The Guardian reports that viewers polled by WebsitePlay.com were particularly terrified by Jack Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny!” scene in Stanley Kubrick’s classic remake of Stephen King’s The Shining when hooked up to heart monitors and exposed to different horror films made over the years. Head to head with The Exorcist and Nightmare on Elm Street among 10 other films, The Exorcist came out on top as the movie producing the most overall body shock, but Nicholson’s Jack Torrance, paired with Kubrick’s mastery of tension through audio and iconic shots, had viewers’ pulses shooting up by 28.2%.
I would’ve petitioned that Linda Blair’s silent crab-walking down the stairs in The Exorcist deserved a high rating, but perhaps it’s because I’ve seen The Shining so many times that Jack Torrance is kind of endearing to me at this point. This Halloween weeknight, I suggest staying in, popping some corn, and cuddling up on the couch to watch Jack Torrance hysterically chase his wife through an empty Colorado hotel. Make sure you catch the “Here’s Johnny” scene, though my favorite part is actually when Wendy attempts to hit her deranged husband with a bat with the most ineffectual swings, ever.