Spielberg has softened over time. His early ventures into horror/thrillers showcased his skills of hyper-tension building, see the many scenes of Jaws for an example, I mean, offing that little lilo-kid 20 minutes in!? You didn’t get that in Jurassic Park!
So our second foray into the works of The Beard takes us even further back in time to his 1971 debut feature, Duel, the original road-rage horror film, which sees Dennis Weaver’s sappy salesman tormented by a fucking terrifying old tanker that’s hellbent on running him off the road, all because he overtook ‘em!
I vividly remember this particular moment being shown on TV as a teaser for a wee hours showing: Weaver, thinking the nightmare is over, stops to help a stranded schoolbus. He gets jammed, steps out, looks onward and the truck is there, waiting… The lights flick on as if to say “I see you too…” Scary then, scary now.
Argh! Just turn around and go home!!! You’re already late!
Many moons have passed since I first saw The Fog on TV in my naive teen years and I’ve watched it numerous times, wearing out two VHS copies before I upgraded to a spunky 2-disc DVD. The film still rules in almost every possible way and, more importantly, is still damn eerie.
John Carpenter always excelled at the unnerving stuff, Michael loitering behind objects in the foreground in Halloween etc., in The Fog he capitalises on this, with creepy shadows galore… But ’tis this scene that really had me chewing off my fingers (and if you know me, you’ll know what I mean) with tension.
It’s: the stuck-truck bit.
Pump it, Jamie, pump it!!! Uh, just slip it into first and- Why must driving instructions all sound so dirty!??
By rights, nothing is scarier than Jaws. Being that this particular moment has remained so scary for 35 years is a testament to just how amazing the film is. A lot of old films age gracelessly and look cheesy now (Earthquake, I’m looking at you here…) but Spielberg’s creative pinnacle is undoubtedly one of the most important pieces of film and houses the most frightening opening scene known to man. I give you the demise of Chrissie Watkins…
I wasn’t even alive when this film came out and I’m too scared to go back into the water!
Frak me, this film was a nerve-shredder. Ghostie films are about the only ones that still give me the heebies and I remember exclaiming ‘fuck!’ a tad too loud when they stung us with a slamming door.
However, in terms of brown-pants syndrome, it peaked at the “uno, dos, tres, toca la pared,” scene. Regardé:
Argh! Creepy ghost children!
It’s been a while since I’ve watched a film that had me shouting at the screen: “swim faster!!!” But Rogue did the trick as a humongoid saltwater croc chows down on stranded tourists and, in this particular scene, their makeshift rope-bridge to safety collapses three of them into the water…
It’s an ace flick to rival Alligator as best killer reptile film ever!! Points were deducted for the dog being killed though. Sad times.