11 Scariest Shower Scenes in Horror
There are certain places in your home that should be a private and safe environment, the shower being one of them. By invading this privacy, and turning an intimate part of your home into a nightmare, film-makers can easily shock the viewers with little production cost. The shower setting brings with it certain characteristics that fit perfectly with the horror genre, which is why it’s such a popular place to set a scene.
Nudity is essential to a shower and so fo many writers and directors, it’s the perfect place to show some skin without coming across as being too crude. Brian De Palma’s 1976 adaption of Stephen King’s Carrie is a great example of this brief moment of nudity in an other wise clothed film. Placing a shower scene is a simple way of titillating those audience members that love to see boobs and bums in horror, but preservers a certain amount of integrity.
Watching someone showering does bring with a certain sense of voyeurism, which was a very strong theme in European horror during the 60s through to the 80s. Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Psycho was the film that really started this horror theme, setting the bathroom scene with Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) spying on Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) through a hole in the wall, as she strips and showers. It was hugely taboo, but a veil that desperately need to be lifted in order for the genre to start becoming more diverse.
Shower scenes expose our vulnerabilities and with this sense of exposure comes with it a real fear of what is watching us and what may be waiting for us on the other side of the curtain, as we pull it back. Celebrating this little section of home discomforts, we look at the most terrifying shower scenes set on celluloid. These are the moments that raised pulses and showed off expect execution over a horror scene. Here are 11 Scariest Shower Scenes in Horror.
The creepy black comedy Arachnophobia brought the horrors of spiders to a new level when it hit cinemas in 1990. The film sees the fictional town of Canaima, California, invaded by deadly Venezuelan hybrid spiders. Deadly of not, any scene from this smash-hit horror is pure nightmare fuel, especially for anyone with a real fear of spiders. But there’s one in-particular that’s creepier than rest, which takes place in the shower.
Young Teen Becky Beechwood (Cori Wellins) has a close encounter with eight-legged beasty when she jumps into the shower for a good sodden. The scene is set as we see the spider crawling up the shower curtain and across the rails. The creepy crawly then launches itself on the naked girl. Luckily for Becky, her slippery wet body yields no purchase for the agile arachnid and it slips down her figure and through the drain. It’s nasty, it’s creepy and it’ll keep you out of the shower for weeks.
Pulse is one of the films that slipped under many people’s radars, and for years it was the victim of terrible DVD and Blu-ray coverage, with VHS copies being the only thing you could get hold of. The film follows a young boy called David (Joey Lawrence) who travels to California to stay with his divorced father and his new wife. But David is not the only “person” moving in, as a strange electrical entity starts to torment the family.
The films premise is an amazing idea, but it’s sadly let down by director Paul Golding sloppy execution. It’s a little slow and dull, but it does have one scene that is extraordinarily unsettling. Stepmother Ellen (Roxanne Hart) gets a little steamy when she takes an innocent shower. The entity turns up the heat, and somehow locks the shower door (because plot) leaving Ellen to slowly cook under the now boiling water.
A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)
Coming hot of the heels from the smash hit that was A Nightmare On Elm Street, the 1985 sequel had a mixed reaction from fans. The film sees Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund) return when a Jesse (Mark Patton) and his family move into 1428 Elm Street. Using Jesse as a puppet for his mayhem, Freddy starts to murder once more. What is undeniable about Freddy’s Revenge, is how camp the entire affair is, with one sequence really pushing this theme.
Having spotted a semi-dreaming Jesse in a gay bar, a leather clad Coach Schneider’s (Marshall Bell) marches the teen down to the school gym. After being forced to run a few laps, Jesse is sent off to the shower. But thanks to a little supernatural help from Freddy, the Dream Master drags Schneider into the shower, strip him naked and slap his arse with wet towels (yes for real!). Despite this laughable series of events, the tone gets moodier as the steam rises and the watching Jessy is suddenly replaced with a gloved Freddy. A few bloody slashes later and Jessie finds himself covered in blood, with a naked dead teacher tied up in front of him. Queue a high pitched scream!
A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)
While A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is not the best movie in the franchise, it’s certainly one of the more darker Freddy films. It’s Gothic tone and graphic scenes ramp the terror to eleven. In one spectacular scene, we witness a horror sequence that would only ever work in a NOES film, and it takes place in a shower.
Dream Child opens on Alice Johnson (Lisa E. Wilcox) dipping into a shower after a bit of rumpy pumpy. Her relaxing rinse is quickly turned into a nightmare when waters starts to gush from the walls and taps. The cubical starts to fill leaving Alice swimming around, minutes away from drowning. It’s such a striking image and one you’ll be hard pushed to find an equal to in a horror film.
Tobe Hooper’s 1981 slasher, The Funhouse, is one of those underrated gem that you just don’t see anymore. Whilst it’s never going to win any Oscars, it’s slow paced, creeping horror is a fun stab at a genre we all know too well. The film moves away from the usual slasher tropes of naked teens cavorting and concentrates more on the story and characterisation. The shower scene is the only sequence throughout the film that shows any nudity.
