Category Archives: Pant-Soiling Scenes

Pant-Soiling Scenes #20: FINAL DESTINATION

A slightly more personal PSS this round; this epic scene isn’t so much creepy as just so well realised (in its time at least) that I seem to think of it every time I board a plane…

So Devon Sawa and classmates board VolĂ©e Flight 180 from New York JFK to Paris – the very route the fated TWA 800 erupted at the start of in 1996 – when he has a vision of the plane falling to pieces in mid-air, minutes after take off.

Most plane crashes in film are hampered by crud effects, crud budgets or over-zealous writing. Final Destination‘s catastrophe is experienced entirely from the inside of the plane. The thing wobbles like hell, baggage falls everywhere and parts of the fuselage are ripped off, sucking several poor schmucks out into the sky, such as the poor girl in this shot, who zips out still strapped into her seat. Then it’s flames for all as the plane’s final nosedive burns up all those left inside.

Final Destination 5‘s dovetail ending allowed a revisit to the scene, this time occurring with the survivors finding themselves aboard the flight and external shots showing the destruction of the plane.

I’d say it’s made all the more unsettling by its realism: the events shown are likely what the poor souls on TWA 800 experienced. Not the best film to watch before your next Transatlantic flight… Yarrrgh!

Pant-Soiling Scenes #19: INSIDIOUS

Having totted up over 1,000 horror films, you’d think there’d be little scary stuff left to see. Slasher films take place in nicely controlled environments – killer and victims; zombie films have clear cut rules about survival.

Hauntings, however, can do whatever the fuck they want. They can be slow and unsettling or fast and bloody. No rules.

Therefore, when I finally got around to see Insidious last week, I expected maybe a little tension here and there. I didn’t expect to recoil in fright from some of the ejector-seat shocks, accompanied by thundering “gung” sounds.

The first one was when Rose Byrne went to check on her crying baby and encountered a damn creepy spectre lurking behind the net curtain thingy:

Shudder. It even looks like Michael Myers. That’s some eerie shit right there. However, it almost pales in comparison to Barbara Hershey (nicely cast in a nod to her role in the supremely freaky The Entity), who recounts a horrible dream she had about the haunting and then sees the face from her dream right there, behind Patrick Wilson.

Shudder again.

I don’t care if it was over-hyped, if the final act kinda went silly and ended up a marriage of Elm Street and Poltergeist II, this is one scary film the first time around and a warning to all ye who are astral plain explorers or whatever…

Pant-Soiling Scenes #18: DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW

In this day and age, TV horror movies largely consist of SyFy ‘originals': dripping in shitty cheap CG monsters feasting on washed-up actors and mute extras.

Back in ’81, however, the TV movie was a real event and, in horror terms, Dark Night of the Scarecrow stands as one of the most successful in terms of style and ambiance. A.K.A. it’s fucking creepy shit, as evidenced in the final shot of the movie.

…unless there’s another shot after. I can’t remember right this minute, but you catch my drift, right? Turns out after all the nerve-shredding tension that Bubba in Scarecrow form was the one reanimated and doing all the killin’!

No other scarecrow-themed film has touched it thus far.

Read a full review here.

Pant-Soiling Scenes #17: Bumper JAWS edition

I watched the scary, bitey fish flick a few weeks ago and was astounded by how scary and effective it still is. The opening scene notwithstanding, here are three other reeeeally creepy bits:

1: Child / Lilo Combo Chomp

These days audiences wouldn’t really give a shit if an obnoxious child became lunch for the locomotive-like Great White shark that torments Amity Island. But back in ’75 when a seemingly inoffensive kid just wanted five more minutes on his raft – and literally seconds after a cute Labrador Retriever disappeared in the water (far more harrowing, I say!) – the violent and bloody death of Alex Kintner is fucking terrifying.

The indiscriminate nature of the shark’s pick of victim, the oblivious kids playing in the foreground as those on the beach all stare in bewilderment at what’s going on to the depressingly sad realisation of Alex’s mom that it’s her kid who’s not coming out of the water as a tooth-marked, punctured lilo feebly washes up on the tinted-red shore. Ugh.

2. “Take my word for it – don’t look back!”

A couple of scenes later when poor Alex’s mom has put up a $20,000 reward for the capture of the shark, every man and his dog (except poor Pippet) is trying to bait the animal.

A couple of schmo’s toss a chunk of meat in the water and are surprised when el biggie fisho not only swims off with it but does so with such power that it rips off the end of the jetty, taking one of them with it.

Now, what’s creepy about this scene is that Spielberg, still not revealing the shark, represents its presence by a piece of the broken pier, which floats out to sea and then menacingly makes an about turn before heading back in the direction of the flailing idiot who’s swimming for his life.

It’s a great moment, really capturing how everything in this film was done right and, for me, totally outshines the underwater-head scene that comes later, which is just a jump scare rather than genuinely unsettling. Ugh.

3. Introducing Bruce

Minutes after some eeeevil children prank everyone with a mock dorsal fin, the shark proper decides to stop by for mid-afternoon munchies and bumps some poor extra out of his rowing boat.

We’ve seen the fin, the tail, and a really eerie shot of the shark inches below the surface as it pulls down the next victim but the audience gets its first fleeting glimpse of the devilish creature when it sticks its head out of the water to grab on to its understandably reluctant meal, whose severed leg quickly sinks to the bottom.

The shark actually looks quite real here, I reckon – and, dayum, how horrible would it be to be that guy – its mouth is huge! Ugh.

Pant-Soiling Scenes #17: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2

My earliest Friday related memory is seeing a TV spot for a Halloween showing of The Final Chapter when I was in Florida circa 1989: it featured the scene where Jason bursts through the window and grabs Corey Feldman and also the re-used footage of the campfire tale from the opening montage. I was only about 10 so couldn’t watch.

Years later when I became dependent on an almost daily Friday-fix, I kept expecting these scenes to show up. Neither were in Part 1 (and I was also staggered to find that neither was Jason!) and by the time I saved up for my VHS of Part 2 I was to find that that window scene was also absent. The Final Chapter would turn out to be the last of the original films I tracked down. But…the creepy campfire story, it was present along with some of the most effective jump-scares I’ve ever encountered…

And so it comes to this: my favourite scene in any movie ever. I love this moment so much. Sure, it’s predictable now but the first two or three times I watched it, it succeeded in making me jump outta my skin.

Ginny hides from bag-headed (and so even creepier) Jason in a bathroom that can’t be locked. The soundtrack maintains a tense string note that seems to go on forever as she listens through the door and slowly…sloooowly…reaches for the window… As Vera Dika’s dissection of how these films work keyed in on, we wonder where Jason might’ve gotten to in the meantime. Oh, you’ll find out!

The fact that Amy Steel is without a doubt the best final girl in the history of the genre aids this remarkably well choreographed scene and those that follow as she runs past the camera and into another room. These films might’ve been cheap but they were certainly not hack jobs made up of rubbish edits, crappy synths and ketchup squirts – some real craft went into making them tense and, in the case of this scene, downright frightening, something all too absent in todays boardroom-produced box-ticking exercices that pass for horror.

Read my full review for further ranting.

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