HOME ALONE BURGLAR IS THE BEST SCREAM IN FILM
According to film fans it is not masked-psychopaths or terrifying poltergeists that prompt their victims to let out the most blood-curdling screams but rather having a tarantula crawl across your face, as Marv (Daniel Stern) from classic family film Home Alone proves by claiming the title for the best scream in film.
To celebrate the scariest day of the year – Halloween – on Monday, LOVEFiLM – Europe’s largest subscription service streaming movies and TV episodes over the internet and sending DVDs by post – asked over 800 film fans to identify the most bone-tingling shrieks in film, with the clumsy burglar earning 28 per cent of the votes and claiming the top spot.
Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal shower scene from Psycho missed out on the top spot but clawed its way into second (12 per cent). Hotel bathrooms are always risky business, but none more so than those at the Bates Motel, as Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) discovered when she was stabbed to death by a shadowy, mysterious figure.
It appears that knife-wielding psychopaths are amongst the best at evoking spine-tingling howls, as Casey (Drew Barrymore) from everyone’s favourite scary movie, Scream, claimed third place with 11 per cent of the votes, narrowly missing out on the runner up spot.
Wendy Torrance (Shelly Duvall) screeches her way into fourth place (nine per cent) in Stanley Kubrick’s psychological horror, The Shining. Based on the novel by the master of horror, Stephen King, the classic “Heeere’s Johnny!” scene with Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall certainly deserves its place in the top five.
From classic horror to a modern day supernatural blockbuster next as Katie Featherston’s final screams in 2007’s Paranormal Activity completes the top five (eight per cent). Filmed entirely on their home video recorder, Paranormal Activity documents the disturbed nights shared between Katie and her boyfriend Micah, as a terrifying demonic presence haunts the happy couple.
Another film recorded entirely on camcorder follows closely behind, as Heather Donahue’s chilling screams in the closing scene of the 1998 record-breaking The Blair Witch Project (six per cent) narrowly miss out on the top half of the table. Heather edged out Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre who placed seventh (four per cent).
In eighth is the ‘scream queen’ herself, Jamie Lee Curtis (three per cent), for her portrayal of Laurie Strode in Halloween as she tries to escape her psychopathic, mask-wearing, knife-toting brother. Her hair-raising shriek as she falls down the stairs whilst fleeing for her life certainly contributed to her being crowned scream royalty.
Rounding up the top ten are two screams both caused by animals, one living, one dead. Sam Quint’s (Robert Shaw) very lengthy and blood-riddled wail as he is torn limb from limb by a gigantic great white shark in Jaws earns him ninth place with two per cent of the vote.
Finally, Jack Woltz’s (John Marley) shock of waking up to find the decapitated head of his prized racing horse in his bed in Francis Ford Coppola’s classic, The Godfather, earns him the last spot in the top ten (one per cent).
The Top Ten On-Screen Screams:
1. Marv (Daniel Stern) – Home Alone (28 per cent)
2. Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) – Psycho (12 per cent)
3. Casey (Drew Barrymore) – Scream (11 per cent)
4. Wendy Torrance (Shelly Duvall) – The Shining (nine per cent)
5. Katie Featherston – Paranormal Activity (eight per cent)
6. Heather Donahue – The Blair Witch Project (six per cent)
7. Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (four per cent)
8. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) – Halloween (three per cent)
9. Sam Quint (Robert Shaw) – Jaws (two per cent)
10. Jack Woltz (John Marley) – Godfather (one per cent)
Other – 16 per cent
Helen Cowley, Editor of LOVEFiLM, commented:
“On Halloween there is nothing better than a spine-tingling film to make you scream – but with so many classic horror moments and blood-curdling shrieks available, we wanted to find out who film fans deemed the best in class.
“The results were really surprising! With classic tormentors such as Michael Myers, Norman Bates and Leatherface in the mix, you wouldn’t expect a scream caused by a poor old spider to get the most votes.
“Film fans can enjoy all of their favorite wails, whines, screams and screeches with LOVEFiLM this Halloween with some of the best horror movies of all time available on DVD, Blu-ray or ‘screamed’ instantly via the LOVEFiLM player.”