Shining example of scary scenes.
Jack Nicholson's crazed cry of "Here's Johnny" as he axes his way through a door in pursuit of his wife has been named the most terrifying screen moment of all time.
The chilling scene in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining topped a poll for a Channel 4 special The 100 Scariest Moments screened last night.
It beat other movie horrors such as the spinning head in The Exorcist and the heart-stopping moment in Jaws when a severed head tumbles from a hole in a boat. Viewers voted for their top hair-raising scene over a number of weeks this summer from a shortlist from film and TV drawn up by a panel of experts.
In the 1980 film The Shining, based on Stephen King's novel, Nicholson is widely regarded to have given one of his most manic performances in a career packed with off-kilter roles.
He plays author Jack Torrance who is suffering from writer's block and becomes caretaker of the empty Overlook Hotel - taking his wife and son with him - in the secluded mountains of Colorado in order to let his creative juices flow.
Jack, affected by both his inability to write and supernatural forces within the hotel, suffers a mental breakdown, prompting him to try to kill his wife.
Wild-eyed and grinning he pokes his head through a door panel he has splintered with an axe to utter his notorious line "Here's Johnny", which he actually ad-libbed.
The scene pushed The Exorcist (1973) into second place for the stomach-churning moment when Linda Blair's head spins round and she projectile vomits.
The poll shows that old fashioned atmosphere, suspense and psychological tricks are largely more chilling than gruesome, realistic modern effects.
The most recent film in the top 10, 1999's The Blair Witch Project at number five, relied on no sophisticated techniques - just a simple fear of the dark and isolation.
1. The Shining (1980) - Jack Nicholson chops through the door and shouts "Here's Johnny!"
2. The Exorcist (1973) - Possessed girl's rotating head and projectile vomit.
3. Jaws (1975) - Severed head falls from boat.
4. Alien (1979) - Alien bursts out of John Hurt's chest.
5. The Blair Witch Project (1999) - Heather Donahue in tears in the woods.
6. Ring (1998) - Sadako crawls through the television.
7. Halloween (1978) - Serial killer Michael's face appears behind Jamie Lee Curtis in a house full of dead bodies.
8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - Leatherface's general reign of terror.
9. The Omen (1976) - Oscar-winning eerie music score.
10. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) - First appearance of horror icon Freddy Krueger.
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|Publication:||The Journal (Newcastle, England)|
|Date:||Oct 27, 2003|
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