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Lili Taylor's First Scare in 'The Conjuring'

Chris Nashawaty names his best movie scene in 2013

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If you’ve already seen the delirious white-knuckle chiller The Conjuring, you know the scene I’m talking about. If you haven’t, fasten your seat belt; it’s a honey. Lili Taylor plays a woman who’s just moved into a haunted old farmhouse with her husband and five young daughters. The place is your typical horror-flick fixer-upper with creaky doors, eerie laughter, and things that go bump (and worse) in the night. While playing hide-and-seek with her girls, Taylor stumbles around blindfolded as they hint at their whereabouts by clapping. When she follows sinister noises into the creepy basement, the door locks behind her, the lightbulb blows out, and she pulls out a match. We know something is down there with her. Something evil. And just as her trembling hands manage to light the match, a pair of hands clap right behind her! I’m not giving anything away here — the scene was in the trailer — but sitting in the darkened theater, I was a sweating, squirming wreck. When the shocker came, I literally jumped into the lap of the guy sitting next to me. Maybe I should take this opportunity to apologize to him.