“You may not have heard of the monumental-horror image before, but like the Supreme Court and pornography, you know it when you see it” — Sean T. Collins
I read an article on The Online about The Monumental Horror Image and it got me thinking about scenes in horror movies that are so simplistic in nature but are also frightening and add intensity to the movie. It’s these striking scenes that can leave their mark on you more than the killer does and it is primarily more of the focus of horror movies today rather than seeing a man burst out of a cabin brandishing a bloody chainsaw.
These are the scenes that are burned into the brains of pop culture, and can usually be spotted elsewhere in tribute or in parody. They are rarely used in jump scares and are often harmless and seen as quite normal aspects of life, but the intense feeling that something isn’t right there. I’ve gone through some of the most popular standalone scenes of horror to chronicle you your greatest nightmare:
The Little Girls In The Shining
The two little dead ghost girls of Stanley Kubric’s The Shining are probably the most iconic image of Monumental Horror Image that you will see. Everything is essentially normal – a young child plays with his tricycle around the halls of the hotel, only for him to turn the corner and be faced with the haunting girls at the end of the hall. Two twin girls holding hands isn’t necessarily an out of place image, but it is their blank demeanor and their intensity that tells you they are not really there and add to the spook-factor.
Pennywise in IT
Seeing a clown out and about isn’t particularly a distrubing image, especially if there is a kid’s birthday party happening somewhere near by. But seeing Pennywise all alone on the side of the road, holding balloons and waving in what seems like the middle of nowhere is a stark contrast and adds to the intensity. He’s not supposed to be there, and something isn’t right. The same can be said for the newer version of IT as well, with many of the red balloons seen floating around.
Standing Against The Wall In The Blair Witch
In the original Blair Witch Project, Heather looses her film crew one by one until she stumbles across the hauntingly eery home of The Blair Witch. Wandering around the empty halls covered in bloody handprints with a handheld camcorder the scene is pretty terrifying itself as you place yourself in Heather’s shoes. But the surprise and the monumantal horror image comes as she enters the room where her friend stands against the wall, stock still. Is he possessed? Is he dead? Why is he just standing there in this scary ass room? These feelings of caution and confusion help to make the horror movie just that much more intense.
Basically Every Following Person In It Follows
It Follows sparked up the ladder when it came to good modern day horror movies and that is because it turns the single standalone monumental horror image on its head and makes it the horror movie itself. When a young girl named Jay recieves a curse for Death to constantly creep inexorably towards her in either the appearance of a friend or a stranger, she is sent over the edge into paranoia as heaps of random people simply walk towards her in a straight line. This on its own doesn’t sound terrifying, but the straight walkers provide intensity so strong that it is legitimately scary and the perfect example of the monumental horror image.
Got any more suggestions for what has been a monumental horror image for you? Let me know in the comments section below!