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THE LIST

100- The Wicker Man
99- Return of the Living Dead
98- To Kill A Mockingbird
97- Frankenstein
96- Blue Velvet
95- Diabolique
94- Jaws
93- Creepshow
92- Confessions of an Opium Eater
91- The Hills Have Eyes
90- Dumbo
89- The Blair Witch Project
88- Heavy Metal
87- The Shining
86- Night of The Hunter
85- Audition
84- Scanners
83- The Legend of Boggy Creek
82- The Birds
81- Tombs of the Blind Dead
80- Invasion of the Body Snatchers
79- The Crying Game
78- The Exorcist III
77- Event Horizon
76- The Shining
75- Wait Until Dark
74- Silent Scream
73- Gates of Hell
72- Poltergeist II
71- Akira
70- The Evil Dead

69- Zombie
68- Freaks
67- Prince of Darkness
66- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
65- Marathon Man
64- Poltergeist
63- The Wizard of Oz
62- When A Stranger Calls
61- The Shining
60- Pee Wee's Big Adventure
59- Jaws
58- A Clockwork Orange
57- The Exorcist
56- Psycho
55- It
54- The Changeling
53- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
52- The Ring
51- Jaws
50- An American Werewolf In London
49- Trilogy of Terror
48- The Exorcist
47- Eraserhead
46- Salem's Lot
45- Poltergeist
44- Repulsion
43- Friday The 13th
42- Seven
41- Reservoir Dogs
40- King Kong
39- The Thing
38- 28 Days Later
37-
Deliverance
36- Silence of the Lambs
35- The Grudge
34- The Ring
33- Indiana Jones Temple of Doom
32- The Evil Dead 2
31- The Exorcist
30- Alien
29- Phantom of the Opera
28- The Shining
27- Full Metal Jacket
26- Dracula
25- Halloween
24- Suspiria
23- A Nightmare on Elm Street
22- The Serpent and the Rainbow
21- Invasion of the Bodysnatchers
20- Jaws
19- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
18- Nosferatu
17- Misery
16- The Thing
15- Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
14- The Blair Witch Project
13- Night of the Living Dead
12- The Exorcist
11- Psycho
10- The Shining
9- The Exorcist III
8- Night of the Living Dead
7-
Jacob's Ladder
6- Un Chien Andalou
5- Poltergeist
4- Alien
3- The Shining
2- Carrie
1- Mulholland Drive

 

#1 MULLHOLLAND DR. (2001)
LUNCH AT WINKIE'S

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.

 

-Robert Berry
rberry@retrocrush.com