Use of Time wrote:
There is just something unsettling about soul stealing aliens and the severed head of one of our beloved characters.
I think with that scene, it's that you don't see the aliens at first. You only hear Data talking about them. The imagination is far greater than any special effects department.
That's perhaps why a sci-fi TV show from the 80s/90s can often be scarier than a big-budget hollywood "horror" film. Limitations on what can actually be shown force the imagination to fill in the blanks.
Like the movie Cloverfield, which is far better when you don't see the creature in the first half.
As for TNG, my favourite 'freaky' moments are two that both relate to similar things, I think. Holodeck reconstructions.
1.) Identity Crisis. When Georgi is searching through the video footage and recreates it on the holodeck, he sees the shadow that he can't identify, eventually reconstructing the solid outline of what was casting it. This freaked me out I suppose because it suddenly says that there can be things around us that we cannot even see. People walking amongst us undetected. It's also scary because it's literally a blank outline, a person without a face, standing there in the shadows. It's just a really well-made scene, all of it. It's similar to many "investigitive" scenes in TV shows, I suppose ("can you enhance that image?") but it's more effective for being a physical reconstruction of events.
2). Schisms. The holodeck scene (again!). This gives me goosebumps every time. "We've all been here before". I suppose it's similar to the above, it's the implication of what it means. It's not a scary image in itself, it's the fact that this group of people have separately reconstructed an environment that they now suddenly realise they have been taken to, perhaps repeatedly. Combined with the whispers/clicks from the darkness, it's very effective at letting your imagination fill in the gaps. You're left thinking "what they hell happened to all of you?"
So, it's that realisation of sinister implications that work their spooky magic on me the best.
Frame of Mind, while I love that episode, doesn't have the same effect on me. It's totally weird and wonderful, but there was never a point where I genuinely believed Riker was imagining really being a Starfleet officer. Instead you're waiting for the veil to be pulled away / the character to wake up.