Thursday, October 17, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks #275: Jump Scares

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of Thursday Movie Picks, the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. There are two more weeks to go after today before Halloween, so this is the third of five horror-themed editions of the blogathon. This time, the theme is "jump scares", and I'm not certain if I understand the theme correctly, so I'm picking three movies with sudden frights:

Psycho (1960). I think we all know that the climax has Vera Miles going into the fruit cellar looking for Norman Bates' mother, and what she finds when she turns the chair around, causing a lightbulb to swing and all that. But just after that, Norman comes down the stairs looking to kill Miles, and that shot still creeps me out every time I watch the movie.

Les Diaboliques (1955). If you show Psycho to someone and they wind up with a fear of showers, show them Les Diaboliques (the 1955 French version, not the 1990s Hollywood remake). VĂ©ra Clouzot (wife of the director, Henri-Georges Clouzot) and Simone Signoret play the wife and mistress respectively of a French boarding school headmaster. Fed up with him, they make a pact to kill him -- but after doing it, the body goes missing, and one of the students claims to have seen him, alive, driving the wife slowly insane. The movie's climax involves a bathtub, and I won't say any more.

Wait Until Dark (1967). I'm pretty certain I've used this one before, but it's got a good "gotcha" moment in the climax. Audrey Hepburn plays a blind woman whose husband comes into possession of a doll filled with heroin. The crooks want the doll, and when it goes missing, their leader (Alan Arkin) goes to great lengths to get it. Audrey, eventually realizing danger is imminent, decides to break all the light bulbs in the apartment rendering Arkin as blind as her (and theaters were asked to turn off the house lights at this point). It leads up to a "gotcha" moment....


Brittani Burnham said...

I've only seen Psycho of your picks but I've been curious about Wait Until Dark.

You got the theme correctly. Anything that makes you jump or something you didn't see coming. :)

Birgit said...

All three are great! There is the famous shower scene in Psycho but, yes, that same scene you talk about got me too. I love Les Diabolique which was so well done and that scene also made me jump, what a shame the actress dies of a bad heart just like her character had in this film. I finally saw your last film about 4 yrs ago and it is excellent and I know the scene you speak of.

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

I had looked up jump scares on Wikipedia, which suggested it's a more recent phenomenon than in the movies I picked, which is why I wondered whether I had the right idea.