31 Days of Scares- #14 ‘Poltergeist’ Skin Peel

Jason McDonald

The 31 Days of Scares isn’t a countdown of the best horror movies.  In fact, it’s not even about the best movies. It’s simply about some of my favorite “scares” or scenes from horror movies and they’re in no particular order.  So there’s no need to debate countdown order. It’s pretty random.  With that said: on to the countdown!

We’re less than two weeks away from the end of the countdown so it’s time to start getting serious with some real classic choices.  Today we’re looking at the bathroom scene from “Poltergeist.”

If you defined the quality of a movie by how often it’s parodied or referenced to in pop culture, “Poltergeist” would be amongst the best.  So many moments from Tobe Hooper’s haunted house film have been replayed and redone over the years.  From iconic lines like “They’re here” and “This house is clean” to the infamous bathroom scene we’re about to watch.

The bathroom scene and everything leading up to it is just good ol’ practical effects fun.  The scene starts with the food turning on our young paranormal investigator, it even tries to run away.  And that reminds me, nothing is worse than the scene where he looks back and sees that his food is covered in maggots.  It’s a trope that’s been done plenty of times in horror, but it never fails to gross me out.

From there we head to the bathroom we’re we get a pretty grotesque effect.  And what makes this effect so effective is that it plays on an intrusive thought we might’ve all had at one point.  The idea of seeing a wound or hole in your skin and wondering what it would be like to keep pulling and picking at it.  To see it actually play out in the worst way possible is absolutely disgusting.  Check out our 14th scare: the bathroom scene from “Poltergeist.”


Bonus scene!

I could’ve gone with the clown as an obvious runner up, but I decided to go with my favorite scene that isn’t necessarily scary, but still great. You only moved the headstones!


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