Any action movie worth half its budget has that ‘cliffhanging’ scene. You know the one: someone slips off a window ledge, or maybe out of a helicopter, and now his or her life tenuously hangs in the balance. “Hold on!” the hero shouts. The damsel-in-distress’s fingers are slipping, one by one. “Grab my hand!” the hero pleads.
This is pretty corny, but I’ve always found the ubiquitous cliffhanging scene to be really cerebral, all taut with suspense. I think it’s because, during my elementary school gym class days, I could never do a single pull-up. (Most girls seemed to whiff out around pull-up #2, thank you.) And then I’d watch the “HOLD ON!!!” scene in movies and think to myself, Well, gosh, in that situation, I’d just let go of whatever I was holding onto. And I knew I was doomed since, after all, attempts to cross the monkey bars tended to end with me falling into the woodchips, massaging my arms and yowling with humiliation.
Above, you’ll find a montage of classic HOLD ON!!! movie moments, including (SPOILER!) that scene in The Good Son where Mom has to decide whether to let go of Macaulay Culkin or Elijah Wood. (OH NO!) The video is set to “Hold On,” the 1990 pop ballad that marked the debut of Wilson Phillips.