It’s that time of year again where we celebrate all things scary, creepy and frightening. As Halloween approaches horror fans begin to watch all of our favorite scary movies to celebrate the season. Horror films elicit a physiological reaction, such as an elevated heartbeat, through the evocation of viewers’ nightmares, terrors, revulsions and fear of the unknown. The stories often involve the incursion of an evil force, entity, or event into the main character’s everyday world.
Horror films haven’t just given us some of the most memorable villains and monsters of all time, they’ve also given us some of the greatest film quotes of all time. The most frightening lines are barely a sentence. The limited use of words evokes a greater reaction from the viewer. When fewer words are used, it can leave the main character confused or worse, completely aware of their fate. Below is a list of five horrifying film quotes consisting of only two words.
“Seven Days.” – Samara Morgan, ‘The Ring’
Oh man! A videotape that kills you seven days after you watch it! How horrific is that? In The Ring, the main villainous entity, Samara, only has to utter two words to send a chill down the viewer’s spine. When she says “seven days” to the main character over the phone, the look of fear that takes over her face is priceless. Not knowing if it is an elaborate prank or a real supernatural event is too much for her. One can only imagine how horrible it would be to know the exact day you are going to die. It’s even more horrible knowing it will be a gruesome and painful death from a creepy ghost girl. Due to the events of this film, there is an entire generation of moviegoers with a fear of TV static.
“Join Us!” – Cheryl Williams, ‘The Evil Dead’
The Evil Dead is a cult classic when it comes to horror films. The film laid the groundwork for many classic horror tropes that directors still follow to this day. The way Sam Raimi tackled demonic possession and gore was great. Everybody loves family and it hurts to see something bad happen to someone you love. It was horrifying for Ash Williams to see his sister Cheryl and his friends become possessed by the demons of the Naturom Demonto. Hearing Cheryl chant “join us” is extremely creepy. Having your own flesh and blood try to turn you into one of the undead is enough to give anyone nightmares. Having to kill them to save your own life is even worse.
“Here’s Johnny!” – Jack Torrance, ‘The Shining’
The Shining is one of the few Stephen King adaptations that can be considered a great film. While taking care of the mountain-isolated Overlook Hotel, Wendy Torrance’s husband Jack begins to go mad. He is soon convinced by a ghost to murder his wife and child. While chasing Wendy with an ax, Jack chops a hole in the door of the bathroom Wendy is hiding in and says menacingly “here’s Johnny!” Being an imitation of Ed McMahon’s famous introduction of Johnny Carson on the tonight show, Wendy is noticeably distraught seeing how unhinged her husband’s mental state is. Once again viewers are treated to the main character being attacked by someone they love. The line was famously ad-libbed by Jack Nicholson and frightened Shelley Duvall who was already having a hard time with her role.
“Get Out!” – Dre Hayworth, ‘Get Out’
Get Out is a great horror film and an even better social commentary. Written, co-produced and directed by Jordan Peele, Get Out follows a young interracial couple, Chris and Rose, who visit the estate of Rose’s parents. While there Chris uncovers a conspiracy whereby older white people in the neighborhood are stealing the lives and bodies of young black adults. The horrific truth is realized when Chris takes a picture of “Logan”, who he later finds out is a missing man named Dre Hayworth. The camera’s flash allows Dre to take control of his body where he then warns Chris to “get out!” What makes this scene truly scary is that Chris still doesn’t fully understand what is going on in this community. All he knows is that something is off and maybe he should leave. The thought of someone else walking around in my body while I can do nothing is too much to bear.
“Game Over!” – John Kramer, ‘Saw’
Everybody likes to play games. The competition and prospects of winning are enough to delight anyone. That is unless you’re playing a game with John Kramer a.k.a. Jigsaw. His games are not for the faint of heart. In Saw, we see John places his victims in traps where escape is surely possible if they follow the rules of his game and listen to his words carefully. At the end of the first film, Adam witnesses John get up, having been the presumably dead body in the middle of the room. When Adam tries to shoot John with a gun, he shocks him, turns off the lights, yells “game over”, and seals the door, leaving Adam to die in the bathroom. Hearing or seeing the phrase “game over” is brutal. It means you failed and lost the game. In this case, it means Adam lost his life. Being left in the dark to die is one of the darkest, deepest human fears.
What are your favorite horror film quotes? What is your favorite horror film? Have you seen all the horror films on this list? Leave your comments below!