Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 2:46 PM ET, 04/29/2010

Do any of these horror movie icons still scare you?

By Jen Chaney

The remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street," in theaters tonight at midnight, attempts to reinvent one of the most recognizable horror movie evildoers of all time: Freddy Krueger. With a revamped (but still scar-filled) make-up job and Jackie Earle Haley in the role made famous by Robert Englund, Warner Bros. -- which now owns New Line Cinema, the studio once referred to as the House that Freddy Built -- is hoping Krueger will invade the dreams of a whole new generation of horror fans. (Read my review to find out why I think it probably won't.)

The original Freddy (Robert Englund) and Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) grab some one-on-one time. (New Line)

But is Freddy, even in the Englund carnation, still scary to us? For that matter, do any of the more iconic horror movie villains still deliver the power to petrify? I mean, once you've seen a couple of frat boys in the Michael Myers ensemble, or handed a mini-box of Milk Duds to an 11-year-old trick-or-treater wearing a "Scream" mask, the fright factor tends to seep out of the imagery a little bit.

But take a look at the poll below and cast your vote for the Creep King that still freaks you out, if any still do:

By Jen Chaney  | April 29, 2010; 2:46 PM ET
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  | Tags:  Movies  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Why we love Sandra Bullock
Next: Conan O'Brien says he wouldn't have done what Leno did; Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt top 'least influential' list


Anthony Perkins, in "Psycho"? Lord Laurence Olivier as that Nazi dentist in exile, in "Marathon Man"?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | April 29, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I try to avoid the genre as a whole. Saw Poltergeist when I was around 14 and couldn't sleep for weeks. Read the Amityville Horror and still to this day am upset if I wake up at 3:15 am and notice the time. Wanna play a cruel joke on me, wake me up with marching band music at that time and I'll probably wet my pants. So no, I don't do horror. I guess that means these dudes still scare me.

Posted by: hodie | April 29, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, hodie, I avoid horror flicks too. There's no law requiring anyone to watch them.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | April 29, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"A Nightmare on Elm Street" was pretty upsetting when I was a 14-year-old with a predawn paper route... on Elm Street.

I'm still afraid of "The Exorcist." And Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" - yikes!

Posted by: northgs | April 29, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I've been extra-creeped out by Mike Myers ever since I heard about how the mask is just a painted Captain Kirk mask. That scary lop-sided vacant face freaks me out even more now. Shudder.

Posted by: blahblah6b | April 29, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Nurse Ratched was pretty dang scarey!

Posted by: justmike | April 29, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

All I gotta say is, if anyone uses these in a wedding, they got serious problem.

Posted by: epjd | April 29, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I remember when the first Nightmare on Elm Street came out. Everyone kept telling me how scary it was, so finally I watched it. I laughed my a$$ off. Scary movies just don't scare me.

Posted by: milesdy | April 29, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Pennywise from IT. Hands down. If I ever open the fridge, and balloons drift out, I'll probably die of fear on the spot. His quote, "everything floats down here..." is one of the scariest lines ever written. I have no idea why.

Also, those little puppets from the PuppetMaster series haunted. my. dreams.

Posted by: Columbia700 | April 29, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I stay away from horror films- it's just not my thing. So I can't really give a good opinion on these.

But you know what was absolutely terrifying? The velociraptors from Jurassic Park. I used to sit in bed at night and stare at my closet door, convinced they were about to bound out and eviscerate me with one swipe. (Particularly "Clever Girl". OH GOD SHE'S LEARNING NOW!!)

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | April 29, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Nosy_Parker, Anthony Hopkins in Psycho still freaks me out.

Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs has his moments, too.

Posted by: Fabrisse | April 29, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

And of course I meant Anthony PERKINS in Psycho. *sigh* It's been a long day.

Posted by: Fabrisse | April 29, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Clowns...((shudder))...Poltergeist, It, Killer Clowns from Outer Space, etc.

Also, while I love a supernatural type thriller, like Nightmare on Elm Street or Chucky, I absolutely do not watch "crazy people" type thrillers like the whole Saw series because crazy folks really exist and thinking about that will keep me up at night.

Ugh, clowns...

Posted by: VaLGaL | April 29, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm more frightened by the recent trend of small children with terribly distorted bodies. Think "The Ring."

Posted by: Roxie1 | April 29, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

In 1953, my Mom took her three kids to see 'The Thing' because she thought it was a comedy. The black-=and-white film was about an outer-space creature killing off scientists marooned in a way-below-freezing environment. I was 9 and the oldest. My next-in-age brother and I were terrified, for a long, long time. We still talk about that fear when we get together. And it's been 57 years!
It was on TV a decade or so ago, and I could not watch it, though I tried. And the nightmares came back for a week or two.

