October is coming. The Month of Scary Movies is almost here. Time to turn the lights off and pull the blanket up to your chin.
The problem is what horror movie to watch?
I’ve not seen a really good new scary movie in a long time. Some start out good, or at least interesting, and then go straight to “Pants on the Head Retarded”.
I hate jump scares. If you are a Director, and you have to use them, you suck. You suck, your script writer sucks, your producers suck.
Found Footage and Documentary type horrors are the worst. They are as Cliche as the “It was all just a dream” dodge. It was unique at one time, with the Blair Witch Project and now it’s just a crutch for the unimaginative.
Hollywood is all about doing Remakes… Either remaking older films, or remaking foreign films. You know what? If you are going to do a Docu-Footage Horror, don’t. Do a Remake. Because with as little artistic credibility as you are going to have, might as well emulate something actually good.
And if you do a Remake… I’m still going to hate you. Hack.
So what movies are we going to watch this month? I suggest the old classics. Black and White. My top pick? The Omen.
21 thoughts on “Scary Season.”
Nothing traumatized me more as a boy than the TV show Dark Shadows. The very first episode I ever saw was this one, in which the vampire Barnabas Collins bricks the Reverend Trask into a niche in his basement:
After that I was hooked. The show terrified so many children (we watched it immediately upon arriving home from school) that concerned mothers began a letter-writing campaign to get it taken off of the air. It must have had marginal ratings to begin with, because it was, indeed, taken off the air.
Between Dark Shadows and the Hammer Films “Dracula” movies starring Christopher Lee, I was terrorized by vampires throughout the 70’s, and still occasionally have vampire nightmares to this very day. The best of the Lee movies were Dracula, Prince of Darkness and Dracula Has Risen From the Grave. After that they were just so much 70’s exploitation.
A made-for-TV vampire film that came along in the late 1970’s and traumatized me all over again was Dracula as filmed by Dan Curtis, the creator of Dark Shadows. It starred Jack Palance as Dracula, and his portrayal was terrifying. It was a bit more faithful to the Bram Stoker novel than most other film versions were, at least up to that time. PBS came out with its own version starring Louis Jourdan not long afterward which was similar, but not so frightening.
Needless to say, I don’t much care for gay Ann Rice vampires, to say nothing of sparkly “Twilight”-style vampires. It speaks to our national moral character that these days we want to be vampires, rather than see them destroyed.
Actually it went off the air because the writers went totally off the rails and couldn’t keep a coherent story line to save their lives (dead character showing up in the next scene? Not a vamp?) and the acting was at best third rate, the actors kept forgetting their lines (it was live taped) and there were long pauses while the crew had to remind them, sometimes you could hear the crew talking the lines from back stage. Still like you I loved it and watch everyday.
Trick ‘R Treat has been one of my Halloween favorites for a few years now. Maybe not the scariest movie ever, but it’s a pretty clever new take on the genre. Sad that Netflix seems to have taken it down.
The old version of “The Exorcist”.
Or go oddball with “Food of the Gods”. I’m still wary of rats because of that flick. It probably wouldn’t curdle you nowadays, but as a little kid in the late ’70’s –I was traumatized.
Or go way out there with “Event Horizon”.
Event Horizon is probably the one that scared me the most.
Bingo – that’s the movie I was going to suggest, but you beat me to it. That movie gave me nightmares.
The only re-make I have ever liked is Rob Zombies re-do of the John Carpenter classic, Halloween..loved it..
You know, Rob really captured it.
The “Moth Man Prophecies’” based on a supposedly true book is one of the most creep inducing movies I have seen in a long time. Don’t watch that one in the dark and keep your 1911 on safe. Don’t want any AD’s when things goes bump!
I’d just like to see a good werewolf movie. Dog Soldiers and the werewolf hunter up on netflicks are the best two I’ve seen. Underworld I felt was more a vampire moive.
The one Underworld movie had some lore… it was alright.
Dog Soldiers is the best werewolf movie. Ever.
Best line, “I hope I give you the shits”
Check out “Devil’s Backbone” [in Spanish with English Subtitles]
Takes place during the Spanish Civil War and “The Changeling” with George C. Scott….More creepy/ mysterious than the gratuitous violence monster-killer types like Friday 13th franchise, Freddie Kruger, etc.
The Devil’s Backbone is a fantastic film.
Recently, its all been gore pr0n. It’s been the TV shows that have actually had me a little on my seat. People poo-poo The Walking Dead, but I’m invested in the characters and that make it a bit scary. The new one I’m watching is Guillermo del Toro’s new bit, The Strain. Took a couple of episodes, but now I’m hooked.
For adults I suggest The Ring (scary), and the various Final Destination movies, which are hilarious.
In my experience, those under 12 treat Spirited Away as a horror movie.
I second The Changeling with George C Scott. Older movie but very creepy.
Very much so. That and George C Scott was an epic actor.
Honestly, not much has been scary in years. The market has devolved into jump scares then the other torture and gore. Now when I want a scare I turn to video games. Those will get the creeps going.
True a lot of them rely on the jump scare, but it can be done well. The suspense that builds to the perfect jump scare, and the timing to illicit the greatest fear response is wonderful and hard to replicate in other media. Add in the sudden feeling of powerlessness when controlling a game does make things even better.
So I’m not so quick to dismiss the jump scare. Even the most cheap trick can be done with a masters touch.
Speaking of John Carpenter–“The Thing”
Not really scary, but definitely creepy and a great batch of crazy effects from a time when you couldn’t just CGI everything.
The Exorcist will probably always be my favorite. The first movie to ever scare the living crap out of me for days straight.
The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Haunting, Evil Dead 1, all great too. Carpenter’s The Thing is fantastically creepy, Trick ‘r’ Treat has a lot going for it, Halloween is a classic and still works. As far as new stuff goes though I can’t really think of anything worthwhile. It’s all about the jump scares now, which is just lazy filmmaking IMO.