Thursday, 24 October 2013

30 Days of Horror | Day 24

An Effective Jump Scare
Wait Until Dark

There were no other choices for this post.

I'm going to be awkward now and write this post without actually giving anything away about the jump scare in question. That is simply down to the fact that it is, without a doubt, the best example of the jump scare that I have ever seen in a film, and as a jump scare is only as effective as its unknowing viewer I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

Wait Until Dark was advertised as more of horror film than it actually is, the film is a crime thriller in which a newly blinded Audrey Hepburn unknowingly homes a doll that contains a large amount of heroin. Dealer and general bad guy Harry Roat (Alan Arkin) plans to regain the doll and its contents by invading Hepburn's home with the help of two small-time con artists. The film is based upon a stage play of the same name and builds suspense through the consistent terrorisation of Hepburn's helpless protagonist. Both Hepburn and Arkin are fantastic in their respective roles, and the film works so well because of the strong characters they have helped build throughout the narrative.

When the film was first released cinema owners were given strict instructions that for the last eight minutes of the film lighting in the cinema would be reduced as low as it was legally allowed so as to heighten the experience. This is certainly a film that requires you be sat alone in a dark room with a big screen and the volume up in order to get the maximum effect. When I first saw this film I knew that it featured a fairly notorious jump scare but I was completely in the dark (sorry) as to when it would occur, and it got me good.

I'm a sucker for jump scares and no matter how badly executed they are they will quite often get the desired response from me, but this really is one of those truly brilliant scares that deserves it's reputation.  If you watch this film for nothing else, watch it for this scene.

1 comment :

  1. When my sister and I saw this, that jump scare really got us too. I don't think I've ever screamed so loudly from a film! Arguably the greatest scare in the history of cinema :)

    Great review!