TEN TOP CAR CHASE SCENES IN HORROR
Think car chases are just reserved for action movies? Think again!
Here are ten of the best car chase sequences the horror genre has to offer.
Out of gallery
Near Dark (1987)
It's not really a "chase" as such but there's a fantastic moment towards the end of "Near Dark" that involves a speeding juggernaut. Searching for his sister who's been kidnapped by modern-day vampires, the righteous cowboy Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) hijacks a fuel truck to squish cocky bloodsucker Severen (a brilliant turn by Bill Paxton). Unfortunatley running him over just pisses him off, and he starts to demolish the engine. A superbly frantic Tangerine Dream score plays as Caleb tries to finish him off while speeding down the highway. Also worthy of mention is Jesse Hooker's (Lance Henriksen) slo-mo car pursuit at the climax.
The Wraith (1986)
Often campy by today's standards, this Charlie Sheen film was a barnstormer back in video rental days. It also has some cracking car chase sequences.. Sheen is (slight spoilers here) "Jake", who is a new incarnation of Jamie Hankins, who was killed by a gang of street-racing criminals. He's now back as "The Wraith", a "Stig"-lookalike with a "Knight Rider" car! This is either due to divine intervention or alien shenanigans... take your pick. Anyway "The Wraith" challenges members of the gang to a thrilling set of car chases, all of which are pretty well realised and end with the victims slam-dunking straight into the mysterious vehicle. Great 80s fun.
John Carpenter's effective take on Stephen King's auto-horror is pretty good, and the realisation of the 1958 Plymouth Fury is beyond-cool. The vehicular highlights here are the classic car's pursuit of Arnie Cunningham's (Keith Gordon) tormentors. Special mention must go to the scene where a vengeful Christine hunts Moochie Welch down dark deserted streets (along with a pounding Carpenter soundtrack) and catches up to him in a narrow alleyway. A similar scene where "she" speeds along whilst fully ablaze from an explosion is also worthy of mention.
Death Proof (2007)
Another film that is essentially just one long serious of car chases, but all the better for it. The sadistic Stuntman Mike McKay(Kurt Russell) uses his indestructible stunt-car to chase and kill young women on the road. But he reckons without Rosario Dawson and her buddies, and stuntwoman Zoe Bell in particular. The best part comes with a nail-biting game of "Ship's Mast", where Zoe is strapped to the hood of a car as they duel with a homicidal Mike , where he tries to run them off the road and wreck their car. Guess who comes out on top?
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
You know what's more terrifying than cruising around in the rural mid-west and seeing a strange cloaked figure dump a body shaped bag down an underground pipe? When that creepy looking dude notices that you've seen him and gets into his menacing looking truck and starts speeding after you. Trish and Darry may manage to escape by veering off the side of the road and into a field, but it's only a matter of time before the Creeper tracks them down...
Jurassic Park (1993)
There aren't many things scarier than being chased by a 40ft reptile. And that's what Kevin Malcolm and Ellie Satler have to endure after a T-Rex escapes from its paddock and decides it wants to eat them. Fortunately for them the dinosaur can't match their vehicle for speed and they are able to accelerate away to safety. Well, until the next time they are attacked by other dinos that is. The film may be over 25 years old at this point but the effects still hold up and the scene remains as thrilling as ever.
Steven Spielberg's road rage horror is filled with car chase scenes, obviously. But there's a five minute sequence that stands out. A middle-aged salesman on a business trip is passing through the Mojave desert when he roars past a dilapidated tanker truck. The truck driver is clearly unhappy and ee find out just how pissed off he is a bit later when he catches back up with the salesman and tailgates him at a substantial speed, causing the salesman to swerve off the road and crash into a fence. However it's not the last time these two vehicles will meet...
Wolf Creek (2005)
There are numerous horrible sequences in Greg McLean's outback horror based on the real life serial killer Ivan Milat. But not many more gut wrenching than the one where Kristy, a backpacker who Mick Taylor has previously tortured but who has escaped, manages to flag down a passing car on the highway. However Mick is watching and shoots the good samaritan dead with a hunting rifle. Kirsty gets into the poor bloke's car and speeds off with Mick in hot pursuit. He pulls up alongside her and revels in her terror but she manages to force him off the road. However, it's only a temporary reprieve...
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Well... the whole thing is just one big car chase isn't it? The plot sees Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) and Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Thereon) flee from Immortan Joe's Citadel and his hordes of War Boys, in hefty post-apocalyptic vehicles.... and then get chased back again to save the future. It's difficult to single one vehicular scrap out from the plethora that are available, but the moments where a mass of speeding cars are headed by "Guitar Guy" and his fire-spewing "axe", or groups of vehicles are tossed around by a dust storm are surely worth a mention. Or perhaps its's the sequence where Max is used as a "ornament" on a car bonnet as he's used for a "blood-bank". Take your pick. Vehicular armageddon and mostly free from CGI.
The Hitcher (1986)
Rutger Hauer's performance in The Hitcher is a career best and it's full of road based carnage. Perhaps the best is the scene where Jim (C. Thomas Howell) and a waitress he's just met try to flee the police after being framed for murder by Ryder (Rutger Hauer). However whilst the police cars and helicopters close in on them, Ryder appears from nowhere and causes multiple car pile ups and fatalities. It's a shocking and violent pursuit that propels the film towards a grimly fascinating finale.