Top 10 Horror Psychics!

So, what do you guys and gals think of the CARRIE remake, opening today? Word is the cast and crew went back and reshot a bunch of shite in order to make the flick worthy of a hard-R rating. You think they pulled it off? Like most remakes, I personally find this a completely unneeded one, but damn if I'd ever pass on seeing such a juicy role played by Julianne Moore. And Chloe Moretz? Say what you will about the casting, she's a terrific young actress. Anyway, we all know the gist of CARRIE - a mousy teenage outcast exacts revenge on the high-school bullies who torment her on prom night. Her method? Telekinesis and psychic powers. She full on wrecks shite with her mind! But of course, that got us to thinking...is CARRIE the most powerful psychic to be found in the horror genre? Well, check out our Top 10 Horror Psychics above to find out!


Although remade by Kimberley Peirce (BOYS DON'T CRY), it's hard to think the same level of artsy flare will be imbued into the Stephen King novel as Brian De Palma's 1976 version. In fact, I'm willing to bet that, outside a solid turn by Julianne Moore, the flick will be little more than a by the numbers, beat for beat rehash. Still, no one can discount how effective Sissy Spacek was in the original. Props to De Palma for setting up sympathy from the very opening shower-room scene, because by the end of the film we really do feel AWFUL for CARRIE, and therefore grow willing to truly root her revenge.


From promising wunderkind to industry laughing stock...it's pretty shocking how far from grace M. Night Shyamalan has fallen since stunning the world in 1999 with his debut feature THE SIXTH SENSE. That said, nothing is likely to ever knock Haley Joel Osment off the pantheon of unnerving horror psychics. Shite's too original. Too disturbing, at least during the first go around. Of course, the great thing about character is we do NOT know the little f*cker is a supernatural seer until the very end. Upon said realization, one is forced to rethink ever scene that came before it. Slick trickery!


"This house...is Clea-uhhh!" Ah...you gotta love the Lilliputian medium, played by the late great Zelda Rubinstein, who dishes a unique and eerie bit of comic relief to the definitive Hooper/Spielberg haunted house classic. Truth be told, we could count the mom Diane Freeling (JoBeth Williams) as a seer as well, after-all it is she who starts to sense supernatural happenings in the house before anyone else. At least, she senses what's really underneath before the others. I still can't believe POLTERGEIST is being remade, but if there's no stopping it, solace can be had knowing Sam Rockwell, Jared Harris and Rosemarie DeWitt are all set to star in it. But goddamn, talk about blasphemy!


Even though the narrative drive in Kubrick's THE SHINING deals with Jack Torrance's slow descent into madness, the title of Stephen King's novel on which it's based refers to harrowing psychic visions. In particular, little Danny Torrance and Dick Halloran are able to "shine" throughout the flick, usually before and after some utterly terrifying shite goes down. Also, both "shiners" ultimately become victims at some point during the film, which is drastically different than we're used to seeing. In most other cases the psychic abilities are used in heroic fashion to either victimize or redeem others. They don't normally belong to characters that get chased through a snowy maze or axed in the chest to death!


In perhaps Christopher Walken's last great starring role, the Oscar winner plays Johnny Smith, a man who awakes from a coma following a car accident to discover a startling revelation: he suddenly has keen psychic detection skills! With David Cronenberg's vintage directorial stylings and a deft story by Stephen King, Walken's performance makes this 1983 sci-fi/horror joint a trifecta of cinematic excellence. Throw in the morally ambiguous interplay of the main character - are these psychic powers used for good or bad - and we have the basis for a highly compelling story.


Before Cate Blanchett was recognized as one of the best actors on the planet, she turned in tremendously nuanced performance as Annie Wilson, a deeply troubled seer in Sam Raimi's THE GIFT. Much like the film itself, the performance tends to be overlooked due to the multi-stranded storylines and sheer size of the rest of the cast. But make no mistake, it's Cate's show...as her character is enlisted by local authorities to use her abilities to help find a missing girl. Billy Bob Thornton wrote the script with his ONE FALSE MOVE partner Tom Epperson, with Raimi directing one of his more understated flicks.


One of Brian De Palma's most underrated genre joints is THE FURY, about a shady state official who kidnaps a gifted kid in order to steal his superhuman psychic powers. What's cool about the flick is just that...said psychic energies are transferred to many people throughout the film...including primary villains, who abuse and subvert the powers for ill. A nice twist! Dope makeup and gory FX by Rick Baker and Rob Bottin, not to mention a stellar cast including Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Charles Durning and Amy Irvin make THE FURY one of the more formidable examples of 70s horror done right!


Like the film itself, the title character of DONNIE DARKO isn't a very typical one. He's not a typical teenager, he's not a typical psychic. That said, Donnie is clearly plagued by a rash of demonic visions and eerie premonitions that tune him in to the impending horrors of the world. As he slowly unravels the mystery, Donnie in the end becomes a sacrificial savior for the ones he cares about, even going so far as to tekekinetically rip a jet-engine off an airplane and guide it away from harming others. In so doing he apparently saves the world from ceasing to exist. On a side note, Drew Barrymore stars in the flick. Barrymore of course played a telekinetic child psychic the 1984 movie FIRESTARTER, also worth a mention here.


A shameless CARRIE knock-off it may be, but there's something SO damn satisfying about seeing a weasely Bernie Lomax (Terry Kiser) tormented to all hell by Tina in F13-7: THE NEW BLOOD. Shite's too good! Lar Park Lincoln, who just might be the finest F-13 "final girl" to this day, uses her newly developed telekinetic abilities to thwart Voorhees' unrelenting attacks. Sadly, THE NEW BLOOD is the most heavily edited of all the FRIDAY THE 13TH films, so much so that, had the original kills remained intact (as John Carl Buechler intended) it might be one of the better franchise entries. As it is, with the supernatural meets slasher angle, it's still one of the most unique.


As much as David Cronenberg is labeled the master of bodily horror, let's not forget how interested in the human mind he is as well. VIDEODROME, EXISTENZ, NAKED LUNCH and THE DEAD ZONE are all good examples, but of course, SCANNERS might be the best. And what's so greatly different about SCANNERS is the way it pits psychic behavior against itself. Darryl Revok is the head of the Scanner movement, right, but is undermined when doc Paul Ruth finds a new kid on the block with similar skills and assigns him to destroy the scanner movement. The result? Motherf*cking exploding heads yo!
Tags: Hollywood

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