then realized as that moment. Dead bodies don't frighten me, I actually ate a sandwich the other day when I read an article liberally illustrated with photographs about the body farm in Texas. So it wasn't the mere fact of it that upset me. It was the visual impression within the context.

Which, actually, is sort of why that Exorcist III hospital scene is quite frightening to me. It's unexpected, sure, but what's really disturbing about it is how the killer (or whatever) is right there behind her and moving so fast that and, well, eagerly that all the panic and violence is expressed in that one moment. It works better that we don't see the moment that follows, when she's actually killed. That moment we do see -- the moment just before it happens, when it's inevitable, not unlike how we flash on a frozen moment of time we experience right when something bad happens, like when we're in an accident -- the way that's cut, it ends up being a frenetic moment of murder that's somehow frozen in time in our brain. Which is, I think, one of the most terrifying things.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:38 AM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can see how it would be very startling, though it's not gruesome in a blood n guts kind of way. Looks like it's been in the water for a while (which given what I know about the movie is not surprising), and the person obviously died in a lot of terror.

Part of the gruesomeness of the clip is the way the head of the body slumps forward as the closet door is opened and the corpse revealed. I found that way more disturbing than if the body had just be stationary.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:08 AM on October 30, 2015


I thought The Conjuring had some very good jump scares--the top-of-the-wardrobe scene sure made me jump, and I am a horror movie veteran.

And it is hard to beat Dallas in the air duct in Alien, even with the jazz hands.

And I have to confess, for all its goofiness, the first glimpse of the aliens in Communion scared the bejeezus out of me as a younger kaf.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:42 AM on October 30, 2015


I saw Ring and Ringu right before I moved to rural Japan for JET. apparently all my students had seen it too because if they were misbehaving, all I had to do was pull my (then) waist long hair over my head and twitch at them. It was highly effective.

Sadly for me, there was also a covered well right outside my bedroom. I put some little ceramic sculptures on it, just in case.
posted by ikahime at 11:35 AM on October 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have this weird fear I don't talk about because there's no way to explain it without sounding stupid. I am afraid of misbehaving electronic devices of any kind

Oh, I get this, so much. Some other day I'll tell you how my mother ruined my childhood by sitting me and my sisters down to watch Poltergeist and leaving us there alone (she had no idea it was a scary movie).
posted by CrazyLemonade at 11:42 AM on October 30, 2015


I love how it varies from person to person, whether a scene is scary or not. The jump scare is a pretty obvious tactic; instead of trying to talk you into being afraid, it tries to bypass your rational mind entirely and go directly for the lizard brain, the limbic system, where the fight-or-flight reflex operates. The lizard brain will have its way.

One of my personal hot buttons is the car crash—e.g. see No Country for Old Men. No mounting dread involved, it comes out of nowhere, as crashes do. They even like to do this in insurance commercials, and if I ever met the guy responsible for that bit of marketing wisdom I'd cheerfully wring his neck.
posted by Flexagon at 12:05 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


One of my personal hot buttons is the car crash—e.g. see No Country for Old Men. No mounting dread involved, it comes out of nowhere, as crashes do.

On the other hand, there's this.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:14 PM on October 30, 2015


Everyone talks about how they're "cheating" at being scary, or something, but I mean - you were scared weren't you?

Well, I think there are two completely different kinds of jump scares at work here:
  • The sudden and abrupt revelation of an actual threat, i.e. the monster/killer is RIGHT BEHIND YOU omg
  • The sudden and abrupt revelation of something that turns out to actually be innocuous, i.e. oh look it's just the goddamn cat
I love category 1 jump scares, but category 2 is totally just cheating, if occasionally amusing. I'm willing to grant a movie *one* such scene. *Maybe* two , if done with enough panache. If the movie keeps doing it, then I'm going to have to assume that the writers and director have no idea how to build actual tension in a scene.
posted by webmutant at 1:05 PM on October 30, 2015


there was something with what The Ring did with what the monster or whatever did to its victim's faces, from the closet scene to the photographs to the scene where the last victim is discovered. also, I just realized Naomi Watts has been in a lot of disturbing movies.
posted by angrycat at 2:21 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


-The sudden and abrupt revelation of something that turns out to actually be innocuous, i.e. oh look it's just the goddamn cat

I love category 1 jump scares, but category 2 is totally just cheating,


Well yeah, except that in real life we all have had category 2 scares, so in a way, they're making us relate to the characters a little, no? Cause I can relate to being scared about a flickering light in the closet and then finding out it was just a moth in there (as opposed to a dead girl or whatever). Doesn't mean I'm not still scared to go check!
posted by CrazyLemonade at 2:51 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


in real life we all have had category 2 scares

yeah, this jerk I work with has a remote control tarantula hiding at head level on a book shelf just inside the door to his office. He got me pretty good a few hours ago, and since then has nailed at least five more people.

Hivemind, help me get him back
posted by Existential Dread at 3:07 PM on October 30, 2015


get a real one
posted by Sys Rq at 3:34 PM on October 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I love how it varies from person to person, whether a scene is scary or not.
Jump scares usually get me pretty good, but the shots that really stick with me are a certain type where [scary thing] comes from the back of a room right at the camera. I can't find a clip of it online, but there's a flashback/nightmare scene in Pet Sematary where Zelda comes right towards the camera. See also the brides attacking Jonathan Harker in Dan Curtis' Dracula - that one is almost a jump scare too; even though you know it's coming the camera pulls back and pans just in time to see the third one rushing toward you from the right.
posted by usonian at 4:38 PM on October 30, 2015




I have to say, The Host (2006) is a pretty silly movie. But I like it.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:00 PM on October 30, 2015


My The Ring story is two-fold:
1. My friend and I saw a midnight showing. Driving down the long dark road from the theater, we heard what sounded like an animal in the backseat. My friend nearly drove off the road. It turned out to be a plastic bag with some change in it.

2. Upon getting home, I walked in to see what on first glance was basically Samara and I lost my shit. It was my sister, who was 14 at the time, and was mad that I hadn't come home earlier to help her with her French homework. She heard from my mom we were going to see The Ring and based off of seeing the movie trailer, she sat in the living room in a white dress shirt with her hair brushed forward. Once I realized it was her, I basically shouted out a long string of expletives and slammed and locked my bedroom door. I did not come out until the next afternoon. This is neither the worst nor last time my sister scared the everloving shit out of me.
posted by SassHat at 1:35 PM on November 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


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