Welcome back to the HW Mailbag. I apologize for my absence. I forgot to put out a call for questions last week. I’m sure all 6 of you who read this were crushed.
We’ve got two questions today, both from former writers from the site. They’re lovely people. If you’re not following them on Twitter, you should probably fix that as soon as possible.
To the questions!
Brother, what is a scene that absolutely wrecked you? Either emotionally or the violent nature was more than you could take? – @lcfremont
I’d like to thank my horror sister for taking me down some dark paths. I reached down deep to remember those moments I took great pains to bury deep. Thanks Lisa!
I’ve got a few that spring to mind. The first one I always think of is the ending of the original Night of the Living Dead. Seeing as how the movie came out in 1968 and this is a horror site, I assume everyone has seen it. But, if you haven’t and you have not yet had it spoiled for you, don’t let me be the person who does it. I’mma throw a little SPOILER ALERT here for ya.
We make it through the entire movie with Ben, only to watch him – the lone survivor – get shot in the head and thrown on a bonfire. That ending absolutely gutted me. I remember watching it for the first time and just staring at the screen, unable to move. I stood up and just kind of stumbled around for a while. When I think of movies that emotionally wrecked me, Night of the Living Dead is at the top of the list.
The scene in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer where Henry and Otis calmly watch a video of a family they terrorized and killed earlier. That scene made me ill.
The end of that movie was pretty gut-punchy, in a weird way.
Martyrs. Pretty much everything in Martyrs. It’s such a beautiful movie and it absolutely destroyed me for days. It’s so good (SO GOOD), but it’s unlikely I’ll ever watch it again. (I’m speaking to the original. I haven’t seen the American remake yet.)
Since we’re on the topic of French horror, let’s throw Inside into the mix. That movie messed me up, man. Now that I have a child myself, I don’t know that I would be able to watch it again. It’s kind of the same thing as Martyrs: I could name a scene that really wrecked me, but the majority of the movie had that effect on me. To name one or two would be to ignore the others. It’s a great movie that everyone should see, but man…
As far as those of “violent nature,” I have a few things that get me. Anything involving fingernails, teeth or eyes is no fun. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is not a great movie, but I will always remember the beginning, when a man chisels out his own teeth. Just takes a hammer a chisel to them. That’s what I see when I try to sleep at night.
One of the other big ones is rape. I don’t feel like I need to explain this too much. It’s just…ugly. Lisa has watched a lot of rape revenge movies, so she can probably speak on this more than I can, but I find that a lot of movies with rape tend to linger a bit too long on the scene. I’ve never seen a rape scene that didn’t make me want to turn off the TV and just do something else for a while. Maybe that’s the point.
I can watch a man take a machete to the face and not even flinch. Stick a nailgun to someone’s temple. Take out someone’s knee with a shotgun. But shove toothpicks under fingernails and I’m useless for a day.
Manhunter or Red Dragon, which is the better film? – @Foxxy_Gilley
It has been a long time since I’ve seen either one of these. I’ll say that I liked Red Dragon better, but that may be because Ed Norton and Ralph Fiennes absolutely crushed those roles. Also, I watched Red Dragon before Manhunter, so that may have something to do with it.. You can’t really go wrong with either one, though.