HOLLYWOOD—Last week we did discuss some iconic movies that amplified the level of suspense as we know it in cinema. I talked about a lot of movies, iconic ones to say the least, but there were two big ones that slipped my mind and I felt I had to have another column to discuss. One film that has a spine-tingling scene comes directly from a horror flick that I deem to be one of the best sequels in the genre. I’m referring to the 1997 classic “Scream 2.”

I just watched this flick the previous week and oh, it is just so entertaining, but there is one scene in general that brings me back to when I first witnessed this flick in theaters when it was first released. The chaos follows Sidney Prescott back to college as a copycat killer tracks her, Gale Weathers, Dewey Riley and Randy Meeks after the events of Woodsboro.

There is a scene in particular that is so well written and directed that it is amazing. I’m referring to that car scene where Sidney and Halle are ambushed by the killer, who takes out the cops who are tasked with keeping them safe. The entire scene is just so climatic. Killer strikes, gets into the vehicle, and an epic crash occurs. Ghostface is knocked out cold, Sidney and Halle are stuck in the back seat and they’re trying to get out of the cop car. The rear doors are locked so they can’t get out, but the wire gate between the front and back car has a bit of damage.

It allows Sidney and Halle to pull it back as Sidney climbs to the front seat and tries to open that door which is blocked against a cement block and wall. Guess what? The only option for escape is to climb over the killer and out the window. The tension and suspense here is heightened. I recall eating that popcorn as a precocious 12 year old on edge. Everyone in the theater was too. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Sidney edges over the killer, and she is curious who is behind the mask. She reaches her hand to take off the mask, but unfortunately, she collides into the vehicle’s horn.

Boom, I remember jumping in the theater and everyone else screaming. We just knew the killer was about to wake up. He didn’t and Sidney grabs at the door handle. It will NOT open, tears hit her face and then she realizes she has to climb out the window. She escapes and she tries to open the rear door from outside, but no luck. Halle is going to have to climb out the vehicle the same way as Sidney.

As an audience, we all told ourselves, yup, Sidney’s friend is about to meet her maker, there is no way that she gets out alive too. So, the tension amplifies as Halle climbs through the front and through the window with safety. With bated breath Halle escapes the vehicle. I think myself and everyone had a sigh of relief, only for Halle to unfortunately die seconds later when Sidney goes back to look for the killer to realize he’s escaped and attacks Halle from behind. Just brutal, but the suspense is so well crafted it hooks you immediately. One of the best in the franchise, next to the opening sequence in the 1996 original, “Scream.”

The other movie I want to discuss that is a prime example of suspense at its best is “A Quiet Place.” I cannot recall the last time I watched a movie in a theater that delivered an experience like this one. It was all about sound and how the presence of sound can lead to your demise. The opening blows you away as we discover no one is safe, even kids, as one of the children of the Abbott family is killed by that interstellar creature. The rest of the movie sees the audience trying to figure out what these creatures are, why they strike and if they have a weakness.

There is one scene in particular that is just so gut-wrenching, it is magnificent to watch. I’m referring to that sequence involving the creatures making their way to the Abbott home. Evelyn finds a nail in her foot while walking down the stairs, causing a picture frame to drop and make noise. That prompts those creatures to descend on the home, as Evelyn seeks escape.

There is just some epic editing that takes place here, between Lee, Regan and Marcus all aiming to come to Evelyn’s aide. FYI, Evelyn is pregnant and she’s going into labor. Yeah, she screams and she’s done. She climbs upstairs, and into a bathtub where the pain becomes near unbearable and that alien inches closer and closer as she gets ready to unleash a spine-tingling scream, as her child is ready to come.

It ultimately is faded out by the sound of fireworks emitted by Marcus to protect his mom and soon to be brother or sister. Evelyn manages escape in that sequence, but just by mere seconds. If she screamed sooner she would have been a goner, if she had screamer later she would have been a goner, it was all about perfect timing. John Krasinski builds that tension so well as a director that it was a once in a time experience in cinema. Not only was it a great movie, but one where you didn’t want to eat popcorn, drink from your cup, eat a nacho chip or make a sound. Why? You make a sound you suspect the creature might hear it and strike at the characters on screen as a result.

“A Quiet Place” and “Scream 2” prove that you can sustain an elongated sequence of suspense if well-written and carefully planned. It is not all about the dialogue sometimes it is what you show and when you show it that matters most.