10) The Iron Giant
First up on the list we have Hogarth’s attempt at saying Grace in The Iron Giant. It is a definite stand-out moment from a truly wonderful film. As the giant’s hand messes around in the kitchen, unbeknownst to his mother, Hogarth states, “Oh my God!…STOP!..the Devil from doing bad things..” It’s short, sweet and a nice moment of comedy from Brad Bird’s charming family film.
9) Step Brothers
I am unsure who deserves more credit in Step Brothers: Will Ferrell or John C. Reilly? I stopped trying to decide and have come to the conclusion that they are both equally as fantastic. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Step Brothers has some great dialogue, great moments and this is one of them. The moment where Brennan, Dale and family sit down to dinner together for the first time features some of the best lines in the film. There is a lot of talk surrounding ‘fancy sauce’ (which is mayonnaise and ketchup mixed together, for you Step Brothers virgins) and Brennan’s declaration of “I have been called the song bird of my generation” is something to look out for. Oh, and the dinosaur. And Brennan’s crying. Oh, it’s all hilarious, just watch it.
8) House Of 1000 Corpses
Moving on to something a little less funny, now, with Rob Zombie’s mental and brilliant House Of 1000 Corpses. He’s definitely a Marmite director and I, for one, sit on the ‘love’ him side. Whether you’re a fan or not, this film includes an effective dinner scene that takes place on Halloween. Against the rockin’ sounds of Rob Zombie we finally meet Otis Driftwood and his foetus in a jar. Wait, what? Even behind the masks they’re wearing, everyone’s feelings ring clear: complete shock and horror. It’s damn surreal and darkly funny to watch; the whole film’s a definite must-see for horror fans.
7) American Beauty
The number 7 position goes to the deserving Oscar-winning film American Beauty. Kevin Spacey gives a phenomenal performance as family-man Lester Burnham, and he shines in this dinner scene. It’s a faintly hilarious few minutes and all Lester wants is that bloody asparagus. However, his wife is more concerned with the fact he’s just quit his job and told his boss to do one. What makes it even funnier is the chosen music which speaks about rainbows. There’s no rainbows to be seen at this dinner; perhaps a crash of lightning, though.
6) Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast is not my favourite from Disney, I found it a bit scary as a child and haven’t really watched it since. Nevertheless, the ‘Be Our Guest’ scene is delightful. Belle is treated to one of the greatest meals of her life; signing, dancing, bright lights and a wonderful platter at the end of it all. It’s bright, beautiful and absolutely mesmerising. Even Cogsworth seems to get a bit of enjoyment from it. However, I warn you, once you watch this clip and hear that song; it will be stuck in your head for many moons.
5) Pan’s Labyrinth
This is quite the opposite of your usual dinner scene because little Ofelia is advised, no WARNED, not to touch anything in the room and that includes the damn grapes. Guillermo Del Toro is a master at creating inventive, beautiful and unique monsters and the Pale Man could be his most unnerving. The quiet crackling of the candles coupled with the shots of the unpleasant paintings, makes for an ominous atmosphere, indeed. The audience knows Ofelia’s curiosity will get the better of her and the outcome makes for a fantastic and chilling scene.
Beetlejuice is a fabulous film and I encourage anyone who disagrees to go away and re-evaluate their life. The ‘Day-OH!’ scene is a ridiculous, yet, completely fitting moment in the film and a massive bravo must be given to everyone who took part in it. The look of horror on the actors faces as they get possessed and break out in to song, is absolutely priceless.
3) Meet The Parents
This is probably one of my favourite scenes in any film, ever. The original Meet The Parents has plenty of laughs, but this moment is pure gold. From milking kittens to smashing Jack’s mother’s urn, it’s the epitome of awkward. I don’t know whether Ben Stiller or Robert DeNiro should be praised higher; they give fantastic performances and how they manage to keep a straight face is beyond me. The whole film is marvellous and it really is a shame about those sequels…
2) Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Arguably one of the greatest horror films to grace our screens, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre certainly earns its place at number 2 as it features a scream-fest of a dinner scene. It’s pretty awful actually and the sound is particularly terrifying, so listen out for that. As our heroine regains consciousness at the dinner table she is surrounded by a load of nutters, to say the least. The crazed family, dead Grandad and all, terrorise and mock Sally until she is literally a nervous, screaming and helpless little wreck. The extreme close-ups on her eyes, the subtle shots of skulls and the quietly intimidating presence of Leatherface, makes for a great, yet, horrifying dinner.
1) Eraserhead (1977)
The reason why this scene in Eraserhead has been given the number 1 spot is purely for how utterly nonsensical and brilliantly disturbing it is. Henry Spencer is having dinner at his girlfriend’s parent’s house and is asked to carve the chicken. However, it’s not your regular-sized chicken. Oh no, this is some weird miniature chicken that Henry looks, understandably, reluctant to touch. When it starts moving, with goo seeping out of it…I don’t blame him for looking a bit confused. And then he’s got that mutant baby to deal with…For those of you who’ve seen this surreal mind-boggle of a film, I think you will agree with me when I say: David Lynch has crafted one of the most horrifying and unforgettable things I have ever seen. The film digs deep in to your soul and makes you feel entirely uncomfortable as it presents you with some truly haunting images.