Blindness

You Can’t See Me! 10 Of The Best Examples Of Blindness In Movie Scenes

One way or another, the affliction of blindness can occur to anyone. People can be born blind, lose their sight to a disease, or simply end up with visual impairment due to age. Plenty of horror films have exploited this reality for scares, and we’ve amassed 10 of some of the best movies that feature blindness scenes.

Blindness Example #1: Dead Eyes of London (1961)

Wikipedia sums this film up rather succinctly: “In this film, a series of murders of wealthy men leads investigators to a group of blind men with a mysterious leader.” Alfred Vohrer’s Dead Eyes Of London (1961) is a little more complex than that (involving life insurance and extortion), but this movie will probably be remembered more for its striking visuals, seemingly enhanced by being in black and white. While some instantly prefer color in movies, it occasionally seems like the stark, immediate contrast of a black-and-white image enhances the emotional impact.

Dead Eyes Of London also has some performances you might like. Personally, I thank this film for introducing me to actor Ady Berber. As Blind Jack, he comes across as a more vicious version of Tor Johnson. Klaus Kinski also appears as Edgar Strauss. What can be said about Kinski? The guy always has a presence on screen. Dead Of Eyes Of London also stars Joachim Fuchsberger, Karin Baal, and Dieter Borsche. Oh yeah, and it has a kickass name, too.

Blindness Example #2: Wait Until Dark (1967)

When I started compiling this list, I knew Terence Young’s Wait Until Dark (1967) would have to be on it, whether I liked it or not. Fortunately, I do like this movie after having watched it for the first time in preparation. At first, it doesn’t seem quite as creepy as one might expect. You might assume, “Okay, these people are just trying to steal something. It’s just a regular crime movie.” However, as three criminals plot to extract a heroin-stuffed doll from the apartment of blind Susy Hendrix (Audrey Hepburn), they get increasingly menacing.

The drama is enhanced not only because Susy is blind, but because also she really doesn’t know about the doll. The idea that they’re all exploiting her blindness is a nice touch, emphasizing their shadiness. Of the three bad guys, Roat (Alan Arkin) stands out the most, although Talman (Richard Crenna) and Carlino (Jack Weston) aren’t perfect angels, either. A moment from Wait Until Dark ranked 10th on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments, by the way.  Not bad!

Blindness Example #3: Tales from the Crypt (1972) “Blind Alleys” Segment

Freddie Francis’ Tales from the Crypt is a great anthology tale, to be sure. In fact, it’s a pretty strong candidate to be the best. One of its best segments is “Blind Alleys.” It’s also one of the most overtly political in nature. Major William Rogers (Nigel Patrick) is the new director of a home for the blind. While he lives in luxury with his German Shepard, he decides to cut the food and heating budget to the home, to the point where the residents risk dying of hypothermia. Being a Tales from the Crypt story, you might have already guessed that they plan some revenge. It is a pretty sick plan, too, and a stern lesson for those who wish to make life more difficult for those in need.

Blindness Example #4: Young Frankenstein (1974)

Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein (1974) is full of horrific, parody-tinged laughs. One of the funniest moments is when The Monster (Peter Boyle) meets the blind man (Gene Hackman). While the man’s intentions are surely good, they are not met with the best results. This is, of course, a parody of a similar scene in James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein. While both scenes are masterfully done, it’s for different reasons, to say the least. Young Frankenstein is a great movie, indeed. Of course, this focus on the blind man isn’t meant to downplay performances by Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars, and Madeline Kahn.

Blindness Example #5: Halloween II (1981)

Remember when Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) shot Michael Myers (Dick Warlock) in both his eyes with a handgun? Yes, it happened in Rick Rosenthal’s Halloween II (1981). Myers was blind at one point, forced to resort to pathetically swatting at Laurie with a handy scalpel. After convincing her to run away, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) releases some gases into the room to trigger an explosion. Boom! How the hell does Michael survive for Part 4 with his body and vision intact? Who knows?! How did Dr. Loomis himself survive? Again, who knows?! It must be that Loomis has some superhuman, fire-and-explosion-proof skin or something. Still, both parts 2 and 4 of the Halloween franchise are solid, even if they require massive doses of suspension of disbelief.

