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supernatural 30 Day Challenge 
24th-Sep-2013 10:06 pm
That's Just not right
Day Twelve: Scariest Episode

I have to say that I don't usually find Supernatural particularly scary. There's a lot of great tension and there are moments when I hide my eyes behind my hands (the gore!) but I can't say it's ever made me need to sleep with the lights on (the way The Ring or The Amityville Horror did ;D). I figure there are restrictions (maybe?) on exactly how scary they can make it.

That said, I think Family Remains is the closest I got to actually being scared. I found it genuinely creepy. I love how it used a classic horror formula (creepy house, basement monster, dolls head in the closet!) with this episode. I'm often surprised that they don't do more of those.

Another episode that rather terrified me was On the Head of a Pin. Not in the jump out of your seat kind of terror, but terror for Dean. When he walked into that room with Alistair I don't think I've ever felt so scared for him. An amazingly dark episode. (Live Free or Twihard also had me scared for Dean).

Scary moments - honourable mentions: The opening of Something Wicked (tree branches outside a window! *meep*), Provenance (creepy girl in a painting), Dead in the Water (face coming out of the water), The Benders (that house!! *yikes*), Levee Breaks (Alistair appearing..homg..), Caged Heat (the monsters in the cages disturbed me. In fact, that whole episode disturbed me!).

I'd love to see some more really creepy eps. Considering they are dealing with ghosts, monsters and demons you'd think we'd have more scares (or maybe that's just me?)
24th-Sep-2013 02:15 pm (UTC)
I don't find Supernatural that scary either, although I think these last couple of years the show has been moving away from the straight-forward 'horror movie of the week' formula of the first seasons. So most of the episodes I find creepy can be found early on, like Bloody Mary (mirrors) or The Benders (human monsters are always creepier than supernatural ones) or Asylum (abandoned asylums are creepy by default) or Playthings (dolls, dollhouses, imaginary friends).

In the later years, Family Remains stands out for me, too, as does Mannequin 3 (dolls and mannequins and such really freak me out LOL)
24th-Sep-2013 02:24 pm (UTC)
Oh yes - Bloody Mary was one I meant to mention. The woman coming out of the mirror was a homage I think to The Ring. It didn't have that level of scariness, but they did a great job building up the tension and making it creepy. And yes - Asylum. That set was spot on (all the better for being a real hospital), I do remember being scared a few times in that one.

And Mannequin! I remember loving the opening of that - anything that looks like a doll!
24th-Sep-2013 02:17 pm (UTC)
I had been dreading this one for days now and almost didn't comment because like you I have never actually been scared while watching the show. It took a lot of thinking and I think for me the creepiest episodes would be Family Remains (high five having that in common) and The Benders.

The reason why I picked those two in particular is that I actually think there is a extra level of creepiness when the villain is a human rather than a demon, ghost etc. Makes the episode that much more tangible if that makes sense?
24th-Sep-2013 02:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think human villains add an element of creepiness and does make the horror more tangible. The Benders were just downright...wrong! That house...bones and teeth....ack! (loved it though!)
24th-Sep-2013 02:21 pm (UTC)
I used to find season 1 episodes quite creepy and tense as they were often based around horror movies, I was terrified with the Pilot when Mary realised that it wasn't John standing over Sammy! Oh and the clown at the end of the bed scared me too from ELAC. It did seem like the show became more about gore and gross-out later on instead though
24th-Sep-2013 02:34 pm (UTC)
Yes. I agree the early episodes were definitely the creepiest. They seemed to use those horror/thriller film elements much more than they do in the later episodes.

I think the gore really came about when they decided to go the B-Movie route (mostly S7), but it certainly seems to be an element they use more and more (and demons and angels are just not that scary..).
24th-Sep-2013 03:37 pm (UTC)
I don't think the show really can be very scary, at least not beyond individual scenes. No matter how much tension or gore they throw in, we're still usually looking at the story from the perspective of the heroes. And Sam and Dean are often not frightened of the monsters themselves, and even when they are we know that – barring a really sudden casting change – they're going to come out of it all right.

The thing that really makes horror frightening is that it often ends badly for everyone involved. The protagonist dies or goes mad and that's it. Sam and Dean sometimes die or go mad, but they have to fix it for the show to go on. That can be tragic and emotionally engaging, but it doesn't have the finality of horror.

