In honor of Halloween this week, I thought I'd cover a little formerly-traveled but oh-so-fun ground of my favorite scary movies! Stop rolling your eyes. I know 98% of you hate them based on the comments I get from my oft-reviewed horror viewings, but tis the season! I mean, if you ever are sitting around and suddenly have a hankering to have the crap scared out of you, then I am here to serve your needs.
It IS really very hard for me to narrow these down. I've seen a whole array of horror flicks...the super-bloody Italian ones with the bad music, the '80's slasher ones, the classic black and white Hitchcock ones, the Japanese ones with the white-faced, black-haired demonic children. How to really judge? I have found that like any movie genre, many horror movies have a great premise, and do a great job of scaring you at first, but ultimately fall flat by over-explaining, or it turns hokey and unbelievable, and by the end you are ready for it to be over.
It's the ones that you are still thinking about a week later. The ones that keep you up at night. The ones that, when the credits are rolling, you feel a chill going up your spine. These are the ones that stand the test of time. So without further ado, these are the movies that never fail to entertain me:
The Ring (2002) - Speaking of white-faced, black-haired demonic children, here we go. This movie was based off the 1998 Japanese movie "Ringu". Crazy as it sounds, this movie is rated PG, but I can barely sit through it. The plot surrounds a mysterious, cursed video tape that shows bizarre disturbing scenes...once it is watched, the viewer gets a phone call that informs them they have seven days to live. I know, it sounds like a million movies that pander to teens, but it works. Starring Naomi Watts and Amber Tamblyn.
The Exorcist (1973) - But of course this one would end up on just about anyone's list. A demon possesses a young girl, and various priests attempt to exorcise it from her body. Spinning heads, pea-green vomit, spewing vulgarities in a demonic voice from the mouth of a child, bloody crotch-stabbing with a crucifix...it's all in there. Starring Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, and Max von Sydow, and brilliant theme song by Michael Oldfield.
The Paranormal Activity Franchise - As of today, there have been four movies released (PA 4 just came out a couple of weeks ago), and we have seen them all. PA 2 and 3 are prequels to PA 1, and the 4th installment is a sequel, and all follow a family that is cursed but don't know it (or I guess maybe they are starting to figure it out at this point). The bad things that happen to these folks are all recorded on security cameras at night, making one feel like a bit of a voyeur. These films are insanely low-budget, making them the some of the most profitable movies ever made, as they have risen to a cult status. In my opinion? They get progressively scarier, which is not what you would expect in a franchise. If you are looking for a marathon, I'd sit down with these.
Silence of the Lambs (1991) - No ghouls or ghosts here. Just pure, unadulterated psychotic serial killers. And phenomenal acting. Buffalo Bill is kidnapping, killing and skinning young girls. FBI Agent Starling (Jodie Foster) must enlist the help of imprisoned killer Dr. Hannibal Lechter (Anthony Hopkins) to profile him catch him. This movie is as good as it gets. I've seen it no fewer than 3 dozen times and it has never lost its lustre.
Have you seen any of these? What did you think? What are your favorite scary movies?