Thursday, 2 August 2018

Film scenes that never get old. The best jump scare ever.


I love horror films but I'm not the biggest fan of jump scares. They're a cheap way to scare an audience and usually add nothing to a story. Modern examples tend to be a combination of misdirection and loud music and always annoy the face off me but every now and then one works perfectly.

William Peter Blatty's 1990 film is the second sequel to the 1973 original. It's not a particularly good film but it pisses from a height on the 1978 sequel which was just a mind bogglingly terrible watch. Originally called Legion, it's about a series of murders in Washington DC and it's connection to the original film is tenuous at best. The film was produced by Morgan Creek who were disturbed to realise that a sequel to the Exorcist didn't actually contain any exorcism. This would not do at all and the film was massively rejigged in post production to add an exorcism scene to the climax. As a result the movie is all over the place and its messiness it obvious even when you don't know the behind the scenes stuff. 

But for all it's bad points it contains this scene. A brilliant moment that should be watched in the dark and with the sound up loud.

 

Even when you know something bad is going to happen it still works. The deliberately slow pace lulls you into a false sense of security even when the deserted hospital ward halls are creeping you out. The creaking noises the nurse investigates are red herrings that make you think something is going to happen and then nothing happens apart from cheap shock that makes you laugh in a nervous way and then feel relieved. The music free soundtrack forcing you to take note of everything you hear. The nurse's red jacket standing out against the white walls ensuring you track her at all times. You start to wonder what the hell is the point of this scene and then........

The shroud wrapped figure. The crash zoom. Those huge shears and that shriek on the soundtrack. We don't see anything happen yet it still feels brutal and that cut to a decapitated statue tells us everything we need to know.

A perfect scare in an other forgettable horror film.

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