“They pushed the boundaries. They make us scream. And jump out of our seats.”
I’ve been a horror fan my entire life – I have childhood photos of me walking around in a Freddy mask to prove it – but it wasn’t until my teenage years that I began digging deep into the genre. Sure, I loved all the wackiness and effects on display in the Nightmare on Elm Street films as a kid, but it’s when you get a little older that you start seeking out new movies, learning more about the history of the genre, and really developing your own set of tastes. It was in 2008 that I began writing about horror movies, but prior to that I spent many years researching and learning.
And in 2004, at the age of 18, Bravo (go figure!) provided me with a wealth of knowledge.
Premiering on October 26th of that year, the five-part miniseries “The 100 Scariest Movie Moments” counted down the most terrifying scenes in the history of horror, as chosen by a handful of experts that included Fangoria’s Anthony Timpone. Genre actors, directors, and fans were brought in to talk about the clips as they were played; the impressive roster of “talking heads” included Stephen King, George Romero, Wes Craven, Bruce Campbell, Rob Zombie, Eli Roth, and Leonard Maltin. Their insights served to dig into precisely WHY those scenes were so scary.
As a burgeoning horror nut at the time, I took to Bravo’s “100 Scariest Movie Moments” like a cat takes to catnip, and I remember recording the entire series on VHS tapes and watching them over and over again. I credit Bravo for introducing me to gems like Lucio Fulci’s Zombie, Peeping Tom, Don’t Look Now, and Audition, and seeing some of my favorite genre personalities talking about their favorite horror movies was just such a treat for me. There was really nothing else like it at the time, and even 12 years later, it remains one of the most must-watch horror docs out there.
The scariest movie moment of all time? Chrissie’s ill-fated midnight swim from Jaws, which beat out Top 5 moments from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Psycho, The Exorcist, and Alien.
Unfortunately, “100 Scariest Movie Moments” has never been released on home video, but the whole thing can be watched over on YouTube. Get started with the playlist below!