15 Thrilling Moments at the Cinema
(warning: contains spoilers, as many scenes are in the climax)
Flying in Spiderman
I’ve never flown through New York City on a spiderweb. But I feel like I have. I don’t know how Tobey Maguire managed all those leaps and flips and turns and jumps, but he really did a phenomenal job.
To capture the effect, an entire new camera system called the Spydercam was made. It could drop 50 stories and could shoot six frames/second to convey speed, and because of the agility and speed needed, CGI were used as opposed to stuntwork. The results are thrilling.
The Joker’s One Phonecall in The Dark Knight
The pencil trick. The stealing-a-man-from- a-highrise trick. The civilian-boat-bombers trick. The hospital escapade. There are so many thrilling scenes in The Dark Knight. But the one that truly cut me to the core was when the Joker finally gets his one phone call and you realize what the fat man in the cell was moaning about. Turns out it wasn’t just a bad enchilada. It’s a truly thrilling escape for the master of chaos.
Moulin Rouge Elephant Love Medley
When a man gets all shiny eyed and pigeon toed at the sight of a girl, there’s something absolutely thrilling when he then bursts into song (note: this really only works in the movies). This medley not only taps into Christian and Satine’s love song, but also U2, Dolly Parton, The Beatles, KISS, Phil Colins, David Bowie, and others. It transfers every emotion you feel hearing those classics to one moment. It’s an exhilarating display of romance.
Road Warrior Transporting the Tanker pursued by Humangus
There comes a time in most action movies when you think, “Oh no! They are going to die.” But in your heart of hearts you know they’ve hidden a bomb somewhere along the way and they’ll get out of the hole they’re in. Not so in this scene. I knew Mad Max was about to meet his maker. No way he could get out of that one. Which absolutely rivets you to the screen, wondering how on earth he is going to pull it off.
Jaws Final Charge
The fin. That terrible fin. Getting closer! The boat is sinking! Brody clambers up the mast just as Jaws attacks and he stabs that ugly grey nose with a harpoon over and over until Jaws is fed up and unarms Brody with one bite. And then Jaws disappears, preparing himself for another charge. Brody’s in for it now! He mutters to himself, muttering over and over again about how he never should have become and policeman. And then he shoots in Jaws in the mouth. He misses like 3 or 4 times (geez the shark’s as big as a house how can he miss?) Then finally he hits true and the barrel explodes (nice to have exploding barrels) and a tsunami of blood pours over Brody. It’s perfectly thrilling.
The shower scene was beautifully done, her screams resound in your ears long after it’s over. But the most thrilling scene of all was when brave sister Lila goes downstairs (no! no! no! Are you stupid? Don’t go down in the basement!) and meets Mother face to face.
Silence of the Lambs- Hannibal’s Escape
You’ve heard of his horrendous acts. You’ve heard his silky voice and cultured conversation. But you don’t really feel the thrill of how phenomenal of a villain Hannibal Lector is until his escape. And then you see what he can do to others. And what he’s willing to do to himself. Maybe chilling is the right word.
The Box in Seven
Speaking of serial killers, who can forget the package delivered to Detective Dave Mills in that lonely field? It’s just a box, after all. Boxes carry books, maple syrup, potted plants, plushy Star Trek characters, and new computers. At least, they’re supposed to. They are not supposed to unhinge even the most seasoned of moviegoers.
The 6th Sense Twist
The twist really does as it claims. It twists the entire movie, making you see every scene differently at the second viewing. And just like all good mysteries, you think, “why didn’t I realize it from the beginning?”
First 15 minute of Memento
The moment you realize that the movie is backwards is thrilling. You have to change the way you watch a movie, think through everything he does, and without even trying you’re completely immersed in the story. It’s also a gentle and slow realization, which makes it all the more spectacular.
First 15 minutes of Predators
When Adrien Brody wakes up in a free fall, you think he’s in a dream. But he’s not. It gets stranger when he lands in the jungle, with 8 strangers. And the climax of the beginning, when they realize they’re not on earth, is truly thrilling. That was enough awesomeness to get you through the rest of the movie.
The long-shot climax in Children of Men
It’s hard to breath during this scene. Or blink. And this scene is long, too! It’s like holding your breath underwater for a very long time. Probably because there is no break in the shot. It follows the battle and chase seamlessly (they actually created a camera rig to rotate inside the car.) Until finally, they reach the end, and you can breath and put eye drops in.
Jurassic Park door turning scene.
Smarter Than You
The dinosaurs are more advanced physically than us in every way, except for the fact that they don’t have opposable thumbs. Also, they can’t think as well as we can. Or that’s what we tell ourselves when we’re on the edge of our seats, hoping against hope that the children, Lex and Tim, will get to continue eating their much deserved feast in the banquet hall. But no. The raptors find them. They escape to the kitchen where they’re safe for sure because dinos don’t have opposable thumbs to open the door because that’s humanity’s only chance. Right? WRONG. When the raptors open the door you know all is lost. It’s a thrilling scene.
Halloween closet scene
“You can’t kill the boogeyman,” Little Tommy says. He’s right. Because HE’S STANDING RIGHT THERE. To the closets, everyone! At first you think it’s just Jamie Lee Curtis breathing heavily and whimpering, and then you realize it’s you. As Myers breaks the door down, you decide you’ll put reinforced locks on all your closets.
Pelennor Fields in Return of the King
Pelennor fields is one of the best battles in all of cinema, but it really starts to get good when the horses arrive. And they face the oliphants (note: I think that’s where the word elephant comes from). And Eowyn and Merry are scared and King Theoden calls out, “Forth, and fear no darkness! Arise! Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered! A sword day . . . a red day . . . ere the sun rises!” and then the camera scopes out and they charge down the hill yelling, “Death!” and the oliphants are crashing towards them and the earth is shaking and then they’re on top of each other and Eomer, Eowyn, and Theoden are hamstringing oliphants left and right and the Witch King notices and breaks King Theoden and then Eowyn steps up to him and he’s like, “No mortal man can kill me,” and she’s like, “I am no man, sucka!” And she stuffs her sword in his face. And then King Theoden dies and Merry “dies” and music swells and hope is dying, too, and then Aragorn trots up and is like, “sup? I got the cursed ghost soldiers,” and then the cursed ghost soldiers eat the bad guy’s souls and Legolas takes down an Oliphant while snowboarding over it and you suddenly find that you’re standing on the couch, raising a spatula, yelling, “Forth Eorlingas!”
What Are The Most Thrilling Scenes To You?