The X-Files: Season One Scares

January 13, 2013

Okay, so it’s not exactly new (and by that, I mean it’s from the 1990’s). But if you’re looking for a few hours of good, creepy fun, you should consider watching (or re-watching) The X-Files. The series is chalk-full of scary episodes in its nine seasons, but let’s face it. Some episodes are better at scary, while some are better at humor, and others yet are better at good old-fashioned government conspiracy theories.
So to make things easier, I’ve made a list of my favorite scary episodes of The X-Files from its first season.

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5. “Darkness Falls.” What’s scary about this one? For one, it plays upon a very common phobia:  the fear of insects. You see, you have billions of swarming glow-in-the-dark bugs that wrap people up like mummies in trees…but only when there’s no light to keep them away. Although, admittedly, it does make me think of the Glo Worms. Anybody else remember them? Except the bugs in this episode aren’t cute, and they kill people. Which is basically the opposite of Glo Worms.
Highlights from this episode include lines like: “Come on, Scully. It’ll be a nice trip to the forest.” And “Oh, a brain-sucking amoeba.” Classic.
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4.  “Ice.” Maybe it’s just me, but the idea of a parasite that makes you kill others and yourself, living far below the ice undiscovered for a few million years makes me uneasy. Especially when it’s accidentally dug up by humans who are just trying to study the earth’s core. Oops?

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3. “Squeeze.” When I talk to other fans of The X-Files, this episode almost always gets a mention as one that collectively freaked them out. A genetic mutant who can literally flatten himself like a pancake to squeeze up through your toilet, or through your heat vent in order to kill you by ripping out and eating your liver? With his bare hands? Who wouldn’t be a little wary every time they had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night after watching this episode?
And Mulder’s deadpanning about the difference between little green men and gray reticulum to Scully’s jackass old FBI classmate? Icing on the cake.
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2. “Tooms.” The follow-up episode to “Squeeze.” Eugene Victor Tooms is released from jail, causing Mulder and Scully to track his movements in hopes of preventing him from killing again. The bonus with this one is that we get a real sense of the deepening friendship between the two agents, and a lot of the stand-alone episodes don’t usually have much in the way of character development.
Let me say this much: this episode made sure I would never, ever view an escalator the same way.
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1. “Eve.” When two identical attacks happen across the country at the exact same time, and the victims drained of blood, Mulder and Scully go off to investigate. What they find is more than a tad unsettling: that the witnesses–two young girls–aren’t quite as innocent as one would guess. What is it about creepy little kids in shows and movies that messes with our subconscious? Children of the Corn, anyone?
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“The X-Files” (1993)
Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson
Creator: Chris Carter

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