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The Misery Scene Horror Fans Can't Stop Rewatching

One of the most enduring horror classics is the 1990 thriller "Misery," the big screen adaptation of Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name. The story centers around a successful writer (James Caan) who finds himself held captive by a mentally unstable woman (Kathy Bates) who considers herself the novelist's number one fan. The movie holds a 90% percent approval rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and the film grossed $61 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo). Bates won an Oscar for best actress for her role as Annie Wilkes, a nurse whose bedside manner makes Nurse Ratched look like Florence Nightingale.

Set almost entirely in Annie's remote cabin in Colorado in the dead of winter, Paul Sheldon finds himself trying to pacify the unhinged Annie, who is prone to violent temper tantrums and bouts of deep depression. Paul is desperate to escape but depends on Annie for his survival. "Misery" doesn't rely on blood and gore to scare the audience but rather on Annie's mental, emotional, and physical torture of the object of her affection. Fans of the film remain equal parts obsessed and distressed by the demented lengths Annie goes to in an effort to keep Paul trapped in her house, and they took to Reddit to discuss one disturbing scene in particular.

The hobbling scene in Misery haunts viewers

In response to the question, "What are some horror movie scenes that legitimately make your jaw drop?" Redditor surya_1349 responded, "The hobbling scene in 'Misery,'" with user kinetochore21 agreeing, saying, "It still gets me after many rewatches." After Annie discovers that Sheldon has become a little too mobile for her liking, she straps him down, tells him how much she loves him, and smashes his ankles with a sledgehammer. It takes a lot to leave an indelible impression on horror fans, and what's even more disturbing is the scene is not as King wrote it. In the novel, Annie chops off Paul's left foot with an ax. The scene was so grotesque it scared off "Misery's" original director George Roy Hill (via Yahoo! News). "Although, I did like the movie version better. I think it's more brutal than just chopping it off," wrote Deduction_power.

Director Rob Reiner, who was initially for staying true to the novel, explained his change of heart during his commentary for the DVD. "We wanted Paul Sheldon at the end of this movie to emerge victorious over Annie Wilkes, and if he wound up without a foot — even if he winds up beating her and she dies — then he maybe paid too high a price for that," Reiner said (via Yahoo! News).