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MFF Special: Five 21st Century Horror Movie Moments We Love

March 20, 2020

The 21st century is home to hundreds of excellent horror movie moments that make us cringe, yell, cry and want to avoid escalators at all costs (watch Train to Busan, you will know what I mean). In honor of these excellent moments, we picked five moments that we love, and we’re sharing them because we want you to love them too. Enjoy!

1. A killer stares at his reflection in a knife – Jennifer’s Body

Jennifer’s Body is a about a high schooler who becomes a demon after she is kidnapped and murdered by an indie rock band. Jennifer’s (Megan Fox) sacrifice in Jennifer’s Body is a dark moment that is super effective because of the way it’s written and acted. Basically, an indie band named Low Shoulder plans to sacrifice her so they can become famous (It’s tough for cute indie bands to make it, so they need to make pacts with the devil). While Megan Fox is playing the scene totally straight, the murderers are singing 867-5309/Jenny and come across as totally nonplussed about the death. Adam Brody does an excellent job as the lead singer (and casual murderer) who stares at himself in the knife’s reflection (1:10 in clip) before he plunges it into Jennifer. It’s cruel, mean and played for laughs. 

I like what director Karyn Kusama and writer Diablo Cody did. Jennifer is introduced as a super confident high school kid “who tells it how it is,” however, when she is enticed the van she looks young and vulnerable (beginning of clip), because she is young and vulnerable (Kusama and Cody get it). It’s an excellent moment in a film full of excellent moments.

There’s a lot more to Jennifer’s Body than people think

2. A low key exorcism ends with a girl not wanting the evil spirit to leave – The Blackcoat’s Daughter

The Blackcoat’s Daughter is one of my favorite horror films of recent memory. It’s about a girl who is possessed, does horrible things, loses the demon, and wants it back. After she has the “demon” excised from her, she whispers “Don’t go” to it as it leaves her body (10:00 in clip). The moment is memorable because it’s so unique and laid back for an exorcism (zero weird noises or body movements).The saddest part of the exorcism, is she didn’t want the demon to leave, because, it meant she would be alone (her parents dumped her at a boarding school, and didn’t pick her up for Christmas). It hits hard that a lonely girl wouldn’t want a demon to leave her. I love The Blackcoat’s Daughter.

It’s bad when you want that thing to stay in you.

3. “It’s funny, you were so scary at night” – Green Room

Green Room is an excellent film. The violence is ugly, the death is quick, and you actually like the people who die horribly. The movie is about a punk band being forced to play a gig at a skinhead (neo-nazi) bar in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, so, they will have enough gas money to get home (another show they had fell through). Things go horribly awry, and they are trapped in the green room of the venue. The skinheads are lead by Patrick Stewart (super intimidating) and it all gets insane. Towards the end of the film, Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots’ characters get a look at Patrick Stewart in the sunlight. The entire night, he’s been a larger than life presence, who has had total control. However, in the sunlight he is just a regular man who isn’t intimidating. It’s a great line, that makes you think about people in power. (you can see the moment at the 6:45 mark)
If you have Netflix. The scene is at the 1:24:00 mark.

Patrick Stewart is excellent in Green Room

4. Teenagers kill for 15 minutes of fame – Scream 4

“You had your 15 minutes, now I want mine! I mean, what am I supposed to do? Go to college? Grad school? Work? Look around, We all live in public now, we’re all on the internet. How do you think people become famous any more? You don’t have to achieve anything? “

What I love about Scream 4, is how relevant it feels today. In the film, the killer kills because she wants her 15 minutes of fame (which is insane, but makes sense). Jill (Emma Roberts) makes this speech before she attempts to kill her cousin Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), who achieved similar fame because she survived copious attacks in the three previous films. It was a solid speech in 2011, and it’s even better now with the meteoric rise of social media. I like how Scream 4 was able to play with the idea of horror remakes, while making a neat observation about 2011 fame.

Jill is a maniac

5. People cheer while college students are murdered – The Cabin in the Woods

There is a moment in Cabin in the Woods in which two college students go into the woods to have sex. What they don’t know is they are being watched by dozens of scientists who work in a massive bunker below them. They are part of a large corporation who keep the “old gods” at bay by sacrificing people to them. It’s an interesting scene to watch as the men say “let’s see some boobies” and “show us the goods, ” while they talk about “keeping the customers satisfied,” which is a dig at horror movie fans who love blood and gore. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard wrote the film to go after horror movies, and they did a solid job sneaking in a neat message about the state of horror. 

What horror movie moments do you love?

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