Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Matinee: Halloween Edition - My Scariest Movies

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?    



18 comments:

bermudaonion said...

There is no way I could sit through any of those - Halloween or not.

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

I was surprised with how much The Ring scared me. I usually have nerves of steel, but in this case, not so much.

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I'd agree with you on all of these! Fantastic selections. I do have to see the most recent Paranormal Activity, which the first three have scared me to pieces.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I can't believe The Ring is PG, that movie scared me to death! The Paranormal movies are the same way. It's scarier because you can't even see what you're scared of! Great selections.

Zibilee said...

I just watched The Silence of the Lambs with a friend who had never seen it, and I must say, it does stand up to the test of time, that's for sure. I still haven't seem Paranormal Activity, so I will have to add those to my queue. Thanks for the suggestions!

melissa green said...

This list is the perfect mix of classic and modern scary movies! I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Halloween than checking out each one, with a hot cup of apple cider in hand of course. I’m just lucky that my Blockbuster@Home service from DISH has all these options available to rent, so my only problem will be figuring out which on to watch first! Plus, I have to persuade a few friends from my office at DISH to watch them with me, because I’m not brave enough to sit through them alone! Happy Halloween!

Marce said...

Silence of the Lambs is my ultimate favourite, love love love it.

I didn't enjoy the Ring at all.

I remember one called The Kiss but don't remember details.

I also like Children of the Corn and the Saw series.

C.B. James said...

The Exorcist scared me, that's for sure. I also was jumping out of my seat with Blair Witch Project more than once. And the original version of Let the Right One In really creeped me out.

Alyce said...

The only one of those I've seen is Silence of the Lambs and it was creepy. I was also scared by The Shining. I'm usually into a little tamer fare, but older films that scare me are Manchurian Candidate, Rear Window, and Midnight Lace (with Doris Day and Rex Harrison).

The Novel Sphere (Melissa) said...

Love scary movies! Great List! I would have to add The Shining and It to the list as well. I still can't get through It and well The Shining is just a classic. Have you ever read any books by William Peter Blatty (author of Exorcist)? If you haven't I highly recommend Dimiter. He has an interesting writing style but I really like that about him. Happy Halloween everyone!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I've seen The Exorcist...a looooong time ago though and enough of the first Paranormal Activity to know I don't want to see any more ;) You must have nerves of steel, Sandy! :)

softdrink said...

Silence of the Lambs is the only one I've seen. Claaaarice. Ugh.

Our weekly indie paper had a feature story on scary movies this past week. I thought of you. :-D There was one movie they mentioned where they made the director produce all of the actors to escape prosecution...evidently it was so realistic they thought he had just offed everyone.

Tasha B. said...

I saw The Exorcist and Silence of the Lambs. Eh. ;)

Melody said...

I love watching horror movies but yet when it comes to the scariest or gory parts, I'll still cover my eyes, LOL. Speaking of Paranormal Activity, I need to catch up on Pt 2, 3 and not to mention the latest instalment!!!

Ti said...

I have seen all of them. The one that chills me the most out of what you shared here is Silence of the Lambs.

I love Halloween (Jamie Lee Curtis) and the old The Uninvited. Really spooky. I love The House on Haunted Hill (Vincent Price) for its campy quality.

Marie said...

The Exorcist is so scary!!
I loved Silence of the Lambs. I think I've lost count of how many times I've seen it!

Jenners said...

I haven't seen the Paranormal Activity movies (and I don't want to) but I (stupidly) saw the other ones and they STILL freak me out. I didn't need the graphics in this post!!!!

Steph said...

I've seen 2 out of 4: The Exorcist and Silence of the Lambs. Both creeped me out, so I have to say they were effective. ;-)