The All-Time Scariest: my ongoing hunt for a movie that will frighten the bejeezus out of me

I loves me a good horror movie.

Though my sister is the expert of the family (and may even contribute her thoughts on the topic to the website someday, assuming she ever gets her article out of the first draft), I get a real thrill every time a new eeker is announced.

When I was a kid, I despised the damned things for the very reason they’re so intoxicating to me now: that visceral, inescapable feeling of dread that comes from a terrifying flick. It’s part of the reason why my streaming “career” is punctuated by scary games such as the Resident Evil series, Little Nightmares, Alien: Isolation or this underrated gem right here.

The only issue is that, as my affinity for the genre grew, so did my tolerance for the onscreen antics. As such, it has been a long, long damn time since a horror movie actually affected me — not necessarily from an enjoyment perspective, but by failing to really bother me in any way.

DreamWorks LLC

In actual fact, it has been twenty long years since this has happened, upon my initial viewing of The Ring in 2002. The impactful tension and horrific imagery gripped me tightly, not only during its two-hour runtime but for several nights afterwards. Was it the execution, or perhaps the premise, as I was now convinced that I myself only had a week to live?

I can’t say with any certainty, but damn, it was such a special, awful experience that I’m yet to enjoy again. Without sounding too grim, in my 30s, it’s nice to really just feel anything at all.

Prior to that, it was 1973’s The Exorcist that held the crown, and holy damn is that movie an evergreen masterstroke. Its pacing is sublime, taking its time to set the stage and never rushing to any forced point or juncture. The whole time, you just know something bad is coming, and you can’t avoid it or prevent it. It makes the payoff of Pazuzu’s influence all the sweeter, because we actually care about the characters and the hell they’re going through.

Warner Brothers

I want to find the next entry in this prestigious list, and I’ve decided I’m bringing you along for the ride. And that’s why I’m kicking off yet another recurring series on EZIYODA (kind of like Feline Friday, except hopefully someone will actually click the damned things).

In The All-Time Scariest, I’ll be watching (or occasionally rewatching) horror movies, not with a critical lens for its overall quality, but solely on the basis of whether it scares me. I’m not the simpering coward I used to be, so it’ll have to be pretty damned petrifying to claim the crown.

If you have any suggestions, please drop a comment below or reach out on Twitter! It would be nice to receive any feedback beyond the pingbacks and spambots that haunt this stupid website, after all.

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