New Yorker Film Festival: The 5 Scariest Movies Ever?

Ben Greenman of the New Yorker presents his list of the five scariest movies of all time. They are:

1. “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” Tobe Hooper (1974)

2. “The Silence of the Lambs,” Jonathan Demme (1991)

3. “The Body Snatcher,” Robert Wise (1945)

4. “Night of the Hunter,” Charles Laughton (1955)

5. “Mulholland Drive,” David Lynch (2001)

David Lynch is the master of the eerie, which has also been called the uncanny, and his strongest films successfully deliver shock-horror at the conclusion of scenes that are either comically mundane or traditionally suspenseful. Many filmgoers remember “Mulholland Drive” mainly for Robert Blake’s creepy performance or for the lesbian subplot with Laura Elena Harring and Naomi Watts, but the film’s signal moment comes in the Winkie’s scene, which uses a highly traditional location (a diner) and traditional suspense tricks (P.O.V. shots, menacing background music) as prelude to one horrible moment. One respondent to the in-office survey put it this way:

I have seen the movie many times, and every time my chest tightens up and it occurs to me that I might actually die.

He’s not alone. selected this scene as the scariest moment in the history of film.

Mulholland Drive is a great movie, but as far as I recall Robert Blake was in Lost Highway, not Mulholland Drive.

The 5 Scariest Movies Ever?