Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Noises out there

So I was awakened this morning around 2:30 by what sounded a couple of coyotes howling. (I suppose it might have been just one, but it sure sounded like multiple.) It was even loud enough that it woke up the dog, who started barking.

At any rate, I started thinking about scary noises in the movies. Val Lewton, as I've pointed out on several occasions, did an excellent job in movies like Cat People of not showing us the horror, but allowing us to imagine it in our minds. There's a really effective sequence of the second woman in the gym pool, hearing something but not being able to figure out what it is.

Obviously, there are a lot of movies with scenes in the great outdoors where people have to camp out overnight and the possibility of hearing something come up on them is a plot point.

But just as frightening can be hearing humans out there. Earlier this month, I blogged about Midnight Lace, which has Doris Day hearing a strange voice first in the London fog, and then hearing the same voice on phone calls.

However, I think the most frightening of the voices is one where we know who it is, and that's why it's frightening: Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter, when the kids are hiding out in the barn and Mitchum rides by on his horse singing an old spiritual. Everybody knows just how close danger is.

What's your favorite scary "noise out there" scene?

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