To celebrate the release of Sinister 2 – which is bound to feature its fair share of jumps – we look back at those moments in the chambers of horror that had us throwing popcorn up in the air and jumping to the high heavens.
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6. The Sixth Sense
For all the indicators laid out methodically from director M. Night Shyamalan in his greatest work to date, this particular jump scare still comes as a frightful experience to us, the unprepared audience. Poor little Cole (Haley Joel Osment) has already been through plenty as we witness hanging bodies and all manner of walking paranormal entities haunt his everyday life, but with the emergence of Mischa Barton’s vomit-spewing Kyra Collins comes a whole new nightmarish vision.
With Cole breathing out the cold air and the appearance of yet another red object, our awareness is suddenly heightened in anticipation for another vision of the dead, but when Barton’s pale, ghostly face appears from within Cole’s tent it strikes a chord and results in one hell of a scare. Shyamalan’s attention to building tension and execution in this scene is incomparable, thrusting us viewers into our own sense of vulnerability matched with that of the riddled Cole. The Sixth Sense is littered with many an inspired scene, but this one in particular carves itself in the memory, presenting a true turning point in the narrative and paving the way for a brave and unforgettable conclusion.