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The Scariest Scene in Movie History (For Me)

It's not what you think it might be

By Jamie JacksonPublished 2 years ago Updated about a year ago 3 min read
The Scariest Scene in Movie History (For Me)
Photo by Phillip Glickman on Unsplash

Gory horror films are abundant. The genre seems to have hit some sort of renascence in the 21st century. Yet, these films do not phase me too much. Instead, I’ve always found the most freaky and disturbing films are dystopian and callous; the type of films that are almost set in reality, but not quite; something is off, there is an unease about the entire film, playing on your mind, putting your soul on edge.

Everyone has their own cinematic trauma, their own moment of seeing something too explicit, too violent, too weird when they were too young.

My wife watched American Werewolf in London when she was eight (!!!) and consequently, is still scared witless of werewolves.

For me, I watched Paul Verhoeven’s retro-futuristic masterpiece Robocop too young. I must have been 10 or 11. There are some horrific scenes in that film for young eyes; the bad guys torture the protagonist 'Murphy' before they kill him, one of the gang falls into acid and melts in the road before being run over by a speeding car, that sort of thing.

But the scene that did it for me, the scene that stuck to me like the smell of stale whisky after a drinking binge, was the boardroom scene.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, let me explain.

A group of executives are showing off their new robotic law enforcement tool, 'ED-209' to a corporate board to get funding and approval for its use.

To demonstrate its intelligence, they force a junior executive called “Mr Kinny” to point a gun at the robot. The rest of the board giggle amongst themselves at Kinny’s predicament.

Credit: Youtube

When Kinny raises his gun, ED-209 instantly springs into action with a growl.


Whilst this weird, jerky, stop-motion robot with a deep electronic voice and machine guns for hands is intimidating, it’s not that which makes this scene so scary. It is the reactions of everyone else.

ED-209 continues with his ominous countdown once Kinny drops the gun and the poor guy panics. He's running around the room looking for cover as ED-209 call out "8... 7... 6... 5..."

Everyone in the room just wants Kinny away from them. No one helps. No one cares. They just want Kinny out the way. This is his problem, not theirs.

Credit: YouTube

ED-209 reaches zero then kills Kinny by machine-gunning him excessively in the chest (I guess you can't machine-gun anyone un-excessively to be fair). There's a small silence and then the rest of the room calms as Kinny lies there on the table, dead, and covered in blood.

But even this isn’t the worst bit. It’s that they get straight back to business. The head of the company is angry the machine doesn’t work. And the head of the project calls it a “glitch”.

Credit: YouTube

They don’t care about Kinny. No one does.

In the next scene, two of the executives are taking in the lift, neither are traumatised. They talk about other business then one says, “Too bad about Kinny,” and the other replies “That’s life in the big city!”

And they laugh it off.

Credit: YouTube

And that’s the last we hear of Kinny! Gunned to death and everyone continues to chat about work. No one gives him a second thought. His life, his family, his murder.

This traumatised me way more than the rest of the film, which is gory and brutal in itself. The callous nature of the characters, the possible, close to reality future that beckons not just killer robots but the cold and uncaring men and women to go with it.

When I was young, I wondered why they didn't care. The lack of compassion chilled me to the bone.

I always think about Kinny, even today, as if I have an ongoing duty to care about a fictional character no one recalls. As if I must fight back against this loveless possible future by remembering. Is this crazy? Perhaps. But that's what watching grown-up cinema does to a developing brain.

RIP Kinny. We salute you.


About the Creator

Jamie Jackson

Between two skies and towards the night.

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