"You've always been the caretaker."

I am nominating Delbert Grady, the seemingly urbane and refined butler, and former caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, as one of the great creepy characters of any horror film, ever.   Played brilliantly by Philip Stone, Grady sends chills up the spine as he cleans the spilled drink from Jack Torrance’s (Jack Nicholson) jacket, and calmly admits to “correcting” his daughters and wife by means of “chopping them into little bits”, and blowing his brains out, in a 1920s murder-suicide at the Hotel.    He informs Torrance that Torrance has “always been the caretaker”, and that he, Grady, should know, because he has “always been here”.

Of course the movie to which I refer is Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.   Despite the much more well-known “redrum” and “Heeere’s Johnny!” lines, blood in the elevators and the mouldering walking cadaver climbing out of the bath tub, it is this scene in the Men’s Room, and the subsequent appearance of Jack Torrance in the July 4th, 1921 photograph, that steal the show for me.

For me, a psychological thriller is always more frightening than the slasher flicks.   It is the stuff I can’t kill with a .45 ACP or a 12-ga slug that really frighten me.   The Exorcist comes to mind.   And some others.  The Shining is in that category.  I don’t think I could kill Grady, or Torrance, either, for that matter.  They are waiting for the next winter caretaker family, I think.

So, that was a long way of asking which characters in horror movies do YOU think are the creepiest/scariest?   And why?

7 thoughts on “"You've always been the caretaker."”

  1. The “voodoo doll” in Trilogy of Terror. Does that count as a “character?”

  2. I was persuaded to watch The Ring when it came out on DVD.

    I didn’t sleep for three days, and waited for the phone to ring.

    When we were in the PX, Hubby saw that DVD for sale, and asked me if we could get it. I told him I would rather he get a prostitute and *ahem* enjoy her in my bed, than have that movie in my house.

    He asked me if those were the choices. Solemnly, I said yes. He was good enough not to get the movie, or the prostitute, so I still owe him a favor 😉

  3. The Stanley Kubrick version of “The Shining” is the only movie I’ve ever seen that was better than the book it was based on.

    I don’t have any scary characters haunting me but there is one scene in a movie. In “White Squall” when the ship sinks, the captain’s wife is trapped inside the boat, looking out a window as the surface of the water recedes. That scared me silly. I have nightmares about drowning in a sinking ship. /shivers run down his spine!

  4. All snl alumni films “starring” will ferrell, adam sandler, david spade, and / or rob schneider.

    All female alumni from the same timeframe onward included as well.

    As all of the above mentioned, especially will ferrell and adam sandler, have never met a joke they have not all – with much glee and near orgasmic pleasure – raped, torturously murdered and left dismembered and eviscerated in various ditches along the backroads in the outskirts of Vegas . . .

    ferrell and sandler are worst of these thieving frauds. For support of my argument, I would suggest viewing the Red Letter Media film analysis of “Jack & Jill”, in which they present a convincing case that sandler is little more than a two-bit huckster bilking money out of moviegoers. With a budget of approximately $80mil . . . you do not see anything on screen to justify its over-inflated cost . . . other than ego.

    Kinda’ like Alien Cubed . . . pardon, Alien3.

    What makes me the most angry is nothing will be done to punish them for perpetuating the hollywood “man-child / idiot / cerebral defective” formula “comedies”.

    Add anything directed by joel “I have a Soapbox!” schumacher will void my bowels in panic response . . . especially if it involves Bat-Nipples and Bat-Anus . . .

    And anything by david “I’m a HACK!” fincher . . . ruined Alien, that contrived bastard . . .

    In answer to the actual question, Ridley Scott’s Alien and John Carpenter’s The Thing are still chilling.

    And anything starring leonardo de-cappuccino . . . because his head grows bigger with every movie he makes. Not ego, I mean literally, I am fearful his melon will grow to a physical size where one day it will fall out of the screen and crush me . . .

    Only saw Inception because of Christopher Nolan . . . I would have cast Clive Owen as Dominick Cobb . . .

  5. The little boy in Pet Sematary (and yes, that’s the “correct” spelling). I don’t know how they got a very small boy to pull off a look of sheer evil, but it scared me. Of course, children are inherently creepier than adults. I think it’s the teeth.

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