Posted by: sbuck | April 29, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Lee's Dracula was the best...
he played the demon as he should have been played...

Posted by: DwightCollins | April 29, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm more frightened by the recent trend of small children with terribly distorted bodies. Think "The Ring."

Posted by: Roxie1

Except it aint so recent a trend. The teenage girl Megan from the "Excorcist" scared the crap out of me when I saw this flick in our JR HIGH SCHOOL auditorium some 15 years after it first came out. It didn't help that it was around Halloween and days were turning shorter. I couldn't sleep for days and was afraid the devil would get me- way uncool to show to impressionable young teens. Also hated the kids from "Children of the Corn"

Posted by: plamar1031 | April 29, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

None of the so-called "monsters" of today's movies are scary, and they can't hold a matchstick to Lon Chaney Sr in "Phantom of the Opera".

Posted by: Alex511 | April 29, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

How could you forget Penny Wise the Clown what could possibly be worse than an evil clown?

Posted by: scon101 | April 29, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Norman Bates in Psycho, and who can forget the cries of "der weisse engel" about the sadistic Marathon Man dentist???

Posted by: spmom1 | April 29, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Never mind the the police calling back to say "We traced the call back to the house -- get out now!" Babysitting was always scarier after seeing When A Stranger Calls. Watching a blind Audrey Hepburn try to defend herself against drug smugglers in Wait Until Dark, or watching Grace Kelly trying to escape Raymond Burr while Jimmy Stewart watched helplessly in Rear Window still gives me chills...

Posted by: spmom1 | April 29, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

ummm... where's the "all of these make me sleep with the lights on" button?
As a kid/teen saw all of them, and suddenly woke up one day scared silly.

Posted by: krwd630 | April 29, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

The Exorcist--definitely still scares me. The book "The Shining" scared the pants off me, but the movie makes me giggle (mostly because of the goggle-eyed Shelley Long).

Posted by: beta1 | April 30, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Those flying monkey in the Wizard of Oz!

Posted by: ssg3 | April 30, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

As a child I liked clowns, but then I tried to read It, and then saw the movie, and that was all she wrote. Now clowns freak me out.

Chucky ruined me for all dolls. They creep me out, esp. the ones that look the most real. Again they never bothered me as a child.

And the music from Halloween scares me more than anything. My friend likes to use it as her ringtone for the month of October and it drives me insane! I can't watch the original Halloween by myself. But I do love horror movies.

Posted by: luvlydawter | April 30, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Recently saw a commerical with Liza Minelli in it - now that was scary!!!

Posted by: derzhava | April 30, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The original version of "The Haunting" from 1963, the greatest of all haunted house movies. You never see the ghosts. I'll never forget the scene where Julie Harris and Claire Bloom are together in a darkened bedroom, clutching each other's hands while "something" pounds on the locked door while the door knob jiggles and what sounds like the ocean crashes in the hall. Julie says to Claire "You're crushing my hand" as the lights go on and the two women are shown on opposite sides of the room. But something unseen still clutches their hands. I'm getting a chill just describing it.

Posted by: curtb | April 30, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The Weeping Angels.

Posted by: random-adam | April 30, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

You forgot Samara from "The Ring", one of the creepiest films ever. Have to agree with others that the original B&W version of "The Haunting" is the most frightening film I've ever seen.

Posted by: GenuineRisk | April 30, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"I'm still afraid of "The Exorcist." And Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" - yikes!"

Yup - I saw the Exorcist when I was 18 at a friend's house, and drove home with the dome light on in my car. I also still get a little freaked out if I see a shadow on the other side of the shower curtain.

While Michael Meyers doesn't scare me any more, Halloween still has - by far - the best, scariest theme music ever ever.

Posted by: dcd1 | April 30, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Deid not see this character on her, but Christopher Walken in DREAMSCAPE (some time in the 80s) is, hands down, the scariest. He is scary in everything he does, even when he is not trying, But, in DREAMSCAPE, as "snakeman" he was supreme scary. and he just has a way of terrifying me. There is an attorney in the Charlottesville area that looks like him, and I am pretty sure he has eaten all of his former clients.

Posted by: mmaggior | April 30, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Clowns *shudder*. I read It when I was 13 and haven't been the same since. Just recently re-read it to try to overcome my fear, but I think I just made it worse.

Posted by: js722 | April 30, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm still very scared of Chuck Norris.

Posted by: playahatah | April 30, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

The shark in the first Jaws. I didn't swim in the ocean for a year after seeing that for the first time.

Posted by: rogernebel | April 30, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The ghost in the Legend of Hell House, now that was scary

Posted by: suelee | April 30, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Penny Wise the Clown is annoyed that he is not on the list

Posted by: scon101 | April 30, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company