Friday, September 07, 2018

Supernatural Friday: Binging on Horror: 13 Scary Films, Plus One More

Image result for ghost watching a scary movie on TV

I know there are many more good horror films, but here are thirteen, plus one more to get you started on binging for Halloween, beginning in September.

1. The Haunting (1963). Based on the novel, The Haunting of Hill House. Don’t rent the 90s stinkero remake. Get this one. But with Netflix to have The Haunting of Hill House as a TV series to binge watch beginning October 12, 2018, I think going back to watching the black and white film is perfect now. Premise: Dr. Markway, doing research to prove the existence of ghosts, investigates Hill House, a large, eerie mansion with a lurid history of violent death and insanity. With him are the skeptical young Luke, who stands to inherit the house, the mysterious and clairvoyant Theodora and the insecure Eleanor, whose psychic abilities make her feel somehow attuned to whatever spirits inhabit the old mansion. As time goes by it becomes obvious that they have gotten more than they bargained for as the ghostly presence in the house manifests itself in horrific and deadly ways. The film doesn’t need special effects to scare you. So grab this film, turn off the lights, huddle on the couch or your favorite chair, and be prepared to be frightened.

2. Dog Soldiers (2002). No this is not a military film, though there are English soldiers in it. Plus a pack of werewolves they end up battling for their lives. And all set in the Scottish wilderness. Intense, this is one of the best werewolf horror films I have seen in a while. 

3.  An American Werewolf in London (1981). A horror film with werewolves that will make you think twice about traveling to English and hiking through it with your buddy at night and during a full moon.

4. Cabin the Woods (2011): The premise sounds old hat in horror films: “Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods.” But honestly, it takes a surprising about-face, added with a dash of Lovecraft. I loved it. 

5.  30 Days of Night (2007). This is a vampire film that is intense from beginning to end. If you are looking for those breaks in humor, forget it, this movie won’t give it to you. If you’re looking for vampires that sparkle, forget it. These vamps are vicious and out for one thing you can give them, and it is not to love, but blood.

6.   Psycho (1960). Premise: a young woman steals $40,000 from her employer's client, and subsequently encounters a young motel proprietor too long under the domination of his mother. Though black and white, this Alfred Hitchcock film will scare you as only Hitchcock can. Famous for the shower scene.

7.  Evil Dead and Evil Dead II (1981 and 1987–both by Sam Raimi). First one is more grade-B horror, while the second one, a kind of remake has humor in it. The second one is the movie that made Bruce Campbell a B-movie icon and won Sam Raimi a whole lot more directing gigs. This film has equal parts humor and gore, but when the scares happen, they happen on a grand scale. Ever wondered what it would be like to fight your own hand? You won't have to wonder anymore after watching this movie. But still, I thought I point out the first one, too.

8.  28 Days Later (2002). Undead, or zombies as they are calling the ghouls of these films these days, this is a good one. Many movies have tried to recreate what a major city could look like after an apocalypse, but not many do it as hauntingly well as Danny Boyle's "28 Days Later." The terrifyingly fast zombie-like creatures roaming the landscape proved to be so effectively scary that the movie spawned a wave of movies featuring fast-paced zombies. And the zombies don’t have to die to change and are logical in why they act the way they do.

9.   The Descent (2005). This movie will terrify you if:  1) You’re claustrophobic. 2) You’re scared of the dark. 3) You have a fear of being trapped under the earth.  4) You have a fear of being trapped under the earth with vampire-like creatures that can see you but you can’t see them. netflix has the sequel that you can watch too.

10. Trick 'r Treat (2007): Now it's after Labor Day, we can go full blown Halloween crazy. Premise: Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pulls a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband. Perfect Halloween horror tales that will make you nervous about answering the door to trick-or-treaters.

11.  Alien (1979): “No one can hear you scream,” as the crew is stuck on a mining spaceship nowhere near Earth, where they run across something on a planet, what remains of a giant alien and what appears to be eggs or weirdly shaped rocks. One of the objects opens and something leaps from it to clasp onto the helmet of the crewmembers. Nostromo battle something that proves ET is not so friendly.  

12. John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982): This science fiction body horror movie is based on the short story, “Who Goes There” by John W. Campbell that I had read back in college in an anthology, and John Carpenter's version is a more faithful adaptation than the 50s version with James Arness. It will make you question if your friend is really your friend or something that may want to take over the Earth.

13. A Quiet Place (2018):  Another science fiction horror movie with monstrous killing aliens. Premise: On a devastated Earth overrun by lethal and ever-hearing predators of a possible extraterrestrial origin, the Abbotts and their children struggles to survive in a desolate world in a new era of utter silence. As this new type of invader is attracted to noise, even the slightest of sounds can be deadly; however, it's been already twelve months since the powerful monsters' first sightings, and this resilient family still stands strong. To learn the rules of survival in this muted dystopia is essential; nevertheless, an otherwise joyous event is threatening an already frail stability. Now, more than ever, don't make a sound.

I am adding a 14th movie: Halloween (1978): with the new film by John Carpenter that says all but the first film never happened, where Jaime Lee Curtis returns and ready to battle Michael,  and releasing close to Halloween this October, this is a good time to watch the original film. Premise: This American slasher film directed and scored by John Carpenter, starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut. The film tells the story of Michael Myers, who was committed to a sanitarium as a child for the murder of his older sister Judith Myers but escapes back the house he grew up in on Halloween.

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