JoBlo.com presents: What's Your Favorite Scary Movie?
Happy Halloween all my favorite little devious schmoes! In celebration of the holiday, we here at JoBlo.com decided to compile a list of our favorite scary flicks to share with you, and in return we'd like to get some of your favorites as well. Check out the picks from our esteemed staff of writers, editors, columnists, all of whom love Halloween flicks, and everything that is Halloween!
I hope some of these gifs don't bring up some terrifying memories...or maybe I do...
Pet Sematary isn't just a great Stephen King adaptation; in my opinion it is hands down the scariest film based on a novel by the horror writer this side of The Mist. The movie has ghosts, creepy kids and scary cats, but Pet Sematary's greatest strength is how dark and depressing it is. Bleak as hell and terrifyingly relatable (especially to parents) with themes of regret and loss, the movie features some visuals you won't forget (Zelda's back anyone?) and by the time the credits roll, you will definitely know why sometimes dead is better.
Maybe it's just because it carried over throughout my childhood, but Stephen King's werewolf tale based on Cycle of the Werewolf scared the ever-loving shit out of me, mostly because it was presented in such a realistic way. It's a film that has me looking over my shoulder in the dark when it's over. Everett McGill is frightening as hell and the late Corey Haim was surprisingly good as well. It has an eerie charm to it and the fact that they built the reveal of the monster to the very end made all the difference. And no, I'm not talking about Gary Busey.
One lazy summer afternoon- in the mid-nineties- around the time I was 10 or 11, I was flipping around the channels on my TV, looking for something to watch. My choices were slim. I could either watch HUDSON HAWK or F/X 2 for the zillionth time, or watch this movie called VIDEODROME that was playing on A&E (before they became slaves to reality TV). Wait a second, starring James Woods! Love that guy, count me in! Despite the fact that VIDEODROME was heavily censored for TV, the next two hours screwed with my head in a big way. As jaded as I was at that point, VIDEODROME was just too damn much for me. It wasn’t that it frightened me, but I couldn’t shake the image of Woods’ stomach turning into a VCR (never mind what it looked like, I had no idea back then), or “long live the new flesh.” It shook me up BAD. In the years that followed, I avoided VIDEODROME like the plague. Just seeing its box art in the video store was enough to shake me up, and I even avoided the music of Blondie for years, as Debbie Harry frightened me. Of course, I grew out of it, and I appreciate VIDEODROME for the masterpiece that it is (and for the record, I LOVE both Blondie and Debbie Harry), but I’ve never been as unsettled by a movie as I was by VIDEODROME way back when. I just thank God it hadn’t been DEAD RINGERS on TV that day; I might still be in therapy trying to get over it.
I watched plenty of horror films growing-up. My Mom watched everything from the great to the corny. Then there was my Father who was always looking to be truly scared. There are plenty of movies that always give me a good scare but one that I always take in a viewing of is SCREAM. I thought it was a genius idea that was crafted from how we react to scary movies. "Bitch, why are you running up the stairs?! Don't do that!" Even the heroine knows that's a bad idea, but when a killer in your home is a reality, you don't have the comfort of sitting in front of the television screen. For all us movie fans, it called out our bullshit ideas and put them to the test.
It is surprising how many people have not seen this artfully directed horror movie. Often categorized as a thriller, DON'T LOOK NOW feels right at home alongside movies like THE OMEN and ROSEMARY'S BABY. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie play grieving parents who take a trip to Venice after the death of their daughter. What follows is a dream-like drama that has a sudden and twisted ending that will leave you haunted for a long time to come.
I don't know if this qualifies as the scariest movies I've ever seen, but it sure as hell is the scariest movie I've seen in years. James Wan directed a story we've seen a million times, from POLTERGIEST to AMITYVILLE HORROR, but he did it masterfully. knocking it out of the park on every level. From the creepy Annabelle doll sequence that kick-starts the whole movie, to the spooky things that happen when one sleep walks, THE CONJURING is chock-full of solid jump scares that, upon seeing it in theaters, simultaneously gave me a heart attack and made me pee my pants... and then did it again when I caught it this past week on video (a double-scaring effect which rarely happens). So if you're looking for a movie that will kill your sanity and make you afraid of the dark, THE CONJURING is it!
There are very few genre films that manage to balance humor and horror quite as well as the brutally funny and terrifyingly suspenseful AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. David Naughton and Griffin Dunne play a couple of American backpackers who are attacked by some sort of beast. While Dunne is tragically mauled Naughton survives only to find himself turning a monster. The transformation scene is still fantastic as well the soundtrack, the witty script and yes, a ton of truly scary scenes. This is the perfect blend of fun and fears for Halloween!
THE EXORCIST can't be topped. It's a cliche, I know, and I'm quite certain I'm not the only person on the JoBlo.com staff to choose it as my favorite scary movie (and if I am, I'll be shocked), but there's no getting around the fact that this movie works on every level. It's rates about an 11 on the visceral scale - who can forget Dick Smith's grotesque make-up, or those notes of sheer hysteria and horror conveyed by the top-notch cast - but its power goes even deeper than that. It conjures up our deepest fears: Fear of not being in control of your own body, fear of a loved one being tortured while you're powerless to stop it; hell, fear of the doctor - those scenes of poor Regan MacNeil in the hospital might be the creepiest of them all. A lot of the movies we see aren't able to evoke such vivid feelings of dread and dismay, and even fewer are able to prod those emotions out of you upon repeated viewings. I've seen THE EXORCIST more than 30 times in my life, and my stomach is churned each and every time. And I'd have it no other way.
U.S. Ambassador Robert Thorn (the late great Greg Peck) accepts the help of an Italian priest and adopts a newborn baby when his wife Katherine gives birth to a stillborn child. What this a-hole priest neglected to tell the good ambassador is that the baby’s mother was a jackal and oh, yeah, the child also happens to be the antichrist. Thus begins THE OMEN, one of the creepiest, realistic and moodiest horror classics that I have ever had the pleasure of watching at least once a year. The film features a chilling suicide, evil nannies, scary dogs and some of the most original kills you’ll ever see. Most of all, it’s the stellar performances by the elite cast that make this more than just your run-of-the-mill "scary movie." Harvey Stephens plays Damien (little boy Satan) and is so convincing in it that the name Damien is forever linked with this movie and the devil. My birth year, 1976, was the date of release of this movie which makes it all the more special to me. 2006 was not a special year as Hollywood decided to remake this legendary film. Do yourself a favor, if you’ve never seen the original, pop some corn this Hallow's Eve and check out badass Gregory Peck slowly lose his mind as he realizes his son is more than just an ordinary brat!
My dad raised me on horror movies, mostly classic Universal Monsters or Vincent Price flicks. I'll always have a soft spot for those, but the one film he showed me that left a lifelong impression was Stanley Kubrick's THE SHINING. You can make a case that THE EXORCIST is scarier, but THE SHINING sticks with you. I remember exactly where I was when I watched it, how old I was (too young), what the fabric of the couch felt like as I dug my nails in to it. No film has a more defined sense of unsettling dread. Every scene is just dripping with creeping hints of terror to come. Every performance is perfectly off-putting. There's never any relief or breaks to feel safe. And boy, did the bathtub sequence screw me up for life. It's also a testament to Kubrick that the movie's iconic moments and imagery are still effective and not watered down by years of overuse and parody. THE SHINING's a slow burn, especially compared to modern horror films, but also one of the most effective scarers ever made.
Okay, now that you've heard our picks, let's hear yours! Tell us your favorite scary movie below!
|Extra Tidbit:||Be safe out there!|