Mary Elizabeth Winstead & Joel Edgerton in The Thing.
Horror movies are always looking for the worst place to be caught in to scare us. The latest is Apollo 18 which moves us to the moon. No air. No escape. No help. Worse, no public toilet to take a good dump after being terrified. Coming next for the hopelessly stranded is The Thing which is set in the Antarctic. Forget about rescue. Just hope for the best... we mean, worst.
Moon: Apollo 18 (2011)
Up there all alone on the moon with communication with Earth cut off, two astronauts find that they’re not alone on the dark, barren surface. Some sort of footprints are out there. And they are not theirs or anything human. It’s the scariest thing in the world. Er, actually, out of this world. Like being imprisoned in a fish bowl out in a big, dusty field. How does that Neil Armstrong quote go? “One small step for man, one giant pee in the spacesuit for mankind.”
The psychologist says: Go to moon not good. Eat moon cake good.
Fear Factor: NNNNN
Underground: Buried (2010)
Love breathing air? From start to finish, this is entirely about Ryan Reynolds being trapped in a coffin-like box underground. There’s no scenery change, not even a loo break. Green Lantern turns frantically green trying to get out by calling desperately for help on his mobile phone. Sign up with his telco now because the phone signal’s so good underground. He’s an American truck driver in wartime Iraq who’s buried there by insurgents for ransom. The scariest thing is US officials bulls**ting him by putting him on hold while his air runs out.
The psychologist says: Buried alive is one of man’s worst fears. Don’t ever attempt this boxy thing. Not even for the box office,
Fear Factor: NNNNN
Sea: Open Water (2003)
Two divers are left behind in the open sea when their boat leaves after a miscount says everybody’s onboard. As they drift with no one in sight, exhaustion, jellyfish and very scary sharks zero in on them. No one knows that they’re missing. This movie is loosely based on a true story about an American couple who were apparently left behind in a diving trip in Australia in 1998 and were never found. If you think that’s insane, two more divers were just stranded last week in shark-infested Florida waters after their boat also allegedly left them. Fortunately, they were rescued.
The psychologist says: Fishes have gills. We don’t. Stay out of the ocean. Please just splash water in your bathtub.
Fear Factor: NNNNN
Narrow canyon rock wall: 127 Hours (2010)
Ok. It's not really a horror movie but some parts of 127 Hours sure resemble those gore/torture-porn movies. An adventurer (James Franco), trying to squeeze through a narrow gap between the rocks of a canyon, gets his arm stuck in the wall. With no one knowing he’s trapped there, he rescues himself DIY-style after five days by cutting his arm off with a penknife. What’s the worst fear in this scenario based on real-life climbing junkie, Aron Ralston? Being stuck? Nope. Losing your arm? Nope. Getting trapped with a lousy cutter? Yep. Hey, if you’re mad enough to squeeze through rocks, do it with a chainsaw, dudes.
The psychologist says: Make sure you have both arms before you climb into something dangerous. Then use one arm to wave goodbye to the other one.
Fear Factor: NNNN
Ski lift chair with wolves below: Frozen (2010)
Stuck high up on a ski lift chair in the freezing cold with no one else around, three people have to decide whether they want to jump down to the ground with a pack of hungry wolves waiting for them. One of them does it and becomes a gut-wrenching screaming lunch for the other two to see. You don’t know what’s worse – turning into a human icicle up in the chair or human sushi down on the snow. Either way, you’ll be frozen stiff.
The psychologist says: Do not, absolutely do not, be the last person to leave any theme parks. Ever.
Fear Factor: NNN
Antarctica: The Thing
Chills – the cold and spooky kind – abound as a group of scientists unearths an alien creature buried in the ice in the freezing wastes of Antarctica. The thing has the ability to turn into the exact replica of anyone it affects and the stranded crew at the isolated outpost doesn’t know who’s killing them. Saw Whiteout, the thriller in which Kate Beckinsale is also stuck at the South Pole? Believe us. If you’re not locked down with her cute a**, there’s no reason whatsoever for you to get your own a** frozen over there.
The psychologist says: Here’s a safer cold adventure. Take your pants off. Open the fridge. Place your butt in the freezer.
Fear Factor: NNN
Elevator: Devil (2010)
A bunch of people trapped in an elevator dies one after another as the devil possesses one of them. Question is which one and why the hell didn’t they just walk up the stairs? Of course, nobody does unless you’re exercising to lose fat in The Biggest Loser. Technically speaking, the lift is a very scary place because not only is it a confined space with no escape, it’s a total nightmare if somebody farts. The scariest elevator scene is the one where Angelica Lee is stuck with a ghost right behind her in The Eye. If you have a worse experience, tell us.
The psychologist says: Very simple. Forget the lift. Live in the HDB void deck.
Fear Factor: NN
At the end of the day, being buried underground, abandoned at sea, slicing off an arm or being trapped on the moon isn’t what we do everyday. Most of us just go back to a very normal, boring home to live very normal, boring lives where everything’s super safe. Wrong! Your home is one big danger zone. If you get the spooks in Paranormal Activity. You can’t see them but they can turn you homicidally nuts more than an insane HDB COV.
The psychologist says: Very simple. Forget the HDB flat. Live in a Pasir Ris Park tent.
Fear Factor: N