Blindness Example #6: Castle Freak (1995)

I mean this in a good way: The less I say about Stuart Gordon’s Castle Freak (1995), the better. I’ll just say that this movie features a blind teenage daughter named Rebecca (Jessica Dollarhide). When entering the basement of the Italian castle inherited by her dad (Jeffrey Combs), Rebecca comes eerily close to encountering a stranger, the titular castle freak named Giorgio (Johnathan Fuller). Some of the movie’s freakier moments involve her hearing but not seeing this tortured, maniacal character, who seems hellbent on establishing revenge upon the world. This is one of those horror movies that doesn’t hold back much at all, so get ready to be disturbed.

Blindness Example #7: Red Dragon (2002)

Speaking of Dollarhides, this movie has yet another one of those, only this time, it’s a character’s name: Francis Dolarhyde (Ralph Fiennes). Also, instead of a blind teenage girl, this Dolarhyde is a far less innocent, far more maniacal presence. Known as the The Tooth Fairy, he goes around killing families, and it’s up to retired FBI agent Will Graham (Edward Norton) to craft a profile of the killer and ultimately track him down. Francis Dolarhyde is a scary man, to be sure.  Still, Red Dragon (2002) doesn’t shy away from humanizing this monster, as well as his burgeoning romantic interest in a blind woman, Reba (Emily Watson).

Reba makes this menace second-guess whatever demonic impulses make him kill. There’s a rather compelling scene where they bond while petting a tranquilized tiger, and you really get the sense that this killer wants to change. Can psychopaths be like that in real life? In this piece of fiction, though, one would need a heart of stone to not recognize this character as a tortured soul, even if he never redeems himself. Plus, those Red Dragon metamorphosis scenes are a total mindfuck.

Blindness Example #8: The Descent (2005)

As a horror writer, let me just say this: It’s amazing how many times certain movies deserve mentions in several genre articles, due to thematic crossover. I’ve personally mentioned The Descent (2005) many times, and it’s somehow always relevant. Here it’s relevant once again, not due so much to the main human characters but the so-called “crawlers” who menace them in the cave system.

I’ve questioned whether this movie even needs these creatures, but they are there, and they’re a freaky force to be reckoned with. They are also blind, after living their lives in the cave. Who or what are they? It’s hard to say, but they’re the reason we invented words like “humanoid,” to be sure. I should mention that this movie was directed by Neil Marshall and stars Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, and Nora-Jane Noone.

Blindness Example #9: Blindsided/Penthouse North (2013)

Joseph Ruben’s Blindsided (2013 AKA Penthouse North) seems to borrow from Wait Until Dark thematically. However, it’s not a total ripoff, as the charismatic personality of Michael Keaton’s character, Robert Hollander, will have you saying, “Wait until who?” That’s not to say the movie’s a total masterpiece, but it’s definitely good enough to make this list. The blind character here is Sara Frost (Michelle Monaghan), who is being badgered by Hollander and his crime partner, Chad (Barry Sloane), over the location of stolen diamonds. Between Holland and Chad, there’s a good bad guy/bad bad guy dynamic, though such lines become blurred as the movie progresses. Also, Andrew W. Walker plays Sara’s boyfriend who, let’s just say, mostly gives a literally lifeless performance (sorry, but watch the movie and you’ll understand).

Blindness Example #10: Don’t Breathe (2016)

With the more polarizing Evil Dead remake behind him, Fede Álvarez seemed hellbent on offering something a little different, and Don’t Breathe (2016 – read our review here) is quite different, indeed. It starts with a bunch of home invaders sneaking into the house of a blind Gulf War veteran (Stephen Lang) to steal the hundreds of thousands of dollars that they think he has hidden there. They get more than they bargained for when the man proves formidable, then downright deviant, as the film progresses.

While being blind is typically a handicap, this film skillfully plays it off as an advantage, as the blind man rarely seems at anyone else’s mercy. Don’t Breathe skillfully (and almost humorously) turns the tables and flips the script, turning a mundane-sounding theft movie into a bit of a memorable horror thriller, due to its tone. It also stars Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, and Daniel Zovatto as the ragtag gang of thieves.

What are your thoughts on these movies with blindness scenes? Have you seen them? Let us know in the comments!

About wadewainio

Wade is a wannabe artist and musician (operating under the moniker Grandpa Helicopter), and an occasional radio DJ for WMTU 91.9 FM Houghton. He is an occasional writer for Undead Walking, and also makes up various blogs of his own. He even has a few books in the works. Then again, doesn't everyone?

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