Domestic imprisonment and the anxiety of confinement are what make these 6 most thrilling escape scenes such a joy to watch. Sometimes it just takes a bunch of kiddie toys, a redneck alien, or a nerd with a rock hammer to get us there.
"Misery": The Typewriter Scene
The astounding thing about "Misery" is that it pre-dates internet fanboydom and still holds up. A remake would likely render some watered-down escape, with James Caan's author unfriending Kathy Bates' psycho on various social media before gently stunning her with an iPad. The genuine thrill lies in whether or not "Misery" will escape the Hollywood vultures that have descended upon fellow Stephen King vehicles "The Stand" and "It" for a second helping.
"Toy Story 3": The Incinerator
Going into a stranger's basement is scary enough, let alone when he has a pit that he keeps women in until their skin is soft and silky enough to turn into clothing! It had to be way harder to sell Avon products door-to-door after this came out.
"Children of Men": Bexhill Refugee Camp
There are scores of prison-break movies out there, but Alphonso Cuaron's 2006 masterpiece is the only one that sees their characters breaking into a prison to escape their fates. Seamless long shots, innovative cinematography and subtle CGI combine in a climax that makes a simple rowboat seem thrilling. In an age of escalating flash-bang, "Children of Men" proves that sometimes you just have to boil a story down to the good stuff.
"Predator": Guatemala Jungle Standoff
Every time somebody catches "Predator" on and stops to laugh at Arnold screaming "Get to the choppa!" and "Keel me!" they always watch it to the very end; that's the fundamental difference between this and the usual Schwarzenegger-ian slop. This movie dances on the line between character exploitation and genuine thrills, a cinematic mutant that cross-breeds the WWF with "Deliverance," and for those risks it has endured as a classic.
"The Shawshank Redemption": The Poster Reveal
There's this film. Soft light, bunch of guys playing chess and doing meaningful favors for each other. Kind of boring. They sit around all day and either work or talk or walk in a circle in a dirt yard. Kind of boring. Then one of those guys…betrays the warden through a rabbit hole guarded by Raquel Welch in her fuzzy britches? He crawls through a river of excrement and escapes to Mexico with a convertible and a ton of cash? The warden blows his head off?! This film is insane!