When I first heard the assignment from our editor about writing a Pick Six piece about my favorite scary movies, I got really excited. But when it came time to actually choose just six, I became a bit nervous at the task. Picking just six horror films was real difficult for me. Do I go for the ones that really scared me, or do I go for the ones that I truly enjoyed? Should I stick with the classics or should I be different and go with some cult film that a lot of people have not heard of before? Well, I’m going to go with all of these aspects and give a list that will have all of these things.
Maybe it was the age I was when I first watched it. Or it could have been that I have not seen a lot of movies of the genre at that time. But Halloween is a very effective horror movie. Even though I know when the scares happen. My pulse begins to race and I start to sweat a lot faster when I hear those iconic piano cords. The beginning scene when Michael first kills his sister and it’s revealed that he is only six. I became disturbed right away , because he looked like he came from a pretty normal family. What could have caused him to turn out this way? John Carpenter along with his producer Debra Hill avoid answering these questions flat out. They give us various hints throughout that help wet our appetite, but never fulfills us. As much as we say we want to know his reasons for killing. We really don’t want to know and let’s face it. It’s a lot more scary the more we don’t know. Michael Myers is indeed a shape a thing. He is everywhere and he is no where. He can be just waiting outside your house or could even be in your room. The guy is strong, deadly and worst of all the dude is patient. The moment at the end with the random shots of Laurie Strode’s house and the streets of Haddoenfield and all you hear is Michael Myers breathing. That for me is the scariest moment on film because you don’t know where or when he’ll strike next.
Of all the movies in the so called “Torture Porn” sub genre, Hostel is the only one that actually has any sort of style and visual splendor with it’s bloody carnage. It has a lot of violence and gore but it’s used sparingly throughout and it never overstays it’s visit. It’s a good example of a slow burn because the movie gives you time to know about these characters before the shit hits the fans. It’s also a dark comedy on the topic of objectification and sex trafficking. The guys on this trip are only in it for the sex with various women, they don’t mind that they are just using their bodies for their own desires. When they’re captured, they are now in the same situation that a lot of these young girls are in. They are just being used for their bodies and nothing more. It doesn’t matter if you’re being cut with a knife or being fondled in places you don’t want to be, you are being violated and Hostel does a good job with expressing that .
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3 The Dream Warriors, 1987
The Original Wes Craven directed feature is a masterpiece and it is still one of the scariest movies ever made. Freddy Krugger is more menacing then he has ever been and yet. I still put the third enty as one of the best in the franchise. This is the one where Freddy (Robert Englund) delivers some of the best one liners (“What’s the matter Joey, feeling tongue tied” “Welcome to prime time bitch”) and it reintroduces the character of Nancy(Heather Langenkamp). Who is now working with a bunch of kids at hospital for sleep disorders. It would make sense for them to be in a place like this because no parent is going to believe them about Krugger anyway. I love the moment where they each discovers their own power and it almost becomes like a children’s fable. It also has the added bonus of having a really cool theme song by Dokken, it was co written by Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, The Mist) and it gave us the first introduction to my celebrity screen babe. Patricia Arquette (Boyhood, True Romance).
House (Hasu), 1977
The phrase WTF will be the main reaction many of you will have after you watch this flick. This will be the most weirdest movie you have ever seen, and if you are not a fan of those kinds of movies. There is very little I can do to convince you that this is F___ing awesome. One critic mentioned that it’s like watching an episode of Scooby Doo directed by Dario Argento (Suspiria). It’s tale is simple enough. A bunch of school girls go to visit one of their friend’s aunts and stay in a home that is haunted. But where it goes from there is very original and unexpected. If you loved all the craziness that went on during The Cabin In The Woods. You are going to enjoy this movie. The story was written by the director’s seven year old daughter at the time and it looks like it would come from a child’s imagination. Things happen at random and without reason. But it still holds the main plot together and it has memorable characters too. This is the one that is best watched with a group of your friends. It doesn’t matter if you love watch it or hate watch it. You are guaranteed a fun time when you enter this house.
I know many of you out there don’t consider this to be a horror film, but I don’t care. Because it scared me for many years. To explain the source of my trauma, I have to go back when I was just seven. My parents took me and my sister on a trip to Universal Studios and it was pretty awesome. I got to meet Woody Woodpecker and I got to visit some of the back lots that were used for TV shows and movies. All around it was a pretty good day until we got to the Jaws attraction. Now I had no idea what Jaws was. I just saw a lake with a guy sitting on a boat. Suddenly a fin appeared and it made it’s way to the boat. I screamed for the guy to get away, but my mom just told me to be hush up. My pleads fell on the deaf ears of my parents and everyone else around me as the fin made it’s way to the boat and it tipped over. A few seconds later a geyser of blood splashes out of the water and a huge shark appears just inches from my face. At that moment I thought i was going to die. I didn’t have any time to think about the past or be disappointed that I wouldn’t have any future. My only thought was I hope my death is quick. After that I could not walk past a certain section at the video store because I was terrified of seeing that damn box cover. After a few months of this, my dad got irritated and made me watch that flick. Afterwards I had several nightmares about the Great White including one where my friends used me as live bait to catch it . But looking back, I’m glad I saw it. It helped me become more interested in the horror genre and it taught me how to conquer my fears. Although there could have been a malfunction at that ride and I could have been devoured. Jaws will forever be one of the scariest movies for me.
The Shining, 1980
There have been tons of reviews and articles about this movie already and I don’t want to add anymore theories to the pot. You either like this movie or you don’t. If you didn’t, that is fine, you still have the book to read (which is really good btw). I’m choosing The Shining because it’s one of those horror films that I enjoy watching multiple times. Some times I see things through Wendy’s perspective. Other times I am looking at things through either Jack’s or Danny eye’s. I even look at things through the Overlook Hotel itself. The place itself is scary even without any of the characters living there. I watched this when I got sick with the Chickenpox one winter. Being in isolation while watching a movie about a family’s isolation was a very unique experience. Seeing the snow outside my window made me feel like I was with this family and despite the terrible ordeals that happen. I enjoyed my time with them and look forward to spending it again with them. I have become sort of trapped in that environment, just like Mr. Torrence was when we see that final picture of him at the end.
Ginger Snaps: Unleashed
Let The Right One In
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Dawn of The Dead (2004 and 1978)
The Vanishing (Original avoid the remake)
The Mist (Black and White Version)