What's the scariest thing I've ever seen? When I'm posed that question I take it seriously and genuinely. It's deeper than watching a horror film for the first time wherein edits and piano stabs are designed to make me jump. That's a one and done affair. I'm talking about lasting shit, shit that instills dread, makes me cringe even when I've already seen it a dozen times. To that end when Lit Pop Culture Aunt, Kerensa Cadenas asked me, not one quote unquote scary movie actually came to mind. I drew a blank...and then settled on a movie that is decidedly not billed as horror and/or scary came to mind. Fucking Minority Report, fam. Definitely not a movie in my must-watch-every-October list.
But there's one sequence in that movie that terrifies me every single time since it became an insta-fave when I saw it in theaters in 2002. The murder of Anne Lively, which lowkey drives the plot of the film, as seen multiple times by Tom Cruise's lead cop and the shook, weirdo bald chick precog he partners up with is simply haunting every time it plays out—which happens sometimes in reverse as Anderton works to solve the murder and ascertain its significance. The score, with its baroque, wailing voices, literally makes my hair stand up. And when Anne's attacker runs up on her in the middle of an inherently creepy woods setting to drown her, I lose it. Horror film? Maybe not. But when I watch Minority Report alone, suddenly my tendency to watch movies in the dark dissipates and I'm going straight for the lights. RIP Anne.—Frazier Tharpe