That said, that bit in Time Is on My Side where the doctor puts his scoop against Sam's eye? That freaks me out every time. It's the threat of gore, rather than the gore itself, that gets to me. :)
24th-Sep-2013 03:47 pm (UTC)
"Family Remains" and "The Benders" are the two episodes that never fail to weird me out. For me, it's the human element -- the psychopathic Homo sapiens living right next door is MUCH more frightening than mere shapeshifters and rugarus.

As for why SPN isn't more frightening than it is, well, it's mostly about Sam and Dean. And those guys know EVERYTHING about how to take down those things that go "bump" in the night. Any beastie that dares show its face around the Winchesters will be dead soon, so why be afraid? ;)

Edited at 2013-09-24 03:47 pm (UTC)
24th-Sep-2013 03:59 pm (UTC)
I think you've hit the nail on the head there - Supernatural has lots of creepiness, some horror and gore, a ton of worry for the boys (and Bobby and co) but nothing much I find actually scary. I think that's because what really scares me is prolonged suspense, usually followed by something horrific, and they don't do a lot of that. There isn't a great deal of build up to the horror.
And that is probably just as well as I don't 'do' horror - the only horror movies I've ever watched were the ones Jensen and Jared have been in. Oh and one really poor one yonks ago about some teenagers spending the night in a creepy house where one of them goes loopy and starts chopping the rest up with a machete.
24th-Sep-2013 05:06 pm (UTC)
The demon storyline was the first step away from horror, and adding angels to the mythology veered away from it almost completely. I remember Kripke gleefully talking about the toy monkey in Home--I think with his departure, SPN turned its back pretty finally on the horror genre.

The Benders and Family Remains both owe a great deal to the fourth season episode of X Files, probably the skeeviest, creepiest hour of scripted tv ever aired, Home, which, surprise, surprise, was directed by none other than Kim Manners.

X Files Home (unlike the totally unrelated SPN Home) has been a sort of tv standard for creepy horror ever since it aired. I think The Benders and Family Remains definitely pay homage to it, even though they didn't quite hit that mark.
24th-Sep-2013 05:43 pm (UTC)
X Files Home (unlike the totally unrelated SPN Home) has been a sort of tv standard for creepy horror ever since it aired. I think The Benders and Family Remains definitely pay homage to it, even though they didn't quite hit that mark.
Yeah, Kripke stated in an interview that Family Remains was an homage to X-Files Home. In fact, Kripke cast Karin Konoval, who played Mrs. Peacock in Home, as the housekeeper Mrs. Curry in Family Remains to emphasise the connection. :)
24th-Sep-2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
I figure there are restrictions (maybe?) on exactly how scary they can make it.
On this front, yes, as it's shown on broadcast television there are limits on the content (wiki says for profanity, sex and violence) that there wouldn't be if SPN was on a pay to view cable channel e.g. HBO.

I don't know whether that'd make it scarier for me though, I too liked the episodes like Dead in the Water, Blood Mary, Provenance because it was the anticipation/expectation of something being there rather than just showing it/lots of gore. Imo, the scariest monsters are given life (and the scare factor) with the aid of imagination.

I'd love to see some more really creepy eps.
24th-Sep-2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
I'm with you about it not generally being that scary—I'll definitely give you "Family Remains"...super creepy—but every time someone asks me this question I immediately flash back to "Bloody Mary." Every. Time.
25th-Sep-2013 03:27 am (UTC)
Watching 'Bloody Mary' was the only time I've literally screamed my head off watching SPN. My daughter and I just sat there screaming at the top of our lungs and holding hands like two little girls. lol
25th-Sep-2013 08:52 am (UTC)
I'd go with Bloody Mary. Those mirror things scared me. I still remember me sitting in my living room watching the German dubbed episodes on my German TV. Only after season 2 ended here and I was like "what?!" I started daring to use a computer (my son's. lol) and trying to look for ways to watch it online. I remember they still had the episodes up on Youtube at the time!! (Imagine that with the copy rights thing today. lol)I ended up having a watch marathon through two long nights, watching all of season three that was already up. (German TV buys them shows rather late) That was when I started to watch it in English and I loved the original voices. So, erm... veered a bit off topic here and moved into the nostalgic corner it seems. haha But I like the memory of that time. So, yeah, Bloody Mary is my choice for the scariest episode. :)
25th-Sep-2013 06:25 pm (UTC)
I forgot about Family Remains. Yeah, that's right up there. It made me think of some parts of No Exit too. Brrrr. I'm glad to have this question behind me now.
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