In the opening scene, Hopper tries his hand at playing Hitchcock and Carpenter as his splices a fantastic sequence that is a mix of Halloween and Psycho. A masked intruder attacks teenager Amy (Elizabeth Berridge) as she showers, slashing at her with a knife. It ultimately turns out to be a prank, rubber knife and all, but this fake-out never takes away from the scenes creepy atmosphere. It’s an expertly shot sequence that’s terrifying and compelling.
Death Ship (1980)
The 1980s boating horror Death Ship was director Alvin Rakoff’s one and only shot in the big chair. The film was met with pretty poor response when it first hit cinemas , but time has mellowed peoples perception of the ocean ordeal, and it’s grown quite a cult following.
After a passenger liner is rammed and sunk by a derelict World War 2 German freighter, the survivors begin to realise that the vessel is actually a haunted Nazi prison ship. Feeling a little dirty from the whole ordeal, Lori (Victoria Burgoyne) decides to take a dip into the ships shower, but instead of suds and bubbles, the plumping douses her in a torrent of blood. It’s a well-executed scene with plenty of gore, a little bit of flesh and a genuinely intense feeling of terror. With some amazing camera work and a great performance from Burgoyne, it’s a beautiful moment in an otherwise dull film.
Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
The Friday the 13th series has long been heralded as one of the great horror franchise. There’s no denying the films appeal, as (mostly) Jason slashes his way through a ridiculous amount of teens. The first film was a surprise hit, but it was not until the third film that the series finally found it’s pace and adopted all the tropes that made the series so much fun.
In one terrifying sequence, we witness a couple of amorous teens (as if there are any other type in this series!) doing the bad thing in a hammock. Debbie (Tracie Savage) literally encourages her own demise by jumping straight into a shower. Now, whilst this a sequences played out in several of the other Friday the 13th films, it’s Part 3 that executes it in the best way possible. As Debbie showers we see an outline of someone getting closer. The music builds and the scene fakes out, as Debbie’s boyfriend throws the shower curtain back. It’s a great moment of levity, only to be broken as the hapless girl goes back to her shower, for the whole scene to play out again, this time with the real Jason.
Evil Dead (2013)
Director Fede Alvarez had probably one of the hardest task ever, when faced with remaking the 1981 horror The Evil Dead. The film follows Mia (Jane Levy), a drug addict determined to kick the habit. As part of an intervention, Mia and her friends head to a remote woodland cabin, but accidentally awaken ancient demons. Great Job guys!
In one nasty little scene, as Mia is suffering from a bad case of possession, and after smashing a prized pooches head in with a hammer, takes a shower to wash her woes. With the furnace burning high, the scalding water burns at her flesh at she slumps to the floor. Nasty stuff!
Ju-on: The Grudge (2002) / The Grudge (2004)
Sam Raimi’s production company Ghosthouse Pictures jumped on the bandwagon of J-Horror remakes during the early noughties, when it purchased the rights to an American remake of Takashi Shimizu’s Ju-on: The Grudge. The movie was actually the third film in Shimizu’s successful film series that ran for 12 films. The Grudge even has another film coming out in 2020.
Regardless of which version of the film your prefer, the hard hitting Japanese original or the sleek special effects laden remake, one of the most memorable moments is the shower scene. Alone in an apartment and taking a showering, Rika (Megumi Okina) /Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) suddenly find a ghostly hand tangled in their hair. The fiendish fingers quickly disappear, but their presence is enough to put the chills into even the most hardest of horror fan.
Stephen King’s phenomenal book IT was adapted into a miniseries in 1990, and this terrifying adaption is single-handedly responsible for an entire generation being petrified of clowns. IT follows the “Losers”, a group of seven kids that find themselves drawn together, in the summer of 1960, to defeat a child eating entity that takes on the form of a clown.
In one wet and wild scene, asthmatic Eddie Kaspbrak (Adam Faraizi) is forced to take a shower after gym class. Being alone in the room, the other showers start to turn on by themselves and a horrifying Pennywise (Tim Curry) emerges from the drain, with blood shot eyes and sharp fangs dripping.
Perhaps the most famous scene in the history of cinema, Psycho shower sequence is one of the most terrifying and atmospheric murder scenes put on film. It’s no secret that Hitchcock’s involvement in the film was due to the shower scene, which he found to be provocative and shocking, especially set against 1960’s sensibilities.
in the scene, which itself lasts a mere 45 seconds, this graphic murder actually shows no violence, nor any of the knifes swipes cutting skin, thanks to Hitchcock’s use of jump cuts, switching between the killer, the victim and the shower. It’s actually us, the viewers, that puts all the pieces together to create this guttural and graphic murder. Alongside some amazing camera shots, Janet Leigh pitch perfect performance and one astounding cross fade, Marion Crane’s death is not only one of the most Scariest Shower Scenes in Horror, but it’s also a master class in suspense and terror.
Don’t go there!
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“Hi Horror Fans – You’ll never look at a shower again in the same way after seeing all these HORRIFYING scenes. Maybe I’m a little WET behind the ears, but I’ll be checking behind the curtain every other second. Have we missed a moment you think should be on this list? Hit us up on the comments below.