I don't like 3D movies. I find them gimmicky, I find them aggravating to watch, and frankly, the "submersive depth" created by 3D is not effective enough to deal with heavy, uncomfortable glasses, poor screen luminosity, and raging headaches. That said, if you are going to make a movie in 3D, make it the cheesy, ridiculous, coming-off-the-screen 3D. I love that. You aren't fooling anyone with the 3D, so embrace it. I want body parts, buckets of blood, and scary weapons reaching out for me. I've chosen my five favorite 3D horror movie moments that embrace shlock in all its deranged glory.
My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)
My Bloody Valentine 3D was one of the first horror films shot with modern 3D technology. A remake of the 1980s slasher flick, My Bloody Valentine follows a deranged killer terrorizing a coal mining town on the anniversary of a terrifying bloodbath. The producers knew they weren't making Citizen Kane so, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, what follows is 90 minutes of over-the-top gore, imaginative kills, and a director who is not afraid to use 3D the way it was meant to be seen. There are so many wonderful kills, but tops of my list include the prolonged gratuitously-naked-girl-running-from-psychopath scene, and another character, who gets a pickaxe to the head - it almost looks like it will hit your own head. If my husband ever convinces me to get a 3D television, this is the first blu-ray I will buy.
Piranha 3D (2010)
A pure tits n' ass gorefest, Piranha 3D offers plenty of scenes with evil fish swimming at the screen, gnashing their razor-like teeth and threatening to take a bite out of the audience. But then poor Jerry O'Connell gets eaten from the waist down, leaving him with nothing but bloody bones. And you know what is below the waist? Jerry's penis. But the little piranha - who just helped finish off half a man - is already pretty full. He can't finish Jerry's penis. So he burps it up right into the audience. If you have ever wanted a face full of Jerry O'Connell penis, well, this is the movie for you.
Saw 3D (2010)
This classic Saw trap, which I believe was the only repeated Saw trap, is a classic, so it seems appropriate that it is included in the final segment. There is not a lot here that flies out at the camera - until the trap goes off, ripping Jill's skull open. Then, the blood flies out at the audience, and you get to zoom into the gaping hole that was once her face.
Final Destination 5 (2011)
There is a lot going on in this scene. There are many great perspective shots that put you right onto that bridge - plus a lot of people died. Cars dropped right into the audience; water floods the screen, and a girl impales herself on the top of a sailboat sail, sending a geyser of blood right into your face.
Captain EO (1986)
While not specifically horror, it scared the life out of me as a child. Captain EO, for the uninitiated, is a 20-minute film that George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Rick Baker, and Michael Jackson created for Disneyland in 1986 to experiment with Kodak's new stereoscopy 3D technology. It played at Disneyland and a couple other Disney parks worldwide throughout the mid-1990s until it was replaced with more technically advanced - but otherwise awful - Honey I Shrunk the Audience. Captain EO was brought back as a "tribute" shortly after Michael Jackson's death in 2009 (morbidly, the first thing I thought when Jackson died was, "that's horrible." The second thing I thought was, "maybe they'll bring back Captain EO now").
Anyway, Captain EO is light on plot: Michael Jackson is the gayest space marine in the universe who travels with a fleet of Muppets to deliver the gift of song to the evil space queen (played by Anjelica Huston). It's silly, it's hokey, and it really only stands up to Gen-Xers who want to relive their youth (EO was the first 3D movie I ever saw). But Huston's portrayal of the evil queen (before she - spoiler alert - is turned good) is diabolical. She looks like she was hand crafted by H.R. Giger himself, with metal claws instead of fingernails that she delighted in waggling at the audience. I distinctly remember, at age six, whispering to my mom and asking to switch seats so "the witch couldn't get me." I sat with my eyes closed until the "scary witch" gave way to rainbows and dancing, and my mother could explain to me what 3D was (something, in retrospect, she probably should have told me beforehand).