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Nightmare Fuel / A Christmas Carol (1984)

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"Spirit? This is a fearful place, I...I wish to leave it."

  • The very opening: on a twilit bustling street, to a tolling bell and soft chorus, drives a hearse.
    Fred: {narrating} Old Marley was as dead as a door nail. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of this story I am going to relate...
  • The buildup to Marley's appearance includes:
    • His voice coming from a ghostly hearse. The hoarse-drawn coach, whose driver's face is hidden in shadow, appears suddenly behind Scrooge, and is then completely swallowed by the fog.
    • On Scrooge's doorknocker appears Marley's blue-glowing, deathly staring face. As though from a distance, he calls Scrooge's name.
    • Scrooge's disused bell ringing on its own, Marley's face appearing in the tiles around the fireplace, and the triple-locked door unlocking on its own and slamming open. The music is very ominous, and the mounting, disbelieving dread of this most unflappable of Scrooges stretches the tension to its breaking point.
    • Jacob Marley is ghastly. Unwrapping his jaw initially causes it to flop open, and his chains are so heavy and long he can barely raise his arms. His deathly glare and furious, sorrowful voice imply that regret has driven him to the edge of sanity. They do indeed disturb the very marrow of one's bones. His screams are even worse. And as he leaves the room other spirits' screams are heard from outside, but never seen.
  • The Ghost of Christmas Past has a few scare chords, and some of her crueler lines and Psychotic Smirking mix frighteningly with her otherwise angelic appearance.
  • As Fred's house party fades out, the last simile given is "silent as the grave" over a completely black screen.
  • The Ghost of Christmas Present is fine right up until the end, when he reveals Ignorance and Want, yells at Scrooge while using his own words against him, and disappears abruptly to leave Scrooge in an empty snow field, with enough of a Beat that Scrooge genuinely thinks he's been left to die in the dark before The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come arrives.
  • The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is generally seen from a distance or as a shadow, and what we do see has creepily long fingers. Whenever it "speaks" a sound like a rusting iron gate is heard, and the scene where it shows Scrooge his own body in an attempt to make him lift the cover is set during a lightning storm.
    • Scrooge's body lying there in the dark is one of the scariest versions put to screen, especially with the storm and blue lighting included in the scene.