12 horror movie scenes that scared actors in real life

There’s a lot director Ridley Scott could replicate in his 1979 horror classic “Alien,” like the isolation of deep space or the unsettling biomechanical aesthetic of artist HR Giger. But one thing he couldn’t bring up was genuine fear in his actors. So, for the most shocking scene in the movie, in which one of Nostromo’s team members “births” an alien creature from his chest at the dining table, he fomented the reaction he wanted by just not telling her cast what was going to happen.

In the book “Cinema Alchemist”, “Alien” art director Roger Christian explains how, while the rest of the cast were kept off the set, Scott posed for actor John Hurt (who plays the general manager Thomas Kane in the film) under a dummy body placed on the table, with only his head and arms exposed. Underneath, the special effects team used a blood pump and an alien puppet head. Armed with no knowledge other than a script note indicating that something is “emerging” during the scene, Sigourney Weaver, Yaphet Kotto, Veronica Cartwright, Tom Skerritt, Harry Dean Stanton and Ian Holm react with intense authenticity as a Baby Xenomorph tears Kane’s chest cavity. , squirting theatrical blood on Cartwright’s face. Famous, the actor stepped back and passed out from the shock of the gag. She recovered and finished the scene, but she and the stunned faces of her fellow actors will live on the big screen forever, testifying to the power of a well-executed scare. (Any Stanley)

Andrea G. Henderson