Michelle Ehlen was terrified of Steven Spielberg’s famous underwater menace:
I have a hard time calling it my ‘favorite,’ as it’s tormented me so much throughout the years, but I’d have to say Jaws (1975). We had it on VHS when I was a kid and for some reason I’d watch it repeatedly, despite the fact that it haunted me when I swam in our pool.
I knew a shark couldn’t survive in chlorine and our pool wasn’t even big enough for a Great White, and of course I’d see it before I’d jump in, and how could a shark even get in a pool? Who knows, but … I still thought it might pop up out of nowhere.
The fact that Spielberg could make such a freaking scary movie using mostly music to toy with your imagination and fears is brilliant.
Jennie McNulty agreed with Jaws and had an even “sweeter” mention.
As a kid, the "head" rolling down the stairs in Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964) made me avoid the basement for a while. And how great is Bette Davis in that movie?
I like Jaws too ― and that one is funny ― you know it’s coming and still … the awesome, creepy music swells in the background, the camera focuses on a spot in the water, the movie poster shows a picture of a shark ― it’s a good bet it’s comin’ ― and, yet, when he pops up it scares the s— out of you!
The Big Gay Sketch Show‘s Kate McKinnon’s picks are true classics: “I remember having to sleep on the floor of my mother’s room for a week after watching The Omen (the 1976 original). I haven’t watched it since. I can no longer afford that kind of psychological disruption. I guess my real favorite is Rosemary’s Baby (1968), which I think is just a pretty accurate portrait of how selfish actors can be.”
Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby
“And though M. Night Shyamalan has now fallen from grace, I’ll always love his earlier movies, especially the scene in The Sixth Sense (1999) with Haley Joel Osment and Toni Collette in the car where he tells her that he can see dead people and has talked to her mother. I literally just started crying as I was thinking about it.”
McKinnon also wondered: “Does Lost and Delirious count as a horror movie?”
Mischa Barton and Piper Perabo in Lost and Delirious (2001)
Lesson learned? Queer women (with great taste) love lesbian vampires, aliens, and most of all, the 1980s.
Check back for our second installment tomorrow, in which we’ll probe our panel’s deepest, darkest fears ― just in time for Halloween. Spooky!