I don't like watching scary movies, because they scare me. The last scary movie I saw in theaters was "The Ring," during which I pretended to receive an inordinate amount of urgent text messages to divert my attention from the movie to my phone. "Ugh, another text message? (laughs in disbelief, shakes head) But I'm trying to watch this movie!" In reality, I received exactly zero text messages during the film.
Still, scary movies intrigue me, even if I want no part in actually viewing any of them. And so whenever a movie comes out that looks at all scary, I wait until the premiere date, when I make some popcorn, turn off all the lights ... and read the newly-uploaded plot summary on Wikipedia. Then I congratulate myself on a job well done. Some might call me a certain dysphemism for the female reproductive organ; to you, I say, that's a weird way to call someone a pussy.
But what are the scariest movies, according to Wikipedia? Here's ten:
1. 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' (1984)
Though the film has a running time of only 91 minutes, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" ranks highly due to the old Wikipedia Scariness standby of having an extremely detailed plot summary, totaling 1,026 words. The writer of the Wikipedia page clearly pays careful attention to word choice, only adding to the atmospheric vibe that comes with reading the film's plot summary on the Internet. The movie's Wikipedia page also receives bonus points for having atypical section headings (e.g., "Themes," "Loss of Innocence,") which lends credibility and in turn believability, adding another level of horror for the Wikipedia scary movie plot summary reader. I'm 27, by the way.
2. 'Final Destination' (2000)
Whereas "A Nightmare on Elm Street" earns its Wikipedia Scariness stripes by having a fully detailed plot summary, the Wikipedia page of "Final Destination" manages to be just as scary by being almost comically curt. Check out the screenshot below: The second paragraph alone features the gruesome demise of four characters, flippantly written by the Wikipedia page writer in order to fit as much murder in as few words as humanly possible. "He gets nuked, then his friend gets eaten by lions. While trying to help, his mom is engulfed by carnivorous thumbtacks ..."
3. 'It' (1990)
Like "A Nightmare on Elm Street," "It" benefits from having a ridiculously detailed plot summary, separated into the events of the lives of the characters in 1960 and 1990. "It" also wins for having the most horrifying opening paragraph, featuring a six year-old boy's arm being ripped off by a demon clown who lives in the sewers. Hmm, no thanks. Bonus points: Terrifying poster. Stop looking at me, Tim Curry.
4. 'Paranormal Activity' (2009)
One approaches the "Paranormal Activity" Wikipedia page with an uneasy arrogance. "A found-footage movie featuring only two characters? Please. This isn't my first Wikipedia plot summary rodeo," one says confidently to himself as he makes that final click from the "Paranormal Activity (disambiguation)" page. Six minutes later, one sulks away from his computer and curls up in the corner of his bedroom, waiting to be hugged by a loved one.
5. 'The Human Centipede' (2010)
Here's a video of Steve Carell imitating me the only time I've read the plot synopsis of "The Human Centipede" on Wikipedia:
6. 'Hostel' (2005)
The Wikipedia page of "Hostel" came with a lot of hype, and it delivered. Not only is the plot summary predictably horrifying and disgusting, but it also includes the following sentence under the "Slovak reaction to setting" section: "The tourist board of Slovakia invited (director Eli) Roth on an all-expenses-paid trip to their country so he could see it is not made up of run-down factories and kids who kill for bubble gum." Indeed: Come to Slovakia, where you definitely won't die at the hands of kids who want your bubble gum.
7. 'Salo, or 120 Days of Sodom' (1975)
I only know about "Salo" at all because of constant Wikipedia references to its influence on later horror movies, and now I forever hate the guy (it has to be only one guy) who edits every Wikipedia horror movie page to reference the influence of "Salo," because it is the worst Wikipedia plot summary ever. Just the worst. Look closely at the screenshot below ... at least one person out there seems to agree with me:
8. 'The Hills Have Eyes' (2006)
Once, I actually made the mistake of really viewing (gasp!) "The Hills Have Eyes" at a friend's house, and needless to say that friend is now dead to me. Since that fateful day I make biannual pilgrimages to the film's Wikipedia page to reread the plot summary and make sure the movie actually exists. Update: Yes, it still does. ACTUAL LINE FROM PLOT SUMMARY: "At the trailer, Ethel's body is dragged into the hills and Bobby finds Papa Jupiter eating Ethel's heart."
9. 'The Devil's Rejects' (2005)
Even on Wikipedia, anything Sid Haig does is horrifying. In fact ...
"Sid Haig" (b. 1939)
10. 'Jack and Jill' (2011)
Adam Sandler plays a man and his twin sister. Al Pacino (playing Al Pacino) falls in love with female Adam Sandler. David Spade also makes an appearance as a woman. All terrifying. But here's the scariest part:
Breathe in the horror.