Movies & Television

Scary Movie and TV Scenes as Children's Pop-up Books

No childhood is complete without hours of reading pop up books. The latest content project from Oldrids & Downtown imagines what it would look like if some of film history’s most iconic scary and thrilling scenes got the children’s pop-up book treatment and here’s what they came up with.

Not your usual children’s pop-up books

Jaws

Spielberg’s first giant success in filmmaking was Jaws. A thriller that transcends the ages and has definitely earned its status as a cultural icon. The film is an exercise in patience as you don’t even see the shark until an hour and twenty minutes in. This was due to the logistical and technical problems of using giant mechanical shark in filming. Throw the conditions of the Atlantic Ocean into the mix and it’s easy to understand why Jaws took three times longer to shoot than was expected.

Production delays aside, the film recouped its costs in two weeks at the box office and to this day has taken 470 million dollars at the box office. Jaws also teaches us how important it is to invest in a quality musical score. The ‘Theme from Jaws’ has done more to keep the film in the global consciousness than any advertising campaign, quote or scene ever could.

Alien

Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi epic Alien is now in pop-up book form! The film had originally been slated to be titled Starbeast which sounds more like the Disney adaptation, but luckily the production team settled on the now famous Alien. The scene depicted in the pop-up book is the ‘chestburster’ scene, one of a handful of timeless sequences from the film.

The chestburster scene features some very convincing performances from the cast who are reacting to Kane’s demise. The cast knew that Ridley Scott was going to make an alien creature burst from Kane’s chest, but they didn’t know how he was going to do it. Scott employed the help of multiple blood bags and used real cow and pig organs for the scene hence the expressions of real horror on the casts’ faces.

IT

Stephen King’s supernatural thriller It exploded onto screens in 2017 and was one of the cultural moments of the year. It took a whopping 700 million dollars at the box office, having cost 35 million to make. The film appeals to so many fears, especially as the main antagonist is a supernatural bogart that can morph itself to take the shape of your worst fears. Its favourite form is Pennywise, a clown. 

The novel the film was adapted from took Stephen King four years to write and was inspired by a Norwegian folk tale. King was also heavily under the influence of cocaine when he wrote the book which…explains a lot.

Stranger Things

Netflix has produced a lot of original content over the last few years and 2019 could be the first year that the entertainment giant wins its first Oscar. Their interdimensional series Stranger Things was an absolute smash in 2016. The attention to 80s detail is so immaculate that it’s worth watching for the nostalgia alone.

Season three is due later this year with a July 4th release date slated for now. The cast and creators have all tipped that season three is set to be the biggest one yet – if you can believe that. With months to go before it’s released, there’s plenty of time for you to get up to speed on the first two seasons if you haven’t already.

Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock is another film perfectionist whose works continue to be celebrated and upheld in high regards today. Released in 1960, Psycho is the film that defined the horror genre and its iconic shower scene continues to carry cultural significance to this day. Even if your parents weren’t born when the film came out, you know about the Psycho shower scene.

This amazing scene lasts just three minutes in the film but took over six days to shoot. 77 different angles were used but most of the folklore surrounding the scene isn’t true. The actress Janet Leigh knew her character was to be murdered, the water wasn’t ice cold as has been told and Janet Leigh never used a body double. These stories are probably due to the next film we’re going to look at…

The Shining

If any horror scene is to replace the Psycho shower scene, it would be the ‘Here’s Johnny!’ scene from The Shining. Another Stephen King adaption, Stanley Kubrick directed this masterpiece and laboured over it for a long time. Stanley Kubrick had a painstaking process of working, demanding they shoot in chronological order. The initial photography took a year alone.

This scene has been parodied and imitated from Bangkok to Berlin and the unconventional methods of the film are well-known too. Shelley Duval was able to give such a convincing performance of distress and horror as Stanley Kubrick psychologically and physically tormented her on set. Allegedly, she pulled out real chunks of her own hair to show just how distressed she was. Unfortunately, it is said that Duvall’s ordeal was so stressful that it put her off acting forever.

Poltergeist

Another Spielberg classic, Poltergeist was the biggest film of 1982. Although he is not credited as a director, Spielberg wrote and produced the film due to a clause in his E.T contract stating he can’t direct another film at the same time. There’s still confusion over whether he actually just directed it anyway. Credited director Tobe Hooper claims the whole story is a fiction, borne out of an LA Times hack job. However, Zelda Rubinstein, who worked on set for six days, said very clearly that Spielberg was directing the film for the six days she was there.

Perhaps the strangest thing about the film is that many people consider the film itself to be haunted. Allegedly, real skeletons were used in the film and during shooting and following the release a strange number of the cast met an untimely demise. Watch it for yourself…if you dare.

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