There’s a video on YouTube that I don’t want you to watch. You probably haven’t seen it. It’s one of the truly great moments in horror cinema, and I don’t want you to go and check it out under any circumstances. In fact, I’ll be genuinely pissed if any of you do go and check it out as a result of reading this blog. Don’t do it, kids.
In fact, sod it, I’m going to call it ‘Scene X’ and won’t even tell you which movie it’s from. Because if you watch it on YouTube, you won’t actually see it in any meaningful sense.
Scene X has got a whole load of heartbreakingly crass and badly written comments underneath it. “This is supposed to be scary? ROFL”, “its not even scary”, “I thought ti was hilarious” and so on, the dull echo chamber of fuckwittery reverberating through the bowels of the internet. The sound of the barely literate congratulating themselves on their lack of engagement with a thirty-year old clip removed from any sense of context.
The reason that Scene X is one of the greatest scenes in horror history isn’t the scene itself, it’s because of all the rest of the movie around it that isn’t Scene X. An ear-splitting gunshot in the middle of a Terminator movie might not even be noticed, whereas an ear-splitting gunshot in the middle of a film of a child playing would have a very different effect indeed. It’s all context, and if you rob a powerful scene of that you reduce it to meaningless pixels on a screen and then wonder why it doesn’t engage you.
So, no, I’m not going to tell you what Scene X is. Irritatingly, even knowing that there’s a brilliant scare-shot on the way will massively dilute your experience of the movie. The movie which is almost impossible to get hold of regardless.
So now you’ll probably never see it at all. Because I’ve painted myself into a corner, where telling you the title would be a meta-spoiler.
My name’s Pat Higgins, and my conscience is clear.
PS. Since writing this blog, a remake of the film that contains Scene X has come out and been a big hit. I’ve also performed and recorded a new live show about horror filmmaking, which is embedded below for your viewing pleasure. It may not have Scene X in it, but it has got a certain amount of gore, nudity and naughty words and is thus NSFW. Hope you enjoy it; if so, don’t forget to tell me about it on Twitter.