A Terrifying Experience with Scary Movies in the Dark
I have a confession to make: I love scary movies.
I have a confession to make: I love scary movies. There’s something about the thrill and suspense that keeps me hooked. But here’s the catch – I refuse to watch them in the dark. It wasn’t always like this, though. In the past, I would watch horror movies in a dark theater or in the darkness of my own room. However, as someone who can openly admit that even the first Jumanji movie scares me a little (and don’t even get me started on Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker), super scary movies at night are a big no-no for me. Want to know why? They give me nightmares! I’ve had plenty of experience in this matter, and there are five films in particular that made me swear that something went bump in the night.
The Ring: A Spook that Haunted Me for Days
I vividly remember watching The Ring on its opening weekend in 2002. Oh, my God. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a longer sense of dread while watching a movie. For a horror film that is only rated PG-13, The Ring had no right to be this scary. I’ve seen entire horror franchises that didn’t leave me as unnerved as The Ring did. Can you believe it? And here’s the thing, it was just one scene that truly spooked me! The movie itself, revolving around a cursed video cassette, wasn’t even that creepy. The scariest aspect was the fact that the plot centered around a technology that has become outdated – a VHS tape.
However, the scariest moment of the entire movie happens within the first few minutes. I was immediately on edge for the rest of the film after seeing it. Even the words “I saw her face” give me goosebumps. A closet door is opened, and on the big screen, one of the scariest faces I’ve ever seen is revealed. That image haunted me for days. It may have only lasted a second, but that second reverberated in my mind, causing me to sleep with the lights on.
The Grudge: A Consistently Terrifying Horror
The Grudge, or as I like to call it, The Ring 2.0, is a million times scarier than The Ring. Unlike The Ring, which frightened me only once, The Grudge consistently terrified me from start to finish. The story revolves around a haunted house in Tokyo, where a terrible murder occurred. The curse from that incident follows the new occupants wherever they go.
In The Grudge, we encounter not one, but two ghosts: the wife and her son who were brutally murdered by the husband/father. The terrifying sights of these ghosts are amplified by the bone-chilling sounds they emanate. The haunting cries and moans stayed with me long after the movie ended.
I made the same mistake with The Grudge as I did with The Ring; I watched it when it first released in 2004. You would think I had learned my lesson after the nightmares provoked by The Ring, but nope – I was up for yet another sleepless night. The entire movie terrified me, but the scene that truly struck fear into my heart was when the ghost of the mother appeared in bed with her victim. I couldn’t sleep at all that night, not even with the covers over me. A good night’s rest was out of the question.
Mulholland Drive: A Perplexing Horror Experience
I didn’t watch Mulholland Drive when it was first released in 2001 because I wasn’t a fan of director David Lynch at the time. However, after watching Blue Velvet, my interest was piqued. I became engrossed in Lynch’s filmography, culminating in Mulholland Drive, which I watched in college around 2003-2004.
I can vividly recall my first viewing experience. With the lights off in my best friend’s basement, a group of us were sprawled out on a massive couch. The film itself was perplexing, though not as much as Lynch’s Lost Highway. We couldn’t quite grasp the storyline; it involved a woman with amnesia after a car crash and a series of strange events that followed.
There was a major jump scare early on that startled me, but it was a scene in a theater that truly made my heart pound. A woman was singing Roy Orbison’s “Crying” and fainted on stage, yet the singing continued. This moment made me question whether Mulholland Drive was actually a horror movie rather than a bizarre drama. I can’t fully explain why this scene set me on edge for the rest of the night, but the recurring image of the woman collapsing while the song persisted still gives me chills to this day.
Hereditary: A Uniquely Terrifying Experience
Hereditary, released in 2018, is hands down the scariest movie I have ever seen. And here’s the kicker – I watched it during the daytime with the sunlight streaming through my window. I’m dead serious. Despite the glare on the screen due to my partially closed shades, this movie still shook me to my core. How is that even possible?
I once pitted Hereditary against Midsommar to decide which was the superior Ari Aster film. But honestly, there’s no contest for me. While I found Midsommar somewhat amusing, Hereditary was no laughing matter. It disturbed me like no other film ever has.
The movie revolves around a grieving family and the demonic occurrences that follow the loss of a loved one. Hereditary is a weighty film that tackles grief in a somber manner. The tension is expertly built in the quieter scenes, but nothing could have prepared me for the climax where the son is violently chased by his possessed mother. As he takes refuge in the attic, the horrifying sound of his mother’s head pounding against the ceiling sends shivers down my spine. Even with the sunlight bathing the room, I was terrified and unable to sleep for days.
The Shining: The First Nightmare-Inducing Horror
I want to conclude with the first horror movie that ever gave me nightmares – The Shining. When CinemaBlend ranked the best horror movies of all time, The Shining rightfully claimed the top spot. Released in 1980, it tells the story of a writer who brings his family to a haunted hotel and becomes haunted himself (or so it seems).
What makes this movie so brilliant is its portrayal of ambiguity. Unlike Stephen King’s novel, the film version allows for the interpretation that Jack Torrance is experiencing a mental breakdown rather than supernatural events. These events could be a result of a child’s imagination or a father on the verge of insanity.
The Shining has always fascinated me, and its chilling atmosphere captivated me at a young age. The imagery and scenes from the Overlook Hotel continue to haunt me to this day, causing me to question what truly lurks beyond the surface.
These five films, The Ring, The Grudge, Mulholland Drive, Hereditary, and The Shining, are the epitome of horror movies that have left me sleepless and terrified. I’ve learned my lesson – no more scary movies in the dark. The nightmares are simply not worth it.