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Arrow in the Head's Top 10 Holy Sh!t Horror Moments of 2014!

12.19.2014by: Eric Walkuski
WARNING SPOILERS IN ACTUAL LIST! Intro: 2014 was a good year for genre movies. So it goes that I had a lot to choose from when it came to compiling this Top 10 Holy Sh!t Horror Moments list. This isn't meant to be your definitive guide on which scenes had the most significant WTF?! factor this year, it's just an all-too-brief list of the sequences and images that made the biggest impact on me personally. That said, I feel like it's safe to say these visuals, when unleashed upon anyone, would leave a distinct mark.

So many movies had great sequences this year, I just want to throw out a few Honorable Mentions: The final shoot-outs in both COLD IN JULY and BLUE RUIN; the cat fight in CABIN FEVER: PATIENT ZERO; any number of crazy freak-outs in WITCHING AND BITCHING (the big finale might be the best, though); the finger-hacking in CHEAP THRILLS; the vampire-vs-police jamboree in AFFLICTED; the pre-credit sequence in PROXY; the discovery of the "food" in SNOWPIERCER... Just a handful of brilliantly twisted morsels in greater wholes. Now, on with the show! WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

10 - Enemy - Spider Surprise

Sometimes you say "Holy Shit!" just because you don't understand what you're seeing. Case in point, all the spider stuff in Denis Villeneuve's surreal thriller ENEMY, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a man suddenly confronted with the knowledge he has an exact double... who is kind of a dick. Villeneuve inserts two key visuals involving spiders into the film, one at the beginning (seen above) and one at the end (which I choose not to reveal), neither of which I understand. It's that last moment in particular that dropped my jaw; aside from being a frankly terrifying sight, I was left to helplessly puzzle out just what in the hell it all meant. And I'm not prideful - I want someone to tell me.

9 - Robocop - Alex Murphy Revealed

Bear with me here. Yes, the ROBOCOP remake is largely unnecessary. As a re-imagining of the classic original, it's too safe and too predictable; as its own movie, it fails to bring anything innovative or exciting to the table. But... there is one moment in the film that thoroughly unnerved me. Perhaps I was just unprepared for anything in ROBOCOP to move me, but the scene in which Dr. Norton (Gary Oldman) shows Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) just how inhuman he is after his tragic accident by slowly pulling him apart is actually a very disturbing - and memorable - sight. Am I alone on this one?

8 - Starry Eyes - Hollywood Massacre

No doubt you already envisioned Hollywood as a place filled with ignorant, self-important sociopaths willing to do whatever it takes to climb to the top (the Sony hack should prove this theory correct once and for all). But that notion of Hollywood is rather tame compared to what's presented in STARRY EYES. In it, an insecure, struggling young actress (Alexandra Essoe, who is fantastic) quite literally sells her soul to a cult of powerful movie producers in order to make it big. Aside from eventually morphing into a twisted shell of herself in the process, she must deliver her new benefactors a sacrifice... and a few close acquaintances will have to do. What follows is a quick succession of brutal murders, including a horrific head-bashing (which you can incidentally watch right here), that'll leave you stunned. And the sickest part? This is kind of a happy ending!

7 - Nurse - Nurse Gone Wild

I had to get NURSE on here somewhere. One of my favorite guilty pleasures of the year, NURSE is a crude, shameless, hilariously nutso horror-comedy that is almost sure to become a cult classic (if it hasn't become one already). Though the titular character played by Paz de la Vega (in a performance for the ages) does all manner of disgusting things in the film, her rampage through the hospital in the last reel - which sees her angrily mutilate and murder a ton of helpless patients because her girl-crush (Katrina Bowden) just doesn't like her all that much - is a show-stopper. Can't remember the last time I laughed so hard.

A special shout-out goes to the moment when a cop blithely tackles the psycho nurse in an operating room, obliterating an unconscious patient in the process. Primo!

6 - Honeymoon - Birth sequence

Leigh Janiak's HONEYMOON is a beautifully eerie slow-burn, playing its cards methodically as it teases us with a mystery surrounding the gradual transformation of a lovely new bride (wonderfully played by Rose Leslie) into... something else. The film doesn't need to revel in overt gore or jump scares to spin its transfixing web, but that changes in the finale, in which Leslie's character gives birth to something slimy, squiggly, and decidedly inhuman. Suddenly this slow-burn has exploded all over the room - quite literally - leaving us grossed-out and confounded. (Wouldn't go to the baby shower if I were you.)

5 - ABCs of Death 2 - D is for Deloused

Don't ask me what's going on in "D is for Deloused," the visually astounding, intensely freaky short that made an indelible appearance in ABCs OF DEATH 2. It's a stop-motion nightmare seemingly set in hell; at least, that's where I thought I was for approximately four exquisitely weird minutes. It's gripping and gruesome in equal measure. Though it comes early in the film, Robert Morgan's effort clung to my mind like a leech as the rest of the anthology played out, not allowing me to shake it. It stuck with me well after, too.

4 - Under the Skin - Underwater Void

UNDER THE SKIN is the strangest and most unique take on the alien invasion genre that I've ever seen. (Can it even be called an invasion? Not sure.) Scarlett Johansson plays a wolf-in-sexy-girl's clothing named Laura, whose primary function on Earth appears to be seducing men and leading them to their doom in her dingy apartment. Their very particular doom happens to involve being immersed in an underwater void where they're sucked dry of, well, everything. Yes, "Laura" is extremely sexy, but no hot lass is worth this cruel fate.

3 - Gone Girl - The Last Orgasm

Anyone who read GONE GIRL knew it was coming - was, in fact, waiting for it with baited breath. When it did come, it was as perversely gruesome as had been hoped for. I actually found myself wishing I hadn't known what was going to happen; it might have been more pleasurable that way. Nevertheless, director David Fincher was at the top of his macabre game when he dished out this terrific thriller's most memorable scene, which involves two people, a sharp blade, an orgasm (or close to it) and blood. Lots of blood.

2 - The Raid 2 - Kitchen Fight

Obviously, there is almost too much to choose from; just about every action sequence in THE RAID 2 is a contender for a spot on this "Holy Sh!t" list. But, being forced to choose, I can't think of anything cooler than the incredible finale, in which Rama (Iko Uwais) has to battle one last evil henchman (Cecep Arif Rahman), before confronting his fate. The fight, taking place in a kitchen, is so insanely elaborate and painful-looking that you're likely to feel just as pummeled as Rama by the time it messily concludes.

1 - Dead Snow 2 - Village Raid

Not unlike THE RAID 2, DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD just has too many sequences which elicit a stunned WTF?! reaction from the audience - it's seemingly impossible to pick a lone stand-out. But I'll go with this: when the nazi zombies roll into a sleepy village and proceed to bash, maim and murder every resident in sight - including kids in a sandbox and stroller-pushing mommies! - you realize you must to tip your hat to director Tommy Wirkola, who makes an artform out of bad taste in a way we haven't seen in a very long time. (Hat-tip should also go to the CPR-gone-awry outside the hospital.)

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