October 21, 2014

31 Days of Creepy Scenes, #11: The Spider-Walk

They've given us nightmares, given us chills, made us cringe, made us  laugh, made us gag, and made us stare at the screen in awe: these are  the scenes that pop into our minds when we think of great Horror Films, and we love them all.

*We recommend that if you've never seen these scenes before, that you experience them for the first time unspoiled in the movies that they come from, if you can. With that in mind, we'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible while discussing them; try, being the key word here.

If you told me that the Spider-Walk scene from The Exorcist made you laugh instead of freaking you out, I wouldn't hold it against you. If you think about it, it does play kind of silly, on some level, but if you think about it even more, especially within the context of the movie, it's truly frightening. Can you imagine what it must have been like for Chris MacNeil to see her daughter moving in such a disturbing way?

When we first saw it back in 2000 though, when The Exorcist was re-released into theaters, it absolutely gave us chills. Maybe it was so effective for us because it felt so odd and abrupt, or maybe it's because it was unexpected, and came out of nowhere. Whatever the reason, it made a bunch of grown men sitting in a big, dark theater, very uncomfortable.

Director William Friedkin cut the scene from 1973's The Exorcist, because you could see the wires holding the stuntwoman (contortionist) up, and back then, there was really no digital means to fix things like that. We're fine with that though, because it's not like the movie was short on scares or shocking scenes to begin with.

The Exorcist remains today one of the absolute best Horror movies ever made, and is an absolute staple for any Horror Movie Marathon.

Fun Fact: In the book, the spider-walk is very quiet, and consists of Regan following Sharon around and occasionally licking her ankle. Good lord, that makes it sound even creepier.


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