I received a lot of
emails scolding me for leaving this off the original Top 100 list,
and once I checked out the movie for myself, I see I deserved every
bit of scorn thrown at me. David Lynch is the master of dream horror,
as evidenced with his work in Eraserhead and Twin Peaks,
but this bit from Mulholland Dr. is the scariest of them all. Dan
tells his friend Herb that he brought him to the diner because he's
had a recurring dream. He describes the terror of looking through the
wall and seeing a man with a horrible face. "I hope that I never see
that face, ever, outside of a dream." Ben is overwhelmed with fear as
the fuzzy nightmare music of Angelo Badalamenti is barely audible in
the background. Ben walks out of the diner with his friend and faces
his fear once and for all.
This scene is amazing
because Dan tells you exactly what happens in the dream, so when he
confronts it and everything unfolds in the same manner he described,
you'd think it'd take the scare tension away because you already know
what's going to happen. You end up feeling every bit of dread the
character does all the way up until that final moment.
I especially love the
touch of the ENTRANCE sign hanging up on the wall that's pointing the
opposite direction in which they are walking. Once they pass that
point, there's no going back.
I originally had the
shower stabbing scene from Psycho as the #1 Scariest Scene, but agree
that it really doesn't hold up as the all time best now that I've had
a few years to reflect on it. I'm sure as time goes on there'll be a
new one here, too, but for today, this scene scares the hell out of
me more than any other than I recall.