Last weekend, I went to go see Jurassic Park in IMAX 3D with Harry and a few of our friends, and I have to say that it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. I saw it about a year and a half ago at a Christmas event at the 92Y Tribeca, but before that it had been at least ten years (maybe fifteen?) since I’d last seen it. When I was growing up, that movie gave me nightmares, and not just, like, one or two. Regularly, and for months. I can’t tell you how afraid I was going around corners looking for dinosaurs to jump out and snap me in half.
I mean, it was the nineties, right? Anything could happen. That with a healthy dose of Are You Afraid of the Dark? and other such things had the very intended effect of the scaring me nearly to death as a child.
However, I remember very vividly from childhood that the most terrifying scene in that movie is the infamous raptors in the kitchen scene. While I’m not saying that scene isn’t scary–because you’d better believe I had my legs up in my seat at that point–I’m just saying that there are some other scenes in Jurassic Park that made me jump a little higher and gasp a little harder.
I tried to make a list of the top ten moments scarier than the kitchen scene, but then I decided that it ranks too high in scary moments in that movie for there to be ten higher. So I went with five, and I’m satisfactorily freaked out again. This list does, in fact, contain spoilers for a movie that came out in 1993, so if you’re worried about that, you should probably back away now.
5. Near the end of the movie, when Dr. Grant and the kids are climbing over the (off) electric fence while Ellie is racing to turn the power back on. I’m not sure that this qualifies as really scary, but it’s definitely suspenseful – maybe one of the more tense moments in the movie, especially when you think that Tim might have really died this time.
4. When Lex falls through the ceiling tile and is barely pulled back up in time to prevent the raptor pulling her down and eating her? Yeah, no thanks.
3. Remember how Laura Dern and Richard Attenborough go to pick up Jeff Goldblum (well, ostensibly, anyone else, but he was there, I guess) and they drive away, chased by the T Rex? Yeah, it’s pretty sweat-inducing to actually feel like a large dinosaur is chasing you, since you actually have your back firmly up against the back of your seat.
2. It’s still pretty horrific pretty early on in the Dinosaurs Have Arrived part of the movie (so, like, 25 minutes in) when the power goes out and the T Rex completely destroys one of the electric cars. Of course, it’s the one that the kids are in, and watching this movie in 3D as it bears down on
1. By far, the moment in this movie that most freaked me out was when Laura Dern goes into the other end of the compound to turn the power back on, and after she does so, the raptor leaps out of the power cords at her. I don’t think that I’ve ever moved that rapidly into a seated fetal position in my entire life. Maybe it isn’t the kitchen scene, but the raptors still reign supreme as the most terrifying part of that movie. And you know what? I’m just, uh, going to let them have it.
Honorable mention in this list of horrifying moments is the iron grip I had on Harry’s hand for most of the second half of the movie. I’m sure it was pretty gross and sweaty along with being a death grip, so a big cheers to him for being a good sport.
All in all, Jurassic Park is a fantastic movie, even if it scared me pretty much as strongly now as it did when I was a small Mustard Ampersand. And no, I don’t think it’s really as scary for most people as it is to me, but no one can deny that there are some moments in this movie that will really get you if you aren’t expecting them.