Thursday, December 10, 2009

Going out on a limb: Trees in horror

After finally decorating my empty, waiting Christmas tree after two weeks of procrastination, I got to thinking about trees in general... and how many of them play roles (both figuratively and literally) in horror.

There are tons and tons of movies that have random big-breasted girls running hopelessly through the woods to their eventual death, so I haven't included them, per se.

So here's a list (because I love lists, as you know) of "famous" horror trees:




The Blair Witch Project...
Lots and lots of trees. And freaky little twig ornaments hanging around everywhere to wig our doomed trio out quite properly.




The Village...
Painting the trees near the perimeters of the woods where "Those we don't speak of" apparently roam. Lotta trees in this one, too.




Wrong Turn...
Two shots from the scenes where they were trying to hide from the mutant cannibalistic backwoods inbreds.



This is the scene right before she gets her head cut off. Nasty.




The Ring...
Just a bit of trivia: The tree with the fiery red leaves featured in the movie is a Japanese maple. The fruit of this tree is known as a "samara".



Also from The Ring...
The tree painted on the wall in Samara's hayloft bedroom.




Sleepy Hollow...
Now this is one creepy-ass tree. And a major part of the actual movie since the Headless Horseman literally leaps from within the tree on horseback. It was called, appropriately enough, The Tree of the Dead.




The horseman, sans head, in the grave under the tree roots.




Scream...
Nice imagery here. Poor Casey. But nice use of the tree!




Poltergeist...
One of my favorite trees in horror. I will never forget the first time I saw this film and the tree branch came smashing through the window. I didn't sleep for a week because of the tree in my own backyard scraping on the window.




Rob Zombie's Halloween...
Probably the most brutal scene in the film is the one where this poor kid is killed by young Michael with a huge tree branch. This is the end result.
Never bully Michael Myers, 'kay?




The Guardian...
Of all the movies that include creepy trees, this flick with its Druid-loving/worshiping nanny is the epitome of tree usage in horror. Bleeding trees & baby sacrifice.
Talk about tree hugging.




Also from The Guardian. Just like The Tree of the Dead in Sleepy Hollow, this tree bleeds when you cut it. Nice.




Final Destination 2...
Whether or not you actually like the FD film series, you have to admit they have some creative ways to kill people. Here's a nice way to get offed - logs through the windshield. Yikes.




The Evil Dead...
If I have to explain this picture then you certainly are no horror fan. Enough said.




Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers...
Not classified as horror, but truthfully those Ents were really ominous at times. So in this pic, the Ents were highly pissed. And pissed off tree-people that actually talk...that's just unnerving.
(The Battle Of Isengard, BTW.)



Looks like the wizard (Winter) from that Christmas special of long ago. Except Treebeard is green of course.
Like I said, talking trees are disturbing.





The Wizard of Oz...
When I was a kid, this freaking tree scared the shit out of me, even more than the Wicked Witch of the West. He was bitchy as hell - and he threw apples!
Gets my vote for the meanest damn tree in film.


* Sensing us, the trees tremble in their sleep,
The living leaves recoil before our fires,
Baring to us war-charred and broken branches,
And seeing theirs, we for our own destruction weep.
- Kathleen Raine, London Trees



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13 comments:

Chris Hallock said...

Ha, excellent post!

I love trees, but they absolutely can be terrifying.

There's a Korean horror film called Acacia that is kind of interesting. You might want to check it out.

James said...

Great post Chris! Brought a smile to my already-dark-and-its-only-4pm day. :P

The Film Connoisseur said...

Hi, Im a new reader to your blog, great blog you got going here! Just subscribed to it. As for trees in horror a good example is also:

The Gate - where the gates off hell open beneath the dead tree in the backyard of the kids house. It has that scene where the kid is reading from the bible to the hell hole, and then hurls the bible at the hole!

B-Movie Becky said...

Haha, glad to see The Guardian on there. I haven't heard anyone talk about that in a while.

Ms Harker said...

Fabulous post! I have earrings, that are shaped like a big black horror tree!My favourite has to be The Wizard of Oz!

www.musingcontinuum.com

Maweanne said...

Now that I'm looking at these pictures, trees are pretty damn scary.

Erin said...

Great idea for a list! Very unique post.

Connie said...

I found your blog while looking for pics of the tree in "The Ring" and enjoyed reading this thread. However, there is one major omission - the ultimate scary tree in the movie "From Hell It Came." Check it out in a clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiP6W0ZCQRg or look up "Tabanga" in Google Image Search. Be afraid, be very afraid. :)

Anonymous said...

i like the sleepy hollow tree or the tree of the dead. It has a creepy Tim Burton effect on people.

Spooky Vegan said...

Another creative list. How I love reading these!!

Kaijinu said...

ever heard of the short film Treevenge? That had killer Christmas trees offing poor chaps, sheilas and kids alike. Pretty messy, but fun!

Marie Robinson said...

This post made me think of Antichrist, the iconic sex scene with the hands coming out of the trees. So unsettling!

Gabriel said...

Amazing post! Coincidently, I read an article on a real life cursed tree yesterday. It's known as the devil's tree and is in Oak Hammock Park in Bernards Township, New Jersey.